Reading Matters

After the Beatles broke up, rock exploded

Who says the early ‘70s were “a mere lull before the punk rock storm”?

Music journalist David Hepworth is here to shatter that myth with “Never a Dull Moment 1971: The Year that Rock Exploded.”

Hepworth believes the early ‘70s were the most “febrile and creative time in the entire history of popular music,” and he takes us on a fast ride through that year proving that the hot pants sensation was not the only thing making news.

In February of 1971, Carole King’s album “Tapestry” hit the shops in time for Valentine’s Day. By the end of June, it was the bestselling album in the U.S. In March, Led Zeppelin began to change the way most sixties groups had performed – weekends at venues within driving distance. Zeplin, instead, began “touring with a steely determination” -- more like campaigning.

In April, think Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” and Curtis Mayfield’s “”Get Down.” In May, James Taylor’s “Hey Mister, That’s Me Up on the Juke Box” and Carly Simon’s “Anticipation.” In July, Cat Stevens recorded a BBC TV special, “Cat Stevens Sings Cat Stevens.”

Hepworth believes the rock era started Jan. 1, 1971, the day after Paul McCartney’s lawyers issued the writ that ended the Beatles. The new year saw the birth of the rock superstar, changes in technology, audiences and the rock tour.

Hepworoth’s “Never a Dull Moment 1971,” is for anyone who can’t get enough of Marvin Gaye, Carly Simon, Bob Dylan and James Taylor.

Dannye: dpowell@charlotteobserver.com

  Comments