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The Kinks: Songs of the Semi-Detached
by Mark Doyle
Reaktion Books, 2020
Paper: 978-1-78914-230-3 | eISBN: 978-1-78914-254-9

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Of all the great British rock bands to emerge from the 1960s, none had a stronger sense of place than the Kinks. Often described as the archetypal English band, they were above all a quintessentially working-class band with a deep attachment to London, particularly the patch of suburban North London where most of the members grew up. In this illuminating study, Mark Doyle examines the relationship between the Kinks and their city, from their early songs of teenage rebellion to their later album-length works of social criticism, providing a unique perspective on the way in which the band responded to the shifting nature of working-class life. Along the way, he finds fascinating and sometimes surprising connections with figures as diverse as Edmund Burke, John Clare, Charles Dickens, and the Covent Garden Community Association. More than just a book about the Kinks, this is a book about a city, a nation, and a social class undergoing a series of profound, sometimes troubling changes—and about a group of young men who found a way to describe, lament, and occasionally even celebrate those changes through song.

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