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210 × 148 mm
248 pages
40 illustrations
16 Mar 2020
  • £9.95

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The Kinks Songs of the Semi-Detached Mark Doyle

Of all the great British 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.

Mark Doyle examines the relationship between the Kinks and their city, from their early songs of teenage rebellion to their album-length works of social criticism. He finds fascinating and sometimes surprising connections with figures as diverse as Edmund Burke, John Clare and Charles Dickens. More than just a book about the Kinks, this is a book about a social class undergoing a series of profound changes, and about a group of young men who found a way to describe, lament and occasionally even celebrate those changes through song.

‘This is the kind of critical work I love best: Cogent, insightful, well written, a bit quixotic and showing a complete mastery of the subject. Mark Doyle brings something else entirely to the growing library of Kinks histories and memoirs. Just as Dave Davies provided the sonic architecture for entire genres of rock, Ray's songwriting established him as the quintessential London chronicler of the 20th century. The Kinks are well worthy of this deeply researched book, delivered with analytical rigor and wit.’ — David Smay, author of 'Swordfishtrombones (33 ⅓)' and co-editor of 'Lost in the Grooves'

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Mark Doyle is Professor of History at Middle Tennessee State University. He is the author of Fighting Like the Devil for the Sake of God: Protestants, Catholics, and the Origins of Violence in Belfast (2009) and the editor of The British Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia (2018).

Introduction: A Face in the Crowd

1 The North London Post-war Affluent Society Blues
2 The Kinks vs Swinging London
3 Ready, Steady, Stop! (or, Rock Music as Historic Preservation)
4 The Glory of Being Boring
5 Muswell Hillbillies vs Big Brother


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