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Nothing Is Real

The Beatles Were Underrated and Other Sweeping Statements About Pop
Narrated by: David Hepworth
Length: 6 hrs and 12 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (61 ratings)

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Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Nothing Is Real: The Beatles Were Underrated and Other Sweeping Statements About Pop, written and read by David Hepworth.

Pop music’s a simple pleasure. Is it catchy? Can you dance to it? Do you fancy the singer? 

What’s fascinating about pop is our relationship with it. This relationship gets more complicated the longer it goes on. It’s been going on now for 50 years. 

David Hepworth is interested in the human side of pop. He’s interested in how people make the stuff and, more importantly, what it means to us. 

In this wide-ranging collection of essays, he shows how it is possible to take music seriously and, at the same time, not drain the life out of it. From the legacy of the Beatles to the dramatic decline of the record shop, from top tips for bands starting out to the bewildering nomenclature of musical genres, with characteristic insight and humour, he explores the highways and byways of this vast multiverse where Nothing Is Real and yet it is, emphatically and intrinsically so. Along the way he asks some essential questions about music and about life: is it all about the drummer, are band managers misunderstood and is it appropriate to play ‘Angels’ at funerals?

As Pope John Paul II said ‘of all the unimportant things, football is the most important’. David Hepworth believes the same to be true of music, and this selection of his best writing, covering the music of last 50 years, shows you precisely why.

©2018 David Hepworth (P)2018 Random House Audiobooks

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  • Colin
  • WATFORD, United Kingdom
  • 03-12-18

More Gold-Dust from Mr Hepworth

This is the third title by David Hepworth that I've listened to, and I have to say he has retained the energy and pace that made the previous titles so enjoyable.
In this title, Hepworth revisits articles that he has written in the music press over his long career, and every one of them is a gem. Being a drummer myself, I especially enjoyed the chapter called 'It's All About The Drummer' in which he very accurately defined the drummer's place in the overall musical scheme of things.
Each chapter is very well observed and written. 'Seven Things To Tell A Young Band' was so accurate I wish someone had told me, years ago.

A must for any music lover

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Robert Johnson, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison blah blah

Don't get me wrong I'm on my fifth DH tome but this was a bridge too far for me. A compilation of articles that became horribly repetitious made unbearable by Hepworth's 'Know it all' delivery.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Thought provoking if bombastic

Interesting listen and his strong opinions are intriguing rather than annoying. However, his bombastic delivery does remind you of being cornered by a ranting uncle at a family Christmas party.

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Not a book, just a collection of existing articles

I'd expected a full book of new material with a consistent theme here. Can I blame the author for the fact I got this wrong? Well, perhaps I should have researched the book a bit more before clicking buy, but having all enjoyed Hepworth's others, this was an automatic buy for me. The bottom line is there isn't really enough material here to make a full book of, and that's the rub. There's already only about half the material that goes into one of his other books, and still some regular themes just keep recurring so it's not even treading new ground for some of it's meagre length.
The title essay is a good'un, and really worth a listen, but the book as a whole is probably one to wait for a sale or until you've got a credit you don't know what to do with.

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Really interesting series of discussions.

There was one part that made me laugh out loud and I am still wondering if it was deliberate

There is a chapter discussing musical references in novels and how jarring it can be when there is a factual error.

The next chapter. Angels?...a long running #1? The perfect example.

Really enjoyed this book, and his other recent releases. Delighted to see there is another on the release schedule.

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More Accurate Observations Than Greenwich

I really enjoyed Mr Hepworth's previous two books, 1971 and Uncommon People and this one is just as good.

This is an excellent collection of articles covering music and the industry that provides it. It is very funny, and I was constantly smiling as he nailed every observation.

If you're a middle aged bloke may find yourself squirming as he exposes all the snobbish opinions you have bored your mates with for the last 20 years.

My only criticism is that it is that I wish it had been longer!

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water than I thought it would be

on the plus side Hepworth spends a large part of the early section talking about The Beatles and their place in the history and mythology of rock and pop. if you know something about this year you'll enjoy it even more from knowing the songs and albums he's referring to. after that he casts his net a little more widely and one or two pieces drag to be honest. but overall a good selection and help me while away the pointless hours on my exercise bike.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful