Books

A Band with Built-In Hate: The Who from Pop Art to Punk

A Band with Built-In Hate: The Who from Pop Art to Punk
A Band with Built-In Hate: The Who from Pop Art to Punk (image credit: Amazon)
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Yes, another book on The Who. This time A Band with Built-In Hate: The Who from Pop Art to Punk.

This 320-page book is the work of Peter Stanfield and looks like a winner to me.

According to Bob Stanley, musician and author of Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop, this is: ‘The best book on The Who. Stanfield understands that they were built entirely around opposition – they didn’t want to be The Beatles or The Stones; they didn’t even want to be The Who most of the time. He smartly states the case for peak Who as transgressive…the closest thing to Pop art British music has ever produced.’

According to the pore-publicity:

A Band with Built-In Hate pictures The Who from their inception as the Detours in the mid-sixties to the late seventies, post-Quadrophenia. It is a story of ambition and anger, glamour and grime, viewed through the prism of Pop art and the radical levelling of high and low culture that it brought about – a drama that was aggressively performed by the band.

Peter Stanfield lays down a path through the British pop revolution, its attitude and style, as it was uniquely embodied by The Who: first, under the mentorship of arch-mod Peter Meaden, as they learnt their trade in the pubs and halls of suburban London; and then with Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp, two aspiring filmmakers, at the very centre of things in Soho.

Guided by contemporary commentators – among them George Melly, Lawrence Alloway and most conspicuously Nik Cohn – Stanfield describes a band driven by belligerence, and of what happened when Townshend, Daltrey, Moon and Entwistle moved from back-room stages to international arenas, from explosive 45s to expansive concept albums. Above all, he tells of how The Who confronted their lost youth as it was echoed in punk.

I know what you’re thinking. Another book by The Who. But it does sound like a good one and let’s be honest, we’re all doing a lot more reading right now. The book is available in hardback and is available to pre-order now for 15th March 2021 delivery.

Amazon is doing discounted pre-orders for £12.79.

Find out more at the Amazon website

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