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Uncommon People: The Rise And Fall Of The Rock Stars by David Hepworth review

Album Review

Perceptive overview of rock’s defining moments

From Angus’s satchel to Lemmy’s black stetson, every rock icon has struck upon an image and attitude which set them apart. In his follow-up to Never A Dull Moment: 1971, The Year That Rock Exploded, David Hepworth – a former editor of Smash Hits, Q and Mojo – charts the pivotal moments which shaped the culture as a whole, from 1956 to 1995. So we hear about how, inspired by a Hammer horror poster, a gang of blue-collar Brummies renamed themselves Black Sabbath in 1969; how MTV helped Axl Rose turn hellraising into an art form in 1987; how Madonna simulating masturbation on stage in 1990 ushered in an age where “stars had no secrets”.

Packed with pub-friendly facts – who knew that Tutti Frutti was originally an ode to anal sex? – and peppered with Hepworth’s own memories from 30 years on the frontline, it celebrates rock while also mourning its demise.

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