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1963: The Year of the Revolution: How Youth Changed the World with Music, Art, and Fashion Hardcover – November 19, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The compilers of this oral history date the youthquake (Diana Vreeland’s coinage) that defined the era from the nearly simultaneous debut appearances on British television on January 13, 1963, of the Beatles and Bob Dylan. With the emphasis distinctly on events in the UK, the authors have culled quotes from musicians (Keith Richards and Eric Clapton, among others), music agents and promoters, and fashion pioneers Vidal Sassoon and Mary Quant to delineate how the postwar generation broke from tradition and set a new style. On the American side, coming out of a very different war experience, folksingers like Carolyn Hester and R&B and blues/soul singers such as Mary Wilson of the Supremes (who are both quoted) and Dylan (who is not) charted a parallel course. There is very little narrative connecting the quotes, which are selective (no Beatles, no African American bluesmen despite their acknowledged influence). This is a familiar story and the concentration on the authors’ English homeland may limit its audience in the States, but to the baby boomers whose story this is, interest in the period (i.e., in themselves) is ongoing. --Mark Levine

Review

A lively, insightful read about a transformative year. (Dan Rather)

A vivid and exhilarating guide to the year that revolutionized pop culture and shook the world, told by the movers and the shakers, themselves. (Mick Brown, author of Tearing Down the Wall of Sound: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector)

An extraordinary year, a great cast of characters, a terrific book. (Sir Alan Parker)

...a must read for anyone interested in how pop culture, and particularly pop music, was both representative of the age and a catalyst for change. (Victoria Broackes, Head of Performance Exhibitions, V&A Museum London)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: It Books (November 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062120441
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062120441
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #803,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

It's a fun, quick read.
takingadayoff
I just wish it was less direct quotes and maybe had a bit more of a flow or story of sorts.
Listful Booking
Because it is in pieces, it's a good book to be able to read a few pages and put down.
Teddy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S Riaz TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover
There is no doubt that 1963 was an extraordinary year of social upheaval - a "youthquake" of new talent; spearheaded by the Beatles and the Stones in England and Dylan in the US. A new generation of musicians, fashion designers, writers, journalists and artists challenged the established author and broke boundaries. These baby boomers were suddenly fashionable - the new aristocracy - in which accent and class were no longer the most important criteria for success. This book is an oral history of that ground-breaking year, although, in reality it is a rather unstructured account, which also has quite a lot about 1964 and the British invasion.

There are interview snippets with many people, including Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Jeff Lynne, Georgie Fame, Bill Wyman, Mary Quant, Patti Boyd, Mandy Rice Davies, Graham Nash, Andrew Loog Oldham and Peter Noone. As you can see, much of the book is taken up by musicians or those involved with the music business (which was fine by me, as it was the area I was most interested in, but just be aware that the majority of those interviewed are musicians). Also, although there are interviews with American artists, such as Carly Simon and Neil Sedaka, the bulk of the book is British.

Much of the book is very entertaining - both Keith Richards and Eric Clapton give thoughtful and insightful information on the music industry in the early 1960's. It is wonderful to hear how there was a lack of competition and a sense of helping each other. It was, you feel, a friendly and welcoming time for musicians to come together in the spirit of mutual cooperation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By gpangel on November 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
1963: The Year of the Revolution by Ariel Leve is a Harper Collin IT books publication, released in November 2013. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

"The revolution starts here. On the night of January 13, 1963- by accident, not design- the coincidental appearance of Britain's two rival national television networks by a largely unknown band called the Beatles and a struggling musician called Bob Dylan sounded the alarm, that within a year, would sweep away the ancient regime of class and culture on two continents."

This is an interesting collection of stories from both the US and Britain recalling the feeling of change in the atmosphere in the year 1963.
There are stories told by people in the music industry, the fashion industry, stories regarding art, politics and new inventions. The pill, sexual promiscuity, drugs, the works.

Weighing in were celebrities like Keith Richards, Joan Collins, and Patty Boyd on the changes taking place in Britain.

"By the fall of 1963, the revolutionary and self-indulgent exuberance in Britain was giving way to an new reality for youth's prophets: success, fame, and notoriety. But, these came at a price- responsibility, hard work, and the loss of innocence. The evolution raised their expectations, and hormones could only get the so far. Commercial demands and a new careerism took the form of ambition- something this generation had once eschewed."

In the US there was Motown, The Ed Sullivan show, the British Invasion and then of course the country was rocked to it's very core by the assassination of JFK.

It is amazing when you look back at 1963.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Listful Booking on December 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I love books like this. It's no secret I love the Beatles and totally grew up in the wrong era. This book gave you an insight to what it was like in the 60's from those who lived it and changed things. I loved hearing about the changes and the mindset directly from the source. I just wish it was less direct quotes and maybe had a bit more of a flow or story of sorts. That said, the introduction and epilogue (basically not the direct quotes) were really well written and in a style I wish was more prevalent.

It was hard keeping everyone straight-as far as who was who. There were names I would know anywhere, and some that I've never heard of before. Despite that, it was pretty easy to fall into it and just imagine what kind of business they did. This definitely focused the most on music and secondly fashion design. I wish there was more about the pop art movement or writing, but that may have came later in the 60's. Overall I enjoyed this and would recommend this to anyone who likes the time period or the people involved as it was quite interesting!
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By Teddy on February 8, 2015
Format: Hardcover
I was born in November of 1963. My mother told me that I was drinking my formula in front of the television when Walter Kronkite announced that president Kennedy was shot and again, during his funeral. The 60's has always been of great interest to me. I can remember when the U.S. landed on the moon and when Neil Armstrong said, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind". I remember hearing the older kids talking about the Vietnam war and my big brother enlisting because he dropped out of college. He figured it was just a matter of time before he got drafted and was told he had a better chance of not seeing action if he enlisted. Luckily he wasn't sent to Vietnam.

I always thought I was born too late and that I missed out on so much, the anti-war protests, Woodstock, etc. Yes, music from the 60's is still my favorite.

1963: The Year of the Revelation is really pop culture icons reminiscing about the 60's. The heart heart of the 60's is said to be started in 1963, hence the name of the book but the reminiscing goes into the later 60's as well. There are some wonderful musings by who's who from the 60's. People like Eric Clapton, Gram Nash, Peter Frampton, and many more. It certainly held my interest. Because it is in pieces, it's a good book to be able to read a few pages and put down. Yes, it's a good bathroom book. LOL!

I would have liked some more substance, perhaps some narrative between some of the quotes. Yes, most of us know a lot of the history but perhaps adding some little known tidbits or something else to really sink my teeth into would have made it better. That said, I did find it entertaining and especially enjoyed what some of my rock idols had to say. There were some photos included in the book and a few that I hadn't seen before. That was a treat. I think this book would be a great gift to a 60's fan, like myself. Recommended.

3.5/5 stars
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