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Leaders of the Pack: Girl Groups of the 1960s and Their Influence on Popular Culture in Britain and America Hardcover – September 3, 2015
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
A British songwriter and producer, MacLeod has compiled a detailed history of the early 1960s girl musical groups—in both the US and Great Britain—and their legacies. Drawing on a range of sources (some primary but most secondary), MacLeod begins with a history and an analysis of the Shirelles and moves on to the Crystals, the Ronettes, the Marvelettes, the Supremes, the Vandellas, and the Shangri-Las. He also discusses such producers as Berry Gordy and Phil Spector. With the arrival, in the mid-1960s, of the Beatles and other British groups (who were significantly influenced by the girl groups), the musical scene changed significantly. MacLeod follows the story through the remainder of the 20th century and into the 21st, discussing The Beach Boys, The Who, The Rolling Stones, the Ramones, Blondie, Madonna, the Spice Girls, Lady Gaga, and Britney Spears—all seemingly influenced by the earlier girl groups. There are lengthy notes and a detailed bibliography, demonstrating the author’s wide range of sources, but few illustrations. With its wide chronological coverage, this is a useful addition to the literature. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers. (CHOICE)
MacLeod has done a commendable job researching this topic.... [H]e presents some unique and important thoughts on the 1960s girl groups and their bearing on the music and culture that followed. I recommend this book for either public or academic libraries, because it deserves wide readership and makes important contributions to the discourse on feminism, popular music, and cultural history. (Music Reference Services Quarterly)
[A] superb book…. Leaders of the Pack is exhaustively researched and so filled with details that anyone interested in the era, or popular music in general, will surely appreciate it. (Journal of American Culture)
About the Author
Sean MacLeod is a songwriter, music producer, and lecturer from Dublin, Ireland. He has been writing and producing music for over twenty-five years and currently teaches courses in music and media at the Limerick College of Further Education, Ireland.
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