Book Review

A MELANGE OF MUSICAL PIPEDREAMS AND PANDEMONIUM

Publisher: Borderline Productions

Price: £49.95

…and subtitled Australian, New Zealand, African, Turkish And Middle Eastern Rock, Pop, Beat, R&B, Folk, Psych And Prog 1963-1976. With a book name like that, it can only be a new tome from Vernon Joynson and, in fact, this softback book of 762 pages (and limited to no more than 850 copies with its own number printed on the inside front cover) will be familiar to any fan of Joynson’s other detailed and well researched works. 

A MELANGE OF MUSICAL PIPEDREAMS AND PANDEMONIUM

I do have an issue with this book. Well, it’s more a scratching of the head, really. I can see why the author has linked Australia and New Zealand together in a single book. The geographical connection is obvious. I’m not sure why Africa is featured at all in this book and, if you are to look at Africa, why in this limited fashion. On a similar level, why include Turkey here at all? The latter receives less than a 100 pages while Africa a little more. Why not save both sections for books of their own or more logically formatted books? Both are literally tacked onto the enormous amount of information provided by both Australia and New Zealand: 532 pages in total. 

Because of this, the book has a decidedly eccentric and illogical feel to it. Of course such a presentation will not put off the determined music fan and collector who will lap up the information ‘as is’ and be happy that it exists in the first place. After all, what we have here, within the covers is information of such specialist knowledge and such dedicated hard work that it’s impossible to feel angry or even slightly irritated with Joynson for his questionable formatting decisions. The man is a research machine, there is no doubt. And more power to him. 

A MELANGE OF MUSICAL PIPEDREAMS AND PANDEMONIUM

Before I leave the scratching and digging, there are also a few quirks which will actually benefit the reader in the long run. For example, the book’s title should actually be a little bit longer because you will find the odd jazz and rock-soul entry included too. Also where the original Turkish and Israeli album, EP, 45 and song titles where in their original language, Johnson has translated these into English to ease browsing and research for English-speaking readers. 

The book features a host of images which can be found throughout including a 12-page colour section. These principally include cover art but also the odd extra such as press shots of the artists and even the odd concert poster.

Each section is presented in the now familiar Joynson fashion. Let’s flip over to page 290 and see the might that was The Seekers. What we have here is a band line up and their tasks within the group as well as when they appeared: The Seekers underwent several line-up changes during their life time. After that, a list of albums can be found. For The Seekers, that meant 22 LPs including compilations. Here, you will also find additional album information relating to, for example, an album appearing under a tweaked name in particular territories. Hence, the compilation, The Best of The Seekers was the same the world over except in Holland and Denmark in which it had a different track listing. Essential information for the collector. 

A MELANGE OF MUSICAL PIPEDREAMS AND PANDEMONIUM

Retrospective compilations are even listed as well as the band appearing on other various artists’ compilations. Joynson then provides a detailed band history. 

The information, covered on this one entry, is breath-taking. That goes for the rest of the book. A marvellous achievement and a source of information and pleasure for years to come.   

To obtain the book call 01323 736598 or click on www.fminor.com

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