Suspending normal service for a little bit of promotional business. The reviews are coming in, and I reserve the right to only post the nice ones here:

“Anyone with any interest in rock ’n’ roll or politics will find multitudes to enjoy here: would that all books about rock ’n’ roll were so intelligent, and all books about history such fun.” – The New Humanist

“Excellent and exhaustive… a fascinating journey.” – The Sunday Times

“Majestic…panoramic… packed with anecdote and detail…profoundly moving.” – The Sunday Telegraph

“Lynskey’s ability to link history, culture, politics and music makes the argument not just for the potency of protest but the need for music journalism. The stories he tells are as epoch-shaping as the songs themselves. 8/10” – NME

“Amazing… very long and somehow in these times very important.” – Nicky Wire, Manic Street Preachers

“An admirable piece of work… This is a great story book. Each one of these songs has a story and is a story in itself.” – The Irish Times

“Lucid and authoritative” – The Guardian

“A scrupulously researched, elegantly written and highly absorbing account of the intersection of politics and music.” – The Independent

“Excellent” – Lauren Laverne, Grazia

“A gem for history and music buffs alike” – Waterstone’s Books Quarterly

“I can’t recommend it enough.” – Kerry McCarthy MP (Lab, Bristol East)

“Quite an undertaking… It will send you back — or for the first time — to an array of extraordinary songs.” – The Observer

“A panoramic sweep through pop and rock’s insurrectionary past.” –
The Jewish Chronicle

“You’ll never listen to the radio the same way again… Lynskey brings songs you take for granted back to life while making ‘difficult’ songs seem approachable.” – Elle

“Brilliant… Each track is the starting point for a thought-provoking, fluent discourse on a theme. It’s witty, well researched and contains excellent appendices, sources and epilogue.” – Telegraph.co.uk Culture

“Excellent… He mixes interviews new and old with diligent research and plenty of fresh insights. 4/5.” – Time Out

“A meticulous picture of the role of protest in popular music… a compelling, informed and enlightening read.” – The Big Issue

“Superbly written and expertly researched. 4/5.” – Shortlist

“Compassionate.” – The Daily Telegraph

“An extraordinary piece of work… it will undoubtedly take its place alongside Simon Reynolds’ Rip It Up and Start Again and Jon Savage’s England’s Dreaming as a classic of rock scholarship.” – State (Ireland)

“An intensely satisfying read.” – The Stool Pigeon

“There are some powerful narratives here, which stand as exemplary essays on their subjects… The book’s achievement is not only to make me want to listen to the songs, but to experience more widely the people behind the music.” –
John Self’s Asylum

“Impressive and extensive.” (4/5) – The List

“33 Revolutions Per Minute argues, in an entertaining and readable style, that songs have had the potential to elicit change. 4/5.” – Metro

“A highly read­able and engrossing history of a certain kind of popular movement, with whole sections that can just be dipped into when you’re in the mood.” – The Socialist Worker

“A thorough if necessarily left-wing history of political dissent since the Thirties.” – The Spectator

A piece I wrote for NME.com.

One for the Observer.

A feature and review at The Quietus

An interview with Nemone on 6 Music (starts around 1:08)

And one on Radio 4’s Front Row (starts around 7:20)

And an interview I did with the Scotsman. After 15 years of interviewing people, this is the first time it’s happened to me and it’s an interesting process because you see how, even with a professional, conscientious interviewer, wires can get crossed and errors slip through the net. Celebrities often complain about being “misquoted” or having quotes “taken out of context”, as if journalists are all pernicious muckrakers trying to trip them up. I wonder if what often actually happens is a simple misunderstanding. So I have no criticism at all of the interviewer (because he was great) but in the interests of accuracy:

My parents weren’t true-blue Conservatives. My mum’s a swing voter who voted Conservative in the 80s and Labour in 1997, while my dad never told us who he voted for — my mum thinks it was Green.

My bandmates weren’t from the squat scene, although I did have friends in that scene, living around Lewisham and New Cross.

Burn Baby Burn was about the LA riots of 1992, not 1984.

Although it’s true to say that my band was pretty terrible, it was called Vida Loca (no “La”), after this highly recommended comic book:


  1. Interested to see, from the Kirkus review, that the US edition includes 8 pages of B&W images. I wouldn’t have minded some more photos in the UK one, though the ones opening the chapters were good in themselves.

  2. Hi John. Actually there are fewer images in the US edition. They didn’t like the idea of one opening each chapter so we compromised on using some of the 33 (ones which featured artists or artwork rather than political scenes) on eight pages in the centre. Also, as I discovered, images can get really expensive, otherwise I would have had more myself.

  3. I like the interview you did for State. Warming up quite righteously to your theme towards the end there, which was good to see!
    I’m glad I found this blog though. Having been immersed in 33Revs for about a week it was good to read some ‘snark’ on the theme of protest. You’ve been remarkably kind to some people in the book, especially David Crosby, who was such a cock.
    However, it was heartening to get a balanced view of the Newport / Dylan saga. Modern journalism always pitches for Bob-the-artist vs the unhip beatniks but I happen to think that some Peter Paul and Mary stuff is a lot better than Rainy Day Woman and the likes of Ewan MacColl may have been a bit po-faced but I admire what they did for music .

  4. You might have missed the capsule review in Waterstone’s Books Quarterly. Their usual 40-word business, but the pull quote is “A gem for history and music buffs alike.”

  5. oh god you havent written about the band have you?i think i still have the cassete somewhere, the drum machine still gets some use now and again!

    • You can relax – the band aren’t in the book itself! I’ve still got the cassette too – I think we had good intentions and good ideas but no way of putting them together.

  6. This is CRAZY also check out http://getzitoutradio.com you took it back with the kid n play pictures lol.

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