I’ve finally finished reading Bob Stanley’s excellent Yeah Yeah Yeah, in which he covers pop history in the age of the physical single (from the early-to-mid 1950s to about the end of the century, when Napster, iTunes, Spotify etc changed things). It’s an education, reading the book - there’s lots of very interesting stuff he discusses that I’d never heard, and I thought I had a pretty well-rounded knowledge of things (and the Britishness of his perspective puts a different spin on things too). Anyway, it’s a book that definitely benefits from having Spotify playlists to go to when you want to hear what things sound like; Stanley references an encyclopaedia’s worth of fascinating pop music. The book is divided into five parts, and I’ve made a playlist for each of the five parts. I’ve tried to make sure I’ve got original recordings, but they’re not always available and I might have gotten things wrong. To my surprise, these playlists I made for my own amusement have been popular on Spotify because other people have clearly had the same impulse and searched for such things - the Part One playlist has Spotify 43 followers, for example.
Anyway, above is Part Four: it starts with punk (The Sex Pistols, The Clash, etc) and disco (Donna Summer, The Bee Gees), before getting into the various things that came after (The Specials, Joy Division), the electronic revolution (Kraftwerk, Gary Numan), the new Romantics (ABC, OMD), heartland American rock (Springsteen, REO Speedwagon), MTV pop (Prince, Madonna, Michael Jackson), metal (from Sabbath to Bon Jovi), 1980s indie (The Smiths, REM), and the stuff that seemed to sum it all up (New Order, Pet Shop Boys).