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From ragtime to the X Factor: the epic story of popular music

If only Peter Doggett’s vast survey had been a little less scholarly, we might all have been talking about Electric Shock — rather than just trying to lift it

22 August 2015

9:00 AM

22 August 2015

9:00 AM

Electric Shock: From the Gramophone to the iPhone— 125 Years of Pop Music Peter Doggett

The Bodley Head, pp.692, £25, ISBN: 9781847922182

As pop music drifts away from many people’s lives, so its literature grows ever more serious and weighty, as though aware that this is an art form approaching the end of its time. Having had the pleasure of opening the first volume of Mark Lewisohn’s planned three-volume history of the Beatles and then fallen into a deep sleep attempting to read it, I feel only a sense of impending doom when presented with yet another vast tome of unimpeachable scholarship into the ephemeral.

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