Guide to British Music of the 1960s

December 1997

Book Review

Empire Made -  A Handy Guide to All Things Mod


Billed as the "Handy Parka Guide to All Things Mod" the book is notable for what is misses as what it includes. This is not the definitive guide to Mod music and lifestyle. However, the book covers areas which were previously uncharted, for example with features on some of the lesser-known bands. In addition, there is much about 1960s pop culture, more than just music with fashion, films, TV and art. For example, the Beatles are not mentioned but there are separate features on Dennis Greaves and 9 Below Zero, the latter certainly worthy of mention but not the Beatles? The Small Faces gain one of the larger features with some rare live photographs.

I may have sounded somewhat negative so far. This should not be the case. The book explores some areas where there has previously been little coverage. Besides, is there little more to be said about the more successful groups that has not been written elsewhere. Nevertheless, I believe a full 1960s encyclopaedia would have been a more daunting but complete work. This book still remains a useful companion for fans of 1960s music and culture. The bands and artists covered include the following:

  • The Action
  • The Artwoods
  • Marc Bolan
  • The Birds
  • David Bowie
  • The Creation
  • The Eyes
  • Georgie Fame
  • The Kinks
  • Small Faces
  • The Who
  • The Yardbirds

Much of the book is a fascinating read, especially for someone like myself who was too young at the time to understand what was going on. The 1960s remain a classic decade for media and the arts in Britain. Even today, the influences are still highly visible in music and films. Mojo's Top 100 readers' singles showed this with all but one of the top ten singles from the 1960s and six of them were British!

ISBN: 0-951-7206-86

First published 1997 by Complete Music Productions.

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