deaf school

Books about rock and pop music can sometimes disappoint, particularly if they are poorly written or the story they tell is already familiar.

But two books I’ve enjoyed recently certainly don’t fall in to that category.

‘Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story Of Modern Pop’ by St.Etienne’s Bob Stanley (Faber & Faber) is a huge tome, but it’s one I can recommend to any lover of pop music.

Think you’ve heard it all or said before? Think again.

By tracing the development of the single or ’45,’ the book weaves its way through half a century of magical musical moments featuring all the great artists and perhaps not-so-great artists you can think of.

And it also takes time to wander off down some of pop music’s more obscure avenues and side streets.

That’s certainly where you’ll find one of my favourite cult bands of the 70s whose story has now been given a book of its own.

‘Deaf School: The Non-Stop Pop Art Punk Rock Party’ (Liverpool University Press) by Paul Du Noyer is a godsend to any fan of the Liverpool group as I was in my teens.

But it’s also a fascinating insight into the very thin line between success and failure in the world of pop and rock.

Deaf School’s three albums on Warners between 1976 and 1978 didn’t the trouble the charts or even garner radio play in places where it mattered like BBC Radio 1.

But their influence on musicians has grown in the years since as the book demonstrates in loving detail.

Suggs, lead singer with Madness (and husband of Deaf School singer Bette Bright), is particularly fulsome in his foreword about the band’s significance.

And he’s quite right to be.

I was lucky enough to see the band ‘live’ on a number of occasions, including a memorable night at the legendary Eric’s in Liverpool.

And I still enjoy their music today, particularly when it pops up on shuffle on my iPod.

Elsewhere on this blog you’ll find various blogposts about my Deaf School love affair, which you can link to below.

As Du Noyer’s lovingly researched and written book proves, they’re a band whose place in pop and rock music history is merited.

Deaf School – official website

Deaf School – related blogposts

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