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70s

Read posts devoted to music from the 1970s.

Genre: A 33 1/3 Series – New Books on ’70s Teen Pop and Krautrock

Next month we’re adding two new books to our Genre series: ’70s Teen Pop and Krautrock. If you’re not yet familiar with this series, think of Genre as your guide through musical sub-genres that have intrigued, perplexed, or provoked listeners. Much like the original 33 1/3 series, each book offers new perspectives, song recommendations, little-known tidbits, personal stories, and above all, ways of thinking about music.

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Image of Walter Egan and Stevie Nicks

Fascination’s Fascination

This year, Walter Egan released an album partly about a crush he had on Pamela Des Barres, a famous rock ’n’ roll “super-groupie” with a long list of friends and lovers in the music, film, and television industries. She came of age on LA’s Sunset Strip, in Laurel Canyon, and on the beach, relishing the full landscape of Southern California sensations. Egan met her briefly in 2001 and then again over a weekend in 2013, noting in his journal at the first encounter that she “was famous for ‘hanging out’ with rock luminaries.”

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Image of Donna Summer in her waitress outfit

Working Hard For The Money

In the classic track from Once Upon a Time “Working The Midnight Shift”, Donna Summer’s Cinderella character hits rock bottom. Forced to take on demeaning (but never specified) labour, the song manages to evince a post-Fordist nightmare where the singer has lost control of agency of her body. Her breathy vocals are detached, signifying perhaps an out-of-body experience as she observes her body grinding away, the relentless music suggesting hands in busy, unceasing motion. Tucked away in the middle of the Side 2 suite, it was probably one of the last tracks that would have been considered as having single potential. However, over the years it has demonstrated a lasting cult appeal, attracting covers from Holy Ghost! and occasional Red Hot Chili Pepper John Frusciante.

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