Walls Come Tumbling Down

Walls Come Tumbling Down : The Music and Politics of Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge

4.26 (60 ratings by Goodreads)
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Winner of the Penderyn Music Book Prize, Walls Come Tumbling Down charts the pivotal period between 1976 and 1992 that saw politics and pop music come together for the first time in Britain's musical history; musicians and their fans suddenly became instigators of social change, and 'the political persuasion of musicians was as important as the songs they sang'. Through the voices of campaigners, musicians, artists and politicians, Daniel Rachel follows the rise and fall of three key movements of the time: Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone, and Red Wedge, revealing how they all shaped, and were shaped by, the music of a generation.

Composed of interviews with over 150 of the key players at the time, Walls Come Tumbling Down is a fascinating, polyphonic and authoritative account of those crucial sixteen years in Britain's history.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 640 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 46mm | 866g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main Market Ed
  • 1447272684
  • 9781447272687
  • 341,292

Table of contents

Section - i: List of Illustrations
Introduction - ii: Poison In The Machine
Section - iii: Biographical Notes


Section - *: MAKE WAY FOR THE HOMO SUPERIOR: Eric Clapton. Black Britain. David Bowie
Section - *: WHATCHA GONNA DO ABOUT IT?: Princess Alice. Sex Pistols. Punk
Section - *: BEAT THE WHITES WITH THE RED WEDGE: Socialist Workers Party. Temporary Hoarding. Roundhouse
Section - *: BEAT THE WHITES WITH THE RED WEDGE: Socialist Workers Party. Temporary Hoarding. Roundhouse
Section - *: NAZIS ARE NO FUN: Royal College of Art. Hackney Town Hall. Sham 69

Chapter - 2: INGLAN IS A BITCH

Section - *: PUNKY REGGAE PARTY: Aswad. Steel Pulse. Clash. Bob Marley
Section - *: WAR AMONGST THE REBELS: Linton Kwesi Johnson. Dennis Bovell. Rastafari
Section - *: NOTHING TO BE GUILTY OF: Rock Against Sexism. Slits. Mo-dettes. Poly Styrene. Poison Girls. Au Pairs
Section - *: DEDICATED FOLLOWER OF FASCISM: National Front. Lewisham
Section - *: ONE DOWN, A MILLION TO GO: Anti-Nazi League

Chapter - 3: OH BONDAGE! UP YOURS!

Section - *: THIS AIN'T NO FUCKING WOODSTOCK: Carnival Against the Nazis
Section - *: POWER IN THE DARKNESS: Tom Robinson Band. Stiff Little Fingers
Section - *: CARRYING PICTURES OF CHAIRMAN MAO: Northern Carnival
Section - *: KNOCK HARD. LIFE IS DEAF: Carnival 2. Militant Entertainment tour
Section - *: REGGAE FI PEACH: Southall Kids Are Innocent Benefit
Section - *: RENOUNCE ALL SIN AND VICE: Leeds. Birmingham
Section - *: RINSE OUT THE BLUE SCUM: RAR's Greatest Hits. Northern Carnival Against Racism. Legacy


Section - *: BLACK SKIN BLUE EYED BOYS: Bluebeat. Skinhead. Coventry
Section - *: THE KINGSTON AFFAIR: Specials out on parole. Gangsters vs the Selecter
Section - *: NOBODY IS SPECIAL: First 2 Tone tour. Madness
Section - *: STAND DOWN MARGARET: The Beat. UB40
Section - *: CALLING RUDE GIRLS: Bodysnatchers
Section - *: DOESN'T MAKE IT ALRIGHT: Specials
Section - *: CELEBRATE THE BULLET: Politics. Class. Seaside tour
Section - *: ALL WI DOIN IS DEFENDIN: Linton Kwesi Johnson. 1981 riots. 2 Tone legacy

Chapter - 1: SHOUT TO THE TOP

Section - *: LIFE IN THE EUROPEAN THEATRE: Thatcherism. CND. Paul Weller
Section - *: PERVERTS SUPPORT THE PITS!: Billy Bragg. Miner's Strike
Section - *: THE MILKMAN OF HUMAN KINDNESS: Live Aid. GLC. Jobs For Youth. Solid Bond
Section - *: DON'T GET MAD. GET ORGANIZED: Red Wedge


Section - *: IT'S THE PARTY I LOVE: Launch. First tour
Section - *: IT'S JUST A RUMOUR THAT WAS SPREAD AROUND TOWN: Militant Tendency. Newcastle
Section - *: AIN'T NO STOPPIN' US NOW: Women's tour. Well Red. Gay Rights. Black Sections.
Section - *: THE OSCAR WILDE SCHOOL OF SOCIALISM: Italy. Redskins. Move On Up tour. 1987 election
Section - *: WAITING FOR THE GREAT LEAP FORWARD: Labour listens. 1987-90. Legacy


Section - *: HATS OFF TO JERRY DAMMERS!: Artists Against Apartheid. 1992. Political pop
Section - iv: Timeline
Section - v: References
Section - vi: Publishing Credits
Index - vii: Index
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Review quote

A triumphant oral history of Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge ... a tale of resistance: first, against a surge of racism and bigotry that an inspired group of activists and musicians played a key role in rolling back; and then against a government, as the same spirit of defiance quickly resurfaced in opposition to the social revolutions of Thatcherism ... a vivid portrait Guardian Charts punk, 2 Tone and then Red Wedge's subsequent battle for a multicultural Britain in a brilliant account of the period Q Magazine By the Eighties rock had grown a conscience, and Walls Come Tumbling Down, charts how, in the late Seventies and Eighties, musicians became engaged in struggled surrounding race, gender, sexuality and class Choice This incredible oral history tells the movement's story plus the rise of 2 Tone and Red Wedge, through a phenomenal range of voices - Billy Bragg, Jerry Dammers, Rhoda Dakar, Pauline Black et all all provide great insight Mojo It's a testament both to the topic and to Daniel Rachel's organisation of the material that even at 640 pages Walls Come Tumbling Down feels like the opening volume of a much longer history. This majestic work at once confirms and opens up a familiar but often forgotten series of moments in the relationship between music and politics in the UK ... as always, the delight is in the details, and, finally, the glory of something so amateurish yet passion-driven coming together to change hearts and minds Wire
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About Daniel Rachel

Daniel Rachel was born in Solihull in the summer before The Beatles announced their break-up. He wrote his first song when he was sixteen and was the lead-singer in Rachels Basement, which he formed in his early twenties. In 2001, he released his debut solo album, A Simple Twist Of Folk, on Dust Records, followed in 2006 by A Taste Of Money. Daniel is a specialist in Forum Theatre direction and lives in north London with his partner and three children.
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Rating details

60 ratings
4.26 out of 5 stars
5 48% (29)
4 33% (20)
3 15% (9)
2 3% (2)
1 0% (0)
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