Publication Date: Jun 2023
RRP: $39.99
ISBN: 9781922979018
Format: Paperback
Size: 153mm x 234mm
Pages: 352
Category: Music

Vinyl Dreams

How the 1970s Changed Music

Tony Wellington

Also available as an ebook from your favourite retailer.

‘A damn good read. [The 1970s were] a gender-bending ride, filled with good memories, good times.’ Suzi Quatro, rock legend

‘Tony Wellington writes with incredible insight, passion, and intelligence about music and the context in which it was created.’ Stuart Coupe, music journalist

‘In Vinyl Dreams Tony happily shines a forensic light on the finest musicians of the age, while gleefully exposing the fakes, the frauds and the febrile.’ Rob Hirst, founding member of Midnight Oil

‘A thrilling journey that meticulously charts rock music’s progress through the chaotic, fertile, high-energy, drug-fuelled innovations that make the seventies possibly its most exciting era.’ David Williamson, playwright

‘One thing I love about this book is how Tony Wellington humanises the rockstar. We all know the effect of great rock music on our mental and physical being is beyond magic, but those who create that magic are all too human. Tony takes us into that world and helps us understand how and why the songs we love so much were written by people reacting to the ever-changing world of the seventies.’ Jon Coghill, Powderfinger drummer

‘Wellington’s genial tone is never holier-than-thou, and by nature Vinyl Dreams will arouse discussion and dissent. His research is commendable, his illuminations manifold and his love for music palpable. Read it, and have your own private argument with him.’ John Shand, The Age/SMH

A scintillating journey through a feverish decade – tracing the shifts in popular music that continue to define the artform today.

After the dense miasma of the sixties, the seventies hit like a hangover. Idealism took a pounding as cynicism began to pervade Western culture. Stagflation, Watergate and a futile war in Vietnam all weakened faith in government, while environmental disasters and an oil crisis proved there was even more to worry about than a Cold War. A culture of ‘me’ began to replace the hippie ideal of universal love. Yet at the same time, women and the LGBTIQ+ community stepped forward to actively assert their rights.

This tumult saw remarkable changes in music. Rock splintered into dazzling shards as technical innovation propelled experimentation. Music became a visual spectacle via glam, shock rock, disco and punk. Musicians co-opted elements of classical, jazz, electronic, world and avant-garde music. Monumental albums were born: Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, Carole King’s Tapestry, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, Joni Mitchell’s Blue. From Elton John, Led Zeppelin and Yes to Talking Heads, Tangerine Dream and The Clash, no other decade instigated such a gloriously diverse range of musical styles. 

Brimming with beguiling stories and little-known details, Vinyl Dreams is a fast-paced romp through the musical decade that defined all that came after it. From the golden age of progressive rock to the new wave revolution, Tony Wellington traces the transformations that reverberate through to today, showcasing the fervour and enduring legacy of the decade’s music.

Tony Wellington

Tony Wellington is a writer, radio host, photographer and book illustrator. His works include Freak Out, Happy? Exploding Cultural Myths about Happiness and a history of Noosa, Noosa and Cooloola. He also co-authored (with John Shand) Don’t Shoot the Best...
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