Remembering Popular Music, Documentary Style: Tony Palmer’s History in All You Need Is Love

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Title Remembering Popular Music, Documentary Style: Tony Palmer’s History in All You Need Is Love
Author Huber, Alison
Journal Name Television & New Media
Year Published 2011
Place of publication United States
Publisher Sage
Abstract Over the past forty years, a growing number of television documentaries have attempted to produce a history of Anglo-American popular music for a wide audience. This article represents an attempt to come to terms with the particularity of the popular music documentary form and the different ways in which these documentaries present themselves as authoritative public texts that circulate understandings about popular music’s past. The argument is inspired by the landmark mid-1970s installment in this tradition: Tony Palmer’s epic seventeen-part narrative, All You Need Is Love. While this series makes strong historical claims—in Palmer’s words, it sets out to tell “nothing less than the entire history and development of popular music”—the author argues that the series is, in fact, based on the tropes and discourses of memory. Through an analysis of some of the particular formal and aesthetic characteristics of the series, this article reveals the ways in which talking and thinking about the past of popular music and its culture necessarily call on an experience of the senses that is simultaneously replayed and refracted as memory.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI
Volume 12
Issue Number 6
Page from 513
Page to 530
ISSN 1527-4764
Date Accessioned 2011-11-24; 2012-03-25T23:04:11Z
Faculty Arts, Education and Law
Subject Cultural Studies; Screen and Media Culture
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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