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The History Of Rock 1970

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Welcome to 1970, and the latest volume of The History Of Rock, our attempt to tell the story of the last 50 years of music, one year at a time, in a monthly magazine.

In this new issue, we learn how a new decade brings re-evaluation for the stars of the 1960s. It says much about their qualities that they knew when moods were changing and their influence might be changing with them. Pete Townshend this year is humble, Mick Jagger wants to keep on the move. Paul McCartney, meanwhile, breaks up the Beatles. Jimi Hendrix prefaces his performance at the summer’s Isle Of Wight festival with a Melody Maker interview. In it he states that the end of one musical era “started by the Beatles” is over, and that he is working on new music that will play a part in the coming era. “Jimi Hendrix will be there,” he says.

As much as it is about endings, though, 1970 has some startling new beginnings. The spectacular rise of our cover stars Black Sabbath is one such. The massive impact made by Free another. Both bands take blues purism and rewire it – along the way finding completely new audiences.

Making sense of the changing times were the writers of the New Musical Express and Melody Maker. This is the world of The History Of Rock, a monthly magazine which reaps the benefits of their extraordinary journalism for the reader decades later. In the pages of this sixth issue, dedicated to 1970, you will find verbatim articles from frontline staffers, compiled into long and illuminating reads What will still surprise the modern reader is the access to, and the sheer volume of material supplied by the artists who are now the giants of popular culture. Now, a combination of wealth, fear and lifestyle would conspire to keep reporters at a rather greater length from the lives of musicians.

Sadly, Jimi Hendrix didn’t make it much further into the new decade. Otherwise, representatives from New Musical Express and Melody Maker are where it matters. Tea with Leonard Cohen. Tomato sandwiches with Mick Jagger. Under canvas at the Isle Of Wight. Join them there. There’s a new day dawning.