Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Free love

In 1967, not only did The Beatles release their seminal album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, they also scored a #1 hit with 'All You Need Is Love'. Rather fittingly, as Jon Savage points out, the single occupied top spot in the charts when homosexuality was partially decriminalised.

While popular music and culture didn't exactly have an instrumental role in bringing about change (though The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and Pink Floyd all touched on the subject of homosexuality and androgyny), they were heavily influenced by gay visionaries like Beatles manager Brian Epstein and fashion designer John Stephen.

Savage's look at a momentous period in pop and the wider culture, and at how a confluence of progressive politics and shifting public attitudes resulted in a historic legal change, is an illuminating read.

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