Review: Hearts Of Darkness

Book charting the late 60s early 70s singer-songwriter folk movement spearheaded by James Taylor, Jackson Browne, and Cat Stevens

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 29 Jun 2012
  • min read
Hearts of Darkness is the story of a generation's coming of age through the experiences of its three most atypical pop stars.  James Taylor, Jackson Browne, and Cat Stevens could never have been considered your typical late-60s songwriters - self-absorbed and self-composed, all three eschewed the traditional means of delivering their songs, instead turning its process inward. The result was a body of work that stands among the most profoundly personal art ever to translate into an international language, and a sequence of songs - from Sweet Baby James and Carolina in My Mind to Jamaica Say You Will and These Days to Peace Train and Wild World - that remain archetypes not only of what the critics called the singer-songwriter movement, but of the human condition itself.

Author Dave Thompson, himself a legend among rock biographers, takes on his subjects with his usual brio and candor, leaving no stone unturned in his quest to shine a light on the dark side of this profoundly earnest era in popular music.  Penetrating pointed, and laced with vivid insight and detail, Hearts Of Darkness is the story of rock when it no longer felt the need to roll.

Published Backbeat Books
RRP: £17.83