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Chain's Toward the Blues

Melbourne, 1971: radical counterculture, hippies, opposition to the Vietnam War and consumerism. The birth of Oz blues rock. Influenced by American blues after Robert Johnson, parallel to developments with Paul Butterfield, the Bluesbreakers and Canned Heat, Chain’s music also developed in distinct ways, taking on a style later referred to as Oz blues, or Oz indigo. The emergence of prog rock and the consolidation of blues rock globally made for interesting times. Rock shifted beyond the basics, in the direction of new musical forms and prefigurative politics. In this moment, Chain, four regional white boys with jazz cred and blues licks, recorded the classic Oz blues single Black and Blue and its bedrock LP, Toward the Blues. 50 years later, it remains a monument in Australian rock history. Based on interviews with guitarist and singer Phil Manning, scholarly research and memoirs, this book tells the story of the album’s creation and its cultural impact on the Melbourne music scene in a time of significant social change, seeking to capture the magic of that moment.

Chain's Toward the Blues

  • Peter Beilharz

    Based on interviews, scholarly research and personal memoir, this book engages with both the album's music and its context – the rock and blues scene in Australia and globally
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    Chinese Simplified rights represented by ANA Beijing

  • Book Details

    Imprint: Bloomsbury Academic
    Publication Date: 02-11-2023
    Format: Paperback | 5 x 7 3/4 | 128 pages
  • About the Author

    Peter Beilharz is Professor of Critical Theory at Sichuan University, China, and has previously held chairs at La Trobe, Harvard, Leeds and Curtin Universities. He has published thirty books including Socialism and Modernity (2009) and Intimacy in Postmodern Times (2020). He founded the journal Thesis Eleven in 1980, and played as support to Chain in 1971.

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