BOOK REVIEW: The Long and Winding Way To The Top by Andrew P Street

BOOK REVIEW: The Long and Winding Way To The Top by Andrew P Street

Allen & Unwin
November 2017
Paperback, $29.99
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar


Long-time music writer and more recent political commentator Andrew P Street has tackled the near-impossible: assembling a list of “50 (or so) songs that made Australia,” and like all such restricted lists, the content is highly subjective.

Street features most of the big boys (Johnny O’Keefe, The Easybeats, Cold Chisel, Divinyls, Crowded House, The Church, Midnight Oil, Powderfinger) as well as an admirable amount of lesser-known but equally deserving acts (Warumpi Band, Do-Re-Mi, The Drones, A.B. Original featuring Dan Sultan) focussing rightly on songs which have some cultural or international significance, that make the Australian voice or perspective heard, and he is very honest about wishing he could have included some of his other favourites such as The Models or The Fauves, both excellent Aussie bands whose inclusion could have been easily justified over the likes of Guy Sebastian or even Little Pattie. (Personally, I’d argue that The Boy From Bicton, Dave Warner, deserves a place as relentless seeker of Australian identity with cult classics Suburban Boy, Convict Streak, Wimbledon or Mug’s Game, but each to their own!)

Meticulously researched and full of little-known facts – some, such as Steve Kilby’s confirmation that there are indeed bagpipes on The Church’s Under The Milky Way, and Go-Betweens drummer Lindy Morrison explaining the unusual drumbeat on Cattle And Cane, specially unearthed for this book direct from the source – The Long and Winding Way To The Top is full of Street’s inimitable sense of good natured humour and cheeky attitude and is a bloody good read – even the chapter on Sebastian, which was a surprise, let me tell you.

BOOK REVIEW: The Long and Winding Way To The Top by Andrew P Street

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