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Walls Come Tumbling Down
Walls Come Tumbling Down

Walls Come Tumbling Down

Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone, Red Wedge


256 Pages, 5 x 7.75

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $19.95 (US $19.95)

Publication Date: November 2017

ISBN 9781447272694

Rights: US

Pan Macmillan (Nov 2017)

Price: $19.95


An oral history of "Rock Against Racism," "2 Tone,"  and "Red Wedge," consisting of interviews with over 150 contributors

Walls Come Tumbling Down charts the pivotal period between 1976 and 1992 that saw politics and pop music come together for the first time in Britain's musical history; musicians and their fans suddenly became instigators of social change, and the political persuasion of musicians was as important as the songs they sang. Through the voices of campaigners, musicians, artists and politicians, Daniel Rachel follows the rise and fall of three key movements of the time: Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone, and Red Wedge, revealing how they all shaped, and were shaped by, the music of a generation. Composed of interviews with over 150 of the key players at the time, this book is a fascinating, polyphonic and authoritative account of those crucial 16 years in Britain's history.


"A triumphant oral history . . . a tale of resistance: first, against a surge of racism and bigotry that an inspired group of activists and musicians played a key role in rolling back; and then against a government, as the same spirit of defiance quickly resurfaced in opposition to the social revolutions of Thatcherism . . . a vivid portrait." —Guardian

"This incredible oral history tells the movement's story plus the rise of 2 Tone and Red Wedge, through a phenomenal range of voices—Billy Bragg, Jerry Dammers, Rhoda Dakar, Pauline Black et all all provide great insight." —Mojo

"It's a testament both to the topic and to Daniel Rachel's organisation of the material that even at 640 pages Walls Come Tumbling Down feels like the opening volume of a much longer history. This majestic work at once confirms and opens up a familiar but often forgotten series of moments in the relationship between music and politics in the UK . . . as always, the delight is in the details, and, finally, the glory of something so amateurish yet passion-driven coming together to change hearts and minds." —Wire

"[A] fascinating oral history . . . [and] an especially insightful read for Americans who aren't as familiar with the deep connections between British musicians and British politics." —Goldmine

Author Biography

Daniel Rachel was the lead-singer in Rachels Basement, which he formed in his early twenties. In 2001, he released his debut solo album, A Simple Twist of Folk, on Dust Records, followed in 2006 by A Taste of Money. His first book was The Art of Noise: Conversations with Great Songwriters.