Let's spend the night together

Sex, pop music and British youth culture, 1950s-80s

Edited by Subcultures Network

Let's spend the night together
Hardcover -
  • Price: £95.00
  • ISBN: 9781526159984
  • Publish Date: Oct 2023
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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  • Price: £95.00
  • ISBN: 9781526159977
  • Publish Date: Nov 2023
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Buy Now £95.00

    Delivery Exc. North and South America


    Delivery to North and South America

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    Book Information

    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5998-4
    • Pages: 336
    • Price: £95.00
    • Published Date: October 2023


    Let's spend the night together explores how sex and sexuality provided essential elements of British youth culture in the 1950s through to the 1980s. It shows how the underlying sexual charge of rock 'n'roll - and pop music more generally - was integral to the broader challenge embodied in the youth cultures that developed after World War Two. As teenage hormones rushed to move to the music and take advantage of the spaces opening up through consumption, education and employment, so the boundaries of British morality and cultural propriety were tested and often transgressed. Be it the assertive masculinity of the teds or the lustful longings of the teeny-bopper, the gender-bending of glam or the subterranean allure of an underground club/disco, the free love of the 1960s or the punk provocations in the 1970s, sex was forever to the fore and, more often than not, underpinned the moral panics that fitfully followed any cultural shift in youthful style and behaviour.

    Drawing from scholarship across a range of disciplines, the Subcultures Network explore how sex and sexuality were experienced, presented, conferred, responded to and understood within the context of youth culture, popular music and social change in the period between World War Two and the advent of AIDS. The essays locate sex, music and youth culture in the context of post-war Britain: with a widening and ever-more prevalent media; amidst the loosening bonds of censorship; in a society shaped by changing patterns of consumption and the emergence of the 'teenager'; existing, as Jeff Nuttall famously argued, under the shadow of the (nuclear) bomb.


    Introduction: Let's spend the night together: sex, pop music and British youth culture, 1950s-80s - Matthew Worley, Keith Gildart, Anna Gough-Yates, Sian Lincoln, Bill Osgerby, Lucy Robinson, John Street, Pete Webb
    1. Where were you? UK chart pop and the commodification of the teenage libido, 1952-63 - Tom Hennessy
    2. The Jerry Lee Lewis scandal, the popular press and the moral standing of rock 'n' roll in late 1950s Britain - Gillian A.M. Mitchell
    3. 'I'm different; I'm tough; I fuck': attitudes towards young men, sex and masculinity in Nik Cohn's Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom: Pop from the Beginning (1969) - Patrick Glen
    4. 'We are no longer certain, any of us, what is "right" and what is "wrong"': Honey, Petticoat, and the construction of young women's sexuality in 1960s Britain - Sarah Kenny
    5. Lovers' lanes and haystacks: rural spaces, girls' experiences of courtship and sexual intimacy in post-war England - Sian Edwards
    6. Queering modernism: social, sartorial and spatial intersections between mod and gay (sub-) culture, 1957-67 - Shaun Cole and Paul Sweetman
    7. 'You just let your hair down': lesbian parties and clubs in the 1960s and early 1970s - Alison Oram
    8. Singing Elton's song: queer sexualities and youth cultures in England and Wales, 1967-85 - Daryl Leeworthy
    9. 'Nothing like a little disaster for sorting things out': Blowup (1966) and the free hedonism(s) of Swinging London - Marlie Centawer
    10. 'Everything gets boring after a time': Deep End and swinging sex - David Wilkinson
    11. Run the track, but no bother chat slack: overstanding the relationship between slackness and culture within the reggae dancehall, 1960s-80s - William 'Lez' Henry
    12. 'This could be a night to remember': authenticity, historicising and the silencing of sexual experience in the northern soul scene - Sarah Raine and Caitlin Shentall
    13. 'Mummy . what is a Sex Pistol?': SEX, sex and British punk in the 1970s - Matthew Worley
    14. The 'style terrorism' of Siouxsie Sioux: femininity, early goth aesthetics and BDSM fashion - Claire Nally
    15. Coming of age Asian and Muslim in post-punk West Yorkshire - Nabeel Zuberi
    16. 'I'm your man': heartthrobs and banter in Smash Hits - Hannah Charnock


    The Subcultures Network is the interdisciplinary network for the study of subcultures, popular music and social change, hosted by the University of Reading.

    Let's spend the night together

    Edited by Subcultures Network

    Hardcover £95.00 / $150.00

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