31 Songs by Nick Hornby - review by Tristan Quinn

Tristan Quinn

You Gotta Move

31 Songs


Viking 196pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

BEFORE THINGS TOOK a bad turn, Elvis Presley once gave voice to the visceral appeal of his trade. 'Music should be something that makes you gotta move inside and outside', he mumbled. Nick Hornby, New Yorker pop critic and author of a best-selling novel about music and men, does not include any Elvis numbers in his collection of short essays about pop songs he loves, but he does pursue Elvis's point, taking us through his emotional connection with his record collection. Intoxicated by the music that makes him gotta move, Hornby winds up producing a passionate, if nervy, defence of his taste, his writing and his success.

Hornby's definition of pop is pretty catholic - soul, reggae, country, rock, 'anything and everything that can be regarded as trashy'. So, amongst songs we might expect a 45-year-old North London bloke to like - Santana's 'Samba Pa Ti', to which he would like to have lost his virginity (Rod

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