Hajdu (Positively 4th Street) roams the pop music landscape, covering a dizzying array of musical trends, artists and technologies: wax cylinders, commercially produced sheet music, transistor radios, the Walkman, the MP3 file. He explores the ways in which pop music has always pushed the racial, sexual and societal envelope. He also draws on his interviews with many popular musicians, weaving in anecdotes of his years living in the Greenwich Village as a young music critic with a secret passion for disco.
Pop music, as Hajdu notes in his introduction, is "a phenomenon of vast scale and intimate effect." It is "a social art that works with every member of its enormous following in small, unique ways." Love for Sale will have music fans of all tastes and ages humming the nostalgic tunes of their youth, or scrolling through the latest digital music delivery service in search of the songs they once treasured. Pop music may be a crass commercial endeavor, but as Hajdu shows, it is also the food--and the lyrical expression--of love. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams