The Twenties

1920 – “a genuine watershed moment, and a genuinely brilliant record”

1921 – “the margins are expanding, cracks are forming, soon this wonderful infection is going to be irresistible in its spread.”

1922 – “a massive expansion of classical female blues, with a knock-on explosion of resurgent jazz”

1923 – “The people running those “race record” labels know very well that they can’t rely entirely on the barrel-house mama craze, and those backing bands contain a wealth of (by now) unignorable talent.”

1924 – “a view of the future as much as one of the past”

1925 – “The tinniness has gone, low and high sounds are reproducible, and no longer are we trapped in the narrow boundaries of reproducible sound. In theory, all audible sound can now be captured.”

1926 – “We’ve been waiting for a year like this for a long time; when the limitations of technology and the music business would finally be advanced enough to get out of the way and let the music speak for itself.”

1927 – “This is an explosion of sound the likes of which have not been experienced before or for that matter since.”

1928 – “Things at this time are messy – messy can be good, genre boundaries seem to stifle innovation more than guide it – and the wonderful and the repellent can be so entangled as to be inseparable.”

1929 – “The relentless innovation and experimentation of the last two years is still present, but it’s being recorded in a more careful, more deliberate way – from small-scale almost field recordings to professional studios, this is the absolute peak of engineering for quite a few years to come.”