The study of popular music is well established in higher education and there is no shortage of scholarly books written about popular music from a variety of specialist, disciplinary perspectives. At the same time, journalistic books on pop and rock, primarily biographies (or ghosted autobiographies) occupy significant shelf space in bookshops. There remains, nonetheless, a gap in the market for books that are scholarly but also appeal to non-academic readers, which are challenging but entertaining.

Conceived as a sister series to Bloomsbury’s 33 ⅓ books, Alternate Takes will make available books that take for granted popular music’s importance for social history and cultural studies, that are of interest to the general reader and not just music academics or fans of particular artists, that have a strong individual voice and engage the reader with both their arguments and their writing style.