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Up from Down Under, by Jeff Apter

Appropriately enough, I finished this book, subtitled How Australian Music Changed the World, on Australia Day.

That’s appropriate on two fronts.

First, the focus of Up from Down Under is the success of Australian bands in the US and other overseas markets, specifically Peter Allen, Helen Reddy, Olivia Newton John, the Little River Band, the Bee Gees, Air Supply, Rick Springfield, Men at Work, INXS, Keith Urban and Gotye. What better day to read about an Aussie invasion?

Second, it’s just about perfect reading for a long weekend. Those 11 stories get told in 15 chapters over 250 pages, nicely set up for consuming just a chapter at a time, or cruising through the whole thing.

Before I started this, I assumed it would have a straightforward structure of one band or musician per chapter – but it’s much cleverer than that.

Each chapter does tend to give most of the attention to one... read more