This vibrant pop history makes a strong case for London being the true birthplace of modern rock. . . The book moves at rocket speed as it describes how the music pivoted and grew . . . What results is a passionate study of a unique moment in rock history.— Publishers Weekly
Tow does a wonderful job of exploring American blues as a jumping off point for much of the London-based music. In the 1960s, London brought the world The Beatles, the Yardbirds, the Animals, the Who, the Small Faces, the Kinks, the Zombies, Deep Purple, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin, among others . . . Tow’s knowledge and expertise coupled with extensive interviews elevate this book above the crowd.— Choice Reviews
[Tow] lays out just how British musicians of the 1960s discovered, internalized, covered, and then built upon the music of American blues musicians— Booklist
Rather than regurgitating the research of others, [Tow] draws from many interviews with key musicians including artists Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Rod Argent (the Zombies), and JimMcCarty (the Yardbirds), as well as from memoirs and biographies. His writing is immediate and clearly paints a picture of 1960s London. VERDICT Covering dozens of bands in a variety of styles, Tow pens a sweeping look at a pivotal period of music history.— Library Journal
Tow has paired contemporary observations with direct recollections from over ninety musicians who helped foment the scene. Tow does an admirable job pulling apart the many threads that created a musical renaissance the likes of which have not been heard before or since . . . Tow has assembled a great blend of then-contemporary observations with latter day perspectives from those who were there in this delightful and edifying book.— Entertainment Today
An extensively-researched, historically-accurate, and uniquely British account of all the factors and circumstances that contributed to make London the ideal birthplace for classic rock during the post-war boom. . . . Tow has really done his homework on this one - the book is strewn with vivid imagery, many hilarious, interesting anecdotes, and numerous artist interviews. . . . Classic rock was, almost out of necessity, a new sound from a new generation, and Tow's book passionately explores how this music helped catalyze one of the most important cultural transformations of the 20th century.— Media Entertainment Arts Worldwide
[Tow]’s lyrical style keeps the history moving forward and accentuates the music so eloquently you can almost hear the opening chords of some of your favorite songs. . . London, Reign Over Me hits the high notes of a decade of brilliant music in fine fashion. It’s more than a simple history, it’s a snapshot of one of culture’s most monumental — and fleeting — moments, told by the artists’ who lived it and the people who listened.— The Model American
. . . a colourfully flavoured look at 60s pop and rock in the UK written by a specialist .— The Beat (UK)
Tow’s picture of the British music scene from the early 1960s to 1969 is easy to digest, leaving the reader wanting more . . . an excellent study.— Listen Iowa
[Tow] takes readers on a fascinating, astute, and welcoming tour through the birth of the several genre offshoots—such as progressive rock and folk—to explore the remarkable circumstances that made London and its surroundings such a fertile and significant creative space. One of the strengths of this book is the inclusion of insights from important musicians, managers, producers, critics, and others of the time. . . London, Reign Over Me is a masterfully researched, spacious, and inviting survey of British rock music in the 1960s.— Popmatters
Stephen Tow is very insightful in his descriptions and historically on the button. He is an inspiring documenter of the period. Well done.— Dave Davies, The Kinks
Through its clarity and apposite interviews, Tow's recreation of London's musical growth from the fifties onwards gives you a genuine feeling of being amongst it all and sharing the excitement that we all felt.— Kingsley Abbott, music writer & 60s London teen
A must read for all you unfortunates who weren’t around to be part of this seminal era.— Terry Marshall, co-founder, Marshall Amplification
Once again Stephen Tow takes us back to a great musical place in time. Every minute and every paragraph sparks the memory and a smile.
— Peter Noone, Herman’s Hermits
This is a must read on both sides of the Atlantic for any contemporary music buff. The influence of black American music on the British music scene is profound, and what the British did with it had a profound influence on turning American audiences on to their own musical heritage.
— Dave Mason, Traffic
Stephen Tow’s excellent and comprehensive book importantly positions London at the centre of 60s world culture, and shows the roots and consequences of that from the 50s to the present day. We thought it was normal then, but it has turned out to be something special.
— Richard Thompson
Stephen Tow has accurately depicted post-war England in the fifties and sixties, when nobody understood what was happening in music until decades later. London, Reign Over Me took me back to what was an extraordinary time for music; a creative and cultural phenomenon that could never be replicated.
— Roger Glover, Deep Purple
Stephen Tow is to be congratulated on his insightful commentary and understanding of the evolution of the rock music scene in London during the 60s. Tow's interpretation was fascinating reading and spot on.
— Mike Pinder, The Moody Blues
Tow conjures up the period in the '60's when I and the Ram Jam Band had our biggest success alongside legendary artists Georgie Fame and Zoot Money. It was an amazing time and this very accurate and extremely well-written book brought back some fantastic memories. A must-read for anyone interested in the history of music.
— Geno Washington, Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band