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Perfect Sound Forever: The Story of Pavement Paperback – April 5, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Justin, Charles & Co. (April 5, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932112073
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932112078
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #653,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Nirvana may have gotten all the hype, but for ardent indie rock fans Pavement will always be remembered as one of the best bands of the 1990s-until, after five albums and a slew of EPs in a decade, the band's leader, deadpan guitarist/vocalist Stephen Malkmus pulled the plug. From Gary Young's garage studio in Stockton, Calif., Pavement was the most unlikely candidate for rock royalty. But a combination of good timing, great songs and an underlying intelligence rare in rock catapulted the band to success at a time when lo-fi and do-it-yourself had become the defining rock ethos. Eschewing typical rock stardom, spurning commercial success and the media, the band left behind a legacy rich in lore but short on facts. True Pavement fans will already know much of the story. But Jovanovic's (Beck: On a Backwards River) effort is still worthy for detailing some murky key points in the band's history, such as the firing of original drummer and engineer Gary Young, the making of its records and the final, dysfunctional interactions of the band and its dissolution by Malkmus. Although not terribly insightful and thoroughly uncritical, the book is still a fond retrospection. Given the paucity of information about the band, this account automatically rises to the summit. The book's quirky design, scattered with pictures and handwritten notes, can be both annoying and appreciated. With a remarkably comprehensive discography, this volume serves as a useful tool for fans unable to keep pace with the band's myriad releases.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By E. van Veen on August 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
First the good news: "Perfect Sound Forever" makes you listen to your entire collection of Pavement records again, maybe even with the same enthusiasm as when you first heard the band, searching for sounds or elements in the music that you didn't notice before. But does it tell the complete story about the band that transformed alternative rock in the 90's? The answer, I'm sorry to tell, must be no. The composition of the story is too unbalanced to ever gain the status as the Pavement Bible. The first serious attempt to write the history of the band was only too welcome, especially since the Slow Century documentary left too many questions unanswered - at times I think of it as a film that was never completed (The DVD is definetely worth purchasing though). Unfortunately, "Perfect Sound Forever", starting of so promising, with the clever and entertaining introductions of the different bandmebers, also seems to lose its direction about half-way through the book - for Pavement-fans meaning somewhere around Wowee Zowee. Where Jovanovic at first was so thorough, and the story was so rich with fine and fun details, he now seems to tell us that this part is not that interesting, or that record was not so important, so let's just cut to the end. As a reader and Pavement-fan, this leads me to think that 1) The author is of the opinion that Pavemtns early years where far more important than the later ones, or 2) He didn't do good enough research to complete his work - or simply got tired of the project and just wanted to finish his book as fast as possible. If the answer is 1), Jovanovic should simply have made a book about Pavements earliest career. My general feelings, though, tell me that the answer is closer to the second alternative.Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gringo on May 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
From a band that started its career with static and ended it with an acoustic guitar, comes a book that does a great job of trying to explain it all.
Perfect Sound Forever does a wonderful job of trying to crack the walls of Pavement. Throughout its 10-year life, many journalists tried to get to S.M., Spiral, et al., but few succeeded. Mr. Jovanovic succeeds where others have failed.
Sure Malkmus is still aloof, but the other band members make up for his enigmatic behavior. Hardcore Pavement fans should read this, even though you may already know the facts. It is entertaining and you may walk away with even more knowledge.
With the reissues, the DVD and the book, hopefully Pavement will continue to inspire people to pick up instruments and make music.
A fine read for anyone.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Williams on October 8, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're a pavement fan then I highly recommend this book. If you aren't a fan, then it probably isn't for you. However, if you are a pavement fan who would like to know more about this band, how their songs and albums came together and the relationship between the members and the band's dynamic and why they split, then I say go for it. If you like quirky sidenotes and memorabillia (IE college radio station playlists from 1989, Drag City newsletters, reviews of everything from early 7"s to all of the full length albums, hand written notes between band members, tour riders, and a comprehensive discograpahy) then you'll dig this.

The reviewer above who called it a "cut and paste job" is way, way off the mark. While it is true that parts of the book were taken from alternative mags of the 90s, these are noted as such and are really cool (like song by song explanations for Crooked Rain Crooked Rain and wowee zowee hand written by SM). I've been a pavement fan since the beginning and have many mags and numerous bootlegs and slow century etc etc and still found all sorts of stuff I didn't know, a lot of fresh information. The reviewer who said it will make you want to relisten to all of your pavement stuff was absolutely right. After finishing the book I found myself listening to live shows and the albums with a newfound appreciation and insight (since they've been a favorite of mine since '91 this is really cool). Worth the price yeah!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark on May 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
It's been years in the making,but Pavement fans finally have some written documentation on the band that carried indie rock through the 90's and opened many doors for bands to follow.The book is informative and well documented.It was a feat in itself just sitting down with all the people Rob did, and getting the stories out of them.The bits and pieces of info. documented by Jovanovic are some answers Pavement fans have been waiting for.Although this book doesn't fill the die hard fans in on the unknown,it well represents who the band Pavement was,and why they were who they were.Every Pavement and music fan should have this book in their collection.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By T. Peretti on February 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
Yeah, parts of it are a cut and pasting of various articles and quotes from the DVD. But the beauty of the book is the synthesis of these parts combined with the author's interviews to create a well-documented and thoroughly researched account of the history of the band. It showed a logical progression of Pavement's history from early influences, band members meeting, creating amazing albums, and the problems that unfortunately broke them up. It's very convenient and resourceful to have all the information, such as EP reviews from obscure music magazines, in one place at least. To enjoy it for what it is, a definitive account of the history of Pavement, definitely makes it a great read for fans.
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