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Throbbing Gristle's Twenty Jazz Funk Greats (33 1/3) Paperback – December 15, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: 33 1/3 (Book 54)
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic (December 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826427936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826427939
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 4.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #477,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Daniel brings erudition and clarity to the 33 1/3 series with writing that's both meticulous and giddy...Daniel achieves a fantastic hat trick— a love letter to an unacceptable band about their least-loved album in a book series that, until recently, was reserved only for acceptable albums. Let the wrecking of civilization begin." —Brian Joseph David, Eye Weekly (Brian Joseph David)

"Drew Daniel employs a very rich lexicon, but chooses hiswords judiciously. More importantly, he admits right up front to being a hugeTG fan boy, and that enthusiasm translates — even when he veers towardshead-scratching territory — particularly in some of his interview passages withthe band members (all of whom participated in the creation of his book). And byfocusing squarely on the group's music, not their sensationalistic trappings,in a song-by-song analysis, he opens up the listening experience, both toneophytes and diehards. I might never have imagined such a thing was possible,but Daniel's musings on 20 Jazz Funk Greats have made me a committed ThrobbingGristle fan. And that kind of connective tissue I can heartily endorse." —Weirdat my School Blog, KXEP


"Always perverse, Throbbing Gristle was perhaps never more sothan on their 1979 release, 20 Jazz Funk Greats. From the cover art, which atfirst glance appears to your standard "band outdoors" snap, (but is actuallythe group assembled at Britain's Beachy Head, a suicide hotspot) to the almost"normal" synth pop found within, TG deliberately alters reality until it nearlycomes back around- nearly. Drew Daniel, one half of the electronic groupMatmos, draws on new interviews with the group to craft a look at one ofmusic's most extreme, intense and provocative artists, who delighted here insubtle rearrangements of benign elements into darker statements, such ascaptured field recordings of young children, mashed against a simple drummachine to create "Persuasion". Daniel ably illustrates the sheer brilliance ofthe record, in which TG turned down the volume but upped the intensity of theirmessage. At nearly 200 pages this is one of the longer "33 1/3" releases, butis such a captivating look at the legendary group of pop culture provocateursthat you won't put it down." —The Big Takeover



"This is afascinating and thought-thorough accompaniment to the album, augmented byinterviews with all the group members, which uncovers a trove of pertinent unfamiliaritiesin songs which feel like longstanding parts of the mental furniture afternearly 30 years." —David Stubbs, The Wire, UK

(David Stubbs)

"I fell into this book like Alice down an unfathomable darkrabbit-hole. It reads like a rivetingdetective novel, so concisely has Daniel (AKA one half of Matmos) wovenpersonal history (both TGs and his own), (un)reliable narration (thanks to themembers of TG themselves, contradictory bastards the lot of them), closedissection (a forensic/anatomical tank being particularly appropriate with TG)and overarching pop-cultural critique...this tiny volume on only one album in themassive TG oeuvre situates the group so powerfully in the appropriatehistorical, personal, and musical contexts that I never wanted the book toend. It's a vivid, revealing, and verypersonal work that is beautifully written from start to finish, and my favoriteof the 33 1/3s so far. " —Warped Reality Magazine

"Daniel is more than fully qualified to author this personal, historical and cultural deconstruction of TG's third album."
Reviewed by George Taylor in Plan B, 2008


"Daniels is a lucid and engaging writer who captures thestruggle of a band that felt increasingly trapped by its own accomplishmentsand confined by the conventions of a genre that it hadn't really wanted tocreate." —Signal to Noise

"an excellent reason for picking up or dusting off the album"

Reviewed by Scott McKeating, 2008


Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 "Daniel has delved into the album and dissects it here,sony-by-song, with acute insight, and with some thought in providing thecontext and meaning of each track. Daniel had access to all four band membersfor the book, garnering valuable information in his conversations with each,also drawing upon the band's historical record as documented in print." -BlurtMagazine

"Daniel brings erudition and clarity to the 33 1/3 series with writing that's both meticulous and giddy...Daniel achieves a fantastic hat trick— a love letter to an unacceptable band about their least-loved album in a book series that, until recently, was reserved only for acceptable albums.  Let the wrecking of civilization begin." —Brian Joseph David, Eye Weekly (Sanford Lakoff)

“Drew Daniel employs a very rich lexicon, but chooses hiswords judiciously. More importantly, he admits right up front to being a hugeTG fan boy, and that enthusiasm translates — even when he veers towardshead-scratching territory — particularly in some of his interview passages withthe band members (all of whom participated in the creation of his book). And byfocusing squarely on the group’s music, not their sensationalistic trappings,in a song-by-song analysis, he opens up the listening experience, both toneophytes and diehards. I might never have imagined such a thing was possible,but Daniel’s musings on 20 Jazz Funk Greats have made me a committed ThrobbingGristle fan. And that kind of connective tissue I can heartily endorse.” –Weirdat my School Blog, KXEP


"Always perverse, Throbbing Gristle was perhaps never more sothan on their 1979 release, 20 Jazz Funk Greats. From the cover art, which atfirst glance appears to your standard “band outdoors” snap, (but is actuallythe group assembled at Britain’s Beachy Head, a suicide hotspot) to the almost“normal” synth pop found within, TG deliberately alters reality until it nearlycomes back around- nearly. Drew Daniel, one half of the electronic groupMatmos, draws on new interviews with the group to craft a look at one ofmusic’s most extreme, intense and provocative artists, who delighted here insubtle rearrangements of benign elements into darker statements, such ascaptured field recordings of young children, mashed against a simple drummachine to create “Persuasion”. Daniel ably illustrates the sheer brilliance ofthe record, in which TG turned down the volume but upped the intensity of theirmessage. At nearly 200 pages this is one of the longer “33 1/3” releases, butis such a captivating look at the legendary group of pop culture provocateursthat you won’t put it down." —The Big Takeover



“This is afascinating and thought-thorough accompaniment to the album, augmented byinterviews with all the group members, which uncovers a trove of pertinent unfamiliaritiesin songs which feel like longstanding parts of the mental furniture afternearly 30 years.” –David Stubbs, The Wire, UK

(Sanford Lakoff)

“I fell into this book like Alice down an unfathomable darkrabbit-hole. It reads like a rivetingdetective novel, so concisely has Daniel (AKA one half of Matmos) wovenpersonal history (both TGs and his own), (un)reliable narration (thanks to themembers of TG themselves, contradictory bastards the lot of them), closedissection (a forensic/anatomical tank being particularly appropriate with TG)and overarching pop-cultural critique…this tiny volume on only one album in themassive TG oeuvre situates the group so powerfully in the appropriatehistorical, personal, and musical contexts that I never wanted the book toend. It’s a vivid, revealing, and verypersonal work that is beautifully written from start to finish, and my favoriteof the 33 1/3s so far. ” –Warped Reality Magazine

“Daniels is a lucid and engaging writer who captures thestruggle of a band that felt increasingly trapped by its own accomplishmentsand confined by the conventions of a genre that it hadn’t really wanted tocreate.” —Signal to Noise

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 “Daniel has delved into the album and dissects it here,sony-by-song, with acute insight, and with some thought in providing thecontext and meaning of each track. Daniel had access to all four band membersfor the book, garnering valuable information in his conversations with each,also drawing upon the band’s historical record as documented in print.” -BlurtMagazine

About the Author

Drew Daniel is one half of the acclaimed electronic group Matmos - successful in their own right, and also as collaborators with Bjork. Drew has taught the history of electronic music at the San Francisco Art Institute and a sound art seminar at Harvard. He has just moved to Baltimore, where he now teaches in the English Department at Johns Hopkins University.

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
I love 33 1/3 books.
Eric Mortensen
That fact was inserted in the middle of one of the chapters and left me befuddled as to why the editor of this book wouldn't cut that out in the very first pass!
Graham Hunter
That said, Dr. Daniel does an excellent job dissecting the classic and maligned TG album.
J. Miller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Miller on April 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
I have to admit some bias -- I grew up with the author and I am quite familiar with some of the places described in the book's lengthy and personal introduction. It's not often that one sees the themes and places of one's youth detailed and dissected for an audience that is not the people who shared those experiences to begin with. That said, Dr. Daniel does an excellent job dissecting the classic and maligned TG album. Each track gets its own chapter, of course, and the chapters are filled with recent interviews with various members of TG about the songs and their processes of creation. Daniel relies on his own encyclopedic knowledge of music, history, and art -- not to mention an uncanny ability to write clearly and specifically about music for a non-professional audience -- to fully paint the picture of this Throbbing Gristle album.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Andrea M. Feldman on August 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
Pop is, by its very nature, glossy and superficial, glancing off complexity and thorny ambivalences with blithe assurance.

With 20 Jazz Funk Greats, Throbbing Gristle attempt --in their own profoundly warped way-- to make peace with pop music's influence upon them; at the same time, the album plays out with such profound ambivalence --running hot and cold all at once, constantly vacillating between attraction and repulsion and back again-- that its exploration of "pop" becomes heavily weighted --its like a mille-feuille of ironic distance. Upon its release in 1979, TG's third full-length album was received with head-scratching condescension for the most part. Daniel's artfully written little volume makes the case for this strange, unlikable album and its often unpalatable charms.

Alluring and repellent in equal measure, the group's masterwork remains indelible for the ways in which it reworks the last vestiges of 60s optimism (as evinced in psychedelia and prog) with the darker, more ambivalent strains of punk and post-punk. In this way the band doesn't simply straddle genres but whole philosophical, moral and sexual divides. This is what makes their music so enduringly strange and repugnant --yet fascinating.

I fell into this book like Alice down an unfathomably dark rabbit-hole. It reads like a riveting detective novel, so concisely has Daniel (AKA one half of Matmos) woven personal history (both TG's and his own), (un)reliable narration (thanks to the members of TG themselves, contradictory bastards the lot of them), close dissection (a forensic/anatomic tack being particularly appropriate with TG) and overarching pop-cultural critique.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rich L. on August 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was skeptical of this book-I love this series, but this is NOT my favourite TG album. I'm more of a fan of "The Second Annual Report" and "DOA." But to his credit, the author has done a great job analyzing this album. He goes into detail about every aspect-the artwork, the songs, the reception to the album-and gives a highly readable dissection. There's new (at least at the time of publication) interviews with all 4 TG members, and his track-by-track commentary is spot-on. It may divulge into places TG fans may not care about or be willing to go to, but his attention to detail is unwavering. Personally, as an old punk who ventured out and discovered "industrial music", I relate completely to his intro piece to this book.
Unfortunately there is precious little TG reading material available out there at a decent price-do a search for "Wreckers Of Civilization" and you'll see what I mean-and as such this book is a great find for a good price. My ONLY complaint is that I feel he should have covered an earlier album. "20 Jazz Funk Greats" remains for me an ok album by a great band. But the passion he devotes to this album more than makes up for its deficiencies.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Graham Hunter on December 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
Overall, this was a disappointing read and by far my least favorite of the 33 1/3 series. It was a book I wanted to just finish, put down and get it over - it was not enjoyable in the least.

The author somehow inserts himself into the book as a character - I wanted to read about TG, not Drew Daniel and his opinions. The interviews seem to have more words from the author than the actual band members! Why would I care that the author was once a go-go dancer? Seriously! That fact was inserted in the middle of one of the chapters and left me befuddled as to why the editor of this book wouldn't cut that out in the very first pass! This sort of tripe appears throughout the book, and I can't understand why the other reviewers of this book think that it was well written. Perhaps they are the authors friends?

If you can skim past the filler material (and there is a LOT - this book is approx. double the length of the Beatles' Let it Be 33 1/3), there is an interesting story underneath it about one of the most innovative and challenging musical groups in the last century. That nearly made it worth two stars, but the self-centered writing style truly deserves a one-star rating.

I just finished reading "Wreckers of Civilisation" by Simon Ford and it was absolutely excellent. Any one of the chapters in that book is arguably more informative than this entire book, and it focuses purely on the topic at hand with zero filler.
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