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Wire's Pink Flag (33 1/3) Paperback – February 19, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group; 1 edition (February 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826429149
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826429148
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 4.7 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #396,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Neate has approachd the subject matter with Wire-worthy detachment. Eschewing the florid horridness of most rock writing, he's come back with an unembellished report and interviews with all suspects present. It's everythingyou could possibly want to know about Pink Flag..." -Brian Joseph Davis, Eyeweekly.com

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By C. F. Magee on April 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first 33 1/3 book that I've read, and if many of the others are nearly this good, it won't be my last.

Thoughts:

- Wilson Neate is clearly a huge Wire fan and it appears that he has written the exact book that he would've wanted to read as a fan.
- It's practically bulging with quotes from Wire members, related parties, and notable fans. In fact, the only ALMOST bad thing I can think of to say about this book is that some of the bio-type material tends to meander a bit because Neate seems to want all of his interviewees to get their two cents in. I can't really fault him for this, and it wasn't annoying or confusing. It's a good thing, in a way. I just figured I should toss something not entirely positive into this review for variety's sake.
- I thought that the background info on Wire was very satisfying. I can't say I've ever tried incredibly hard to find this level of information for myself, but I've read Wire's pages on Wikipedia and AllMusic and Neate goes far past the standard "they met at art school and made punk music that wasn't really punk" generalities. It really breaks down exactly how and often WHY Wire was separate from typical punk rock. Neate does a great job pulling together some fantastic candid interview material from all the right people, which really helps to contextualize Wire and Pink Flag in their time and place.
- Several Wire members describe their early childhood inclinations towards music (or, more simply, "sound") and I personally found that fascinating. They also discuss their very limited musical abilities and how they overcame them with sheer creativity and hard work. It's really very inspiring... great to read if you have any kind of desire to start your own band.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Philip T. Stone on October 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book will save rock and roll. We've reached an era where music is cheaper than water. An album is recorded, thrown on the internet, blogged about, reviewed, hyped, backlashed and forgotten within a month. The era where people spend time obsessing over and mythologizing artists, albums, recording sessions, and event concerts seems to be behind us now.

I find it wonderfully refreshing to see that there are still people in our world who aren't afraid to open up a rock album, climb inside and live in the vinyl grooves for a year or two. Neate proves to be the perfect vessel for an season long plunge into the wonderful and strange world that is *Pink Flag*. These two artists--Neate and Wire--deserve each other. For example, it seems crazy that Neate would spend four pages talking about the 28 second "Field Day for the Sundays". Surely, one would imagine that if he dug below the surface of that one, he'd hit rock in one stroke. Instead, Neate and the gentlemen from Wire--Lewis, Gilbert and Newman--riff on this tune with no regard for the length of the song they discuss. It works.

As Neate spins stories surrounding the creation of this album, each of which is heavily supported by quotes from the band members, it becomes more and more clear how different *Pink Flag* was from its neighbors in the early punk scene. When so many bands where pumping out animalistic, emotional blasts of hormonal dissent, Wire clearly were spending some time thinking and making artistic decisions. I found these in depth histories of Wire's beginnings in the punk scene to be especially fascinating; their perpendicular stance to the scene that spawned them was a bit of surprise to me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. Dingman on January 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
The author of this 33 1/3 installment does an excellent job recounting the history of the group and the album, providing amusing anecdotes and a level of detail I have not come across in all my readings about Pink Flag. Each track chapter is another testament to the genius of Wire.
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Solid and as in-depth as you're liable to get on a 35-minute long album from 1977. Neate goes in-depth, covering both the history of the band's beginning, the art, the songs themselves and briefly goes into some of the recent history of the band and album reissues. Covers everything it needs to and stops when it's over. Just like Wire.
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6 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Dean Gragg on May 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
A great band grows, becomes overly pretentious, becomes ashamed of their early work. That is the true synopsis of Wire. This book idulges their desire to whitewash the fact they started as a simple, but great, punk band and floods you with a bunch of blather about how they were "never a band" in the conventional sense and that they never played "music" but instead created "soundscapes." Sure.....that's why Mr. Newman cowrote the earliest works with titles like "Mary is a dyke," they were doing some high-art project. Please. These guys were just a punk band. And probably one of the best ever. Is that really so terrible?
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