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I hate New Music the Classic Rock Manifesto Hardcover – November 1, 2008

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From Booklist

Thompson’s pick as the top “classic rock” song (1968–1976) is Led Zeppelin’s ubiquitous “Stairway to Heaven.” And it gets worse. His next three picks, all warhorses, are “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (the Who), “Hotel California” (Eagles), and “Bohemian Rhapsody” (Queen). He detests the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper, though, so there’s grit under the treacle. Perhaps. He basically presents a scattershot critique of the music that lives forever on boomer-oriented oldies radio and at wedding receptions. He overdoes the sly humor only occasionally and has a good sense of the bizarre to compensate a shortage of appreciation of the backbeat. Most of his targets are exceedingly deserving of skewering, and all are by pretty well-heeled cats, most of them white, whatever that tells one. Thompson finds “moments of endorphin-pumping pleasure” in the likes of Jimmy Page’s guitar solo in “Stairway” and discourses merrily on the monumental nature of the 1960s–’70s album-oriented pop he esteems. He also finds great value in disco excursions by rockers, so obviously his humor knows no—or few—bounds. Good, clean fun. --Mike Tribby

About the Author

Dave Thompson is the author of over 100 books on rock music and pop culture, including best-selling titles on Nirvana, Cream, David Bowie, and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. His writing has also appeared in numerous magazines and publications, including Rolling Stone, Mojo, Melody Maker and Q.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Backbeat (November 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879309350
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879309350
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,214,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Justin G. TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
When you strip away the caustic observations and bitter humor of Dave Thomson's I Hate New Music: The Classic Rock Manifesto, what you're left with is a fierce, passionate love letter to the classic rock `n' roll (never rock and roll) bands the veteran music journalist cut his teeth on. The fact that those caustic observations and bitter humor are what makes I Hate New Music so much fun is an added bonus. It's Fargo Rock City : A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota if you replaced Chuck Klosterman's wide-eyed farm boy with the bitter troll hunched over stacks of used vinyl at the local record show.

Thomson makes his case for the superiority of classic rock with razor sharp wit and the crushing, casual dismissal of contemporary sacred cows like R.E.M, U2 and Radiohead. The fact that he's (almost) completely wrong shouldn't deter anyone from enjoying this book for what it is. There's a reason they call music from that era "classic" rock, and Thomson's obvious passion for the music is extremely contagious. Whether he's holding forth on concept albums, double-live albums, benefit shows, whether or not Clapton is actually God, or the innate superiority of the 8-track (seriously), even when you disagree with the man you can't help but grin at his observations.

At just over 200 pages, I Hate New Music: The Classic Rock Manifesto is a quick read, but it's also a wickedly funny one that pays tribute (in its own cynical way) to the greatest music ever made. If your radio is perpetually stuck on the classic rock station and you still spin Uriah Heep, Budgie and Mountain on a regular basis (even better if they're on vinyl), you have to check out I Hate New Music: The Classic Rock Manifesto. Turn it up.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Eric on May 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
My suggestion: do not take this book seriously. Thompson (who has written memorably on Nirvana and the Red Hot Chili Peppers among others) declares in this tome that the only good music EVER was made between 1968-1976. Period. His acid words are so extreme they're laughable, and believe me, he knows it! But he's not going to back down for a book obviously undertaken as a self-indulgent rant against all things that annoy a grumpy baby boomer who remembers the good old days.

And the thing is, when he gets going on the stuff he loves and why (for example, Heart's lifting of every idea they had from Jimmy Page, but doing it so well he succumbs even to their folkiest moments as well), he's readable and full of fascinating detail.

Thompson, in this book, is Don Quixote, and iPods are his windmill. Tilting at them will never work, but you can't blame a grouch for trying.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David C. Adams on October 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
An Impromptu review

Thompson rants off a snarky, pessimistic, bitter polemic against anything written since the mid-seventies, and much written before. His sentiments, aimed generally at rock and pop in the mainstream (though spraying widely) are understandable, but rather than seeking understanding through a broader context of societal and (music) industrial change, he spews his peculiar views, sloppy with vitriol sweetened lightly with wit yet still wet with tart venom. His prose has the informal and disorganized feel of a tirade. This book is interesting, though primarily as a case study, one pop-literate, pissed-off, opinionated reaction to dramatic changes in culture and art, rather than as a source of reliable information.

There ya go,
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By marco on August 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The proviso being, yes, he's Caucasian centered, "rock" oriented, so he's critisizing that which he knows; don't confuse that with racism.

That said--and I'm only half way thru this book--I agree with everything he's said (except maybe a few examples he uses aren't bands I'd count as highly as he does). Does that mean that if HE'S right, then I'VE been right all along, because I've thought along the same lines? Possibly. Like any rant, you take it with a grain of salt as a knee jerk reaction. However, when you're as passionate about the music you listen to, and have the knowledge to analyze why the music you don't enjoy sucks, it borders on science. So when other music fans--nay, the full word, "fanatics"--say much the same thing....

I say he's got something here. Take it seriously, and don't mistake passion--or age--for curmudgeonly behavior! If even one tenth of newer artists were as passionate about their music
as those bands in the era Thompson takes as great, things would be a lot less formulaic, and dull, these days. But then, try and wrest creativity from Big Money...which is the root of all formula. And, no, new music doesn't all suck--that would be the curmudgeonly knee jerk reaction--you just have to dig around on the internet and elsewhere to find it.

It's a quick fun read and almost a music history primer for those who are curious about why us old curmugeons--long time music fans--are up in arms. I cracked a wide grin when I saw this book on the shelf... Damn straight, Dave!

(NOTE: I've finished reading this and my opinion has changed a bit. He digresses from the argument at exactly the next chapter i would have read next--12 I think--and goes off into laudatory praise
for who he holds in high esteem.
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