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Accidental Revolution: The Story of Grunge Paperback – Bargain Price, July 10, 2007
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Anyone who thinks Spin magazine is hip ought to try reading this book.
This book is OBVIOUSLY written by someone who was NO WHERE NEAR the scene when it happened and has not researched enough primary sources (like ACTUAL PEOPLE/Interviews). Yes, Anderson gives the book a view through a "pop culture lens" and proves that he knows very little about the people and the actual feel of what was going on with the "Seattle Sound" during the early 90's.
As a musical historian myself, one who grew up in the Pacific Northwest, I find this book embarrassingly poorly researched and full of inaccuracies and flaws. This is NOT "The Story of Grunge" as the book's tittle claims. Anyone who has read the booklets that come with cds from the bands he mentions from this era, and has seen the movies 'Hype!' and 'Singles', could paste together a similar "Story" of what they think grunges' history is. (I'm not kidding about that.)
To really understand how ridiculous and inaccurate this book is, one only needs to see his "Great Grunge Discography" chapter. The Gin Blossoms? Live? Reality Bites Soundtrack!!?? THE VERVE PIPE!!??(NO EXCUSE for that last one!) This guy peppers his list with a few safe Seattle Legends, even the Deep Six Compilation, but doesn't include bands like TAD, The Wipers, Skin Yard, and The Melvins to name just a few. That is proof enough that he is NOT a reliable source.
And, anyone who refers to The Fastbacks and L7 as "...also rans" and Coffin Break as an "unknown" CLEARLY has NO CLUE what they're talking about, LET ALONE what was going on in the grunge movement or its' history.Read more ›
He rates the grunge canon through a pop culture lens, arguing that this is the legacy of the bands, and whether or not its exactly how things were at the time, it's how history will remember them. This can be an extremely tough premise to accept, but if you're able to, the book winds up being a very enjoyable, brisk read. Anderson's voice is sharp and fun, if somewhat snarky; he covers a lot of musical ground in a short space; and he doesn't shy away from calling BS if he sees it, which I think might have turned other readers off.
I'm not going to dispute the criticisms others have levied at the author. He didn't include any interview material in this book. He totally does remind you ad nauseum that grunge is a fusion of punk and metal. Including Live in his "grunge discography" is somewhat ridiculous (though I suppose he's trying to draw some parallel here between the late 80s / early 90s Seattle scene and the alt-rock boom that followed). He also uses heady academic jargon like "macrolevel" a touch too much.
But academic is a good word for this - "Accidental Revolution" is not some conventional rock bio/history giving you the indepth dirt on Tad, The Melvins, Andrew Wood, etc. If that's how the book is being marketed, it's a mistake on the publisher's part. This instead places grunge's heavy hitters in context by giving the Seattle scene an extended critical-essay treatment. This isn't about probing interviews and stunning revelations, its about reconsidering bands you are already familiar with.
If you know that going into it and can hang with it for a couple hundred pages, you'll come out enjoying the ride, flaws and all.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed this book. I found it entertaining and informative about the scene back then. Regardless of its accuracy, if you were a fan of this scene then I would suggest the book to... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Joshua R Calisti
Alright, I'm going to say from the get-go, I lived in Seattle before, during, and after grunge. This doesn't make me a candidate for writing a book about grunge. Read morePublished on March 24, 2013 by Clint K. Adams
Terrible book. I agree with previous reviewers who didn't like this book. Seems to be written by someone who portrays himself as a local insider, but clearly isn't. Read morePublished on November 27, 2011 by Brian Grant