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Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984 Paperback – February 17, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
In the reactionary wake of 1970s punk rock came postpunk, a more complex, fragmented brand of music characterized by stark recordings, synthesizers and often cold, affected vocals. Postpunk stands as "a fair match for the Sixties," argues Reynolds, both in terms of the amount of great music created as well as the music's connection to the "social and political turbulence" of its era (the early 1980s). Seeking to address a gap in music and pop culture history, Reynolds (Generation Ecstasy) has penned an ambitious, cerebral effort to establish a high place in rock history for bands such as Joy Division, Devo, Talking Heads, Mission of Burma and, of course, Public Image Limited (PiL), fronted by former Sex Pistols singer John Lydon (Johnny Rotten). Reynolds, an energetic writer, especially captures the postpunk ethic in telling the story of PiL's short journey from record company darlings to utter oblivion. Unfortunately, by the time he gets to bands like Human League and Frankie Goes to Hollywood, his passion is undermined by his subject. Reynolds succeeds in depicting the icons and the richness of an era that clearly manifests itself as a primary influence among a new generation of musicians. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Shed[s] dazzling light on a neglected era of music. The definitive word on the subject." —The Times, London
"Anyone who claims to have read five better books about pop is mad, or a liar." —The Guardian, London
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I was a bit annoyed that SST were barely mentioned in the UK version, and excised entirely from the US version, but in retrospect it makes more sense as they didn't really fit into the above narrative (at least in the years covered. "Michael Azerrad's "Our Band Could Be Your Life" covers them, among others, more succinctly). So in all, it's definitely a great book, even if it does leave out otherwise interesting acts.
Most recent customer reviews
I mean... 78-84? that's it? more years please. meh.