Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984 Paperback – Feb 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.)
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"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, LondonSee all Product Description
Inside This Book(Learn More)
"EVER GET THE FEELING you've been cheated?" Johnny Rotten's infamous parting words to the audience at Winterland in San Francisco on January 14, 1978, weren't a question so much as a confession. Read the first page
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Get the whole story and buy the UK version. It contains chapters on US bands on the SST label, 2nd Gen. Industrial bands (Foetus, Test Dept.) a very important part of the post-punk aural landscape.
Ironic (or maybe typical) that a book on the highly political post-punk era is as cut up and censored as the US edition is.
from Simon Reynold's blog:
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE UK AND US EDITIONS
* the chapter sequence is different from the UK version
* three chapters are cut for reasons of space: the Devoto/Subway Sect chapter; the Conform to Deform Second Wave of Industrial chapter; and the SST/Blasting Concept chapter
* two chapters compressed into one for reasons of space, the Goth chapter and the Glory Boys/Big Music chapter
* Timeline is absent for reason of space
* in the US edition, the Appendix on MTV and the Second British Invasion is folded into the chapter on New Pop's peak
* no illustrations in the US edition
* the Mutant Disco chapter is written up as proper historical prose in the US edition, as opposed to the oral history in the UK edition
* no bibliography in the US edition
I don't understand this "reason of space" explanation. Wonder if they cut out some words from the dictionary for "reason of space"?
Approximately 200 pages missing from the US edition.
Very Very Lame
Don't waste your money. Get the UK edition and skrew the US publishers.
True fans of post-punk should read this book, however they should read the UK version and not this shortened US version. Three chapters have been cut in their entirety and portions of other chapters have been cut or shortened. In total, the US version of the book is nearly 200 pages shorter.
The cover of the UK edition is also much cooler.
However, my purpose in writing this review is not to discuss the book. It suffices to say that despite the two-star review, this is really a four-star book, and is highly recommended to anyone with post-punk listening experience who wants to understand the sociopolitical, economic, and musical histories of post-punk. Instead my purpose of this review is to advise you against buying the US edition, since it is an abridged version of the longer (and more comprehensive) UK edition.
What's been cut from the US edition is a little over a hundred pages of material, including three complete chapters. Off the top of my head, there's a chapter on Magazine that got cut, a chapter on industrial music that got cut, and a chapter on the American SST scene that got cut. I'm also told, though I didn't get the chance to do the comparison myself, that there are bits and pieces of the chapters themselves that have been cut out of the US edition.
In short, don't be afraid to spend a couple extra bucks on the UK version for the complete experience.