Tuesday, February 14, 2006


I am just getting around to reading Mr. Reynolds new book. I had wanted to wait for it to come out in the States to give it a go, but the planned elimination of the SST chapter compelled me to order it off of Amazon UK.

I am a big fan of the writer. He got me hooked with Generation Ecstacy, his previous book on dance culture. My only fault so far with Rip it up is that I think it is either too expansive or not long enough. Perhaps not long enough is a better discription. Many of the bands only warrant a couple paragraphs or at times a couple of sentences. It just leaves me hungry for more information.

In any case, he does a good job of tracing influences. Although I had heard the story of Joy Division being inspired by the track Warszawa off of Bowie's Low before, a discovery within my own collection made it suddenly relevent.

Trawling through my Joy Division cds I rediscovered a bootleg cd I had purchased in Camden market years ago of the Warsaw demos. they are pretty raw but give a real feeling for what the band would later become in the studio with Martin Hannet.

David Bowie - Warszawa

from the Warsaw demos a heavy version of
Joy Division - Transmission

perhaps their most fully realized track in the style of Warszawa
Joy Division - Atmosphere


angryrobot said...

Reynolds's new book is one of the best music books I've read. Not only does he provide info on the bands, but he writes a true history of the scene, including the sociopolitical context, and a feel for how each genre was a progression from or reaction to what had gone before. In other words, he provides context, not just a glorified discography.

hector23 said...

The thing is, that he did that equally well in Generation Ecstacy. However because of the relative smallness of the dance scene at the time, and the fact that the book was mainly focused in England it felt much more comprehensive to me.

I think the sheer size of the task is a little daunting. Post punk is a very wide net and I feel bands such as Butthole Surfers, Sonic Youth, and Spacemen 3 got a bit of a short shift.

hector23 said...

If you like sociopolitical context with your music writing try England's Dreaming by Jon Savage. Really good stuff.

Of course Lipstick Traces is also pretty awesome and I also like From the Velvets to the Voidoids although it does not provide quite so much context.

Techno rebels is also kind of ok.

angryrobot said...

I must confess I haven't read Generation Ecstacy, although I really need to. My introducion to Reynolds was Blissed Out. I read that way back when it was new and I couldn't believe someone was writing serious, non-review essays about the kind of music I listened to.