Read Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past Online Free - One of The Telegraph's Best Music Books 2011
We live in a pop age gone loco for retro and crazy for commemoration. Band re-formations and reunion tours, expanded reissues of classic albums and outtake-crammed box sets, remakes and sequels, tribute albums and mash-ups . . . But what happens when we run out of past? Are we heading toward a sort of culturalecological catastrophe where the archival stream of pop history has been exhausted?
Simon Reynolds, one of the finest music writers of his generation, argues that we have indeed reached a tipping point, and that although earlier eras had their own obsessions with antiquity—the Renaissance with its admiration for Roman and Greek classicism, the Gothic movement's invocations of medievalism—never has there been a society so obsessed with the cultural artifacts of its own immediate past. Retromania is the first book to examine the retro industry and ask the question: Is this retromania a death knell for any originality and distinctiveness of our own?
|Title||:||Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past|
|Number of Pages||:||458 pages|
June 10, 2016
5 stars doesn't mean I agree with everything Reynolds says about retro and the state of contemporary music - instead I agree with Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) whom he interviews extensively, and who speculates about music having shifted from ‘its Renaissance period of recording’ (i.e. t...
September 13, 2011
I think "Retromania" is the best music book of the 21st Century so far. But of course I am not including the great rock n' roll memoirs, but just talking about "music books" as a cultural thing. And this is a very important book to me, with respect to how music fans react to pop in general. If yo...
September 22, 2011
Though the subtitle of this book refers to "pop culture's addiction to its own past," it's really about 95% about music. Mileage may vary depending on how interested in music the reader is, but I would recommend this without hesitation to anyone with even a general interest in the arts or culture...
June 06, 2012
With some editing, this would easily have been a five-star book. The subtitle is a little inaccurate. It's really about pop music. Other aspects of popular culture are introduced, but only by way of making points about the relentless recycling of ideas in current vernacular music. Reynolds is an...
November 07, 2011
Simon Reynolds defines his modernist aesthetic as a "belief that art has some kind of evolutionary destiny, a teleology that manifests itself through genius artists and masterpieces that are monuments to the future." For me, that simultaneously asks too much and too little from pop, but Reynolds'...
January 08, 2012
It was odd reading a book by Simon Reynolds that wasn't positive and excited, as with Rip It Up and Energy Flash, but there was still a lot of brain food and enjoyment to be gleaned.
Having been born in '78 and become a music fan/fanatic/know it all in my teens, most contemporary music has always...
October 14, 2011
Or really, 3.5 stars. Reynolds is a very good writer, and a very good thinker on music and popular culture. Here, he tackles the current state of pop music: pop is essentially eating itself, digging into the past and endlessly recycling old tropes rather than coming up with something new. Some do...
November 09, 2015
In my youth i was reading Melody Maker, NME, Sounds, Rolling Stone and nearly every book i could get on the topic of Pop/Rock-Music. Sometimes i was reading so much about it that i got to make room for the books and mags; names like Lester Bangs, Greil Marcus, Roy Carr, Ingeborg Schober or Franz...
April 03, 2013
Thought provoking and trivia-studded exploration of retro culture from Simon Reynolds, who I'd count as one of the most intelligent and considered music writers. I mean intelligent without descending into the florid, convoluted self-indulgence that makes some music writers borderline unintelligib...
July 20, 2012
I'm not 100% convinced by Reynolds' arguments. He makes the case that pop has been eating itself perfectly well, but he didn't convince me it's bad. This was, however, a great history lesson, and I discovered some new-to-me music, so it gets back one of the stars it would have otherwise lost 8)