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England's Dreaming: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, and Beyond (Revised Edition)

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Overview

England's Dreaming is the ultimate book on punk, its progenitors, the Sex Pistols, and the moment they defined for music fans in England and the United States. Savage brings to life the sensational story of the meteoric rise and rapid implosion of the Pistols through layers of rich detail, exclusive interviews, and rare photographs. This fully revised and updated edition of the book covers the legacy of punk twenty-five years later and provides an account of the Pistols' 1996 reunion as well as a freshly updated discography and a completely new introduction.

Savage's critically acclaimed social history of the punk band the Sex Pistols and 1970's England is a searing and disturbingly familiar study of a country suffering from a stagnant economy, a disgruntled work force, and youthful rage. 16-page color insert.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[T]he definitive history of the English punk movement..."--The New York Times Book Review

"Scholarship with spunk."--Rolling Stone

"The best book about punk rock and pop culture ever."--New Musical Express

"An exceptional book: dead serious and achingly funny, full of delicate complex emotions about the most brutally simple form of pop music ever created."--Entertainment Weekly

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With wit and authority, freelance writer Savage pens an entertaining, exhaustive chronological history of punk rock and politics through 1980. For the first several chapters the account focuses on attention-getting impresario Malcolm McLaren, who opened a series of outrageous clothing shops including Let It Rock and Sex during the early '70s with companion Vivienne Westwood. McLaren's visits to New York City left him enamored of such iconoclastic American bands as the New York Dolls and Television, and, using the nervy, bored adolescents he met while selling punk fashion, he nurtured a group that would become the Sex Pistols. McLaren and the Pistols' shenanigans are set against a background of such seminal punk bands as Iggy and the Stooges, the Clash, the Damned and the Ramones. Savage also devotes attention to McLaren's flamboyant shop maven Jordan, Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders and Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie and the Banshees as he chronicles the Pistols' ascent and decline. Even readers who consider this volume's length somewhat daunting will find it the definitive source of early-punk anecdotes. Photos. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Savage uses the band the Sex Pistols as the core of this definitive history of the punk rock and pop culture movements of the 1970s. Music critics consider this the book on the subject. (LJ 4/1/02) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
That a group of disaffected English teenagers should in the span of two years, five 45s, and one album become the vanguard of the punk rock movement exerting musical and social influence which persists today is an improbable and, in the hands of rock journalist/author Savage, a fascinating story. This is a lengthy and detailed treatise grounded by material derived from interviews with the principal participants and the author's own journal entries. The bibliography and 50-page Sex Pistol/punk rock discography appended to the text alone can justify purchase. The analysis is cogent, if at times academic, while the decidedly Anglophilic nature of the subject, politics, and language may intimidate readers more interested in fanzine material. This should become an important work on a seminal band and movement; the numerous Sex Pistol photo books and Glen Matlock and Peter Silverton's recent I Was a Teenage Sex Pistol ( LJ 11/15/91) pale in comparison. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/91.--Barry Miller, Austin P.L., Tex.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312288228
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 1/18/2002
  • Edition description: Revised Edition, Fully updated and expanded
  • Pages: 656
  • Sales rank: 356,930
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jon Savage began writing about music in 1977 and has covered the music scene for U.S. and international publications ever since. His books include The Kinks: The Official Biography and Time Travel, a collection of articles. He lives in West London.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Text Book that should be studied in Schools across the Globe

    Not only is this the single authoritative book on the social climate that created as well as the ins and outs of the culture of British Punk Rock, but also the best timeline based discography of the Rock'n'Roll that preceded Punk that I could imagine. I owe much of who I am today to discovering this book at age 15, it's an indispensible guide to music everyone should hear before their 21st birthday.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2005

    Brilliant

    Savage obviously knows exactly what he is talking about. The book is whitty and interesting. The language is very difficult, but worth struggling through. If You like Punk rock, or politics, you'll love this book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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