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Posted October 3, 2010
Although there is a fine line to what punk is/was or when exactly it began, this book on the history of punk rock, seems to close in on all aspects of this new trend to the 70's, and how it came to be. The cumulative ideas and movements to produce this new energy are very well written and explained in the greatest of detail. The many interviews and primary sources used make this historic time all the more accurate and easy to follow.
Starting with the Stooges, MC5, and the much favored Sex Pistols, the earliest traces of punk rock are quite intriguing and informative. Many people who like these bands may find out just how much they didn't know about their past or earlier career issues. Detailed descriptions of the band's start makes for interesting facts unknown to many, as well as first-hand interviews about their experiences make for and entertaining experience all around. The pattern continues in a similar manner for Johnny Rotten's dysfunctional childhood, The Ramones unsuccessful start, The Clash's struggle to find lasting band members, or Patti Smith's disregard to public decency. The list goes on, is fairly solid, and is complemented well with pictures, magazines covers, top sales for records, and local clubs such as the now famous CBGB in New York.
I feel the layout is a strong point in this book and balances the whole book out well. Also the accuracy and detail is amazing as well, you leave each chapter feeling very informed.
One of the few complains I have is the lack of modern punk bands (Green Day being the only 90's band), although it can be argued punk is dead and ended in the late 80's I would like to point out punk revival bands such as The Offspring, as well as sub-genre pop-punk bands following Green Day, like blink-182, and Sum41. Also it should be pointed out how much punk is known for not being mainstream, there may be bands right now, in the same shoes that the Sex Pistols or Ramones were in. The other thing is the excessive detail, if you want to know a lot about a certain band this is great, if not it can be pretty tedious. The good this is the bands are separated into their own chapters which is good for zoning in on your desired topic.
All in all this is a pretty solid book, providing lots of great history, and although sometimes obscene, very informative to the early punk movement.
Posted October 29, 2008
I Also Recommend:
An excellent and informative guide to early punk. Beginning with The Stooges and MC5, the CBGB scene and then spends the majority of the book on the British punk scene. One of the big pluses of the book is that after every couple of chapters they have topical interview sections where they put together interviews with many of the major players of punk talking about the death of Sid Vicious or even how the CBGB began.<BR/><BR/>The one criticism I would have is with its "The Whole Story" claim. The book contains only one chapter dedicated to the US Hardcore scene and that chapter mainly covers Black Flag and the only post 1985 Punk band they cover is Green Day. The book briefly covers some of the band reunions of original punk bands and the death of Joe Strummer.<BR/><BR/>This is a very good book on early punk but I would recommend reading in conjunction with American Hardcore: A Tribal History for a history that includes American Punk from 1979-1985.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 21, 2009
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