Ranters and Crowd Pleasers: Punk in Pop Music, 1977-1992

Ranters and Crowd Pleasers: Punk in Pop Music, 1977-1992

by Greil Marcus
     
 
In more than sixty essays on punk rock and the punk-influenced pop that followed, America's most perceptive pop-culture critic chronicles the punk years, the key bands, and the impact of their music.

Overview

In more than sixty essays on punk rock and the punk-influenced pop that followed, America's most perceptive pop-culture critic chronicles the punk years, the key bands, and the impact of their music.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Rock 'n' roll critic Marcus follows the punk rock scene as well as more mainstream music in this assemblage of reviews and articles published in Rolling Stone , the Village Voice , Artforum and elsewhere. For Marcus ( Lipstick Traces ), punk was a salubrious cultural explosion, bent on a cleansing negation like the Dada movement. He likens the Sex Pistols to novelist Margaret Drabble: both grapple with the plight of people attempting to live without a belief in the future. Although his focus is on punk groups like the Clash, the Mekons, Gang of Four and the Au Pairs, Marcus ranges far afield to discuss Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Dylan, the Go-Gos and the Rolling Stones. Fans of his previous books will enjoy having these pieces in one volume. (May)
Library Journal
What distinguishes Marcus from his rock critic peers is his innate ability as a social cryptographer to decode popular music symbols and their significance within a larger context. The big-picture-window connections that illuminate Lipstick Traces ( LJ 4/15/89), the classic Mystery Train ( LJ 4/1/75), and his recently published Dead Elvis (Doubleday, 1991) are apparent in this collection of punk and post-punk influence pieces, written between 1977 and 1991 for periodicals like New West (later California ) , Artforum, and the Village Voice. The Gang of Four, Delta 5, the Mekons, Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, X-ray Spex, and, of course, the Sex Pistols and the Clash, are prominently featured, and looming throughout in the background are the creepy specters of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. A revelatory compendium of bands, records, and performances, this work, along with Jon Savage's England's Dreaming ( LJ 1/92), significantly contributes to the evolving documentation and elucidation of punk rock. For most music collections.-- Barry X. Miller, Austin P.L., Tex.
Benjamin Segedin
Fifteen years after the punk rock movement's untimely demise, Marcus is still plugging away at chronicling how it revitalized rock and roll, momentarily replacing stagnant formulas with music that mattered and renewing, redeeming, and changing the lives of those listening to it, especially his. To Marcus, punk rock was and is more than just an attitude, more than just a musical style. "Among other things," he writes, "as an event in cultural time it was an earthquake, and it changed the landscape, throwing all sorts of once-hidden phenomena into stark relief." In more than 60 essays taken from such publications as "Rolling Stone", the "Village Voice", "Artforum", and "New West", Marcus is fan and critic, his enthusiasm revealed in columns on the pivotal bands (the Sex Pistols and the Clash), postpunk bands (the Gang of Four and the Mekons), and such other performers as Elvis Costello and Bruce Springsteen. As in the indispensable "Mystery Train" (1975), the difficult "Lipstick Traces" (1989), and "Dead Elvis" , Marcus is intelligent but not condescending, passionate but not gushy, provocative but not preachy. He deserves to be read as an important cultural commentator.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385417204
Publisher:
The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/01/1993
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
5.91(w) x 7.87(h) x (d)

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