Retromania : pop culture's addiction to its own past

by Reynolds, Simon, 1963-

Format: Print Book 2011
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction ML3470.R49 2011x
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  ML3470.R49 2011x

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?

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* In this unusual history, music critic Reynolds argues that the last decade was obsessed with what he calls retro-rock, a fascination with the sounds of living memory. This ongoing obsession has resulted in reissues, box sets, remakes, reenactments of famous past concerts, reuniting of bands, and, generally, a. endless retrospectio. that he deems not only unhealthy but also an abuse of the pop-music past. Rock history has become, he suggests, a gigantic, always accessible archive. He discusses th. wrinklin. of rock but also th. new ol. music: music created by young musicians that draws heavily on the past. There has never been a society, he concludes, that has been so obsessed wit. the cultural artifacts of its own immediate past. What happens, he wonders, when we run out of past? He goes so far as to claim that the new century may be remembered more for its technology than for the music itself. Indeed, he calls the invention of the iPod the biggest thing to happen to music during the first decade of the twenty-first century. A provocative and original inquiry into the past and future of popular music.--Sawyers, Jun. Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Kids today are too besotted with every old thing-and a stagnant culture is the result, argues this lively though muddled manifesto. Rock critic Reynolds (Rip It Up and Start Again) visits retro impulses in fashion, architecture, movies, and painting, but focuses on what he claims are the formaldehyde-soaked horrors of retro rock music: tours by geriatric boomer bands; wistful VH1 retrospectives; the musty curatorial obsessions of rock museums and hipster connoisseurs; new bands whose music merely cuts-and-pastes hoary influences; the all-preserving Internet, where adolescents graze in every musical era without developing their own generation-specific sound. There's self-contradiction here, and shallow jadedness-musically, "2010 didn't feel that different from 2009, or even 2004"-and a strange pique at teens who distinguish aesthetics from novelty ("The attachment on the part of young people to genres that have been around for decades mystifies me"). The author's brief for a self-consciously modernist pop music of "constant change and endless innovation" itself betrays a retro hankering for 1960s-style rock revolutionism. But Reynolds's mix of canny erudition, critical theory, stylish prose, and vibrant evocations of bands both famous and unheard-of, nails the appeal of retro almost despite himself; as he deplores musical nostalgia, he reminds us why it mesmerizes us. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Popular music -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
Popular music -- 21st century -- History and criticism.
Popular music -- Social aspects.
Popular culture -- History.
Publisher New York :Faber & Faber,2011
Edition 1st American ed.
Language English
Description xxxvi, 458 pages ; 22 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 431-440) and index.
ISBN 9780865479944 (pbk.)
0865479941 (pbk.)
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