Author(s): Simon Reynolds
Full of anecdote and insight, Rip it Up and Start Again stands as one of the most inspired and inspiring books on popular music ever written 'Constant change' was the watchword of the postpunk era, with endless brilliant innovations not just in music but in lyrics, performance, style, and design. This spirit continued and mutated with the New Pop of the early eighties - Human League, Adam Ant, ABC, Madness, Dexy's Midnight Runners, Frankie Goes to Hollywood - all of whom originally came out of punk, but who playfully embraced glamour and video in order to propel their bright ideas into the heart of the mainstream. As a distinct epoch, 1978-84 rivals the sixties for the sheer amount of fabulous music created, the spirit of adventure and possibility that infused it, and the way the sounds felt inextricably connected to the political and social turbulence of the day. In this, the first book to take a big picture view of the entire postpunk period, Simon Reynolds, acclaimed author of Energy Flash, recreates a time of tremendous urgency and idealism in pop music. Rip It Up and Start Again also offers a shadow history of the Thatcher-Reagan era, that massive backlash against the countercultural sixties and the permissive seventies, in the process capturing the poignancy of a generation radicalised by punk only to find themselves struggling against the grain of an increasingly conservative culture. First published 2005.