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Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to…

Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past

by Simon Reynolds

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249875,691 (3.76)6
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 cultural-ecological catastrophe, where the archival stream of pop history has been exhausted? 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?… (more)


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» See also 6 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
This book would alienate readers less if it didn't set out its goal immediately - it mostly is a history, rather than the dismissal of contemporary music that it kind of sets itself up as. Reynolds has always been honest about what do or doesn't excite him about music while he does outstanding musical analysis in the context of social history; this one is no different. ( )
  triphopera | Apr 14, 2018 |
The central argument got lost in the pervading sense that the past was, in fact, better than current culture. ( )
  colleenrec | Jun 23, 2017 |
I'm not 100% convinced by Reynolds' arguments. He makes the case that pop has been eating itself perfectly well, but he didn't convince me it's bad. This was, however, a great history lesson, and I discovered some new-to-me music, so it gets back one of the stars it would have otherwise lost 8) ( )
  KateSherrod | Aug 1, 2016 |
I imagine that if you are a fan of the rock music of some (or all) of the last six decades then there will be plenty for you in this book. Reynolds has clearly devoured huge chunks of the music and displays an encyclopaedic knowledge of the background of those who made it. His central theme, that rock music has been constantly casting back to the primal rock and roll of the 50s. The theory has some merit, but it often seems that he is happier riffing (or perhaps even rehashing) on the bits of rock history that he knows a lot about (particularly late 70s and early 80s). Your enthusiasm for the book will come down to whether this kind of meandering is interesting or whether (like me), you felt if the book was cut in half, it would have been a tighter and compelling read. ( )
  xander_paul | Oct 7, 2014 |
Superb. Thoughtful and wears its learning lightly ( )
  mcpinker | Jun 22, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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Average: (3.76)
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