Retromania : Pop Culture's Addiction to its Own Past, Paperback Book

Retromania : Pop Culture's Addiction to its Own Past Paperback

5 out of 5 (1 rating)


The first book to make sense of 21st Century pop, "Retromania" explores rock's nostalgia industry of revivals, reissues, reunions and remakes, and argues that there has never before been a culture so obsessed with its own immediate past.

Pulling together parallel threads from music, fashion, art, and new media, Simon Reynolds confronts a central paradox of our era: from iPods to YouTube, we're empowered by mind-blowing technology, but too often it's used as a time machine or as a tool to shuffle and rearrange music from yesterday.

We live in the digital future but we're mesmerized by our analogue past.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Rock & Pop music
  • ISBN: 9780571232093

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Reynolds shows in much detail how pop music, from its intense initial stages in the late 50ies and especially the 60ies, successively moves away from its innovative and original character and turns into variaton, self-citation and mere repitition. It's intriguing how he works out references, were you wouldn't have suspected them, like when he demonstrates hidden citations in punk. If it weren't for lengthy passages spreading out detail over detail from a vast archivarian's knowledge this book would be a perfect read.It still contains really great passages, expecially where it goes beyond musical styles talk, embedding music in a broader context of culture, society and technology. The culminating chapter is on the lost conception of future, which not only does affect music, but pop culture and even western culture as a whole. Of course the book doesn't provide an alternative, other than that of vague optimism. It is still an intriguing piece of cultural analysis.Personally i liked the book as - not being a audio crack - it stirred up my curiosity, making me actively listen to music again which I hadn't done for quite a long time.

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