Monthly Archives: February 2009

Rip It Up and Start Again by Simon Reynolds

rip-it-up

Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984 by Simon Reynolds

Another must read that I stumbled on in the past year.  This book chronicles a choice selection of underground music from 1978 to 1984, deemed Post Punk by the author and the music press of the time.

I always found the term hard to classify as most designations of rock music are.  In recent times it has been an oft used term; thrown around to describe a ton of newer bands influences.  Alway a cool tag word but never really explained, much like Punk itself and Proto-punk.  Simply put Post Punk is the underground music that sprung up after Punk met an early end and imploded in its original true form with the Sex Pistols rise and fall.  Post Punk would carry on that legacy along with all the off shoots of straight ahead punk rock including British Punk, West Coast Punk, Hardcore, and Oi.  This new music would shed all that was overwrought about the music that they grew up on, expand sonically and turn image and politics inside out.

Reynolds splits the book into two parts, sectioning off the early heavily punk influenced stuff in the first part and then tackling the more pop and guitar band driven music in the second part.  He breaks it up into easily digestible chunks that focus on a geographical or ideological scene (or covers whatever bands he feels are strongly related sonically together, which may or may not be in the same area).  Each chapter is full of his own insights into what made the band what it was and why the music sounded as it did.

He fills out the landscape by explaining what was going on in the world in each respective area at that time.  Included in this landscape was of course the bands but also a rich drama including fledgling record labels, record label heads, managers, Svengalis, producers, fans, and groupies.  A huge number of bands are included, some of them might be a little surprising at first because of their status as 80’s pop music, one hit wonders or their seemingly non-relation to Punk Rock or Rock N’ Roll.  Below is the long list of band/labels that are covered in the book (please note some of the bands only get a few paragraphs).

Post Punk Bands: Post Punk – New Pop & New Rock:
Public Image Ltd.
Buzzcocks
Magazine
Subway Sect & Vic Godard
Pere Ubu
Devo
James Chance & The Contortions
Suicide
Lydia Lunch
Teenage Jesus & The Jerks
DNA
Mars
Lounge Lizards

Brian Eno
The Pop Group
Alternative TV
The Slits
New Age Steppers
Rip Rig & Panic
New Hormones
Fast Products Records
Cherry Red
Desperate Bicycles
Thomas Leer
The Normal
Mute Records
Swell Maps
Gang Of Four
The Mekons
Delta 5
Au Pairs
Talking Heads
David Byrne & Brian Eno
Wire
Dome
Cabaret Voltaire
The Human League
The Fall
Joy Division
Martin Hannett
The Passage
Factory Records
A Certain Ratio
Durutti Column
Scritti Politti
LMC
Flying Lizards
This Heat
Rough Trade Records
The Raincoats
The Red Crayola
Young Marble Giants
John Peel
Throbbing Gristle
Whitehouse
Nurse With Wound
Clock DVA
23 Skidoo
The Residents
Tuxedomoon
Factrix
Chrome
The Sleepers
Flipper
The Specials
Madness
The Beat
The Selecter
Dexys Midnight Runners
Malcolm McLaren
Bow Wow Wow
Adam & The Ants
Gary Numan
Ultravox
John Foxx
Visage
Spandau Ballet
Martin Rushent
Soft Cell
Japan
DAF
Orange Juice
Josef K
The Fire Engines
The Associates
Heaven 17
Trevor Horn
ABC
B-52’s
Pylon
Club 57
Mudd Club
Jean-Michel Basquiat
ZE Records
Kid Creole & The Coconuts
Was Not Was
Material
99 Records
Bush Tetras
ESG
Liquid Liquid
A Certain Ratio
New Order
Bauhaus
Batcave
Siouxsie & The Banshees
The Cure
The Birthday Party
Killing Joke
The Virgin Prunes
Theatre of Hate
Sisters of Mercy
Southern Death Cult
Echo & The Bunnymen
Zoo
Wah! Heat
The Teardrop Explodes
The Blue Orchids
The Waterboys
Big Country
Simple Minds
U2
Black Flag
The Minutemen
Husker Du
Mission of Burma
Meat Puppets
SST Records
Psychic TV
Some Bizarre Records
Coil
Foetus and Jim Thirlwell
Einsturzende Neubauten
Test Dept
Swans
Depeche Mode
The Art Of Noise
Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Propaganda
Grace Jones
Please hear the music for yourself.   I have created two playlists that feature the music that this book covers.  I will warn you the music of some of these bands is not for the faint of heart.  This was a period of great experimentation and even I think some of it is a bit too abrasive and shapeless.

Playlist:  Post Punk Part One

Playlist:  Post Punk Part Two – New Pop & New Rock

www.simonreynolds.net

There is an actual CD compiled by Mr. Reynolds which was only released in the UK and is rather rare. Rip It Up And Start Again companion CD compiled by Simon Reynolds

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Playlist: Post Punk Part Two – New Pop & New Rock

Post Punk Part Two:  New Pop & New Rock

Click the link above and you will be taken to the playlist hosted on this website.  Click once on the first song and the playlist will start.

1) “Listen to the Sirens” by Tubeway Army (3:05)
2) “Suburban Relapse” by Siouxsie & The Banshees (4:12)
3) “Whip in My Valise” by Adam & the Ants (4:00)
4) “My Girl” by Madness (2:45)
5) “Concrete Jungle” by Specials (3:21)
6) “There, There, My Dear” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners (3:31)
7) “Sleeping Gas” by Teardrop Explodes (3:47)
8) “A Day without Me” by U2 (3:13)
9) “Stigmata Martyr” by Bauhaus (3:47)
10) “Possessions” by Residents (1:08)
11) “Chihuahua” by Bow Wow Wow (6:04)
12) “Crazy to Exist” by Josef K (2:59)
13) “No Dark Things” by Echo & The Bunnymen (4:27)
14) “Love Action (I Believe in Love)” by Human League (5:01)
15) “Fame and Fortune” by Mission of Burma (3:35)
16) “Rise Above” by Black Flag (2:28)
17) “Rip It Up” by Orange Juice (3:46)
18) “Release the Bats” by Birthday Party (2:30)
19) “Ultraviolence” by New Order (4:51)
20) “Buffalo Gals” by Malcolm McLaren (4:24)
21) “Beat Box (Diversion One)” by Art of Noise (8:35)
22) “History Lesson – Part II” by Minutemen (2:12)
23) “Lake Of Fire” by Meat Puppets (1:57)
24) “Masochism World” by Hüsker Dü (2:47)

In this playlist you will find music ordered chronologically by year of release from 1980 to 1984 (with a few exceptions at the beginning). The playlist was inspired by the book Rip It Up and Start Again by Simon Reynolds.  The book is split into two parts so I split the playlists up as well…  see and hear the playlist for Part One here.  Please also see my review of the book here.  Course you don’t need to read the book to enjoy it, please dig in regardless of your interest in the book.

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Playlist: Post Punk Part One

Post Punk Part One

Click the link above and you will be taken to the playlist hosted on this website.  Click once on the first song and the playlist will start.

1) “Ghost Rider” by Suicide (2:36)
2) “Public Image” by Public Image Ltd. (3:04)
3) “Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t ‘Ve)?” by Buzzcocks (2:44)
4) “Shot by Both Sides” by Magazine (4:06)
5) “Non-Alignment Pact” by Pere Ubu (3:19)
6) “Outdoor Miner” by Wire (1:46)
7) “Mongoloid” by Devo (3:34)
8) “Take Me To The River” by Talking Heads (5:02)
9) “Burning Rubber” by Lydia Lunch (1:43)
10) “Contort Yourself” by James Chance (6:17)
11) “She Is Beyond Good and Evil” by Pop Group (3:24)
12) “Typical Girls” by Slits (4:01)
13) “Damaged Goods” by Gang of Four (3:26)
14) “She’s Lost Control” by Joy Division (3:57)
15) “Hot on the Heels of Love” by Throbbing Gristle (4:26)
16) “Being Boiled” by Human League (3:45)
17) “I’ll Have To Dance Then (On My Own)” by Mekons (3:16)
18) “Totally Wired” by Fall (3:25)
19) “Final Day” by Young Marble Giants (1:43)
20) “No Side to Fall In” by Raincoats (1:50)
21) “Possessions” by Residents (1:08)
22) “Help Me Somebody” by Brian Eno & David Bryne (4:19)
23) “Parallel Lines” by Subway Sect (2:36)

In this playlist you will find music ordered chronologically by year of release from 1978 to 1980 (with a few exceptions). The playlist was inspired by the book Rip It Up and Start Again by Simon Reynolds.  The book is split into two parts so I split the playlists up as well…  see and hear the playlist for Part Two here.  Please also see my review of the book here.  Course you don’t need to read the book to enjoy it, please dig in regardless of your interest in reading.

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Playlist: Songs For An Aging Music Snob

Songs For An Aging Music Snob

Click the link above and you will be taken to the playlist hosted on this website.  Click once on the first song and the playlist will start.

1) “Monkey To Man” by Elvis Costello & The Imposters (4:28)
2) “Done Got Old” by Heartless Bastards (3:07)
3) “Back Porch” by Presidents Of The United States Of America (2:59)
4) “Baby I Can’t Please You” by Sam Phillips (3:29)
5) “Earn Enough For Us” by XTC (2:54)
6) “CHICAGO x 12” by Rogue Wave (5:39)
7) “Born On The Cusp” by American Analog Set (3:29)
8) “When U Love Somebody” by Fruit Bats (4:31)
9) “Spanish Dance Troupe” by Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci (3:16)
10) “Straight To Hell” (Clash cover) by Josh Rouse (4:48)
11) “Paper Planes” by M.I.A. (3:25)
12) “Swingset Chain” by Loquat (4:40)
13) “Golden Years” by David Bowie (4:01)
14) “Bottom of the Rain” by Buffalo Tom (3:24)
15) “Braintree” by The Possibilities (3:15)                                                                                                                                                                                                                16) “This Boy Is Exhausted” by The Wrens (4:24)
17) “Silver Ponds” by Figurines (2:48)
18) “Did I Tell You” by The Spinto Band (3:10)
19) “Boy About Town” by The Jam (2:01)
20) “Surrender” by Cheap Trick (4:15)
21) “Mother’s Little Helper” by The Rolling Stones (2:45)

This playlist I put together online as a way to celebrate my 30th birthday and getting old.  It features songs about aging and some of my favorites from that time.

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Best Albums Of 1999

BEST ALBUMS OF 1999

#
Artist Album Label
1
Flaming Lips The Soft Bulletin Warner Bros.
2
Wilco Summer Teeth Warner Bros.
3
Dismemberment Plan Emergency & I Desoto
4
Splashdown The Red Shift EP/Blueshift Java/Unreleased
5
Pinback Pinback Ace Fu
6
Tom Waits Mule Variations Anti
7
Low Secret Name Kranky
8
Folk Implosion One Part Lullaby Interscope
9
Guided By Voices Do The Collapse TVT
10
Matthew Sweet In Reverse Volcano
11
Sloan Between The Bridges Murder
12
Built To Spill Keep It Like A Secret Warner Bros.
13
Hang Ups Second Story Restless
14
Arcwelder Everest Touch & Go
15
Essex Green Everything Is Green Kindercore
16
Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci Spanish Dance Troupe Beggars Banquet
17
Old 97’s Fight Songs Elektra
18
Magnetic Fields 69 Love Songs Merge
19
Les Savy Fav The Cat & The Cobra French Kiss
20
Kingsbury Manx Kingsbury Manx Overcoat
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Best Albums Of 2000

BEST ALBUMS OF 2000

#
Artist Album Label
1
Blackalicious Nia Mo’ Wax
2
New Pornographers Mass Romantic Matador
3
Josh Rouse Home Slow River
4
Weakerthans Left And Leaving Sub City
5
Versus Hurrah Merge
6
Spoon Love Ways EP Merge
7
Teenage Fanclub Howdy! Columbia
8
J. Mascis & The Fog More Light Artemis
9
Julie Doiron & The Wooden Stars Julie Doiron & The Wooden Stars Jagjaguwar
10
Clinic Internal Wrangler Domino
11
Supergrass Supergrass Capitol
12
Francine Forty On A Fall Day Q Division
13
Buddyrevelles American Matador Motorcoat
14
Neko Case Furnace Room Lullaby Bloodshot
15
Tabla Beat Science Tala Matrix Axiom
16
Aimee Mann Bachelor #2 Superego
17
Sarah Harmer You Were Here Zoe
18
Jurassic 5 Quality Control Interscope
19
Morphine The Night Dreamworks
20
Peter Bruntnell Normal For Bridgewater Slow River
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Best Albums Of 2001

BEST ALBUMS OF 2001

#
Artist Album Label
1
Shins Oh, Inverted World Sub Pop
2
Super Furry Animals Rings Around The World Epic
3
Daryll-Ann Happy Traum Excelsior
4
Chitlin’ Fooks Chitlin’ Fooks Hidden Agenda
5
Red House Painters Old Ramon Sub Pop
6
Pernice Brothers The World Won’t End Ashmont
7
Ken Stringfellow Touched Manifesto
8
Posies Nice Cheekbones & A PhD EP Badman
9
Sarah Shannon Sarah Shannon Casa Recording Co.
10
Beulah The Coast Is Never Clear Velocette
11
My Morning Jacket At Dawn Darla
12
Poor Rich Ones Happy Happy Happy Rec 90
13
Dismemberment Plan Change De Soto
14
Idaho Levitate Idaho Music
15
Stereolab Sound-Dust Elektra
16
Blake Babies God Bless The Blake Babies Rounder
17
Faithless Outrospective Arista
18
Jim O’Rourke Insignificance Drag City
19
Manic Street Preachers Know Your Enemy Virgin
20
Call & Response Call & Response Kindercore
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Best Albums Of 2002

BEST ALBUMS OF 2002

#
Artist Album Label
1
Paul Westerberg / Grandpaboy Stereo/Mono Vagrant
2
Doves The Last Broadcast Capitol
3
Sleater Kinney One Beat Kill Rock Stars
4
Flaming Lips Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Warner Bros.
5
…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead Source Tags & Codes Interscope
6
Low Trust Kranky
7
Elvis Costello When I Was Cruel Island
8
Interpol Turn On The Bright Lights Matador
9
Medeski, Martin, & Wood Uninvisible Blue Note
10
Anti-Pop Consortium Arrhythmia Warp
11
Spoon Kill The Moonlight Merge
12
Anomoanon Asleep Many Years In The Wood Temporary Residence
13
Neko Case Blacklisted Bloodshot
14
The Deathray Davies The Day Of Ray Idol
15
Chitlin’ Fooks Did It Again Hidden Agenda
16
Beck Sea Change Geffen
17
Clinic Walking With Thee Domino
18
The Reindeer Section Son Of Evil Reindeer Pias
19
Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot Nonesuch
20
Concrete Blonde Group Therapy Manifesto
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Best Albums Of 2003

BEST ALBUMS OF 2003

#
Artist Album Label
1
Shins Chutes Too Narrow Sub Pop
2
Cat Power You Are Free Matador
3
Wrens Meadowlands Absolutely Kosher
4
Bonnie Prince Billy Master And Everyone Drag City
5
Decemberists Castaways And Cutouts Kill Rock Stars
6
Fiery Furnaces Gallowbird’s Bark Rough Trade
7
Ben Gibbard/Andrew Kenny Home Volume 5 Post Parlo
8
Ken Stringfellow/Jon Auer Private Sides Arena Rock
9
Supergrass Life On Other Planets Island
10
Francine 28 Plastic Blue Versions Of Endings Without You Q Division
11
Long Winters When I Pretend To Fall Barsuk
12
Decemberists Her Majesty Kill Rock Stars
13
Sun Kill Moon Ghosts Of The Great Highway Jetset
14
Metric Old World Underground, Where Are You Now Overcoat
15
American Analog Set Promise Of Love Tiger Style
16
Kaito Band Red spinART
17
Postal Service Give Up Sub Pop
18
Stars Heart Paper Bag
19
M. Ward Transfiguration Of Vincent Merge
20
Belle & Sebastian Dear Catastrophe Waitress Rough Trade
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Best Albums Of 2004

BEST ALBUMS OF 2004

#
Artist Album Label
1
Mirah C’mon Miracle K
2
Feist Let It Die Arts & Crafts
3
Loquat It’s Yours To Keep Jackpine Social Club
4
Mission Of Burma OnOffOn Matador
5
Pinback Summer In Abaddon Touch & Go
6
Elvis Costello Delivery Man Lost Highway
7
Fiery Furnaces Blueberry Boat Sanctuary
8
Rogue Wave Out Of The Shadow Sub Pop
9
Arcade Fire Funeral Merge
10
Camera Obscura Underachievers Please Try Harder Merge
11
Animal Collective Sung Tongs Splinter
12
Tegan & Sara So Jealous Vapor
13
Joanna Newsome Milk-Eyed Mender Drag City
14
Neko Case The Tigers Have Spoken Anti
15
Interpol Antics Matador
16
Modest Mouse Good News For People Who Like Bad News Sony
17
Stars Set Yourself On Fire Arts & Crafts
18
Wilco A Ghost Is Born Nonesuch
19
Kings Of Convienence Riot On An Empty Street Astralwerks
20
The Futureheads The Futureheads Sire
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