OVERRIDE

Retromania

Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past

Simon Reynolds

Faber & Faber

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?

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Retromania
1: 'NOW'1POP WILL REPEAT ITSELFMuseums, Reunions, Rock Docs, Re-enactments 
 
 
At the outset I should make a confession: my gut feeling is that pop and the museum just don't go together. Actually, I'm not sure music of any kind really works in a museum, a place of hush and decorum. Museums are primarily visual, oriented around display, designed for the contemplative gaze. The crucial element of sound has either to be absent or suppressed. Unlike paintings or sculptures, you can't have sonic exhibits side by side; they interfere with each other. So music museums
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RETROMANIA by Simon ReynoldsKirkus Book Reviews
Read the Kirkus Review of RETROMANIA Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past. A leading British music critic argues that our fascination with the recent past has stifled innovation and originality in popular culture.
- Kirkus Reviews

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Simon Reynolds

  • Simon Reynolds is a music critic whose writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Village Voice, Spin, Rolling Stone, and Artforum. He is the author of five previous books, including Rip It Up and Start Again.
  • Simon Reynolds © Joy Press
    Simon Reynolds
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Retromania

Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past

Simon Reynolds

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Faber & Faber

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