Rip it Up and Start Again by Simon Reynolds

Rip it Up and Start Again

Punk's raw power rejuvenated rock, but by the summer of 1977 the movement had become a parody of itself. RIP IT UP AND START AGAIN is a celebration of what happened next.Post-punk bands like PiL, Joy Division, Talking Heads, The Fall and The Human League dedicated themselves to fulfilling punk's unfinished musical revolution. The post-punk groups were fervent modernists; whether experimenting with electronics and machine rhythm or adapting ideas ...

Details Rip it Up and Start Again

TitleRip it Up and Start Again
Release DateApr 21st, 2005
PublisherNot Avail
GenreMusic, Nonfiction, History, Punk

Reviews Rip it Up and Start Again

  • Orsodimondo
    DAMAGE GOODS Penso all’idea del rock come forza in grado di cambiare almeno la coscienza del singolo ascoltatore…Il post-punk è stato l’ultimo grande periodo in cui c’è stata una forte ondata di innovazione che riguardasse insieme musica, testi, performance e anche il ruolo generale della musica .Era il tempo dei vinili, e di altri supporti, ma tutti rispettavano la durata di un album. Prima che questa meravigliosa creatura sparisse nel...
  • Brandon
    Here is a band. They put out a great record. Here's why it was great. Then they became less great and broke up. Here is another band. They put out a great record. Here's why it was great. Then they became less great and broke up. Here is another band. They put out a great record. Here's why it was great. Then they became less great and broke up. Here is another band. They put out a great record. Here's why it was great. Then they became less grea...
  • David
    The standard narrative of the pop music history of the late 70’s and early 80’s has the bracing musical revolution of punk quickly degenerating into the more commercial and co-optable form of New Wave. Punk is the honest, authentic voice of political and aesthetic revolution, while New Wave is the watered down, corrupted, commercialized version of that impulse. Now there’s a grain of truth to this interpretation, but it misses a few things ...
  • Paul
    Warning: do not read this book unless you have ready access to Spotify or some other music subscription service that allows you to listen to entire albums without purchasing them, or else you will go bankrupt trying to catch up with the Fall, James Chance and the Contortions, the Associates and a hundred other bands with which you were vaguely familiar but suddenly find fascinating thanks to Simon Reynolds' writing. This is the best work of music...
  • Tracy Reilly
    So, this book probably was written for me. Those are my years, this is my music. I was a bit surprised at how differently this was written from the usual rock journalism stuff,usually full of that overly cute jargon, with the writer's personality in flamboyant display. Well in a monthly, vying for the short attention span of the audience, this is perhaps a necessary evil. Seminal!!!This book, however, is presented in a less frenzied, leisurely pa...
  • Drew
    This is what happened: I bought the US edition of this book back when it was released, read it, loved it. Six months or so later, I learned that the original UK edition had been cut all to hell for its US release. Something like 200 pages had been removed in order to pare the US edition down to its 400 page final length. I was shocked and appalled, but never knew quite how to get myself a copy of the UK edition, short of doing an international or...
  • Andrew
    A thorough and intellectual (sometimes a little too thorough and intellectual) overview of British and American post-punk art rock and pop. The first half of the book explains the lofty intellectual and musical ideals the drove bands such as Public Image Ltd., Pere Ubu, Joy Division, Gang of Four, and the Pop Group, while the more fractured second half explains how this post-punk movement spawned goth, neo-psychedelia, synth pop, 2-tone, the new ...
  • Stephen McQuiggan
    How punk came to reinvent itself, to conform and deform. Whenever the bands speak for themselves the book becomes interesting, but otherwise it's more jargon than prose. It is hard to describe music in words, but this gets pretentious very quickly; irritatingly so. The author dismisses the likes of Crass whilst praising others for having less innovation. Scritti Politti take up far too much room here, way beyond their actual worth. It is clear th...
  • Lily Rojo
    This is a great read, but definitely meant only for those with previous knowledge of or respect for this era of music history. Newcomers to this genre will most likely be put off by the sheer amount of obscure information that Reynolds includes, while post-punk nerds such as myself will revel in it. However, it should be noted that the US version is highly censored and cut by almost 200 pages, and does not include the original photos of the UK re...
  • Paul
    This is certainly the best single book so far on post-punk, but it is significantly impaired, firstly by Reynolds' refusal or inability to decide what he means by 'post-punk', and secondly, by his decision to try to include musical developments after punk in the US. He ought to have decided what 'post-punk' meant for him and stuck with it. Similarly, he ought to have limited the ambit of the book to the UK, Ireland & Germany, because his treatmen...
  • J.S.
    "I never bought old records during that period. Why would I have? There were so many new records to buy that there was simply no earthly reason to investigate the past." Simon ReynoldsSomewhere I heard that the music you're listening to when you're 14 years old is the music that you love the rest of your life. Well, I was 14 in the early eighties, and I'm still listening to that same music. While my friends were playing air guitar and air drums t...
  • Eric
    Okay, I was the kid who ate, drank and dreamed music. Music was always around from the Red Hot Chili Peppers in a small club, being the the midst of FEAR riot in downtown L.A., watching Grand Master Flash at the Palace, to catching Love and Rockets on their first tour in the U.S. Yeah, I was that guy who was suspended for sneaking out of class to go stand in the line to get tickets for The Who (with the Clash opening) and swore he would never was...
  • Ryan
    I bought this book as an ideal airplane book - potentially interesting, but not likely to be particularly taxing. And it was pretty much as a I expected. I'm not a post-punk disciple (born a little late), and know the music mostly from a "looking-back" perspective. Coming from this point of view, the beginnings of the book were pretty interesting, starting with PiL and moving forward. I've always wondered about the story of PiL, and it was well e...
  • Jesús
    Mastodóntico, enciclopédico, imprescindible. El libro de Reynolds pone orden en aquello que el punk dejó patas arriba y hace que nos preguntemos no ya qué es el post-punk, sino: ¿qué no es post-punk? Es música disco, es reggae, es dub; es negro, es blanco y es africano; es de Nueva York y es de Manchester; es autogestión, es independencia, es política y es baile; es ruido, furia y mierda, pero también es artístico, limpio y minimalista...
  • Bernard O'Leary
    It's such a challenge to document the musical landscape after punk, which really was a cultural Year Zero, especially in the British alternative scene. Reynolds takes the correct (imho) approach here of breaking it into two sections: the immediate aftermath, with bands like PiL, Joy Division, Devon and others experimenting with futurism; and the early eighties explosion of new forms like goth, industrial, two-tone and the all-conquering New Pop, ...
  • Khris Sellin
    It took me FOREVER to finish this book, only because I was having such a great time going back & forth between it and YouTube to listen to some of the old favorites from the postpunk era, and some I'd never even heard of before. Lots of interesting stories and great insights about how some of these bands came together and what was going on behind the scenes and their "philosophies" about music and art, etc. So much fun going down memory lane!
  • Amy
    I loved it...I feel like I know everything about post-punk now! This book hits pretty much every one of my all-time favorites: Talking Heads, Devo, Orange Juice, Gang of Four, Joy Division, the Raincoats, etc etc. I've enjoyed reading Simon Reynolds in the past, and this seems like his main passion, so it does not disappoint.
  • Tosh
    Simon Reynolds is a great critic/historian. The 80's! On the surface it seems to be dull time, but alas, not true! Great music works were produced in that era, everything from Adam Ant (Yes!) to Pere Ubu. Public Image, The Slits, Scritti Politti - and lots more are covered in this book. A fascinating read to a world that doesn't exist anymore. That's the nature of 'pop.'
  • Tom O'Grady
    This book is a must read, if you are like me, and always trying to figure out exactly how classic rock, punk, post punk, and new wave evolved. The beauty of it, is with the internet, you can listen to every single artist that Reynolds talks about in this massive journey. There are some gems in there that I immediately purchased on Itunes (How could I not have heard of The New Age Steppers or The Flying Lizards, or Young Marble Giants...)The detai...
  • Robin
    Classic history of post punk.
  • Ian Forsyth
    Quotes/Notes:There have been a thousand carefully reasoned theses validating punk's sociocultural import, but if anyone's really honest, the sheer monstrous evil of punk was a huge part of its appeal. In retrospect, as a distinct pop-cultural epoch, 1978-82 rivals that fabled stretch between 63-67 commonly known as the sixties. Nobody has attempted to capture post-punk as what it was, a counterculture that, while fragmented, shared a common belie...
  • Scott Holstad
    This was an exhausting book to read, in part, because the author was so exhaustive in his research and, thus, the book is a thorough overview of British, and to a lesser extent, American post-punk rock. It's also a strangely intellectual book, and at times, it felt like I was reading a modern history textbook.Early on, Reynolds discusses the demise of punk and the (odd) opinion that The Sex Pistols' "Never Mind the Bollocks" actually signaled the...
  • Bunnyhugger
    Update 2I've just finished reading my copy of the US edition which covers a lot of ground despite being 200 pages shorter than the original UK version. Simon Reynolds gives a detailed account of this time period and is enjoyably opinionated which made the text less dry than it could have been. Inevitably, I found some chapters more interesting than others, and felt that he gave some genres too much attention while overlooking others (although thi...
  • Adam
    Punk has gotten too many histories and This Band could be your Life gave a history of the American Post hardcore, but my favorite moment in the history has been relatively undocumented until Reynold’s brilliant book. The collision of some of my favorite literature (Kafka, Ballard, Burroughs, New Worlds Science fiction), and music (Krautrock, Roxy Music, Bowie, Captain Beefheart, dub reggae, Parliament/Funkadelic,) the energy and DIY aspects of ...
  • Phil
    I would have given this book five stars if it had a more cohesive sense of continuity, but with the sheer amount of ground Reynolds covers, I don't know if that would have been possible. Each individual chapter, typically covering a group of stylistically or otherwise related artists, usually in a particular city or region, reads more like a standalone article, though the chronological ordering of the chapters and the web of mutual influence amon...
  • Wes Freeman
    Book divided between the underground and mainstream bands of the post-punk era/ethos. Most of 'em are British. I once saw a Yardbirds' documentary where former 'birds guitarist Eric Clapton said, "I just don't think you can start a band on a drawing board." Here is 400 pages of bands that did; highly conceptual bands, all of which seem to have wandered in through the doors punk opened, none of which seem to sound like Eric Clapton. If punk was th...
  • Aaron
    It's no secret amongst my friends that I pretty much obsess over the post-punk era. This books seemed short at 500+ pages while containing more information and insight into the scene, how it came about, mutated and ended than seemed possible. Sure there's a million other stories to tell... There's a wealth of information that could be gotten from the artists mouth's themselves (as this book seemed light on direct contact). As the first book I am ...
  • Julie Mickens
    This is what was cool in that first decade that I was alive, but too young to know anything beyond my parents' country 8-tracks and what was on the car radio. As I gradually began to discover this music in high school and beyond -- anywhere from 5 to 15 years after it was actually made -- it seemed as if I had always known it, as if it were for me. Not in the same way that my contemporary music was known (Kurt, et al). Instead, as if it had enter...
  • Autumn
    This incredibly detailed, but very readable, history of the late 70s/early 80s British music scene is a revelation. Simon Reynolds covers all the important (and obscure) postpunk bands and creates a coherent narrative from it. Do you want to know about the leftist roots of Scritti Politti? Does it delight you to know that Echo and the Bunnymen were incredibly scornful of U2 because they were both trying to attract bereft Joy Division fans? Do you...