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

  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • Lily
    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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Libby Greene
    greatly enjoyed. i don’t read much music criticism or history, but i found the context and editorial input that simon reynolds employed here quite engaging— i learned a lot! my favorite way of reading this book was with my phone open to youtube, pulling up singles as he mentioned them and having an interactive soundtrack of the scenes/epochs as reynolds discussed them. definitely wiled away several very pleasurable and edifying mornings in th...
  • 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...
  • Jeni
    This book reads like an MA thesis. It reminds me of every boring man, boring on about music I am too young (or too female) to listen to. I got lost in a bit of the guitar/sound wankery but it was pretty cool to read about the shows. Part fanboy, part mansplainer (sorry not sorry) but it made me feel as if I should give up listening to music as nothing can be so good as the halcyon days of the post punk genre. Also, I was massively irked to find a...
  • 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!
  • 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.'
  • 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.
  • Kiri
    Augh, I left this on an airplane and didn't get to finish it! But the part I managed to read was amazing, the sort of intellectual analysis of post-punk music that I never knew I wanted. Must obtain and finish reading at some point in the future!
  • J.T. Wilson
    Great; too long and suffers from repetitive formula and "and this band on the other hand were like this" structure, but well-informed, well-researched and written by an obviously passionate author.
  • shannon
    two chapters on scritti fucking politti vs. a measly four pages on mission of burma? seriously?
  • Greg Orme
    This went a lot more in-depth than I was expecting, but in the best way.
  • Agata
    Disclaimer: this is just a messy rant, don't take it seriously.Not gonna lie, I (being a post-punk fan since 2010/11) was very excited to read this one. I was hoping I would love it. Boy, was I wrong.The book feels like two different books taped together - one pretty good, the other quite bad. The first half is dedicated to post-punk since its emergence until 1979/1980. Reynolds gives a pretty good overview of post-punk bands and scenes of the er...
  • Baal Of
    One of the best books about music I've read. Exhaustively researched, the huge amount of material is organized and presented with a structural narrative that helps expose the links between the amazingly disparate bands that were spawned during this time period, in the aftermath of punk. The one chapter I didn't like as much was chapter 20 about mutant disco and punk-funk, which was a series of extended quotes form various band members and produce...
  • Jake
    I really enjoyed the perspective of the author for his detailing of the UK postpunk scenes of which he had a bird’s eye view. I do feel, however, that aside from his chapter on New York’s No Wave scene, Simon Reynolds was either uninterested or uninformed about what was happening in America throughout this time period. An entire chapter about Wire ends with two paragraphs about Mission of Burma. I get that he had to mention American bands for...
  • Hamish
    Very entertaining and thoughtful. Did a wonderful job of giving a greater sense of social and historical context for many records I've loved, as well as many I will be looking into. I think Reynolds falls a bit into the trap of viewing his youth (i.e. the time when he was most receptive to and excited about new things) as a kind of cultural golden age, and I found him to be a bit overly dismissive of what came before (e.g. punk) and what came aft...
  • 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.
  • Andy Mascola
    Documents the years following the implosion of the Sex Pistols in both the US & UK. Reynolds does an excellent job weaving a connecting timeline via key bands in genres that grew from punk’s ashes. Loved it!