Twilight of the Gods by Steven Hyden

Twilight of the Gods

A New York Times Book Review "New and Noteworthy" selectionOne of Newsweek's 50 Best Books of 2018“A wise meditation on why classic rock stars keep trucking, both on the road and in our dreams. Every page is an irresistible argument starter.”—Rob Sheffield, Rolling StoneThe author of the critically acclaimed Your Favorite Band is Killing Me offers an eye-opening exploration of the state of classic rock, its past and future, the impact it h...

Details Twilight of the Gods

TitleTwilight of the Gods
Release DateMay 8th, 2018
PublisherDey Street Books
GenreMusic, Nonfiction, History, Culture, Pop Culture, Autobiography, Memoir

Reviews Twilight of the Gods

  • Julie
    Twilight of the Gods by Steven Hyden is a 2018 Dey Street Books publication. Sex, Drugs, and Rock -n- Roll …This is yet another of a spate of recently released books, lamenting the death of rock music, seeming to finally admit and accept, that the rock icons still living are the last of a dying breed- no pun intended. In the past couple of years, we have lost some heavy hitters, which has left us to face the sobering reality that once those hug...
  • Dave
    Twilight of the Gods is an awesome read from cover to cover. Definitely enjoyed pretty much every page and will read it again down the road. This book is an ode to the art for, known as classic rock and a must read for anyone who grew up before the advent of Napster and Spotify changed the music world. Hyden draws the period from Sgt. Pepper to now as the classic rock period and sees that era changing because people now make playlists and don't b...
  • Gus Sanchez
    The main takeaway from Steven Hyden’s fantastic and much-deserved meditation of classic rock is that the mythology of what constitutes classic rock is greater than its sad and sordid truth. As our heroes have either departed this mortal coil (Bowie, Prince, Tom Petty, Leonard Cohen, etc.) or are contemplating retirement, we now find ourselves reckoning with what classic rock truly means. Hyden presents several illuminating (and hilarious) argum...
  • Donkey21
    Read this very quickly and liked it a lot. Hyden tackles all the classic rock mythology of performers like Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Springsteen and Tom Petty. The tone is not mournful, more wistful. Hyden is a very fluid writer and he writes bothe entertainingly and with insight.
  • Stefan Fergus
    3.5*A lot of great stuff, that I really connected with, but also a fair amount that I didn't - mainly, because of the bands covered. When it was a band I was familiar with, I was all-in; when I wasn't familiar with the band, or not a fan of their work, then my attention drifted. Also, the first few chapters could get a bit bogged down with setting things up for the later chapters.If you're a fan of music, I'm sure you'll find a lot to like, but s...
  • John Spiller
    To put "Twilight of the Gods" in a perspective that Steven Hyden would appreciate: it is the "Goat's Head Soup" of rock books. Let me explain.If you have an interest in "Twilight of the Gods," you are undoubtedly familiar with the Rolling Stones' "Goats Head Soup". "Goats Head Soup" is many things -- underrated and overrated -- precisely because it contains both great songs and terrible songs. (This is the band that created "Exile on Main Street"...
  • Ace Boggess
    What Chuck Klosterman does for hair metal in Fargo Rock City, Twilight of the Gods does for classic rock. Hyden's book, like Klosterman's, is part journalistic take on a musical genre and part memoir exploring the author's experiences with and nostalgia for that music. The book is filled with insights, but also marvelously laced with humor. I was as surprised by how many times I thought, "Wow, I didn't know that," as I was by how many times I fou...
  • Julien L
    I have so many thoughts about this book, that I doubt I'll be able to get them all out in a cohesive manner, but needless to say I enjoyed it. The exploration of classic rock through its history, sociology, and mythology from the perspective of both fan and critic is extraordinarily well done in this book. It details thoughts I've thought before while looking at things from angles I hadn't considered. There are times where the book goes off into ...
  • Ross
    Just wonderful. From growing up with classic rock as back ground music to running errands with my mom in our station wagon to all the years hence, this music is a part of me. I loved this book from start to finish.
  • Patrick Macke
    I was never really sure where the author was going with this book. At times the book feels like a compact history of Classic Rock, but it isn't that. What it is is a road trip through the Classic Rock landscape with stops at about fifty of Classic Rock's roadside shrines (some more meaningful than others). The dude in the driver's seat took me down a bunch of streets and back alleys I didn't want to travel down. On the radio, he wanted to skip so...
  • Jack Wolfe
    Hey hey, my my... Rock and roll will probably dieIt doesn't matter if you burn out or fade awayBecause we all die, oh yeahNeil Young once said something like that?Steven Hyden isn't the first person to notice the curious fascination classic rock has with time and death. But what makes "Twilight of the Gods" special is that, as a member of Generation X, Hyden came to Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Springsteen, Bob Seger, et al as someone "out of time,"...
  • Zachary Houle
    I’ve gotten a little behind the eight-ball in my reviewing, so my apologies to everyone (the author of this book being reviewed included) for being late on this five-star book. Twilight of the Gods is essentially an essential survey of classic rock and poses the question, is classic rock a dead genre? It may seem to be so in that its icons have either died or are on the verge of launching their farewell tours, even though new acts (Alabama Shak...
  • Paul Olkowski
    From the very moment I received Twilight of The Gods in the mail, I was hooked. I looked at this book as a look back at the music of my youth. Although Steven Hyden and I liked different bands and artist of CLASSIC ROCK, we both still love the genre. I was more into southern rock and California country rock. I did love Bob Seeger and The Silver Bullet Band, while Mr. Hyden loved the Who and Bowie. No two people confessing the love of classic rock...
  • Jake
    You kids don’t know Grand Funk? The wild shirtless lyrics of Mark Farner? The bong-rattling bass of Mel Schacher? The competent drumwork of Don Brewer?Steve Hyden examines what classic rock means in 2018, now that the music world is completely different, the culture is pretty different, and the rock stars of yesteryear are dropping like flies. I probably wouldn't read this book if it had been written by someone who had lived through the classic...
  • Tim Niland
    Hyden presents an entertaining look at his journey through the mythology and reality of classic rock, beginning as a teenager listening to the radio and collecting tapes. He winkingly likens it to the heroes journey, beginning with his adolescence and yearning to understand the music he loves, but he is not blind by the limits and foibles of the genre. While people bemoan the loss of the stature of rock music in the modern day pop structure, the ...
  • William Fluke
    Not so qualified snippets/ ramblings on classic rock; I had so many issues with this book, I had to finish it to get to my review of the book. Here is what makes it NOT worth a read:- no common thread running through the book to connect the various snippets and back-stories about classic rock- some interesting, but most you already have heard/read- the author- while noted as published and a critic and by those standards could be qualified to writ...
  • Cat
    Spot on book! I'm from the era this book writes about and enjoyed the read. Some parts gave me a very hearty laugh (Hyden REALLY loathes the Eagles!) And, of course, off stage antics were a good reminisce! In light of all the accusations of sexual misconduct in the news of late, I wonder how many groupies will now want to cash in?!? A bunch of us are waiting to see the fall out of bad behavior 40-50 years after the fact... I am amused by our "god...
  • El_kiablo
    I was slightly disappointed in this book - but only because the bar was set so high by his previous book Your Favorite Band is Killing Me, which just had a tighter premise. That book's "[x] band vs [y] band" structure allowed Hyden to explore dichotomies in a way that was open ended and yet not meandering; each pairing he discussed was picked because they expressed opposing poles of some larger cultural divide, so his specific mixture of music cr...
  • Silas
    When I saw this book was coming out, I knew I wanted to read it when it came out. I got it when I saw it was, in audio format, and checked it out. At first, it seemed good. It talked about a lot of bands that I enjoy, but eventually, it became clear this was more of an autobiography or a memoir than an actual look at the fact that classic rock bands are getting older, members are dying, and the many ways that this will affect the music industry, ...
  • Ryan Splenda
    I may be a music novice in the grand scheme of things, but I feel like this book may be talked about for decades to come. Rock critic, Steven Hyden, takes us on a deeply personal journey through the rise and (apparent) fall of classic rock. Part history, part memoir, and part analysis, Hyden is able to creatively and passionately argue his points on why classic rock is (and more so becoming "was") such a powerful cultural force and a way of life ...
  • Jonah Breeden
    As someone who listens to “classic rock” every single day for multiple hours a day, this book inspired me to listen even more. There are so many things the author has found and dug up by doing his research that it’s hard not to be enthralled by some “mundane” fact about a band you wouldn’t even normally care about. It helps that our music tastes lineup pretty much spot on, but I can feel the intensity and the passion when the author w...
  • David V
    4.5 stars, rounding up to 5. If you grew up in a certain era, as I did, and are very familiar with all the bands in this book, you will find Steven Hyden meditations and critique of classic rock both interesting and entertaining. It made me look at some of these groups in a different light (both positive and negative) and also reinforce my belief that there's still plenty of great music being made. Any book that names Courtney Barnett as the best...
  • Evan Kirby
    I both like and hate that there's really no throughline to the book and that it's just rambled and thrown together ruminations on why s0-and-so band sucks or some tertiary thing around classic rock like defining the actual term, concerts and even how Aleister Crowley plays in. I don't necessarily think there needed to be any major point to this thing or anything, it just sometimes felt a bit unwieldy how each chapter just kept meandering into som...
  • Dan Eisenberg
    I quite enjoy Steven Hyden's writing. It's extremely current and is always partly autobiographical, but when you're examining a topic as broad as classic rock, you need to filter it through your own perspective. Hyden does this magnificently. This is by no means comprehensive (Hyden's acknowledgements at the end of the book even rattle off a list of bands and artists he wishes he'd covered more in depth), but it's a fun read, and that's what you'...
  • Michael
    I wish I could do 1/2 stars, because I'd give this 3 1/2 stars. Steven Hyden is a terrific writer and a solid critic. His first book, Your Band Is Killing Me, used the concept of rivalries in music to make observations outside of the realm of music. It was somewhat akin to Chuck Klosterman. On this book, Hyden takes on classic rock in a manner that looks less outward, as the subject means so much to him. It certainly makes me understand where he ...
  • Justin
    I'll admit it right up front: I'm the demographic for this book. I have been a fan of Hyden's writing since I first encountered it on The A.V. Club and I listen to his current podcast, Celebration Rock. This is his second book and in it he grapples with his relationship with classic rock, examining its strengths and flaws. It helps that he's really funny throughout the book; for example, he refers to David Bowie in the his Thin White Duke phase a...
  • Jenn
    I won a copy of this book.What do you do when all of your favorite rock stars are aging and dying? Steven Hyden talks to those aging rockers and their fans in the twilight of their lives. I am a Gen-Xer and I was able to relate to Hyden as he was watching many of his favorite bands (many created before either of us was born, but we both found in our early teens) are retiring or dying. Personally, I'd prefer to remember these bands as they were - ...
  • Rob S.
    Despite being a few years older than me, Hyden's experiences of being a neophyte classic-rock fan in a small town in the Midwest in the early 1990's hit so close to home that I'm beginning to believe he just might be my brother from another mother. If there's any justice in the world, this book will mean as much to today's young awkward rock fans as the 1987 Rolling Stone "100 Best Albums of the Last 20 Years" list meant to us. (I should note tha...
  • Bryan Winchell
    I really enjoyed this book. The author’s experience growing up after the big classic rock bands of the 1970s had mostly faded but still hearing them and about them on classic rock radio mirrors my own in many ways.The book is very well-written with chapters devoted to various big names like Dylan and Springsteen and then, in my favorite chapter, one devoted to the band Phish and how he overcame his ignorant dismissal of them and now considers t...
  • Dustin
    TWILIGHT OF THE GODS is a great primer for a wealth of rock mythology if you never took the time to learn it all over the years. Hyden is clear-eyed about all of the issues inherent in that mythology, but ultimately makes the argument for rock music's progress. Although it may never be the cultural behemoth it once was, he is optimistic about rock 'n' roll's future and its standing in society. I particularly enjoyed the imagery of a time decades ...