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Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past (Anglais) Broché – 19 juillet 2011

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Broché, 19 juillet 2011
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Revue de presse

Retromania is a terrific book. Reynolds brings profound knowledge and oceanic depth and width to his argument, tracing his theme from trad jazz through the 70s rock and roll boom to the hipsterism of today, via the hyper-connectedness and infinite jukebox of the web. Unlike many of the pop writers who inspired him as a youth, he deploys his high intelligence and vast range of reference lucidly, to argue and illuminate, not dazzle or alienate. --Steve Yates, Word magazine

Reynolds's mapping of today s pop environment is often witty; his account of the way in which so many artists position themselves as curators is spot-on, as is his description of internet users himself included gorging on illegal downloads. His prose, casually neologistic and making deft use of sci-fi tropes, is bracingly sharp. As a work of contemporary historiography, a thick description of the transformations in our relationship to time as well as to place Retromania deserves to be very widely read. --Sukhdev Sandhu, Observer

Looking back at the last 25 years you'd be hard pressed to name a music journalist more adept at tracking and defining a zeitgeist. --Dave Haslam, Guardian

In this immensely engaging new work, (Reynolds) looks at 'retromania' as it applices to music. He hits us with a wealth of statistics about reissue and reformation culture, which should be enough to give anyone an interest in progressive music a panic attack ... This is an essential read for anyone who realises that it is history, not piracy, that poses the greatest threat to the progress of popular music. -- John Doran, The Stool Pigeon

If anyone can make sense of pop music's steady mutation from what George Melly noted as its 'worship of the present', to its current status as a living heritage industry where past, present and what the author calls a nostalgia for a lost future co-exist, then you'd have to trust Reynolds. He's a top-table critic whose keen ear is matched by a sharp eye for cultural context. - **** Mark Paytress, Mojo

A meticulous and fascinating survey of the evolution of pop's infrastructure of mis-remembering, from trad-jazz to rave nostalgia via reggae reissue labels, northern soul and, surprisingly, Patti Smith's Horses. - --Ben Thompson, Independent on Sunday

A restless, omnivorous intellectual, Reynolds roams far and wide to investigate, formulate and test what is, essentially, a kind of vague hunch, bringing in critical theory, politics and history. Reynolds has a snappy turn of phrase, inventing terms such as franticity to describe the neurological pulse of the wired life and labelling the limitless internet archive the anarchive . -- Neil McCormick, Daily Telegraph

'In Retromania, Simon Reynolds, one of our most thoughtful music writers, poses a stark question for anyone who cares about the future of pop: has it become so obsessed with its own past that originality and invention are now beyond its reach?' -- Patrick Sawer, Sunday Telegraph

As 20th-century listening habits give way to those of the 21st, this book offers a timely response to a decisive moment in the development of pop music production and raises concerns that are not easily dismissed. Serious music fans and music-makers alike should read it not just for its striking presentation of pop's history and teleology, but for its informed and passionate challenge to a burgeoning zeitgeist. --Adam Harper, Oxonian Review --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

Présentation de l'éditeur

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 cultural-ecological 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? --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

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Par veloso 2 MEMBRE DU CLUB DES TESTEURS le 18 janvier 2012
Format: Broché
auteur déjà d'un livre magnifique sur la génération post-punk, simon reynolds récidive avec ce fantastique ouvrage qui s'intéresse à une forme du déclin dela culture actuelle au détriment du passé. le passé vampyrise tout et focalisa toute l'attention ce qui rend d'autant plus difficile la création pour les groupes actuels.
le passage le plus intéressant, je dirais même passionnant concerne les effets sur la musique créés par la digitalisation des données. des chapitres sont particulièrement remarquables sur cette génération devenue accro au stockage de musique non écoutée.un grand livre à dévorer et qui pose une multitude d'interrogations et de questions.
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Amazon.com: 3.3 étoiles sur 5 19 commentaires
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Dense, exhaustive, but fascinating music history reader 1 mai 2012
Par forcor - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I bought this book because I share the author's fascination about how so much of today's pop culture recycles, remixes, or simply worships the pop culture of the not so distant past. I was a bit surprised, however, to learn that this book is 95% about pop/rock music. You will find a little about fashion, a little about art, but next to nothing about film, TV, or literature. If the word "Culture" were replaced by the word "Music" in the title, it would be a bit more accurate.

That said, Simon Reynolds is a walking encyclopedia of rock, and he name-drops seemingly thousands of recording artists and movements, at least half of which are profoundly obscure. Though my knowledge is far more limited than his, I didn't find Reynolds' tone to be snobbish or exclusive. He clearly wants to share his passion for music history and has taken care to write something that anybody with a healthy interest in pop/rock over the last 60 years will be able to follow.

A warning, though: the book covers a LOT of ground. It's not a brisk or easy read - you may find yourself, like me, going through a couple of pages, then heading straight to YouTube in order to listen to the music of the many esoteric artists that are referenced. But hey, that expands your horizons, which is a good thing.
25 internautes sur 27 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Thought-provoking look at retro by English pop music critic 15 septembre 2011
Par jt52 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
"Retromania" is a long, extensive thought-piece on the rise to dominance of "retro" culture by the expat British pop critic Simon Reynolds (b. 1963). While Reynolds looks at the influence of retro in many areas of culture, from fashion to cinema to television, the real focus is on pop music. As we are living through a (permanent?) high tide of retro, it is impossible to fully understand as it seems to swamp every aspect of our cultural lives, so it's hardly surprising that Reynolds seems at times puzzled by the phenomenon. But he approaches the topic with intelligence, honesty, an almost bizarrely extensive knowledge of pop music history, and also a flair for writing. I found the book to be fascinating and I am sure I will be reflecting on the ideas Reynolds presents in the future. Finally, I found Reynolds to be a pleasant critic with whom to explore this topic - he isn't grating in the way so many critics can be, which is no mean feat.

I have a couple of comments and criticisms but let me start by summarizing the various parts of this sprawling and idea-filled book:

Reynolds lays out the initial approach to "retro" in his introduction, wittily titled "The `Re' Decade." What is retro? Reynolds later on presents a parsing of the word when covering 1960s fashion. Writers on fashion differentiate between "historicism", which is inspired by styles from a fairly remote time period (say, the Edwardian period), and "retro", the self-conscious remaking of art initially made within living memory (e.g. writing a song that sounds just like Alice in Chains' 90s output). Reynolds rightly comments that the two categories flow into each other and points out how the 2000s (which he calls the "noughties") involved the recycling of every style. He senses that this re-cycling has overwhelmed the forward- or inward-looking creative impulse and wonders why this urge to recycle has become so strong and whether it portends a poverty of artistic creativity: "Is nostalgia stopping our culture's ability to surge forward or are we nostalgic precisely because our culture has stopped moving forward?" Then he quotes the eclectic songwriter Sufjan Stevens: "Rock and roll is a museum piece." Reynolds returns to a general reflection of the issue in his concluding chapter "The Shock of the Old", where he meditates on why he is so uncomfortable with the retro phenomenon. But note that this book is an examination and not polemical commentary.

In between, he covers many topics: the resurgence of reunion tours and retrospective recording issuances in the 2000s, the influence of digital copying on the creation of a shallow grazing culture among listeners and viewers (I could write an entire review about this interesting chapter), record collecting in the age of cheap digital copies, the rise of "curators" specializing in all byways of pop music and other art forms, and the fact that this retro consciousness actually manifested itself in Japan in the 1980s, before its full rise to prominence in Europe and the Americas. There's a very interesting chapter on fashion in the 1960s, on the 1950s revival (which never ends), use of music samples and the reaction to retro-mania, involving a desire for greater orientation towards the future.

In examining the subject, Reynolds deploys not only his extensive knowledge of pop music (and I mean extensive - this book gave me a full picture of all this music I will never hear - which is actually one of the themes in the section on technology and record collecting) but also insights by well-known writers such as Jean Baudrillard, Walter Benjamin, of course, and also applies Harold Bloom's "anxiety of influence" idea.

Reynolds is a snappy, stylish writer. For example: "Metastasis, the word for the spread of disease through the body, inadvertently pinpoints the malaise of postmodern pop: there is a profound connection between meta-ness (referentiality, copies of copies) and stasis (the sensation that pop history has come to a halt)." Nice phrase turning there.

I'm just scratching the surface of a rich book, one that has been written out of passionate interest. I have a couple of comments that I will briefly add before recommending that you order this book and read it. First, I wish Reynolds had paid more attention to demographics. We live in a weird culture where adolescent musical tastes are retained seemingly in perpetuity into old age. The fact that the developed world is in the midst of a major transition as the swollen post-war generation ages and assumes a majority status is logically going to have a big effect on cultural trends, given this retention of tastes. Reynolds is seemingly oblivious to this, based on his extensive references to punk and post-punk music. Punk to me is a minor footnote to music history (I give the bands credit for humor and not taking themselves seriously), but the point is that Reynolds grew up with this music and refers back to it constantly, seemingly out of all proportion to its interest. This constant thinking about punk is natural, given the retention of tastes and Reynolds' demographic. But a twenty-something referencing punk today is going to mean something quite a bit different from when Reynolds does. So one of the interesting things about current retro culture is how influential it is on young people, who re-create the 60s or 70s without having lived through them. I wish Reynolds had been more focussed on this distinction. Also, note how Japan - the harbinger of our demographic shift - indulged in retromania in the 1980s (oh oh). Secondly, I wish Reynolds had spent some time thinking and listening to an echo of the retro phenomenon in the classical musical world, the emergence of neoclassicism (a word which only briefly appears in the book) in the early 20th century (e.g. Igor Stravinsky work in the 1920-30s). I think a look farther back in history would have provided a bit of context. Third, Reynolds puzzlingly doesn't devote enough time to rap and hip-hop, which exhibit many retro traits and are an important part of our current ahistoricity and retromania. But these quibbles didn't interfere with my appreciating Reynolds' thoughtfulness and ability to integrate materials and thoughts.

"Retromania" is a fascinating book which I think you will like.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 starts well - the early part is the best. 14 novembre 2014
Par J - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I started this thinking it was something I'd been waiting for, analysis of impact of current technology on the nature and experience of culture. It's there but incomplete and soon bogged down in an ocean of necessarily haphazard detail that exemplifies the predicament it had started by trying to describe and analyse. First part 5 stars, bulk 2, average 3, average.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Fascinating and insightful. Kindle version has formatting issues 12 janvier 2012
Par G. Cox - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Simon Reynolds creates a glorious mess here, providing a thought-provoking and sometimes maddening look at contemporary culture's obsession with the... not-contemporary. Highly recommended. One note, however, is that the Kindle version has formatting issues. It does not account for the sidebar texts in the layout, which results in having to read the main and secondary texts in alternating paragraphs.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Five Stars 26 janvier 2016
Par ELI S KINTISCH - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
fantastic analysis.
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