Wednesday, August 15, 2007

hype on Blissed Out by Simon Reynolds

"The best book on rock ever"--Caitlan Moran, The Times (London)

"The best pop books (Paul Morley's ASK, Simon Reynolds' BLISSED OUT, Lester Bangs' PSYCHOTIC REACTIONS, Greil Marcus's LIPSTICK TRACES) should be bibles of a sort, pointers, perceptual aids to be thanked with close and repeated reading and loved in themselves for their maverick, mercurial intelligence."-- Melody Maker

"One of the best rock crit books of the last ten years" -- i-D

"The most intelligent pop writing of our time.... Reynolds avoids the pitfalls of dry academia, relying instead on an offbeat humor and knockabout intelligence that is closer to Greil Marcus than to Simon Frith. Reynolds builds bridges between abandonment and analysis, and in so doing burns them." -- City Limits

"In fine, Reynolds is the upstart this old fart has been waiting for... someone to renew my faith in human progress by proving that not everyone who swears by the Cocteau Twins and My Bloody Valentine is a faddist or a fool." -- Robert Christgau, Village Voice

"Has virtues (purpose, passion and seriousness) which most writers never touch."-- The Face

"The author.... is by far and away the best rock critic writing today.... Blissed Out is a revolutionary, feminized and educated updating of Lester Bangs' fevered rock ravings." -- Detroit Metro Times

"His style is a remarkable mix of registers: poetic, polemical, and above all sensual....Blissed Out is an exemplary blend of critical theory and 'body narrative', and stands as a text that should be required reading for any analyst of contemporary pop."-- Institute of Popular Music Newsletter
information about Blissed Out

Blissed Out: The Raptures of Rock
by Simon Reynolds
published by Serpent's Tail, London, 1990

BLISSED OUT is a celebration of the "underground" music of the late '80s and early '90s. From hardcore noise to hip hop, acid rock to acid house, these cults contradict the widely-held view that "rock is dead" and that there is nothing left to do but play pick'n'mix with thirty years of pop history.

Artists and topics covered:

Miserabilism: Morrissey, Throwing Muses

Regressive Rock: C86, Luddite indie pop etc

Indecency: Good Songwriters Versus The Beastie Boys


Noise Rock: Big Black, Swans, Age of Chance etc

Wasted Youth: Butthole Surfers, Dinosaur Jr, etc

Nick Cave

The Death of Soul

Smooth Operators: Entryist pop (Hue and Cry etc)

Schemers Versus Dreamers: post-McLaren masterplan pop (Transvision Vamp etc)

Situationism and Pop: Sigue Sique Sputnik, Vermorels, World Domination Enterprises

Daydream Nationalists: Sonic Youth, Pussy Galore, My Bloody Valentine

Oceanic Rock: A.R.Kane, Cocteau Twins, Hugo Largo,

Heaven's End: Loop, The Young Gods, Ultra Vivid Scene, Pixies

Hip Hop's Minimal Self: LL Cool J, Schoolly D, Public Enemy

Euro Body Music: Front 242

Millenarian Metal: Metallica

Sampling: Hip hop, The Young Gods

House Music/Acid House/Where Now Lasts Longer: Jack The Tab (Genesis P. Orridge & Richard Norris)


Blissed Out: The Raptures of Rock is available once again 21 years after its original publication. It's one of the debut batch of reissues launching Backpages Classics, which is the e-book imprint of Rock's Back Pages.

Blissed Out returns in substantially expanded form with five bonus essays that track the development of underground music and artists such as Morrissey and My Bloody Valentine in the years following the book’s 1990 release. There's also an in-depth Afterword contextualising the rants 'n' raves therein as the byproduct of a unique historical phenomenon: the “space of possibility” known as the UK weekly music press.

On sale here and here

more information about Blissed Out here and here