The End-Of-The-Century Party: Youth and Pop Towards 2000

Steve Redhead, Author Manchester University Press $0 (124p) ISBN 978-0-7190-2826-7
This theoretical assessment of pop music culture attempts to place the current youth scene within the greater sociopolitical context, based on a critical reading of its music and music-influenced ritual. Harking back to the 1960s, where he finds the roots of pop subculture, Redhead, a British academic, traces the spirit of rebellion and revolt contained in pop music up to the present time, when music has become ``post-political,'' more self-aware, more sophisticated in its criticism of society. On the way, Redhead analyzes punk music, at its height in the late '70s, and compares its pessimistic aesthetic to the more optimistic, globally affirming philosophy behind reggae, house and hip-hop music, which developed throughout the '80s. The primary difference between these various styles, the author claims, lies in the attitudes of the youths who embrace them: whereas, in the past, groups like the Teddies (late '50s and early '60s) or the hardcores ('70s and early '80s) expressed a destructive, anarchic intention, the contemporary youth subculture is marked by a commitment to transforming society. While patches are engaging, overall the writing in this dense book is belabored and monotonous. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Hardcover - 124 pages - 978-0-7190-2827-4
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