The Sound and the Fury: A Rock's Backpages Reader 40 Years of Classic Rock Journalism

Barney Hoskyns, Editor Bloomsbury Publishing PLC $16.95 (432p) ISBN 978-1-58234-282-5
In 2001, longtime rock'n'roll aficionado and writer Hoskyns, dismayed at what he perceived as the overly tame""service industry"" of popular-music writing, founded Rock's Backpages (at, an online archive of articles by his favorite rock journalists, which he collects here in this lively anthology. From the site's thousands of profiles, essays and reviews, he has assembled a wide-ranging pool of work by the writers""who got me closest to what rock'n'roll was really about: the irresistible combo of sound and spectacle; of music, performance, image, attitude and ritual."" Grouped thematically, the 30 pieces consider a variety of musical genres and employ an assortment of writing styles; they range from Al Aronowitz's account of the Beatles' arrival in America and Jon Savage's encounter with Nirvana to Will Self's face-off with Morrissey and John Mendelssohn's exploration of L.A. gangtsa rap. Each article sports an illuminating introduction by its author, in which he (the contributors are mostly British and mostly male) recalls the story behind the story, offering a few retrospective insights into the heart and soul of the business. The anthology is especially likely to appeal to aspiring rock journalists and music fans who, like Hoskyns, miss the days when music writing was raw, irreverent and vital.
Reviewed on: 08/01/2003
Release date: 08/01/2003
Genre: Nonfiction
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-2622-6
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-0-7475-6313-6
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