This Is Uncool: The 500 Greatest Singles Since Punk and Disco
In 1977, the Sex Pistols burst on the scene with “Anarchy in the UK” and transformed pop music forever. Along with that song, every one of these singles helped reshape the culture’s style, language, and performance. This is the story of how music and the world change, how bands reach a peak and dominate the scene briefly before fading away, and about the undeniable power of certain songs (Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” for example). Here are punk and grunge, disco and rock, funk and electronica, rap and hip-hop. Every incisive, illuminating, and outspoken
essay defies the accepted view of music journalism. From Elvis Costello’s “Alison” and The Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” to Bjork’s “Hyperballad” and Missy Elliot’s “The Rain”, it’s a truly provocative read.
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I think this is my favorite book ever about music. The author is totally honest about his own relationship to the records, and doesn't pretend to be an "objective" voice. Probably for precisely this reason, his writing is totally authoritative. As I was reading the book, I kept pulling it out of my bag to read the best chunks to my girlfriend and other friends. Basically, Mulholland is a hilarious, heartfelt, and appreciative critic and fan. His taste is wide-ranging, and he helps to explain the appeal of several genres I had never even scratched the surface of before reading him. Honestly, reading this book feels like having taken a terrific college course on modern music from a great professor. Highly recommended.
Review: This is Uncool: The 500 Greatest Singles Since Punk and DiscoUser Review - Mark - Goodreads
I love how he manages to frequently ignore his own better judgement. Read full review