Rock, Counterculture and the Avant-Garde, 1966–1970: How the Beatles, Frank Zappa and the Velvet Underground Defined an Era

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McFarland, Feb 17, 2016 - Music - 232 pages
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The convergence of rock music, counterculture politics and avant-garde aesthetics in the late 1960s underscored the careers of the Beatles, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, and the Velvet Underground. This book examines these artists’ relationships to the historical avant-garde (Artaud, Brecht, Dada) and neo–avant-garde (Warhol, Pop Art, minimalism), considering their work in light of debates about modernism versus postmodernism. The author analyzes the performers’ use of dissonance and noise within popular music, the role of social commentary and controversial topics in songs, and the experiments with concert and studio performance. Albums discussed include Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The White Album, Freak Out!, We’re Only in It for the Money, The Velvet Underground and Nico and White Light/White Heat, as well as John Lennon’s collaborations with Yoko Ono, the Zappa-produced Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, and Nico’s The Marble Index.
 

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Contents

Preface
1
Pop Goes the AvantGarde
4
All You Need Is Studio Time or the Ballad of John and Yoko The Beatles
17
No Commercial Potential Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention
77
All Tomorrows Parties The Velvet Underground
141
The AvantGarde Goes Pop
178
Discography
187
Chapter Notes
191
Bibliography
212
Index
217
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About the author (2016)

Independent scholar Doyle Greene is the author of several books and serves on the editorial board of Film Criticism. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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