The Rock Canon: Canonical Values in the Reception of Rock Albums
Carys Wyn Jones explores the symptomatic reflections of canonical values, terms and mechanisms from the canons of literature and classical music in the reception of rock music.Jones examines the concept of the canon as theorized by scholars in the fields of literary criticism and musicology, before moving on to search for these canonical ideas and ideals in rock music, as represented by ten albums: Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited, The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, The Beatles' Revolver, The Velvet Underground's The Velvet Underground and Nico, Van Morrison's Astral Weeks, Marvin Gaye's What's Going On, The Rolling Stones' Exile on Main St., Patti Smith's Horses, The Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks: Here's the Sex Pistols, and Nirvana's Nevermind. Jones concludes that in the popular reception of rock music we are not only trying to organize the past, but also mediate the present, and any canon of rock music must now negotiate a far more pluralized culture, and possibly accept a greater degree of change than has been evident in the canons of literature and classical music in the last two centuries.
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