Babylon's Burning: From Punk to Grunge

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Canongate, 2007 - Music - 694 pages
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Destined to become a classic on the subject alongside Legs McNeil’s Please Kill Me, Babylon’s Burning is a groundbreaking, definitive account of punk rock, one of the most influential and lasting music movements in history—a movement that ironically was built on self-annihilation. Acclaimed critic Clinton Heylin seamlessly weaves together the lives of disparate artists who had in common not the music (there was no distribution) but the pictures, words, and fashions depicted in magazines like Creem and NME. It was a sound that eschewed conventional lyrics, promoted a gutteral musicality but yet contained a keen pop sensibility. Whether exploring the work of early progenitors like Suicide, The New York Dolls, and Patti Smith or charting the progress of the bands who legitimately took up the mantle in the eighties and nineties, Clinton Heylin brings to life the strands of a global artform. From the Sex Pistols’s clarion call of a record, “Never Mind the Bollocks,” to Kurt Cobain’s songs of an alienated youth, Babylon’s Burning is the brilliant, exhaustively researched story that once and for all defines what Punk is and is not.

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Babylon's Burning: From Punk to Grunge

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Heylin goes for the gusto in this expansion of his seminal New York punk roundup,From the Velvets to the Voidoids . Beginning with the death throes of the Stooges (and the myriad young rogues rising ... Read full review


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