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Totally Wired: Postpunk Interviews and Overviews

Totally Wired: Postpunk Interviews and Overviews [Kindle Edition]

Simon Reynolds
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From the author of the bestselling postpunk history Rip It Up and Start Again comes Totally Wired, a companion book of conversations with the brilliant minds who made the late seventies and early eighties such a creative era for radical music and alternative culture.

Totally Wired features thirty-two interviews with postpunk's most innovative musicians and colourful personalities - Ari Up, Jah Wobble, David Byrne, Green Gartside, Lydia Lunch, Edwyn Collins - as well as other movers and shakers of the period: label bosses and managers like Anthony H. Wilson and Bill Drummond, record producers such as Trevor Horn and Martin Rushent, and influential DJs and journalists like John Peel and Paul Morley.

Crackling with argument and anecdote, the conversations in Totally Wired bring a rich human dimension to the postpunk story chronicled in the critically acclaimed Rip It Up. We get to follow these exceptional (and often eccentric) characters from their earliest days through the glory and sometimes disaster of their musical adventures to what they went on to do after postpunk. We gain a vivid sense of individuals struggling against the odds to make their world as interesting as possible, in the process leaving a legacy of artistic ambition and provocation that reverberates to this day.

Along with the interviews, Totally Wired also includes a bonus 'overviews' section: further reflections by Simon Reynolds on postpunk's key icons and crucial scenes, including John Lydon and Public Image Ltd, Ian Curtis and Joy Division, art school conceptualists and proto-postpunkers Brian Eno and Malcolm McLaren, and the lineage of glam grotesquerie running from Siouxsie & The Banshees to the New Romantics to Leigh Bowery.

Buzzing with ideas and insights, Totally Wired is an absolute mind rush.


"Totally Wired" features 32 interviews with the era's most innovative musicians and colourful personalities. From Ari Up, Jah Wobble, David Byrne, Green Gartside, Edwyn Collins, it also includes conversations with the most influential of label bosses, managers, record producers, deejays and journalists - such as John Peel and Paul Morley. Crackling with argument and anecdote, these conversations bring a rich human dimension to the post-punk story and its exceptional characters, from their earliest days to their glorious and sometimes disastrous musical adventures. Along with interviews, we get 'overviews': further reflections by Simon Reynolds on post-punk's key icons and crucial scenes, including John Lydon and Public Image Ltd, Ian Curtis and Joy Division, and the lineage of glam grotesquerie running from Siouxsie & The Banshees to the New Romantics to Leigh Bowery.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 893 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 464 Seiten
  • Verlag: Faber & Faber (2. April 2009)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #328.788 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Authentische Einblicke in die Zeit des Post Punk 27. März 2013
Von Rille65
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Funktioniert auch ohne Vorab-Lektüre von "Rip it off". Was als Nachlader zu Reynolds Bestseller hier vermarktet wird, ist auch für sich ein grandioses Werk. Zahllose Interviews mit den Beteiligten aus der Post-Punk-Zeit geben tiefe Einblicke in den sozialen und kulturellen Kontext jener Zeit. Nur wenige dieser Informationen fanden tatsächlich Eingang in "Rip it off".
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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Great follow-through to "Rip" but I wanted even more 26. April 2011
Von John L Murphy - Veröffentlicht auf
For American consumers of his "Rip It Up and Start Again" post-punk history, this raw material and added fiber's nourishing. A chapter was cut there that appeared in the British edition, so I enjoyed SST's inclusion along with "interviews" (thirty-two singers, players, producers, provocateurs) and "overviews" on Ono-Eno-Arto along with Malcolm McLaren and NYC "concept rock"; John Lydon's autobiography and his stint with PiL; London's glam-club revival, SST Records' "progressive punk;" and two films on Manchester's scene, "24 Hour Party People" + "Control." Reynolds concludes by interviewing himself, expanding and refining his definition in "Rip" of why post-punk matters as "a space of possibility" opened up 1978-84 by the assault of punk, but eclectic and inventive enough for individual voices and very diverse desires.

Tony Wilson of Factory Records early on defines what set punk apart from post-punk. He riffs off of Joy Division-New Order's Bernard Sumner and distinguishes the "F[---] you" of the former movement's music with its anger but its limitations aesthetically and ideologically, with the "I'm f[---]ed" of what followed. I agree with David Thomas of Pere Ubu: rock music represents the culmination of modernist art, and however avant-garde such music as his band created sounded to many, it was mainstream. That is, it spoke to everyday issues and real people, made not by the likes of Mick Jagger singing in his fifties about teenaged girls. Also, such groups as Pere Ubu had ambitions far outstripping those of the manufactured Sex Pistols and their ilk. Thomas insists he wanted to "create something worthy of William Faulkner and Herman Melville," and it's hard to fault him when you read his prickly, intelligent reflections.

I was impressed by the quality of those interviewed, and the in-depth knowledge of their interviewer. I learned a lot from PiL's Jah Wobble and Suicide's Alan Vega, but I also appreciated the thoughts of the late (more than one person included has died not long after) John Peel as elder statesman, and ZTT Records "aesthetician" Paul Morley as much as those who actually made the music that others promoted and played. Groups that for me stayed on the fringe, such as Cabaret Voltaire's Richard H. Kirk, Swell Maps + Jacobites' Nikki Sudden, Josef K's Paul Haig, and the Associates' Alan Rankine, kept my attention due to their articulate accounts of how provincial scenes and local friendships spurred many to follow the lead set down by London and New York. A strength of this anthology is that Sheffield and Glasgow, Bristol and Cardiff, Cleveland and Leeds earn as much if not more attention than the usual metropolitan voices and labels.

As Reynolds comments, the trio of music papers weekly in England mattered, since in the provinces, records were discovered as if hidden treasures imported and hoarded and worn out, and word of mouth carried songs and ideas into the workplace, the classroom, the pub, the tearoom. Before the net, outside of nearly all radio, with hardly any record stores or alternative networks nationwide, the shock of the new and the tension with tradition spread slowly, by conversations, record-playing and Penguin paperbacks. Week by week, within a few months or years, these transformative possibilities percolated into the minds and through the instruments and lyrics of those who were scattered, bored, and desperate for renewal.

The power of these years lingers. Even those whose music I have little or no interest in proved very eloquent and well worth hearing about their own experiences, such as Edwyn Collins of Orange Juice, Phil Oakey of The Human League, Green Gartside of/as (a telling transition as Reynolds shows, from the socialist, squatter Rough Trade collective of late-70s post-punk to the capitalist pop of the ZTT, New Romantic, MTV neon dancefloor) Scritti Politti. Also, juxtaposing, say, two members of Devo, Mancunian Wilson and Liverpudlian Bill Drummond, transplanted New Yorkers David Byrne, James Chance and Lydia Lunch, or The Fall + Blue Orchids' Martin Bramah with Ludus' Linder Sterling and JD + NO's Steven Morris make for great counterpoints that tease out connections and reverberations about how local scenes and bands (r)evolved.

Reading how Oakey looked at increasingly meticulous (and pre-computer, very exacting) production as a leader of his band vs. how his producer Martin Rushent did proves instructive. So many of these individuals were self-taught, crafting their sounds and words in near-isolation, and learning from a few other outliers how their instruments worked, how songs grew, and how DIY could jumpstart a whole new system, for a while, of record distribution, community pride, and heady talent.

My quibble, although I admit I'm a glutton for this genre, is that I wish Reynolds had taken the opportunity to restore the other missing "Rip" material from the British original printing. Goth and industrial music, and especially Howard Devoto & Subway Sect's long-lasting impacts are heard only at a distance by those interviewed. Devoto and Vic Godard merited their own spotlight. Maybe the publisher here's at fault, but given the reactions of disappointed fans stateside (like me) to what we were sold as "Rip," I'd hoped for all the missing material to have been restored in this follow-up.

Also, some of the overviews added, as in the John Lydon review of his "No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs," sound (as did "Rip" at times) too term-paper-ish, even if Reynolds gets around to some provocative comments on the singer's abandonment of PiL's vision to cash in on "filthy lucre" and the "flogging the dead horse" (my phrases, borrowed not from the book) of Pistols' reunion tours. I wondered, if he added these largely previously published articles to his collection, why he could not have appended the excised material from the "director's cut" (his phrase for some pieces) of "Rip"'s British original.

Even if the second half of the book, the New Romantic-dance stage, interests me far less as music than as movement, Reynolds provides a fine testimony to what he admits is an overlooked generation. Much as I as with anyone interviewed admire the music of their predecessors, this revision and re-examination of previous music and modern trends provides too a welcome antidote to endlessly self-satisfied books on the Sixties, I agree. Those of us who came of age later (he's two years younger than me) deserve our pop culture moment.

(P.S. I've read "Rip It Up" only in its US edition, 200 pages shorter. I suspect that the US "Totally Wired" may also differ slightly from its British predecessor in content. Like those import vs. US Beatles LPs?)
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen a great companion to 'Rip It Up and Start Again' 22. Februar 2011
Von E. Oslan - Veröffentlicht auf
I wasn't a fan of 'Rip It Up and Start Again' because of Simon Reynolds' typically verbose journalistic style of writing as well has his slagging off of John Lydon's post-'Flowers...' versions of PiL and most of Killing Joke's career. Since Reynolds is the only one who has since written about post-punk in depth, his opinion seems to have become the standard. Fortunately he also (sort of) wrote 'Totally Wired', which compiles a number of interviews as well as other articles and overviews. This makes for way more compelling reading. We get fresh interviews from David Byrnes, Lydia Lunch (Teenage Jesus and the Jerks), Jah Wobble (PiL bassist), Martin Brammah (Fall guitarist), Steve Morris (Joy Division drummer), along with Factory records owner Tony Wilson and many more artists of post-punk. Much of the info was already stated in 'Rip It Up...' but it's more interesting to read the direct quotes rather than Reynolds' summary. Especially interesting were ::spoiler alert:: David Byrnes' claim that he wrote the Talking Heads song "The Overload" after reading a Joy Division album review and trying to mimic what he thought the music sounded like.

My only complaint with the book is the second section, which contains Reynolds' articles from other publications. In the reviews for John Lydon's 'Rotten' memoir and PiL's 'Metal Box', he continues to slag the singer, almost as if he has a personal vendetta against him. The later, theoritical articles about Brian Eno and Yoko Ono are similar to the writing style of 'Rip It Up...', that is, verbose and full of journalistic theorizing, rather than straight reporting. Needless to say I rolled my eyes at the statements, "if Yoko Ono was the first proto-punk then Eno was the first proto-post-punk." It's writing like that which annoys musicians and makes them hate journalists so much.

Otherwise, since most of the book consists of interviews, it definitely is compelling reading, even for the musicians who I never heard of such as Ludus.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Simon Reynolds, TOTALLY WIRED 20. Juni 2011
Von Chad - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
If you have read the book "Rip it Up and Start Again" by Reynolds, then you might be feeling how I feel. Overwhelmed by the vast amounts of music he talks about in the 6 years between 78-84. Overwhelmed, and excited to have a huge encyclopedia of bands and albums and labels to check out. I read Rip it Up, about 3 years ago, and I am still exploring bands he talked about. So if you are a fiend and cannot stop ingesting music history, as you cannot stop ingesting music into your ears, and you have loved everything you have discovered through Rip It Up, then naturally, you need to get "Totally Wired". It's just more good stuff, full interviews with some of the star characters in Rip It Up. It's more about the artists in the first half of the book, they are interviewed, and Reynolds, being the brilliant critic and journalist that he is, pretty much stays out of the picture in these interviews and lets the artists take it away.

The book is in 2 parts, interviews, and then overviews. I haven't gotten to the overviews, so I dunno what that is like, but really, do we have to ask? I'm sure it';s gonna be great, filled with more knowledge and good music than we will ever be able to listen to in our lifetimes!~
4.0 von 5 Sternen Great Reference Book 4. Juni 2013
Von Phillip Rogers - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Really interesting interviews with some of the important figures from an interesting point in music history. Punk was great but post-punk is when things really started to get interesting for me.
3.0 von 5 Sternen An interesting companion to Rip It Up 21. März 2013
Von lfoley - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
An interesting, if not quite as crucial, companion to Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984 that is worth buying if you are particularly interested in the genre.
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