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England's Dreaming: Jon Savage

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A year later he began working as a journalist for Sounds, which was, at that time, one of the UK's three major music papers, along with the New Musical Express and Melody Maker. That’s what the Sex Pistols did, and they were suppressed, most famously with “God Save the Queen” not being allowed to be No1 in the singles charts in the week of the Queen’s jubilee. The econcomic situation was different at that time, but that's the beauty of this book: it sets everything in a social, political and musical context, which enables you to grasp how and why it was so provocative and important.

England’s Dreaming introduced me to the power of urban

They fucked it up because it wouldn’t let them express themselves, and in the process destroyed all the preconditions – indulgent art schools, a decent rate of dole, a cheap London and Manchester of council flats and squats – that made punk possible.i would love to sit down and have a cup of tea and a chat with jon savage, his knowledge is encyclopaedic. And in the service of that desire, getting frequently annoyed with this book to the extent of writing pissy lengthy pseudo-scholarly annotations all over the margins succeeded admirably in distracting me.

Britain’s Dreaming: Jon Savage on the future of youth Britain’s Dreaming: Jon Savage on the future of youth

Jon reappraised punk in a way that was very necessary, rescuing it from Carnaby Street oblivion and wrote it at a really good time, a quiet time, when people weren’t really thinking about it.He curated the compilation Queer Noises 1961–1978 (2006), a collection of largely overlooked pop songs from that period that carried overt or coded gay messages. Everyone who was passing through London felt the need to drop in, whether that was a clubber from Sheffield visiting the city for the day or an international pop star, and they were all treated more or less the same. The majority finds it difficult to lift itself above the mundanity and self absorption of Adrian Mole-level teenage scribblers - NME, the last remaining of the great triumvirate of British rock weeklies has always been a stew of teenage hormones and spite ponced up as critique.

How England’s Dreaming told the definitive story of London punk

I also wanted to hear the apocalyptic records mentioned, which widened my listening from the retro rock bands – Suede, the Manic Street Preachers and the like – whose citations had made me want to read England’s Dreaming in the first place. I think if I’d have read it in Hull, or Amsterdam, or, I don’t know, India, it would never have had the same impact on me.He also compiled and wrote the liner notes for a two-disc companion CD, Jon Savage's 1966: The Year the Decade Exploded (Ace Records).

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