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Punk Rock: An Oral History Paperback – 27 Feb 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (27 Feb. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091905117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091905118
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 4.3 x 21.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 162,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"John Robb is a great writer... and he is supremely qualified in my opinion to talk about punk rock" (Mick Jones, The Clash)

"John Robb is as punk rock as The Clash" (Alan McGee)

Book Description

The story of punk, in all its vibrant glory, told for the first time in the words of those who were there

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jason Parkes #1 HALL OF FAME on 11 April 2006
Format: Paperback
John Robb is one of the most passionate music journalists - a passion that overwhelmed any flaws in his book on '90s culture (though Oliver Craske's role as editor means less mis-spellings than Robb's 90s tome - we still get Eddie Cochrane rather than Cochran for some reason!)and one that is apparent in this book. Robb, through extensive researching, has collected the memories of many key figures of the punk scene - Howard Devoto, Budgie, John Lydon, Captain Sensible, Don Letts, Siouxsie Sioux etc/their fans (Billy Bragg, Ian Brown) and simply let them tell their story. The stories sometimes contradict each other and seem inaccurate or in the case of Marco Pirroni's criticism of Cabaret Voltaire, get a responding footnote from Robb. There are sections in italics that are similar to Robb's 1990s book - those who dislike or disagree with his opinions will probably think these short sections are about right, personally I'd like to have had more Robb, as he's always got something interesting to say whether I agree or not (there's a bit on The Stranglers' here that makes me want to check out 'The Meninblack'!).
'Punk Rock: An Oral History' is punctuated with lots of great photographs, from Don Letts' looking like the coolest dude in front of his Beatles memorabilia, to the gorgeus Gaye Advert, to The Jam (who get a warranted criticism over some of their apsects) to those art-rock gods Wire. It's all great stuff and a brilliant slice of cultural history - one to file alongside Jon Savage's 'England's Dreaming' as you sit down to watch Don Letts' recent film 'Punk:Attitude.' I won't go on much longer as you really should enjoy it for yourself - I had a browse in a bookshop and found myself reading several pages this Saturday. I had to buy it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By russell clarke TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback
I was a bit too young( i was 14 in 1977) to fully embrace punk when it reached it,s zenith. The ideology passed me by , as it would seem it did for some of the participants, but i knew i loved the music and the look, though i was far too introverted and lacking in self confidence to ever embrace it myself. But there is little doubt that the punk explosion truly ignited my love affair with music( i can clearly remember reading the Daily Mirror "The Filth and the Fury" headline while doing my morning paper round) and that hearing Never Mind the Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols was a defining moment in my musical education.
That album still gives me an adrenalin rush and funnily enough reading John Robbs excellent Oral History of punk does pretty much the same thing. Taking the views of many of the main participants- John Lydon, Captain Sensible, Rat Scabies, Jake Burns,Howard Devoto, Mick Jones, Brian James,Charlie Harper, Polystyrene, Gaye Advert , Don Letts amongst many others- in a talking heads style the book blasts chronologically from the genesis of the punk movement right through to it,s decline and the legacy it left behind -which in many way is musically at least more impressive than the real thing.
Robb who clearly knows his stuff adds helpful footnotes to guide the less knowledgeable reader through( i include myself here) but only occasionally when recommending albums or very rarely to correct what he feels is a contentious statement ( John Lydons sniffy comments about the U.K. Subs a case in point) does he feel the need to comment on what has been said.
Perhaps more surprisingly the book is also useful in giving pointers to other musical genres.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kid01 on 4 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
THE best book on punk rock I have read as told through the main protagonists of the day.

How refreshing to finally discover a book on punk rock that acknowledges the importance and relevance of the "second wave of punk", the contribution of the Irish/Scottish bands, the importance of Manchester and other towns and cities outside London, the importance of the lesser bands and doesn't snobbishly ignore the massive contribution made by the Stranglers (yes you Mr Savage) which simply cannot be overlooked in any credible book about the period.

Similarly it seems to only be Messrs Savage and Lydon who don't think that the contribution of bands like the Ruts, the Cockney Rejects and post pounk bands like Killing Joke, Joy Division etc are not important in the overall bigger picture. Noticeable that Lydon disses nearly every band which tells you everything. Superb unbiased account of the whole punk movement and all its variations - highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alan Goodenough on 19 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is brilliant, Punk - as it happened, by the people that made it happen. I've discovered a lot of new (old!?) music because of this book. Some brilliant tales from Captain Sensible, Mick Jones, Ari Up and, of course, John Lydon. Well worth a read, especially by anyone with an interest in Punk, and those who think they know what it was/is all about.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jos on 25 July 2006
Format: Paperback
For me this is the best book about punk. I always loved Jon Savage's 'England's Dreaming' but John Robb's book is the one now. First hand experiences are expertly meshed together to give a feel of just how fast, furious and exciting the whole period was. If you are looking for a book that really captures the diversity and excitement of the period then look no further...
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