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Shots From the Hip: Notes from the counterculture [Kindle Edition]

Charles Shaar Murray , Joel Nathan Rosen , Neil Spencer
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 622 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

This is a new edition of Charles Shaar Murray's coruscating collection of journalism, first published in 1991, with a new introduction by Joel Nathan Rosen and a new afterword by CSM himself.

It puts together Murray’s writing on music and much, much more from the 1970s and 1980s in New Musical Express and elsewhere, edited and introduced by Neil Spencer. It shows just why Murray acquired the reputation of being the most intelligent and acerbic popular music critic of his generation.

His witty and beautifully crafted pieces – a mix of reviews, interviews and extended critical essays – are as readable today as when they were first written. He was always ahead of the game, noticing up-and-coming artists (and recording sad declines of the once-great) before anyone else. And, almost without exception, his judgments stand the test of time remarkably well.

Shots From the Hip is a classic of its genre, essential reading for anyone with an interest in popular culture, funny, perceptive and energetic.


‘One of the best British writers on pop music, and this is a compilation of HIS best.’

‘Charles Shaar Murray was always the best read’

‘The New Musical Express was one of the big things in my life … there was outrageous writing by Charles Shaar Murray, Nick Kent and, later, Julie Burchill — what they were writing was unbelievable! The NME was so important for lonely suburban kids. It was a lifeline.’

‘This is an extremely intelligent man who happens to find expression and pleasure in a genre that many comparable intellects dismiss as worthless. For those whose love of rock music has survived their apprehension of its partial absurdity, this book is there to be savoured, to be read slowly and with a great deal of relevant musical accompaniment.’

‘Murray’s work is particularly impressive because it was written at the time. Murray ragged on Blondie and the Clash, for example, before anyone had heard of them.’

‘“Some people are born dull,” starts a piece on George Harrison and his 1974 ballad Ding Dong, which the author calls a “hideous piece of garf”. Madonna is “Our lady of hard work”, whose 1990 Blonde Ambition tour was a “Broadway musical in all essentials except for its lack of plot”. This irreverent and colloquial collection of British pop-music criticism spans 20 years and tosses in hundreds of musicians, insights and insults.’

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2605 KB
  • Print Length: 622 pages
  • Publisher: Aaaargh! Press; 2 edition (23 Feb. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #240,872 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 20 May 2014
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Murray is a genuine original who writes with great style and brilliance. This book is a must for anyone with an interest in rock music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great entertaing and informative read 12 April 2014
By Lucy
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What Charles Shaar Murray doesn't know about music I suspect wouldn't even cover the head of a pin.
If you were there then you'll smile, if you weren't then you'll get one hell of an idea of what life, culture, politics and music was all about, how and why we still talk about the likes of Hendrix and Mitchell.
It's a witty, insightful, thought provoking read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I got a paperback copy a few years ago. 11 Mar. 2014
A well-written, entertaining and informative book about popular music and culture. With interviews with the likes of Bob Marley, Tina Turner, Elton John, the Sex Pistols, Bob Geldof, David Byrne, Frank Zappa as well as non-musicians such as JG Ballard and Kurt Vonnegut, this is definitely a book with Something For Everyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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No revisionism here. Written at the time across a couple of decades, these reviews nail their subjects with an incisive yet readable style, no show-boating here. It helps that I agree with most of what CSM writes but even when I don't, the quality of the prose is a joy in itself. The boy can write.
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