Even 10 years on from it's publication I occassionally return to this volume for it's learned and probing insights into music ( and Sound per se ) - of all kinds - ( it's not only about Rock and Pop , there's as much about Classical , Folk and Jazz in here too ) , the nature of time , space , human experience in general , gender, history , social attitudes , politics and many other topics . It always offers something provocative,and illuminating. I really wonder whther the reviewer above has actually read it. The chapter called ' Rythm , Sex , Time and the Mind ' makes it worth buying alone . But the entire book's a classic. This is the book that bought the run of writing about popular music in the 80's and 90's effectivley to an end. When will we hear from Simon Frith on some new topic ? I for one can't wait .
The question is: do we need an academic study of pop music? Any right-thinking person would answer 'no'. So there's the problem with this book, and I write as one who bought it. A terrible mistake. Academics write whatever they feel like about whatever subject then support their arguments with highly selective quotes from other books - footnotes compulsory. With pop music this approach is completely superfluous, either you 'get it' or not. Mr Frith would be better advised using his 'talents' in another field of endeavour.