Rip it Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984

Front Cover
Faber & Faber, Apr 2, 2009 - Music - 608 pages
118 Reviews

'A fantastic tribute to an amazingly creative musical period . . . An instant pop classic, worthy of a place on your shelves beside the handful of music books that really matter.' John McTernan, Scotland on Sunday

Punk revitalized rock in the mid-seventies, but the movement soon degenerated into self-parody. Rip It Up and Start Again is the first book-length celebration of what happened next: post-punk bands who dedicated themselves to fulfilling punk's unfinished musical revolution. 1978 - 1984 rivals the sixties for the sheer amount of fabulous music created, the spirit of adventure and possibility that infused it, and the way the sounds felt inextricably connected to the political and social turbulence of the day. Simon Reynolds, acclaimed author of Energy Flash, recreates a time of tremendous urgency and idealism in pop music. Packed with anecdote and insight, populated by charismatic and maverick characters, Rip It Up and Start Again stands as one of the most inspired and inspiring books on popular music ever written.

'I had never expected there to be a book on this subject; had I done so, I would never have dared to hope it could be as good as this.' Nicholas Lezard, Guardian Book of the Week

'This remarkable and perfectly timed cultural history is required reading.' Q Magazine


What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Fantastic overview of the post punk music scene. - Goodreads
incredibly exhaustive overview of postpunk. - Goodreads
Killer journalism from the UK's top music writer. - Goodreads

Review: Rip It Up and Start Again: Post-Punk 1978-84. Simon Reynolds

User Review  - Allen Bleyle - Goodreads

GREAT look into music culture post punk... hence, postpunk! smart author, very insightful, and that makes all the difference. educational! You'll want it to continue straight until today and see what he has to say about happenings in music as of late... Read full review

Review: Rip It Up and Start Again: Post-Punk 1978-84. Simon Reynolds

User Review  - Aimee - Goodreads

There was a lot that was really interesting about this book - it gives a good overview of some of the most famous bands to have emerged out of the punk movement across genres (I learnt a lot about ... Read full review


List of Illustrations Authors Note
The Unfinished Revolution
POSTPUNK 1 Public Image Belongs To Me John Lydon and
Howard Devoto and Vic Godard
the Industrial Grotesquerie of Pere Ubu and Devo
No Wave New York
The Pop Group and The Slits
Malcolm McLaren the Pied Piper of Pantomime
Postcard and the Sound of Young Scotland
The Pioneers of New
Crosstown Traffic in Early Eighties New York and Beyond
The Peak and Fall of New
Goth and the Return of Rock
Liverpool New Psychedelia and the Big Music

Independent Labels and the DIY Movement
Gang of Four and the Leeds Scene
Talking Heads and Wire
Cabaret Voltaire The Human League and the Sheffield Scene
The Fall Joy Division and the Manchester Scene
The London Vanguard
Throbbing Gristles Music from the Death Factory
Cabaret Noir and Theatre of Cruelty in Postpunk San Francisco
PiL and Postpunks Peak and Fall
NEW POP AND NEW ROCK 15 Ghost Dance 2Tone and the Ska Resurrection
Progressive Punk from SST Records
The SecondWave Industrial lnfiltrators
ZTT and Frankiemania
MTV and the Second British Invasion
Postpunk timeline
About the Author

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Simon Reynolds is the author of Energy Flash: A Journey through Rave Music and Dance Culture, Blissed Out: The Raptures of Rock, The Sex Revolts: Gender, Rebellions and Rock and Roll (co-written with Joy Press), Rip it Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978 - 1984 and, most recently, Bring the Noise: Twenty Years of Hip Hop and Hip Rock.

Bibliographic information