Altered State: The Story of Ecstasy Culture and Acid House

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Profile Books, 2009 - Music - 356 pages

From its first publication in 1997, Altered State established itself as the definitive text on Ecstasy and dance culture. This new edition sees Matthew Collin cast a fresh eye on the heady events of the acid house 'Summer of Love' and the rave scene's euphoric escalation into commercial excess as MDMA became a mass-market narcotic. Altered State is the best-selling book on Ecstasy culture, using a cast of memorable characters to track the origins of the scene and its drug through psychedelic subcults, underground gay discos and the Balearic paradise of Ibiza, to the point where Tony Blair was using an Ecstasy anthem as an election campaign song. Altered State critically examines the ideologies and myths of the scene, documenting the criminal underside to the blissed-out image, shedding new light on the social history of the most spectacular youth movement of the twentieth century.


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Altered State (Old Edition)

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Journalists Collin and Godfrey have written a fascinating, compelling account of youth culture in conservative Britain during the last decade. They begin with a brief history of the dual elements at ... Read full review

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This is an absolute must-read for anybody who likes to write about, talk about or participate in party culture in the U.K. My only two regrets are one, that it ends too soon (I would have loved to have this author's analysis of the rave scene since 2001) and two, that there is not more writing in each chapter. There are undoubtedly many more fascinating characters and stories that could be added to this compilation. Yet the authors have done an excellent job of collecting and compiling interviews, first-hand accounts and obscure facts regarding the emergence of the various party cultures that exist in the U.K. I've referred back to it time and again over the years for my own writing so this book is definitely on my top 10 list!  


summer of love
magical mystery tour
journey to the east
freaky dancing
techno travellers
urban blues
the chemical generation

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About the author (2009)

Matthew Collin is the author of the critically acclaimed books Guerrilla Radio, and The Time of the Rebels. He has worked for the BBC from Georgia and has written for a wide range of newspapers and magazines. He now reports for Al Jazeera from Georgia.

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