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Kill Your Idols: A New Generation of Rock Writers Reconsiders the Classics

3.25  ·  Rating Details ·  174 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
The evil step child of Stranded (Knopf's original book of rock criticism), Kill Your Idols is a collection of 35 essays about allegedly great rock albums that this new generation of critics loathe.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 25th 2004 by Barricade Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dec 25, 2012 Evan rated it it was ok
A neat idea with conspicuous flaws: new-school rock critics writing essays about why they don't like a particular record that old-school rock critics have enshrined as "classic." Editor and critic Jim DeRogatis, who was famously fired from "Rolling Stone" for trashing the then-current Hootie and the Blowfish record, acknowledges that the book was conceived as a retort to RS' cash-cow "500 Greatest Albums" issue (and now coffee-table book, etc.)... but it comes off as just that - a retort - inste ...more
Ted Burke
Apr 03, 2010 Ted Burke rated it it was ok

Kill Your Idols seemed like a good idea when I bought the book, offering up the chance for a younger set of rock critics to give a counter argument to the well made assertions of the essayists from the early Rolling Stone/Crawdaddy/Village Voice days who's finely tuned critiques gave us what we consider now to be the Rock Canon. The problem, though, is that editor Jim Derogatis didn't have that in mind when he gathered up this assortment of Angry Young Critics and changed them with disassemblin
Jan 23, 2008 Patrick rated it liked it
Shelves: 2004
Pretty great concept, a host of rock critics each take a stab at convincing you why some of the most widely heralded "great" rock albums actually suck. It was fun reading the trashing of shitty "important" classic rock bands I've always hated, like Fleetwood Mac and Led Zeppelin, but if you dis Smashing Pumpkins you can just shut the fuck up.
May 15, 2009 Geoff rated it it was amazing
Brilliant idea! Some of my own sacred cows were slaughtered here and I enjoyed it none the less. Skip the Jim Walsh chapter unless you want to know how awesome Mr. Walsh envisions himself.
Nov 25, 2007 Mark rated it really liked it
Shelves: recentlyread
For rock fans, especially anyone overdosed on “classic rock radio” or just sick of hearing about the monument/milestone/megacanonical status of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” or “The Dark Side of the Moon.” Not that there’s anything wrong with them….just that it’s hard to disagree with the crotchety, disgruntled critics in “Kill Your Idols” that Rolling Stone Mag and VH1 and all the other “Top 100 Albums of All Time” nazis should just shut the f*#%k up about how transcendent these LPs a ...more
Apr 07, 2011 Lauren rated it liked it
having read so much rock journalism in the past praising many of the albums dissected in this book, it was nice to read critics presenting the opposing viewpoint, especially when confirming my opinions on albums sold to the masses as classics, such as radiohead's "ok computer" (i think "the bends" is radiohead's best album and david menconi agrees) and the sex pistols' "never mind the bollocks's the sex pistols" (while it was undeniably influential to the punk scene, musically it's nothi ...more
Oct 13, 2013 Stephen rated it it was ok
I guess by "reconsider" they mean "make unsupported and snarky comments". Many of the reviews in this book seem to have been clearly written with the editorial agenda in mind first and a real look at the musical and cultural impact of the album in question a distant second. There are some fair points made but they are overwhelmed by the obvious intent of the review and ongoing artist and industry bashing. So you don't like Rolling Stone, I get it! Using a good review by Rolling Stone as a reason ...more
Kevin Summers
Feb 03, 2014 Kevin Summers rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult
I can't write that some of the critics' arguments in this book are incorrect, but I can write that too many of the critics try so hard to ridicule some albums that aren't nearly as bad as many of these writers would like to think. The negativity in this book just gets old.

Here's a sample quote that shows how some of these critics are just as full of themselves as the critics that they repeatedly denigrate throughout the book: "The recording [Paul McCartney's Ram] that should have rectified your
Nov 13, 2012 Chris rated it liked it
Good gimmick - younger critics throw stones at classic rock's holy grail albums. Most of the reviews reach a little too hard and leave the reader unconvinced as to the album's overrated-ness, although a few of them are well-thought-out and solidly presented. One or two dispense with the traditional criticism altogether and just use the album as a springboard for a rant against the band - most effectively in the piece which outlines the writer's fantasy about sniping each member of Fleetwood Mac ...more
Before Reading: A book of snarky essays about why the writers hate something much beloved? Yes, Please!

After: These guys are way too concerned with being taken seriously. I expected a bit more tongue in cheek or humor in the essays. There are a few moments of wit. One essay is a fictional account of an assassination of one of the bands. Not something I'll ever read again and quite frankly a little sad that I read it this time.
Jan 05, 2008 RandomAnthony rated it it was ok
Shelves: music
Kind of uneven but still interesting. I loved the chapter criticizing The Doors. You'll either enjoy the slamming of the musical icons and/or wonder why he chose to slam your favorite on the list. Some of the writing is a bit smug, but I'd expect that from rock journalists, to be fair. They're not exactly an evolved species.
Matt Schario
Jan 27, 2008 Matt Schario rated it it was amazing
Shelves: done-read-it
Collection of essays by rock writers commissioned to tear down albums that belong in the Holy Canon of great rock music. Artists receiving the smack-down range from Led Zeppelin and the Beatles to Wilco and Public Enemy. If you love rock music, and like to argue about it, then this is the book for you.
Sep 11, 2007 Jake rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Music Snobs
Shelves: music
Hit and Miss collection of album and band reviews done to re-examine 'The classics'.

This is the perfect book for the kind of folks who are willing to listen to all of 'Metal Machine Music' but will trip all over themselves to change the station as fast as possible if 'Brass in Pocket' comes on.

Lots of bitter fun.
Dustin Wells
Apr 26, 2016 Dustin Wells rated it it was amazing
Funny book. Rock writers write about why classic albums from the Eagles and Beach Boys and the Sex Pistols suck . Lots of inside dirt on bands from the weirdos obsessed with bands. A light fun book I can't put down.
Jeffrey Thiessen
Jan 02, 2013 Jeffrey Thiessen rated it really liked it
Other than the lame Fleetwood Mac copout, this represents some of the best contemporary rock n' roll counterculture journalism I've seen.
William Marshall
Jun 14, 2013 William Marshall rated it did not like it
Hated this book he slams some of the best classic rock albums of all time This book blows Wonder what his idea of great music is to trash Sgt Pepper "Really"
Nov 18, 2007 Mike rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who like scathing album reviews
Overall, good, but it'll vary. I love reading someone make fun of the Eagles or Smashing Pumpkins, of course. But some of these were rather weak. Definitely thumb through it before buying.
Jul 17, 2012 Kiof rated it it was ok
Good idea, (mostly) bad execution.
Jul 15, 2008 Josh rated it really liked it
I love looking at albums in a new light, and it was refreshing to read these new-ass-tearing criticisms, even of albums I dearly love.

Loses one star for being the idea of Jim DeRogatis.
Chris LaMay-West
Chris LaMay-West rated it it was amazing
Nov 10, 2011
Kenyatta Garcia
Kenyatta Garcia rated it it was amazing
Nov 27, 2013
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Dec 29, 2014
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Feb 23, 2008
Timothy Daly
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Jun 20, 2012
Kayla Harlow
Kayla Harlow rated it it was amazing
Dec 26, 2013
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Jul 12, 2010
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Leah rated it really liked it
Nov 02, 2007
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James "Jim" DeRogatis (born 1964 in Jersey City, New Jersey) is an American music critic. DeRogatis has written articles for magazines such as Spin, Guitar World and Modern Drummer. He is also the Pop Music Critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. He often tries to separate himself from other music critics by promoting bands that have not yet become widely popular, but are close to doing so.

More about Jim Derogatis...

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