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

3.22 of 5 stars 3.22  ·  rating details  ·  141 ratings  ·  18 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, 320 pages
Published July 25th 2004 by Barricade Books
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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
Kevin Summers
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...more
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.
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.
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
Ted Burke

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...more
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
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
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
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.
Sep 15, 2007 Jake rated it 3 of 5 stars
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.
Matt Schario
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.
Nov 18, 2007 Mike rated it 3 of 5 stars
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.
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.
William Marshall
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"
Jeffrey Thiessen
Other than the lame Fleetwood Mac copout, this represents some of the best contemporary rock n' roll counterculture journalism I've seen.
Thought provoking. Supports the "art is in the eye of the beholder" theory.
Good idea, (mostly) bad execution.
Alexia Moreland
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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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