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Totally Wired: Post-Punk Interviews and Overviews

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  283 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
With his critically acclaimed Rip It Up and Start Again, renowned music journalist Simon Reynolds applied a unique understanding to an entire generation of musicians working in the wake of punk rock. Spawning artists as singular as Talking Heads, Joy Division, The Specials, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Gang of Four, and Devo, postpunk achieved new relevance in the first deca ...more
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Published August 17th 2010 by Soft Skull Press (first published February 5th 2009)
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Evan Brown
Jun 15, 2012 Evan Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simon Reynolds is one of the most critically acclaimed music journalists of the past decade and has found himself the authority on both 90′s electronic dance music and the post-punk movement of the late 70′s and early 80′s. If his 2006 release "Rip It Up and Start Again: Post-Punk 1978-1984" is mashed potatoes, it’s companion, "Totally Wired," is the gravy. In "Rip It Up" Reynolds documents six extremely exciting and important years in musical history that were previously unspoken for. As sugges ...more
John Parkinson
Jul 11, 2012 John Parkinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read and thoroughly enjoyed Reynolds earlier analysis of the post-punk music scene Rip it Up so this book (which Reynolds regards as a companion to that tome),really was a must read. The first half of the book is a collection of interviews with key players in the scene conducted years after the events themselves (Jah Wobble on the making of PIL's Metal Box, Green Gartside on the mutation of Scritti Politti from punk anarchists collective to polished pop machine and the list goes on, but not to ...more
Aug 20, 2010 Tosh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not only did Simon Reynolds wrote the ultimate history of Post-Punk, but maybe the only one? Nevertheless "Totally Wired" is a perfect brother or sister to his "Rip It Up." Basically a collection of interviews with the key players of Post-Punk - all British except for David Thomas, Lydia Lunch, and the great James Chance/White.

The subject matter of both books are interesting, but what makes it really shine is Reynolds intelligence and asking the right question to the right person. All interview
Jul 22, 2011 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonder what Dennis Bovell thought of the Slits? (No?) Just can't get enough of Rip It Up & Start Again? If so, you should check this out.
Paul Hebron
Mar 24, 2013 Paul Hebron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
'Totally Wired' takes the post-punk exploration of 'Rip It Up and Start Again' to new depths by seeking out the visionaries who shaped critical theory, literary references, radical politics, paranoia, defiance, joy, electronics, funk, and dub, into the most potent musical form to emerge in the west since Johnny Rotten stared down the audience like he wanted to be inside each of their heads and do something very unfortunate indeed. Musicians, label owners, producers, and broadcasters divulge the ...more
Rog Harrison
I saw this cheap so thought I'd buy it. I don't think I have read any other books by Simon Reynolds though I do have the CD "Rip it up". I have just had a look at the CD and I don't think I can have listened to it much because the names of the songs and indeed some of the bands did not seem familiar.

This book consists of 343 pages of interviews and 80 pages of overviews. I enjoyed the interviews even though some of them were with people I had not heard of and even though some of the music and ba
Apr 22, 2011 K. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jah Wobble - Music is an interesting interface between dark and light. With PiL there's a great darkness. It's like Blake's paintings: they're very dark, but there's a luminosity to the darkness. The darkness glows. Rather than pop music, which is major key, smile-smile-smile, or Shostakovich, which is sad and sombre, I like the in-between thing which you get with modal music or with impressionism. Light and dark diffusing; spirit meets matter.

Alison Statton - I can remember being mesmerised by
A fantastic companion volume to Rip it Up and Start Again, this is comprised almost entirely of interviews with the musicians and other figures who were the subject of the preceding book. Reynolds just presents these interviews in raw Q&A format, and lets the interview subjects speak for themselves, often very revealingly. Particularly interesting so far is the very irascible and wilfully difficult David Thomas of Pere Ubu. Has has some opinions that kind of make your head hurt, but he's no ...more
May 13, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
If you enjoyed "Rip It Up & Start Again," this is a collection of the raw (slightly edited) interviews that the book was made from. Also, a few overviews of topics that didn't make it into the book, most notably SST Records. And, in case you were wondering if Simon Reynolds is as self-absorbed as he seems, it ends with him interviewing...Simon Reynolds. For 24 pages.

All that said, it's definitely recommended if you're interested in any of these musicians. Even some of the folks I didn't thin
Gus Casals
Dec 20, 2012 Gus Casals rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This superb book is essential reading, both as a companion to Rip it up and start again, Reynold's definite book on post punk, but also as a stand alone piece to understand from the creators themselves what was the intent during that creative pinnacle of the late seventies and early eighties.
Its also a great guide to a discovery of the music of the era, specially if you dont have the comprehensive knowledge and record collection of Reynolds.
I dare you to read it and not feel compelled to soundtr
Apr 16, 2014 Oscar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The companion book to Rip it Up and Start Again, also by Simon Reynolds, containing a bunch of the source interviews conducted while researching it as well as some additional essays and articles on the same subject.

The interviews themselves - comprising the meat of the book - are with a mixture of musicians, producers, label heads and journalists. Examples would be Jah Wobble and Richard H. Kirk, Dennis Bovell and Martin Rushent, Tony Wilson and Trevor Horn as well as Paul Morley and John Peel.

Eve Kay
Jul 28, 2015 Eve Kay rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a genre specialist, but I know a thing or do and am in a relationship with someone who is very genre-savvy. Hence, I hear a lot about what is post-punk and what is not. I'm not saying Reynolds doesn't know their stuff, I'm just saying in my view, some of these bands shouldn't be here.It did honestly feel like I was reading about (my) music from a perspective of someone who did not share my enthusiasm. And it was missing some of the big ones (for me). Just sayin'.
Jeff Jackson
Aug 24, 2010 Jeff Jackson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: punk-rock-etc
Excellent volume of interviews with post-punk luminaries including David Byrne, Ari Up, Lydia Lunch, Alan Vega, Jah Wobble, Mark Stewart, Andy Gill, Gina Birch of the Raincoats, Green Gartside of Scritti Politti, and more. It serves as a companion to Reynold's essential "Rip It Up and Start Again," so you'll want to start there for the full post-punk story.
Sep 24, 2010 Tom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good companion book to the same author's better "Rip it up & start again". This has longer interviews with some of the key people, but less analysis. Alan Vega, Phil Oakey and Edwyn Collins shine, as does Steven Daly. The book is somewhat encumbered by several reviews of related books and films tacked on at the end, all in "Director's Cut" format
Gregarious cline
Having read this and the "prequel" Rip it Up..., I'm going to try and read everything Simon Reynolds has written. Amazing form and pacing and insights and interviews and and and ...
Aug 08, 2014 Oscar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An even better better companion to rip it up in a that reynolds appears as less intrusive.
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Simon Reynolds is one of the most respected music journalists working today, and his writing is both influential and polarizing. He draws on an impressive range of knowledge, and writes with a fluid, engaging style. His books Rip it Up and Start Again and Generation Ecstasy are well-regarded works about their respective genres, and RETROMANIA may be his most broadly appealing book yet. It makes an ...more
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