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England's Dreaming: Les Sex Pistols Et Le Mouvement Punk

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  4,726 Ratings  ·  123 Reviews
England's Dreaming is the ultimate book on punk, its progenitors, the Sex Pistols, and the moment they defined for music fans in England and the United States. Savage brings to life the sensational story of the meteoric rise and rapid implosion of the Pistols through layers of rich detail, exclusive interviews, and rare photographs. This fully revised and updated edition o
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Published (first published October 21st 1991)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Moira Russell
It is a REAL question if I will finish this, and it's about one of my favourite periods of musical history! Page 6: "Evocations of the thirties environment characteristic of the babyboomer childhood -- a process which would peak with that palace of fun, Biba's superstore -- went hand in hand with the fine-art codification in 1968 of thirties styles under the term Art Deco." Who the fucking fuck writes like that? Did he program a robot?

(Also, NO, clothing did not 'become' costume in fucking -1968
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Geevee
Nov 25, 2011 Geevee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who want to read and enjoy the real story of the Sex Pistols
This an insightful record of the Sex Pistols' formation and their short and frantic career that helped change British music and challenged on aBritish society on a number of levels.

The author has given readers a very well written account with many good, and for me unseen, photos. It provides social, economic and music/fashion background from the 1950s through to the explosion of Punk on both sides of the Atlantic (including some interesting info on France).

On reading this I was reminded at how
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Greg
Dec 26, 2007 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book when I read it. I would probably hate it now and put it in the same league as anything Griel Marcus has written on punk.
Godzilla
It's taken me a while to get through this, not because the book was dull or hard work, but because of the sheer volume of information inside, covering a relatively short time span. plus the fact it was too unwieldy for reading on my commute (how punk does that sound!)

I'm giving it 5 stars on the basis that it covers the subject matter so well, plenty of other people seem able to find fault with it, but to my mind they're merely nit picking.

If you have any interest in the punk era this book will
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Katey
If you aren't interested in punk or the Sex Pistols, obviously skip this one. If you are, ask yourself "How interested am I?" before delving into it. It's long, and, at times, trying and tedious. I realise that even the briefest of historical moments can be long and winding when written about, and I appreciated all the precursory info about McLaren and Sex, and the most enjoyable for me was middle of the book, the section about the Pistols forming and gathering momentum; punk gathering momentum. ...more
Ron
Aug 07, 2011 Ron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most remarkable aspect of the Punk movement is that it was largely engineered by a shallow, politically disinterested, art school failure (multiple times) who turned clothier to young Brits in the late 60s and early 70s. Malcolm McLaren flirted with the works of such disparate entities as the Situationists, the French Anarchists and even the Fluxus crowd, but he was a largely directionless man who went with the capitalist tide and sold anything to anyone, regardless of political stripe. He w ...more
Mike Clarke
'Face front, we got the future/Shining like a piece of gold/But I swear as we got closer/It looks like a lump of coal' - The Clash: All The Young Punks.

Any book whose first word is 'juxtaposition' is going to struggle from the outset to shake off the chains of pretension. And larded with plaudits such 'a claim to be the definitive work on the subject' (The Times, no less) and 'flawless' (Esquire), a book could very well sink beneath the weight of its own cleverness and self-regard.

That Jon Sava
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Susan
Apr 11, 2014 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Faber Forty-Fives are a series of six short e-books which attempt to tell the story of British popular music from the birth of psychedelia in the late sixties to the post punk era of the late 1980's. This book concentrates on the formation of the Sex Pistols; the influence of Malcolm McLaren, early venues and the whole Punk lifestyle. Much of this essay is taken from the longer book, “England Dreaming: The Sex Pistols and Punk Rock,” and this is certainly an interesting introduction to that era. ...more
Kevin Tole
Sep 11, 2012 Kevin Tole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, non-fiction
Jon Savage has managed to produce a very excellent and readable book. This must have been quite a task given the plethora of material but the complete, and in some cases deliberate camouflaging of events and reasons, that could have led to either some kind of hero worshipful bible-like book or to the usual skim, have generally been avoided. Mr Savage has made an excellent review of the period and analysed the precursors whilst managing to keep the sense of wonder that was there all through the p ...more
Zorro
Apr 21, 2017 Zorro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Οι Σεξ Πίστολς είναι το πανκ, είναι η αρχη του και δεν είναι μόνο αυτο. Είναι η γροθιά στον καθωσπρεπισμό, η εναντίωση στην μουσική βιομηχανία, στην τυποποίηση της μουσικής, στην τυποποίηση των πάντων.
Έκαναν την αρχη και έδωσαν ένα καινούργιο κίνημα μακριά από λουστραρισμένες και στυλιζαρισμένες επιλογές.
Το πανκ είναι η μετάλλαξη του ροκ εντ ρολ και όπως όλες οι μεταλλάξεις έτσι και αυτή είναι κάτι που αναστατώνει.
Η Αγγλία όπως σε πολλά πράγματα στην τέχνη έτσι και εδώ έδωσε τα φώτα της στον
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Mike Ingram
This book sure is long. It's exhaustive, which in a certain way is a good thing. But the writing is often disappointingly flat. Could've used an appendix to make up for lack of descriptive clarity about various people (i.e., people would be introduced, then go away, then pop back up and for the life of me I wouldn't be able to remember who they were).
Rebecca
May 01, 2007 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
brilliant history, not only of the sex pistols, but of the whole punk movement and cultural turmoil in britain at the time. i would love to sit down and have a cup of tea and a chat with jon savage, his knowledge is encyclopaedic.
Paul
Dec 30, 2010 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Detailed and comprehensive history of punk; well researched and well written. Hang on a minute; this is a history book and it's my youth they're talking about. Getting old !!
Raegan Butcher
All you ever wanted or needed to know about England's nascent punk scene. A must have for fans of the Sex Pistols.
James
Sep 02, 2008 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This may be the longest thing I have ever read. This is almost a day-by-day account of the Sex Pistols. I am particuarly fascinated by Malcolm Mclaren and want to read more about him.
Michael
Jul 30, 2007 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alive
it's not Please Kill Me, but the Sex Pistol weren't the Stooges. Still pretty great.
Tom Nixon
Jul 27, 2011 Tom Nixon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know when I fell in love with punk music, but I did. Probably because of Green Day's album Dookie more than anything else, though at the time, I didn't know what punk was, much less have an appreciation of Green Day's place within the genre. But Green Day eventually lead to The Cure, The Cure to Joy Division, Joy Division to the Sex Pistols and from there, out to the Clash, Rancid, Social Distortion, Siouxsie and the Banshees. The emotional energy of punk, the sheer raw power of its soci ...more
Drew
Feb 21, 2013 Drew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
A remarkable book that takes a headlong run at the story of punk and comes away with ringing ears, covered in spit, track-marks, cuts and bruises, but holding a couple of interesting trophies.

The first of these is the deconstruction of the McLaren myth, showing the utterly haphazard nature of how UK proto-punk moved from being an insignificant scene at the end of the King's Road to the touch-paper for a worldwide cultural revolution. Rather than moulding his protegés, McLaren comes across as an
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Brett
Aug 25, 2010 Brett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anarchism, music, history
I don't claim to be an expert on music or music criticism, but England's Dreaming is probably the best book on music that I've read. The subject is the English punk movement of the 1970s and its context. Savage writes like an academic even though it's a topic clearly close to his heart, and his prose is interspersed with selections from his personal diary from the time-period.

England's Dreaming deals cogently with the contradictions of punk: right-wing imagery and left-wing politics, art studen
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Rob
Apr 07, 2011 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
History was created by those who say "no" as Savage claims at the back of this book and during Royal Wedding week in the UK, this seems more relevant than ever - especially in view of the Sex Pistols' attempted hijacking of a previous royal event, the 1977 Silver Jubilee.

An exhaustive account of the early days of punk and the rise and fall of the Pistols in particular, this volume deserves its place in the pantheon of classic rock literature. What astonishes is the ability of people at the time
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Gordy
Aug 06, 2012 Gordy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book very informative on the subject of punk. Liked the background of characters given and the way things are given their historical context. I would read this book again as I was surprised at how much there is in there and how clever many of the concepts and thinking behind the movement there is. It was also refreshing to read a quite different account of key people who have been given an otherwise raw deal by the press an society etc.

The first 2/3 of the book I found to be a roll
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Darran Mclaughlin
OK. To be honest most of this was pretty familiar to me from years of listening to and reading about punk music. It wasn't as eye opening as a book like Can't Stop Won't Stop by Jeff Chang on Hip Hop, or Rip it up and Start Again by Simon Reynolds on Post Punk, or The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross on Modern Classical. Still, it's a good book. Most of all it was interesting to immerse myself in an era in which a large subculture dedicated itself to a totally bohemian, anti-corporate, anti bourgeois ...more
Bosco Farr
Oct 05, 2010 Bosco Farr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: punk
This is the definitive work on the first generation English punk rock explosion. One of the best books on punk rock ever. You want be able to put it down.
Shawn
Pretty dang definitive.
Eugenia Williamson
My favorite rock bio - just enough psuedo-academic social analysis to really excite!
Mouselegs
May 24, 2017 Mouselegs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book - all 632 pages of quite small text (I bought my first reading glasses thanks to this book). I'm not a big fan of the Sex Pistols or, really, of punk rock - it was a little before my time and outside my experience. However, this book is such a rich cultural history of Great Britian and particularly of London that it was a joy to read. The level of detail is exquisite and John Savage must have spent months, if not years, doing interviews with all the major players in pu ...more
J-T Grace
May 04, 2017 J-T Grace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading for the 3rd time. Explains my youth.
Meor Cavalera
May 11, 2017 Meor Cavalera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shite Sid Shite !
Tara Singh
Aye carrumba this book
Carlos Hughes
Nov 01, 2016 Carlos Hughes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant, superb a thorough research of the British punk movement at it's infancy.
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