One Chord Wonders: Power and Meaning in Punk Rock by Dave Laing

By Dave Laing

Initially released in 1985, One Chord Wonders used to be the 1st full-length research of the dignity years of British punk. The e-book argues that one in all punk's most vital political achievements was once to reveal the operations of energy within the British leisure industries as they have been thrown into confusion by way of the sound and the fury of musicians and enthusiasts. via an in depth exam of the stipulations less than which punk emerged after which declined, Dave Laing develops a view of the track as either complicated and contradictory. precise realization is paid to the connection among punk and the song of the past due Seventies, specifically the political economic climate of the self sufficient checklist businesses during which a lot of punk used to be dispensed. utilizing examples from a variety of bands, person chapters use the suggestions of semiology to think about the novel method of naming in punk (from Johnny Rotten to Poly Styrene), the instrumental and vocal sound of the song, and its visible photos. The concluding bankruptcy severely examines a number of theoretical reasons of the punk phenomenon, together with the category origins of its protagonists and the influential view that punk represented the newest in a line of British adolescence "subcultures." there's additionally a chronology of the punk period, plus discographies and a bibliography.

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Extra resources for One Chord Wonders: Power and Meaning in Punk Rock

Sample text

Some of those involved in the studio process are in fact wage-labourers. Session musicians and sound engineers receive a single payment relative to the time spent in the studio. But the musicians and (increasingly) the producer whose names will appear as ‘authors’ of the recorded work have a different relation to the finished product. The image of an author is relevant here, since the position of musician and producer is similar to that of an author of a published printed work who receives not wages for his or her labour but a royalty, a payment based solely on the number of copies sold of the work.

This contrast may, however, be more apparent than real. It may be in the interests of the record company to allow the artist a certain power of decision-making in the recording process partly because in most cases the values of the market are already present ‘internally’ as a form of discipline, but also because the ‘volatility’ of audience demand makes it prudent to allow for the emergence of something partially unplanned and novel, which may prove to be popular. One important economic reason for small record companies offering musicians greater control over their work than the larger ones has already been mentioned.

The Velvet Underground were associated in the mid-1960s New York with Andy Warhol and his ‘pop-art’ milieu. The band performed at Warhol’s mixed-media show, the Exploding Plastic Inevitable. The MC5 were from Detroit and to begin with gained a reputation as rock ’n’ roll revolutionaries because of their manager John Sinclair’s involvement with the short-lived White Panther Party. The Stooges (whose lead singer Iggy Pop later went solo) had no such artistic or political trappings, emphasizing instead outrageous stage antics and lyrics.

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