By Theodore Cateforis
“Are We no longer New Wave? is destined to turn into the definitive research of latest wave music.”
—Mark Spicer, coeditor of Sounding Out Pop
New wave emerged on the flip of the Eighties as a pop tune move solid within the picture of punk rock’s sneering demeanor, but rendered extra available and complicated. Artists equivalent to the autos, Devo, the conversing Heads, and the Human League leapt into the head forty with a unique sound that broke with the staid rock clichés of the Nineteen Seventies and pointed how one can a extra sleek pop style.
In Are We no longer New Wave? Theo Cateforis presents the 1st musical and cultural historical past of the hot wave circulate, charting its upward push out of mid-1970s punk to its ubiquitous early Nineteen Eighties MTV presence and downfall within the mid-1980s. The booklet additionally explores the meanings in the back of the music’s targeted traits—its attribute whiteness and anxiousness; its playful irony, digital melodies, and crossover experimentations. Cateforis lines new wave’s glossy sensibilities again to the space-age customer tradition of the overdue 1950s/early 1960s.
Three a long time after its upward thrust and fall, new wave’s impact looms huge over the modern pop scene, recycled and celebrated not just in reunion excursions, VH1 nostalgia specials, and “80s evening” dance golf equipment yet within the track of artists as assorted as Rihanna, woman Gaga, Miley Cyrus, and the Killers.
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Additional info for Are We Not New Wave?: Modern Pop at the Turn of the 1980s
Within this new hardcore punk order, there was little space for a rede‹ned new wave. The three main splinters that had appeared in the wake of punk’s collapse at the dawn of 1978—new wave, new musick (or post-punk, as it would soon be called), and real punk—would all continue to grow and prosper well into the 1980s. But of these three only new wave would take hold as a viable commercial entity. In the next section we cross the Atlantic and join new wave in 1978, the point at which the emergent genre would begin to assume a coherent identity as part of the American music industry, largely through its assimilation into radio programming.
British punk had in‹ltrated the British pop charts and been a topic of seemingly endless scandal in the mainstream press in 1977; the new wave that survived its collapse was thus doomed to exist in the shadow of the Sex Pistols and their ilk. Punk in the United States, however, had always been a more vague threat, one that the major labels had assiduously avoided, and one that rarely if ever penetrated the news headlines. 1 New wave was thus allowed to circulate as a genre on its own separate accord.
18 The cover artwork, a portrait modeled on a notorious photo of Johnny Rotten assuming a Christlike cruci‹x pose, dramatically illustrated the fate that many believed had befallen the punk movement. Surveying the events of the past year, Trouser Press editor Ira Robbins spread the blame for punk’s failure to many quarters, but most of all to the apparent hypocrisy of a movement that espoused anarchy and revolution while chasing after the fame and fortune of major label success. 19 Furthermore, the music’s popularity had made a caricature out of punk’s distinctive style and fashion, a point driven home by two accompanying photos in the article that showed mannequins in a Macy’s department store clad in “punk rock rules” sweaters, complete with safety pins and chains.