Working for the clampdown
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Working for the clampdown

The Clash, the dawn of neoliberalism and the political promise of punk
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Colin Coulter
542 g
240x161x18 mm
'From a wide variety of perspectives, Coulter and his contributors bring intelligence and insight to bear on a band that were so important to so many people.'Professor David Hesmondhalgh, University of Leeds'Working for the Clampdown succeeds in the almost impossible balancing act of celebrating the lasting power of The Clash's progressive subversions, while at the same time dealing with the band in its historical context with a clear-eyed lack of sentimentality. It is this combination of acute critique and heartfelt enthusiasm that makes the collection such a joy to read.'Professor Sam Porter, University of Bournemouth'A collection like this gives credence to the claim that The Clash was the only band that mattered. Working for the Clampdown locates the group in its historical context, tracking how they reported, reflected and mythologised the changing world they inherited and shaped. It is indeed a book-length companion to The Armagideon Times.'Professor Matthew Worley, University of ReadingFew bands have enjoyed quite as much adoration, or endured quite as much criticism, as The Clash. Emerging from the mid-1970s London punk scene, the band would soon cast off the fetters that restricted many of their peers, their musical tastes becoming ever more eclectic and their political field of vision ever more global. In the process The Clash would widen the cultural and political horizons of their audience and would for many come to exemplify the power of popular music to change minds. This critical acclaim would, however, always be less than universal. For their many detractors, The Clash's radical politics were merely a self-mythologising posture, neatly serving the culture industries in their perennial ambition of 'turning rebellion into money.' In this collection, writers from different disciplines and locations set out to examine this most complex and controversial of bands. Across a dozen original essays, the authors provide fresh insights into the music and politics of The Clash in ways that are by turns both critical and celebratory. While the book locates the band in their own time and place, it also underlines their enduring and indeed very contemporary significance. A common thread running through the collection is the songs that The Clash crafted four decades ago to document a previous pivotal moment of geopolitical transformation have a singular resonance in our own current moment of global turbulence. Written in a style that is both scholarly and accessible, Working for the Clampdown offers compelling and original takes on one of the most influential and incendiary bands ever to grace a stage.
The diverse essays gathered in Working for the clampdown cast a critical light on both the cultural legacy and contemporary resonance of one of the most influential bands ever to have graced a stage. -- .
List of contributorsWorking for the clampdown: an introduction Colin Coulter PART I: No Elvis, Beatles or the Rolling Stones: The Clash, the politics of pop and the neoliberal conjuncture1 The Clash, revolution and reverse Jason Toynbee 2 The Clash and musical artistry: against the corporate voice Caroline Coon 3 'Up in Heaven (not only here)': The Clash, left melancholia and the politics of redemption Colin CoulterPART II: Back in the garage with my bullshit detector: The Clash and the Cultural Politics of Punk4 'Are you going backwards, Or are you going forwards?' - England past and England future in 1970s punk Ruth Adams 5 Retrieving the messianic promise of punk: The Clash in 1977 Kieran Cashell 6 What if Keith Levene had never left The Clash? Punk and the politics of novelty Pete Dale 7 'The beautiful people are ugly too': The Clash as my 'true fiction' Martin James PART III: 'It could be anywhere, Most likely could be any frontier, Any hemisphere': The Clash around the world8 'Up and down the Westway' or 'live by the river'? Britishness, Englishness, London and The Clash Conrad Brunström 9 'Cashing in the bill of rights'? The Clash in New York, in myth and reality Harry Browne 10 The one struggle: The Clash, Gary Foley, Punk politics and Indigenous Australian activism Alessandro Moliterno 11 Brigade Rosse: The Clash, Bologna and Italian punx Giacomo Bottà and Ferruccio Quercetti