What do AC/DC and Aphex Twin have in common? David Bowie and Butthole Surfers? The Clash and the Chemical Brothers? On the surface, very little. Yet they are all representative of the most important movement in modern music - Alternative.
What makes these acts alternative? And why do we care? The A to X of Alternative Music answers these questions. Based on a show on pioneering London-based radio station Xfm, this is both the story of the greatest music ever made and an investigation into what it means to be cutting-edge.
The book covers global giants like Bob Dylan, Prince, Nirvana and Radiohead; cult favourites like Joy Division, the Pixies, the Sex Pistols and the Velvet Underground; as well as lesser-known pioneers like Can, Fela Kuti, MC5 and Spacemen 3.
Alphabetically organized entries assess each act on the basis of their claim to alternative status according to three criteria: working practice, musical output and cultural perception. These acts have rejected the accepted or easy route to success, avoiding commercial imperatives and cliché to make inspiring and influential music that has won devoted - in some cases fanatical - followings.
The entries place artists in their musical and chronological context, providing the background to key scenes and tracing links - both formal and aesthetic - between these seminal acts. The book is also a buyers' guide for established and new fans of alternative music, with each entry recommending key releases. The A to X of Alternative Music is the essential reference companion for anyone who loves music made - and listened to - outside the mainstream.
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