Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music - Rob Young
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A new edition as part of the Faber Greatest Hits - books that have taken writing about music in new and exciting directions for the twenty-first century. Rob Young's Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music is a seminal book on British music and cultural heritage, that spans the visionary classical and folk tradition from the nineteenth-century to the present day.
'A thoroughly enjoyable read and likely to remain the best-written overview for a long time.' GUARDIAN 'A perfectly timed, perfectly pitched alternative history of English folk music... wide-ranging, insightful, authoritative, thoroughly entertaining.' NEW STATESMAN 'A stunning achievement.' SIMON REYNOLDS 'A masterpiece.' CAUGHT BY THE RIVER 'Excellent... blissfully quotable.' NEW YORK TIMES 'An authoritative account.' THE TIMES 'Consistently absorbing.' INDEPENDENT 'An impassioned and infectious rallying cry of a book.' SUNDAY TIMES.
In this groundbreaking survey of more than a century of music making in the British Isles, Rob Young investigates how the idea of folk has been handed down and transformed by successive generations - song collectors, composers, Marxist revivalists, folk-rockers, psychedelic voyagers, free festival-goers, experimental pop stars and electronic innovators.
In a sweeping panorama of Albion's soundscape that takes in the pioneer spirit of Cecil Sharp; the pastoral classicism of Ralph Vaughan Williams and Peter Warlock; the industrial folk revival of Ewan MacColl and A. L. Lloyd; the folk-rock of Fairport Convention, Sandy Denny, Nick Drake, Shirley Collins, John Martyn and Pentangle; the bucolic psychedelia of The Incredible String Band, The Beatles and Pink Floyd; the acid folk of Comus, Forest, Mr Fox and Trees; The Wicker Man and occult folklore; the early Glastonbury and Stonehenge festivals; and the visionary pop of Kate Bush, Julian Cope and Talk Talk, Electric Eden maps out a native British musical voice that reflects the complex relationships between town and country, progress and nostalgia, radicalism and conservatism.
An attempt to isolate the 'Britishness' of British music - a wild combination of pagan echoes, spiritual quest, imaginative time-travel, pastoral innocence and electrified creativity - Electric Eden will be treasured by anyone interested in the tangled story of Britain's folk music and Arcadian dreams. 'A treat.' TIME OUT 'Young is a fine writer.' MOJO 'Young's immense narrative is both educative and gripping.' UNCUT 'A multitudinous, fascinating and beautifully written account.' TLS