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Youth, pop and the rise of Madchester
Author: Steve Redhead

Madchester may have been born at the Haçienda in the summer of 1988, but the city had been in creative ferment for almost a decade prior to the rise of Acid House. The End-of-the-Century Party is the definitive account of a generational shift in popular music and youth culture, what it meant and what it led to. First published right after the Second Summer of Love, it tells the story of the transition from New Pop to the Political Pop of the mid-1980s and its deviant offspring, Post-Political Pop. Resisting contemporary proclamations about the end of youth culture and the rise of a new, right-leaning conformism, the book draws on interviews with DJs, record company bosses, musicians, producers and fans to outline a clear transition in pop thinking, a move from an obsession with style, packaging and synthetic sounds to content, socially conscious lyrics and a new authenticity.

This edition is framed by a prologue by Tara Brabazon, which asks how we can reclaim the spirit, energy and authenticity of Madchester for a post-youth, post-pop generation. It is illustrated with iconic photographs by Kevin Cummins.

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The cultural politics of pop
Steve Redhead

’s dismissal of the 1990s is that, he believes, since we have already started the ‘end of the century’ party, as we are, in his view, so deeply into the revival of the past mood (or mode) we might just as well miss out the last decade of the twentieth century altogether. Certainly, contemporary musical styles and forms (music video, ‘youth television’) rewind pop history with the same mixture of longing and revulsion that contemporary street styles celebrate the various pasts of youth culture: and, both do so as if there really were no tomorrow. But there is a difference

in The end-of-the-century party
Caspar Melville

Chapter 2 Warehouse parties, rare groove and the diversion of space Summer 1986. Bankside I’m not far from places I know, in a city I’ve lived in for twenty years – somewhere near the Thames, which I can smell – but I don’t know where I am. I walk down a narrow unlit alley between two grey buildings, squinting at the map printed on the flyer in my hand. There it is: ‘Bear Gardens’. This used to be part of the docks but they are long gone and now it just looks abandoned. But I can hear something. Muffled, somewhere up above, just recognisable as music. Round the

in It’s a London thing
A ‘post’-script
Steve Redhead

 1 From my generation to regeneration: a ‘post’-​script A handbill from Manchester’s Haçienda proclaimed: December 21st HOT THE FINAL PARTY A CELEBRATION OF THE SUMMER OF 88 In this way, the ‘Summer of Love, 88’, itself a reworking of another mythical summer, took its place in the hallowed hall of pop legends. Whilst the 1960s once slipped lazily into the early 1970s, Pop Time had now accelerated with a vengeance –​as if reclaiming borrowed time –​according the public phenomenon of Acid House little more than a long weekend. Or, as the magazine i-​D had it

in The end-of-the-century party
Post-subcultural pop
Steve Redhead

-​sized businesses recording, manufacturing, designing and distributing the various pop commodities. Organisation of Acid House, and other warehouse, parties is a case in point with sometimes thousands of people being directed to various locations up and down the country by means of car phones and other ‘yuppie’ paraphernalia. But the energy and verve of small, independent record 33  34 The end-of-the-century party labels and highly motivated individuals has been a major creative force in the international popular music industry throughout its history. Support for one or other

in The end-of-the-century party
Whatever happened to the new bohemia?
Steve Redhead

rapidly and considerably. If you were to compare say Play Hard with Factory, then the first thing you would notice would be sales of singles. We probably sell ten per cent of the amount of singles that Factory sold at the same time in their development. A  successful single for us is for example King of the Slums’ ‘Vicious British Boyfriend’ which had, when it came out, a feature in NME, a feature in Melody Maker, a feature in Sounds. There were very enthusiastic 93  94 The end-of-the-century party singles reviews on the singles reviews pages. They were on Snub TV

in The end-of-the-century party
Post-pop politics
Steve Redhead

early 1980s warehouse scene which eventually hosted the ‘horrors’ of Acid House parties –​subcultural theory was an inappropriate discourse to draw upon. In addition to subcultural theory, in the next two Chapters we also need to consider the contribution of an alternative set of inquiries, largely stemming from literary theory. A shift occurred in rock theory and pop sensibility in the 1980s which posed a number of problems for the contemporary cultural politics of pop. One manifestation of this shift, which has been confusingly read as an example of a new

in The end-of-the-century party
Post-political pop
Steve Redhead

’ culture’, forcing a re-​evaluation of past orthodoxies on ‘rebellious’ or ‘deviant’ youth, and rock and pop’s potential. 115  116 The end-of-the-century party Rapping the postmodern This book has taken issue with certain theorisations of postmodernism and popular music, which have tended either to concentrate on the correspondence between the ‘postmodern condition’ and ‘late capitalism’ or else celebrate the spectacular consumption represented by modern youth styles. Drawing on contemporary material the book has analysed certain trends in popular music and youth

in The end-of-the-century party
Steve Redhead

 –​where in 1986 the city’s nostalgia buffs celebrated the tenth summer since punk  –​or, for that matter any of the other plentiful sites of pleasure, pop and politics in any particular (sub)urban space and time that we should longingly remember. The 133  134 The end-of-the-century party sign that always caught the eye when I was researching and writing this book was at none of these more obvious places, but above a second-​hand ‘junk’ (mainly musical) shop on Oxford Road run by Johnny Roadhouse. The legend above the shop has read for many years: ‘I Buy Anything’ and ‘I

in The end-of-the-century party
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How the East German political system presented itself in television series
Sascha Trültzsch and Reinhold Viehoff

9 Undercover: How the East German political system presented itself in television series Sascha Trültzsch and Reinhold Viehoff Entertainment: The significance of fictional programmes in GDR television The former East Germany – the German Democratic Republic, or GDR – was an authoritarian state governed by the Socialist Unity Party (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands; SED). The party and a network of affiliated institutions controlled all media and other forms of public communication. The avowed aim was to propagate the SED’s ideology and guidelines

in Popular television in authoritarian Europe