Preface Vision Culture Artefact Worlds Persona Texts Words Postscript
Celebrated UK musician and academic Pete Astor analyzes one of the seminal albums of the New York punk era from both scholarly and subjective perspectives.
Pete Astor is Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster, UK. He also writes songs, sings and plays the guitar.
The 33 1/3 book series started in 2003, analyzing 'seminal' rock albums in the manner of great literature novels-but also adding the personal insights that only the true rock n' roll fan can deliver. #92 looks at Richard Hell and the Voidoids' Blank Generation (1977). On the heels of #91, on Gang of Four's Entertainment (1979) the releases really are two of a pair-the arch "art punk" statements of the '70s-though Gang of Four is more political and Richard Hell thoroughly nihilistic. The analytical approach can have its pitfalls: Astor is so intent on the importance of listening on vinyl that he traces the history of recording technology back to Edison, to make the point that the album has to be heard on that medium. But Astor brilliantly places Blank Generation in the 70's lower East Side New York art world, with all the squalor evoked by Richard Hell's songs, as well as depicting Hell as a poet with a comprehensive artistic vision. In his own way, Hell was the voice of a generation. * SLUG Magazine *