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Unknown Pleasures


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Last year's much-ballyhooed soundtrack to Velvet Goldmine, a homoerotic ode to 1970s glam rock, enticed American twentysomethings with Brit pop fixations finally to listen to their heroes' heroes. Before Blur and Radiohead, boys and girls, there was Roxy Music. Stump, a contributor to British publications Wire and Sunday Telegraph, proves that RM was one of the first bands consciously and successfully to merge their glittered greaser image with their glamorous forlorn pop. Much care and research (every studio album and solo project is covered) went into this work, but Stump's language, which is heavy on alliteration, French phrases, and five-dollar diction, cramps his own style and clouds his points. Treating RM's sex appeal (including the cover girls) as a pop-art and irony symposium seems ridiculous because RM's albums are soundtracks for hard-core making out. Fans looking for a straightforward biography will get annoyed with Stump's "cultural" tangents. Still, he brings 1970s Britain to light, and this is the only readily available study in the States. Recommended for larger collections.--Heather McCormack, "Library Journal" Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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