There has long been a fashion in writing about popular music to argue the significance of a single year as a pivotal moment in music history. The most convenient metaphor to capture its impact has been that of the explosion, a practice that most notably dates to Caroline Coon’s 1988: The New Wave Punk Rock Explosion (1977), which despite its title is actually about a year spanning the summers of 1976 and 1977, whose influence the author believed would still resonate even a decade later (a thesis that has certainly proven correct). More recently Jon Savage’s 1966: The Year the Decade Exploded (2016) and David Hepworth’s Never a Dull Moment: 1971 The Year that Rock Exploded (2016) have similarly evoked the explosion’s sense of dynamic rupture to underscore the power of popular music reverberating out from a single year. Michaelangelo Matos’s excellent Can’t Slow Down, however, eschews this well-worn...
Review: Can’t Slow Down: How 1984 Became Pop’s Blockbuster Year, by Michaelangelo Matos
Theo Cateforis is associate professor of music history and cultures in the Department of Art & Music Histories at Syracuse University, and past president of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music-U.S. Branch (IASPM-US). He is the author of Are We Not New Wave? Modern Pop at the Turn of the 1980s (University of Michigan Press, 2011) and editor of The Rock History Reader, now in its third edition (Routledge, 2019).
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Theo Cateforis; Review: Can’t Slow Down: How 1984 Became Pop’s Blockbuster Year, by Michaelangelo Matos. Journal of Popular Music Studies 1 December 2021; 33 (4): 216–218. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jpms.2021.33.4.216
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