Tune in to Dylan Jones’s synth-heavy New Romantics playlist.
“Punk. Soul. New Romantics. Synth pop. What worlds they were. Sweet Dreams is the story of how these worlds and narratives inter- linked, and how they were all undeniably helixed together. The original New Romantic scene revolved around self-expression, being a platform for identity. Today we are all encouraged to be who we are, feel who we are, show who we are and exaggerate who we are; this certainly wasn’t the case in 1978, when this particular reinvention of teenage rebellion was considered by most to be simply a fashion play, all about dressing up and little else. However, over forty years since a couple of hundred people started dressing up in order to show off in a tacky theme bar in Covent Garden, the way we look is now intrinsic to who and how we are.
“What do the people in Sweet Dreams mean in relation to their era? How important are they to the cultural mission creep of the period? I’d say they are vital, crucial, in part responsible for one of the most creative periods of post-war culture, helping frame a decade of wildly diverse accomplishment. Perhaps these years – these ten brimming years – were a series of happy accidents. Perhaps. Consequence, then, from inconsequence.” Dylan Jones 2020.
Extracted from Sweet Dreams: The Story of the New Romantics, out now.