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David Bowie. Culture Club. Wham!. Soft Cell. Duran Duran. Sade. Adam Ant. Spandau Ballet. The Eurythmics.
‘Excellent’ Guardian ‘Hugely enjoyable’ Irish Times ‘Dazzling’ LRB ‘Fascinating’ New Statesman ‘An absolute must-read’ GQ
One of the most creative entrepreneurial periods since the Sixties, the era of the New Romantics grew out of the remnants of post-punk and developed quickly alongside club culture, ska, electronica, and goth. The scene had a huge influence on the growth of print and broadcast media, and was arguably one of the most bohemian environments of the late twentieth century. Not only did it visually define the decade, it was the catalyst for the Second British Invasion, when the US charts would be colonised by British pop music – making it one of the most powerful cultural exports since the Beatles.
In Sweet Dreams, Dylan Jones charts the rise of the New Romantics through testimony from the people who lived it.
For a while, Sweet Dreams were made of this.
Jones’ style - part testimony, part documentary - sheds light on one of the most unanticipated and misunderstood shifts in popular music and street fashion, that sudden lurch towards the swank and ostentation of New Romanticism, a style that seemed arrogant and contrary in its origins but would define the nature and direction of music for at least a decade. Compelling reading for those who lived and breathed the indulgence of the era without realising its significance or contemplating its legacy.
The marvelously suave Mr. Jones rehabilitates the scenesters’ scene: a time and place once dismissed by rain-coated puritans like me, only to be brought gloriously to life years later – like a peacock’s fanning tail – in this definitive oral history. It’s all here: the swishing, the androgynous preening, the sweetly-dreamt synth-pop splendour of early ‘80s Britain. Something was happening, and Mr. Jones knew what it was.
‘Who better to tell the story of the super-stylish New Romantic movement than GQ editor Jones, who lived through it?’
'Jones has finally produced the tribute that one of Britain’s most culturally rich periods truly deserves.’
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