Sex Pistols and Rock Music

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Marcus, Greil. Liptstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century. 2nd ed.  Cambridge: Harvard, UP. 2009.

The book focuses on the artist rebellion that characterized the 20th century. It covers Post WWI art movements to the Sex Pistols and focuses on the musical elements of this century as evidenced by rise of Punk music that critiqued the political situation. Sex Pistols was a popular music group the songs of which protested against political formations and suggested the existence of political upheavals. Marcus main claim is that artistic movements were opposed to a capitalist society and aimed to reveal the dissatisfaction to the political situation by supporting a revolution for change. Marcus further asserts that the lines of Sex Pistols’ songs show how Britain had been run down due to high unemployment rates, strikes, flawed education system, and polluted environment. The author utilizes a contrast methodology to reveal that most rock and punk songs expressed anger and protests that the youthful population had against capitalist society.

The book centers on the severe political situation and dissatisfaction with the ruling elites. The violent and angry tone expressed through loud music and screaming aimed to show the political protest. Marcus shows that music aimed to change the world. From the main context of this book, the audience is the political class. This attributes to the fact that it focuses on the criticisms of punk and rock music against the established capitalist system that had left the youths disillusioned. Thus, young citizens resorted to punk music to express their dissatisfaction and frustrations about the government operations. All the songs covered in the book focus on the rock and punk music genres. The Sex Pistols depicts popular punk rock songs that officially marked the beginning of the punk movement.

Works Cited

Marcus, Greil. Liptstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century. 2nd

ed.  Cambridge: Harvard, UP. 2009.

August 21, 2023


Subject area:

Rock Music

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Expertise Rock Music
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