PRINT December 1996

Real Life Rock

Top Ten (Plus Three)

Real life 1996—thirteen dispatches from pop’s sex and perception wars: one for each full moon, including July’s second, the blue moon, which is thus at the year’s center. This selection, designed to be put on cassette and played in the car, is predominantly UK-based but contains a few wider premises: that multitime reference—sourcing recorded material from up to a hundred years back—continues to open up multiple possibilities; that electronic dance is still closer to my heart than guitar music, except for Nirvana, whose live album From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah, in its ambition and sheer directness, makes almost every other rock record this year redundant; that, in an industry and a media climate which encourages self-censorship, synthesis and crossover is one key to healthy living and good art. The point being: Do you want to live according to how you feel or how you’re told to feel?

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