In the last fifty years,the quest for authenticity, for the real, has become a dominant factor in musical taste whether it be the folklorists search for forgotten. Musicians strive to “keep it real”; listeners condemn “fakes”; but does great music really need to be authentic? Did Elvis sing from the heart. Journal of Popular Music Studies · Volume 20, Issue 2 Faking It: The Quest for Authenticity in Popular Music by Hugh Barker and Taylor Yuval.

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An absolutely fascinating and engrossing look at the idea of “authenticity” of popular music a topic that seems more and more absurd upon inspection. They are condemned for possibly considering themselves part of a superior or more sophis A lovely capturing of what I had suspected all along.

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. What do you think? The rest of the book, with chapters covering Neil Young’s post-“Harvest” recordings, the Monkees and “bubblegum” and John Lydon’s ditching of punk for PiL among others displays little feel for the subject matter. A critical look at not just the concept of authenticity and its relevance for music, but also the evolution of genre classifications in general.

Faking It: The Quest for Authenticity in Popular Music

I’m kinda tired of the stuck-up attitude being stereotypically ascribed to classical music as if classical is the sole culprit. But when he name-dropped this book which explores the importance that music fans place on authenticity in music, be it punk, indie, blues, country or world music in a recent interview, I decided to check it out.

Pardon in advance for the stretches that follow, but take for example: Austin Amonette rated it it was amazing Feb 09, I want to know why music aficionados in the know feel so much more threatened by classical smugness than punk smugness.

The problem is the two authors lack anything forr to a sense of hu Picked up this at the Library, thought it might help with an idea I’m playing around with. Did Elvis sing from the heart, or was he just acting? That the Beatles are “bigger than Jesus”? I also found myself wishing they’d get into the semiotics of album covers, presentation of group, etc.


Barker and Taylor reveal that Lomax’ definition of “authentic folk music” was so ridiculously narrow and off-base by the standard of modern anthropology that the music making the cut to his compilations was hardly at all representative of traditional American music. Disco and the mechanization of music. They are condemned for possibly considering themselves part of a superior or more sophisticated aesthetic.

Oct 21, Kathleen O’Neal rated it really liked it. It’s possible that it aligned with my own views enough that I didn’t become all that engaged.

No trivia or quizzes yet.

This book, about the “quest for authenticity” in its most natural habitat, the music scene, opens with the death of Kurt Cobain, a tireless promoter of the very catchphrases that were tearing him up inside.

Y Tu, Que Has Hecho? They love to point out jusic what white, rock-ish audiences consider authentic-sounding are in fact unpopular with the communities that birthed them–a strange “gotcha” that simply substitutes one arbitrary authenticity criterion for another.

This is a book for music critics more than music fans; only the snobbiest fans really care about whether the music they like is authentic or not. And, as far as superior tastes go, the self-satisfaction of listeners in the universal condemnation of disco? Feb 10, Ben rated it liked it.

A really great read for people who enjoy the analysis of pop culture and what it says about us. The insistence on authenticity is essentially an insistence on an illusory stability in a world of flux.

Faking It: The Quest for Authenticity in Popular Music – Yuval Taylor, Hugh Barker – Google Books

Answers the question – why didn’t blind blues singers sing songs about being blind? On the whole an excellent meditation on the theme of authenticity in popular music. In addition to drawing attention to the hypocrisy of those who overvalue the raw and rustic in the arts, Faking It is a very well written and informative history of popular musi in the U.


What more could I ask for?

Faking It | W. W. Norton & Company

The good stuff in the book is absolutely brilliant, though. Definitely a useful object, and it’s likely that a second reading might make its assertions more enduring in my ajthenticity.

Along the way, the authors discuss the segregation of music in the South, investigate the predominance of self-absorption in modern pop, reassess the rebellious ridiculousness of rockabilly and disco, and delineate how the quest for authenticity has not only made some music great and some music terrible but also shaped in a fundamental way the development of popular music in our time.

Open Preview See a Problem? The authors take on a wide array of musicians and bands maybe too wide – the selections seemed appropriate yet random in order to show how American audiences have displayed an increasing obsession with “authenticity” in the past years.

Did Elvis sing from the heart, or was he just acting? Dec 16, John Defrog rated it really liked it.

One chapter here draws a loose comparison between Neil Young and Billy Joel. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Dec 31, Josh Neas rated it really liked it. But maybe someday we’ll find a way to let ourselves, and each other, change our minds, adopt new mindsets, try different styles, as unhesitatingly and smoothly as we change our moods. What is real and what isn’t. Second, it’s painfully obvious that the authors’ musical taste doesn’t deviate more than two degrees from the Beatles.