Terminated for Reasons of Taste

Other Ways to Hear Essential and Inessential Music

Terminated for Reasons of Taste

Book Pages: 344 Illustrations: 32 illustrations Published: September 2016

Author: Chuck Eddy

American Studies, Cultural Studies, Music > Popular Music

In Terminated for Reasons of Taste, veteran rock critic Chuck Eddy writes that "rock'n'roll history is written by the winners. Which stinks, because the losers have always played a big role in keeping rock interesting." Rock's losers share top billing with its winners in this new collection of Eddy's writing. In pieces culled from outlets as varied as the Village Voice, Creem magazine, the streaming site Rhapsody, music message boards, and his high school newspaper, Eddy covers everything from the Beastie Boys to 1920s country music, Taylor Swift to German new wave, Bruce Springsteen to occult metal. With an encyclopedic knowledge, unabashed irreverence, and a captivating style, Eddy rips up popular music histories and stitches them back together using his appreciation of the lost, ignored, and maligned. In so doing, he shows how pop music is bigger, and more multidimensional and compelling than most people can imagine.


"Taking his cue from rock writer Lester Bangs and gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, Eddy consistently assumes the literary character of a victimized, knowledgeable, smart-ass rock writer who has just uncovered the latest hidden musical treasure." — David P. Szatmary, Library Journal

"Eddy's smarts, freakish knowledge of the obscure, and some hilarious takedowns make the collection feel like hanging out with a cool uncle who gifts you music knowledge nuggets impossible to find elsewhere." — Libby Webster, Austin Chronicle

"Terminated for Reasons of Taste reads like an eclectic Spotify mix on shuffle. . . . Eddy’s knowledgeable and clever writing makes even his most exploratory essays feel less like indulgent ‘Think Pieces’ and more like listening to a clerk at a store that sells records to a very diverse customer base: no judgment, no arrogance, just a pure love of music and some honest opinion." — Eric Rovie, PopMatters

"Eddy is steeped in music so wide ranging he touches everything from classic country to alt music so obscure it hurts. His knowledge is beyond encyclopedic and he writes with such passion that you can’t help but seek some of this stuff out to give it a listen. If you're bored to death with cookie cutter, Mr. Microphone, Auto Tuned schlock, then Eddy’s book will be the equivalent to a travel guide to new music." — Jeff Johns, My Big Honkin Blog

"Can we talk for a second about what a good year Duke University Press is having with rock critic anthologies? They’ve released Greg Tate’s long-awaited FlyBoy 2: The Greg Tate Reader and this tasty slab by Austin-based, Detroit-reared critic Chuck Eddy . . . . This collection draws from such diverse outlets as the Village Voice, Creem magazine, Rhapsody.com, music message boards, and Eddy’s high school newspaper and presents all sides of the seasoned scribe: combative and thoughtful, contrary and compelling." — Joe Gross, Austin American-Statesman

"Prioritising enjoyment over critical dogma with a rigour that becomes almost ideological, Eddy scrapes off the barnacles of conventional wisdom to help the music he loves sail into uncharted realms of aesthetic scrutiny. . . . [A] selection which blends Eddy’s ‘proper’ Village Voice journalism with fanzine clippings and message board posts seamlessly enough (and with a sufficient absence of 'generational kvetching') to suggest music writing might have a future as well as a past." — Ben Thompson, Mojo

"A challenging and rewarding book for those interested in music history and criticism, and a quirky introduction to so much of what has passed for popular music over the decades. Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers."
  — R. D. Cohen, Choice

"Eddy is a major figure in contemporary music criticism, & needs to be read by anyone seriously interested in the subject. Just don’t make me listen to early Styx albums." — Tim Allison, Fed on Peaches blog

"Chuck Eddy, who possesses a rare knowledge of the process, sum, and esoterica of popular music making, manages to make familiar music seem fresh and suddenly open to new and even unlikely interpretations. He is also an electrifying guide to a wealth of music that you may not know or care about. Spirited, friendly, and highly energized, Eddy pulls readers in, exciting and surprising them." — RJ Smith, author of The One: The Life and Music of James Brown

"Chuck Eddy's breezy style and far-ranging genre enthusiasms may obscure the acute critical insight and fan's appreciation he brings to this dizzying collection of his piecework. It's like running amok at a record fair with a knowledgeable enthusiast who sees all music as having a place in the pop firmament, and can't wait to show you the next hidden treasure, or reveal a truth about a song you've heard many times before." — Lenny Kaye, musician, writer, record producer


Availability: In stock
Price: $28.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Chuck Eddy is an independent music journalist living in Austin, Texas. Formerly the music editor at the Village Voice and a senior editor at Billboard, he is author of Rock and Roll Always Forgets: A Quarter Century of Music Criticism, also published by Duke University Press; The Accidental Evolution of Rock 'n' Roll: A Misguided Tour Through Popular Music; and Stairway to Hell: The 500 Best Heavy Metal Albums in the Universe.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  xi

Introduction. Sold a Decade at a Time  1

1. B.C.
The Best Songs of 1930  11
Depression Music  13
Country Rap Prehistory  15
Country Songs I  17
Niela Miller: Songs of Leaving  25
'60s Catholic Folk Mass  27
Country Songs II  28
CB Jeebies  39
Can't Fool Mother Nature  40
Prog on the Prairie: Midwestern Bands Roll Over Beethoven  41
Past Expiry Hard Rock Dollar Bin  44
Sonic Taxonomy: Fake New Wave  56
Inventing Indie Rock  64
Urinals→No Age 67

2. 80s
Sonic Taxonomy: Unsung '80s R&B Bands  77
Country Rap: The 80s  85
Sonic Taxonomy: Old Old Old School Rap Albums  87
Public Enemy Do the Punk Rock  96
Beastie Boys: Lay It Down, Clowns  98
Aerosmith, Endangered No More  105
Metallica: Kill 'Em All Turns 30  110
Fates Warning and Possessed Open Up and Say . . .  Ahh!  113
Dead Milkmen vs. Thelonious Monster: Battle of the Lame  114
Einstürzende Neubauten / Killdozer: The Graystone, Detroit, 11 June 1986  116
New Wave über Alles 118
Frank Chickens→M.I.A.  124
Owed to the Nightingales  127
Mekons Stumble toward Oblivion  130
Mekons: So Good It Hurts  132
Pet Shop Boys: 18 Shopping Days Left  133
Billy Joel: It's Not His Fault!  135
John Hiatt: Bring the Family  139
John Anderson Serves the Doofus Majority  140
Country Songs III 142
The '80s: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back  145

3. 90s
TLC and Kris Kross: Women and Children First  157
Cause & Effect: Trip 160
The Cure: Spectrum, Philadelphia, 16 May 1992  161
SOS from the Metal of Nowhere  163
Motörhead Überkill  164
Pankow and Treponem Pal Ring in Desert Storm  168
How Nirvana Didn't Kill Hair Metal  170
Sponge: From Grunge to Glam  171
Radio On Reviews I 172
Travis Marries a Man!  178
John Mellencamp: Dance Naked  179
Sawyer Brown: Café on the Corner  181
Patricia Conroy: A Bad Day for Trains  182
Grupo Exterminador: Dedicado a Mis Novias  183
When FSK Plays, Schnitzel Happens  184
Radio On Reviews II 185
Alanis Morissette: Addicted to Love  189

4. '00s
Singles Again: Backstabs in the Material World  197
Bruce Springsteen: Working on a Dream  202
Frat Daze, Clambake, Anyways, It's Still Country Soul to Kenny Chesney  204
Country Music Goes to Mexico  204
September 11: Country Music's Response  204
Battle of the Country Hunks  214
Country Songs IV  217
The Ladies of Triple A  222
Anvil Won't Go Away  225
Excellent Boring Metal from Germany  227
The Many Ideas of Oneida  228
Next Little Things  232

5. '10s
Singles Jukebox Reviews  248
The Dirtbombs: Ooey Gooey Chewy Ka-Blooey!  252
Redd Kross: Researching the Blues  256
Mayer Hawthorne←Robert Palmer 258
Kanye West: VEVO Power Station, Austin, 20 March 2011  261
Taylor Swift and Ke$ha: Not So Different 263
Ke$ha: Warrior  267
Strange Brew: Metal's New Blare Witch Project   269
Metal's Severed Extremities  275
Walking Dead: The Divided States of Metal  278
Voivod: Target Earth  281
Merchandise: Totale Nite  285
Mumford and Sons: Babel  287
The Gospel Truth  289
Southern Soul Keeps On Keepin' On  293
Jamey Johnson Sprawls Out  297
Country Songs V  300
Bro-Country Isn't as Dumb as It Looks  302
Ashley Monroe and Kacey Musgraves Are What They Are  304
When the Angels Stopped Watching Mindy McCready  308

Conclusion. I Am the World's Forgettin' Boy  311

Index  315
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top