The end-of-the-century party

Youth, pop and the rise of Madchester

By Steve Redhead

The end-of-the-century party


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4275-7
  • Pages: 248
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £12.99
  • Published Date: June 2019
  • BIC Category: Music, Popular music, Manchester, Electronic music, MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Dance, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture, The arts / Music, Society & social sciences / Popular culture, Humanities / Social & cultural history


Madchester may have been born at the Haçienda in the summer of 1988, but the city had been in creative ferment for almost a decade prior to the rise of acid house. The end-of-the-century party is the definitive account of a generational shift in popular music and youth culture, what it meant and what it led to. First published right after the Second Summer of Love, it tells the story of the transition from new pop to the political pop of the mid-1980s and its deviant offspring, post-political pop. Resisting contemporary proclamations about the end of youth culture and the rise of a new, right-leaning conformism, the book draws on interviews with DJs, record company bosses, musicians, producers and fans to outline a clear transition in pop thinking, a move from an obsession with style, packaging and synthetic sounds to content, socially conscious lyrics and a new authenticity.

This edition is framed by a prologue by Tara Brabazon, asking how we can reclaim the spirit, energy and authenticity of Madchester for a post-youth, post-pop generation. It is illustrated with iconic photographs by Kevin Cummins.


'The most incisive attempt yet to put acid house into a socio-political context.'
i-D magazine


Memories of the future - prologue by Tara Brabazon
From my generation to regeneration: a 'post'-script
1 Counter-cultures: the cultural politics of pop
2 It all comes round again? post-subcultural pop
3 Soundtracks from the global hypermarket: post-pop politics
4 One nation under a hoof: whatever happened to the new bohemia?
5 Don't go back to rockville: post-political pop
The absolute non-end


Steve Redhead was Professor of Cultural Studies at Flinders University, Australia. He was a founding director of the Manchester Institute of Popular Culture. His numerous publications include Repetitive Beat Generation (2000), We Have Never Been Postmodern (2011) and Trump Studies (2018).

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