Books and Music at the Heart of Independent Publishing

Electric Eden

Rob Young

Rob Young investigates how the idea of folk has been handed down and transformed by successive generations – song collectors, composers, Marxist revivalists, folk-rockers, psychedelic voyagers, free festival-goers, experimental pop stars and electronic innovators.

In a sweeping panorama of Albion’s soundscape that takes in the pioneer spirit of Cecil Sharp; the pastoral classicism of Ralph Vaughan Williams and Peter Warlock; the industrial folk revival of Ewan MacColl and A. L. Lloyd; the folk-rock of Fairport Convention, Sandy Denny, Nick Drake, Shirley Collins, John Martyn and Pentangle; the bucolic psychedelia of The Incredible String Band, The Beatles and Pink Floyd; the acid folk of Comus, Forest, Mr Fox and Trees; The Wicker Man and occult folklore; the early Glastonbury and Stonehenge festivals; and the visionary pop of Kate Bush, Julian Cope and Talk Talk, Electric Eden maps out a native British musical voice that reflects the complex relationships between town and country, progress and nostalgia, radicalism and conservatism.

An attempt to isolate the ‘Britishness’ of British music – a wild combination of pagan echoes, spiritual quest, imaginative time-travel, pastoral innocence and electrified creativity – Electric Eden will be treasured by anyone interested in the tangled story of Britain’s folk music and Arcadian dreams.

RRP: £12.99

Published: 08/04/2011

ISBN: 9780571237531

Length: 672 pages

Format: Paperback

About Rob Young

Rob Young has worked at The Wire magazine since 1993, including five years as editor. He is the author of Rough Trade and Warp, and the editor of Undercurrents: The Hidden Wiring of Modern Music and The Wire Primers: A Guide to Modern Music. He has contributed to publications including Uncut, the Guardian, Sight & Sound, Frieze and Art Review. He lives in London.