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The Who and Pop Art: the simple things you see are all complicated

Stanfield, Peter (2017) The Who and Pop Art: the simple things you see are all complicated. Journal of Popular Music Studies, 29 (1). Article Number 12203. ISSN 1524-2226. E-ISSN 1533-1598. (doi:10.1111/jpms.12203) (KAR id:59910)

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The essay investigates the connections between The Who and Pop Art. It uses Lawrence Alloway’s expansive concept of Pop Art, which he defines as a correspondence along a continuum between the commercial and the fine arts. The Who, I argue, exemplify this process of connectivity between the low and the high. The analysis focuses on the contradiction in the received wisdom that the band did little more than willfully exploit Pop Art imagery and the counter-idea that they were significant innovators within a form that had otherwise become limited in scope and ambition. Key questions are asked about authenticity and appropriation, race and pop, and art and sonic dissonance. The central object of the enquiry is the band’s debut album, My Generation, and a handful of 45s released in 1965-66.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/jpms.12203
Uncontrolled keywords: The Who, Rock music, Pop Art, My Generation
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
N Visual Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
Depositing User: Peter Stanfield
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2017 09:56 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 08:43 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Stanfield, Peter.

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