FACT magazine, 2009
by Simon Reynolds
Because I've written a book on postpunk--actually two books now, with Totally Wired, the new collection of interviews--every so often someone will ask me "Simon, now that the economy's up the shitter like it was in the late Seventies and early Eighties, d'ya reckon there'll be a massive upsurge of radical music on a par with postpunk then?" And you know, it would be gorgeous to think this was on the cards--some compensation and consolation for the utter fuckitude of all things economic for the foreseeable. But I think there' s a problem or several with this by now rather clichéd equation of hard times with vibrant music.
Similarly, student grants were considered a basic right then, and because the prospect of life after graduation wasn't so fraught with anxiety about getting on a career track, students treated their three years at college as a period for self-exploration and creative experiments with lifestyle--also known as "pissing about." Some versions of this theory are almost Marxist in their base-governs-superstructure pinpointing of the end of "The Sixties" as the autumn of 1973, when the oil crisis began: OPEC flexed its muscles, Western economies tightened, everything started getting more expensive (including records, which had been so cheap that punters could afford to be experimental with their music taste).