‘Sweet Dreams’ charts the rise of the New Romantics, a scene that grew out of the remnants of post-punk and developed quickly alongside club culture, ska, electronica, and goth. One of the most creative entrepreneurial periods since the Sixties, the era had a huge influence on the growth of print and broadcast media, and was arguably one of the most bohemian environments of the late twentieth century. Not only did it visually define the decade, it was the catalyst for the Second British Invasion, when the US charts would be colonised by British pop music – Depeche Mode, Culture Club, Wham!, Soft Cell, Ultravox, Duran Duran, Sade, Spandau Ballet, the Eurythmics and many more – making it one of the most powerful cultural exports since the Beatles.
*Includes an exclusive new chapter*
‘Hugely enjoyable’ Irish Times
‘Fascinating’ New Statesman
‘An absolute must-read’ GQ
An NME and BBC Culture Book of the Year 2020
For a while, Sweet Dreams were made of this.
From the testimony of the people who lived it, comes Dylan Jones’ masterful history of the Blitz kids, synth-pop and the style press, from 1975 to 1985.
‘Few music scenes have received more opprobrium than the New Romantics. A bunch of fame-grabbing clothes-horses? Certainly. But also, a progressive force that opened new routes for music while embracing most genders, ethnicities and sexual preferences.’ MOJO
‘Compelling reading for those who lived and breathed the indulgence of the era without realising its significance or contemplating its legacy.’ Simon Armitage
‘Dylan Jones explains how a bunch of penniless nightclub show-offs morphed into pop royalty in the 1980s . . . An excitable patchwork of interviews, punctuated with gossip and pertinent theory.’ UNCUT
‘It’s all here: the swishing, the androgynous preening, the sweetly-dreamt synth-pop splendour of early ’80s Britain. Something was happening, and Mr. Jones knew what it was.’ Barney Hoskyns