|Born||1963 (age 51–52)
London, UK 
|Notable works||Blissed Out, Retromania, Energy Flash, Rip It Up and Start Again, The Sex Revolts|
Simon Reynolds is an English music journalist who writes on rock music, electronic dance music, and wider forms of popular music. In addition to his contributions to publications such as Melody Maker and The Guardian, Reynolds has written works on topics ranging from post-punk and electronic dance culture to gender and sexuality in popular music.
History and career
Reynolds was born in London in 1963. While attending the University of Oxford, Reynolds co-founded Moniter, a shortlived pop music magazine, with future Melody Maker peer David Stubbs. By 1986, he had joined Melody Maker and had begun to establish himself as a mainstay of the magazine. He was an early proponent of the neo-psychedelic guitar bands that emerged in England in the late 80's (such as A.R. Kane and My Bloody Valentine), and much of this writing would be the focus of the retrospective collection Blissed Out: The Raptures of Rock, published in 1990.
In 1990, Reynolds left Melody Maker (although he would continue to contribute to the magazine until 1996) and became a freelance writer, splitting his time between London and New York. In the early 1990s, he became involved in rave culture and the electronic dance music scene, particularly that of the UK, and subsequently became a writer on electronic dance music and its surrounding culture. In 1994, Reynolds moved permanently to the East Village in Manhattan. In 1995, along with his wife, Joy Press, Reynolds co-authored The Sex Revolts: Gender, Rebellion and Rock 'n' Roll, a critical analysis of gender in rock.
In 1998, Reynolds published Energy Flash: a Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture, a history of what became rave music, and became a senior editor at Spin magazine in the US. In 1999, he went back to freelance work and published an American version of Energy Flash in abridged form, titled: Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture. In 2005, Reynolds published Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978–1984, a comprehensive history of the post-punk era.
Reynolds has continued writing for magazines, as well as his blog, Blissblog. In 2007, Reynolds published Bring the Noise: 20 Years of Writing about Hip Rock and Hip Hop in the UK, a collection of his writing themed around the relationship between white bohemian rock and black street music. In 2008, an updated edition of Energy Flash was published, with new chapters on the ten years of dance music following the appearance of the first edition. He contributed a chapter to Sound Unbound: Sampling Digital Music and Culture (The MIT Press, 2008), edited by Paul D. Miller a.k.a. DJ Spooky. In 2011, Reynolds published Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past, an indictment of and investigation into what he perceives as the current situation of chronic retrogression in pop music.
Reynolds has become well known for his incorporation of critical theory in his analysis of music, particularly that of theorists such as Georges Bataille, Jacques Derrida, and Deleuze and Guattari. He has written extensively on gender, class, race, and sexuality, and their influence on music. In his study of the relationship between class and music, Reynolds coined the term liminal class, defined as the upper-working class and lower-middle-class. This is a group he credits with "a lot of music energy".
Reynolds has also written about drug culture and its relationship to and effect on music. In his book, Generation Ecstasy, Reynolds traces the effects of drugs on the ups and downs of the rave scene. Evidence of his interest in the topic can be found in Generation Ecstasy, and in his review of Trainspotting, among other things.
- Blissed Out: The Raptures of Rock. Serpent's Tail, August 1990, ISBN 1-85242-199-1
- The Sex Revolts: Gender, Rebellion and Rock 'N' Roll . Co-authored with Joy Press. Serpent's Tail, January 1995, ISBN 1-85242-254-8
- Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture (UK title, Pan Macmillan, 2008, ISBN 978-0-330-45420-9 / 1998, ISBN 0-330-35056-0), published in abridged form as Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture (North American title, Routledge, 1999, ISBN 0-415-92373-5)
- Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978–1984. Faber and Faber Ltd, April 2005, ISBN 0-571-21569-6 (U.S. Edition: Penguin, February 2006, ISBN 0-14-303672-6)
- Bring The Noise: 20 Years of writing about Hip Rock and Hip-Hop. Faber and Faber Ltd, May 2007, ISBN 978-0-571-23207-9
- Totally Wired: Post-Punk Interviews and Overviews. Faber and Faber Ltd, February 2009, 978-0571235490 (U.S. Edition: Soft Skull Press, September 2010, 1-59376-286-0)
- Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past. Faber and Faber Ltd, June 2011, 978-0571232086
- Rip It Up and Start Again : Post Punk 1978-1984 - CD compiled by Simon Reynolds, 15 May 2006, V2 label
- The A.V. Club, Inventory: 17 Essential Books About Popular Music
- Adam Harper, "Record Recollection", Oxonian Review, 2 June 2011
- Perfect Sound Forever: Simon Reynolds interview on post-punk
- Simon Reynolds: High society - Irvine Welsh's film 'Trainspotting'. Artforum, Summer 1996
- Simon Reynolds: Review of JAY-Z, Vol. 3... Life and Times of S.Carter / DMX,And Then There Was X / JUVENILE, Tha G-Code /THE LOX, We Are The Streets Uncut, May 2000 (online copy at Reynolds "Bring The Noise" blog)
- Official blog
- Furious.com interview about Rip it Up
- Repellent review and interview of Rip it Up, 2006
- Seattle Weekly interview about Rip it Up
- A New (Rock) Polarity, a 1995 review of The Sex Revolts by Robert Christgau in the New York Times Book Review
- Review of Rip it Up in the New York Times, 2006
- Rip It Up and Start Again blog
- Bring the Noise blog
- Energy Flash blog
- Blissed Out blog
- The Sex Revolts blog
- ReynoldsRetro blog — an archive of Reynolds' writing
- blissout (Reynolds's defunct website, last updated 31 October 2002) - copy at the Internet Archive
- Rock's Back Pages — biography and list of articles by Reynolds
- "Bind and Heal: An Interview with Simon Reynolds", in Oxonian Review with Alex Niven about Retromania, 2011.