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Bruce Springsteen, Rock Criticism, and the Music Business: Towards a Theory and History of Hype

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Utilizing the early career of Bruce Springsteen during the 1970s as an example, this article begins to theorize and historicize the relationship between hype as a communicative process and the field of rock criticism. I argue that hype should be understood in three distinct ways: as a result of material changes in the music industry of the period, as a multifaceted discursive process that involved the creation, circulation, and debate of journalistic writing; and as a rhetorical strategy employed by music critics to distance themselves from the aforementioned processes. In working toward a theory of hype, I suggest how it is a critical factor in coming to terms with how rock criticism became an element of promotional culture.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-05-01

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