This book explores the development of a range of cults of popular music as a response to changes in attitudes to meaning, spirituality and religion in society. At a time when fundamentalism is on the rise, traditional religions are in decline and postmodernity has challenged any system that claims to be all-defining, young people have left their traditional places of worship and set up their own, in clubs, at festivals and within music culture. "Pop Cults" investigates the ways in which popular music and its surrounding culture have become a primary site for the location of meaning, belief and identity. It provides an introduction to the history of the interactions of vernacular music and religion, and the role of music in religious culture. Rupert Till explores the cults of heavy metal, pop stars, club culture and virtual popular music worlds, investigating the sex, drug, local and death cults of the sacred popular, and their relationships with traditional religions. He concludes by discussing how and why popular music cultures have taken on many of the roles of traditional religions in contemporary society.
Rupert Till is Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Huddersfield, UK.
Introduction: Please to Meet You: Introducing Sacred Popular Cults; 1. Lost in Music: Pop Cults and New Religious Movements; 2. Let's Talk About Sex: Sex Cults of Popular Music; 3. I Want to Take You Higher: Drug Cults of Popular Music; 4. We Could Be Heroes: Personality Cults of the Sacred Popular; 5. In My Beautiful Neighbourhood: Local Cults of Popular Music; 6. Even Better Than The Real Thing: Virtual Cults of Popular Music; 7. Hope I Die Before I Get Old: Death Cults of Popular Music; 8. God is a DJ: Possession Trance Cults of Electronic Dance; 9. Do You Believe in Rock and Roll?: Cults of the Sacred Popular; Bibliography; Websites and online references; Discography; Films, Television, DVDs and Videos; Acknowledgements; Index.