From the late-1970s to the late-1980s rock music in Yugoslavia had an important social and political purpose of providing a popular cultural outlet for the unique forms of socio-cultural critique that engaged with the realities and problems of life in Yugoslav society. The three music movements that emerged in this period - New Wave, New Primitives, and New Partisans - employed the understanding of rock music as the 'music of commitment' (i.e. as socio-cultural praxis premised on committed social engagement) to articulate the critiques of the country's 'new socialist culture', with the purpose of helping to eliminate the disconnect between the ideal and the reality of socialist Yugoslavia. This book offers an analysis of the three music movements and their particular brand of 'poetics of the present' in order to explore the movements' specific forms of socio-cultural engagement with Yugoslavia's 'new socialist culture' and demonstrate that their cultural praxis was oriented towards the goal of realizing the genuine Yugoslav socialist-humanist community 'in the true measure of man'. Thus, the book's principal argument is that the driving force behind the music of commitment was, although critical, a fundamentally constructive disposition towards the progressive ideal of socialist Yugoslavia.
’Dalibor MiÅ¡ina’s research gives … a new insight into the socially engaged rock music in former Yugoslavia and points out the similarities of this engagement among musicians from different countries, time periods and music styles that have not previously been discussed’. International Review of the Sociology and Aesthetics of Music (IRASM) ’Shake, Rattle and Roll represents an important contribution to the study of popular music in socialist Europe and forms part of a renewed scholarly interest in the cultural history of pre-break-up Yugoslavia in its own right. Its primary appeal is likely to be to region specialists, whether that region is thought of as the former Yugoslavia or as the wider European state socialist space. It can nevertheless also be recommended to those interested in the social and political position of rock music in other types of system. Its grounding in the specificities of Yugoslav socialist thought helps to extend ideas of how rock musicians participate in social and political critique beyond the commonplaces that are sometimes to be found in studies or models based solely on the West’. Journal of World Popular Music