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"Strange Brew" is the title of a 1967 hit song from Cream's album Disraeli Gears, which featured the most psychedelic cover art ever. The song is what postmodern scholars, influenced by Fredric Jameson, would call a pastiche: its lyrics combine images of love, witchcraft, and getting stoned with a note-for-note rendition of Albert King's traditional blues song "Oh Pretty Woman." The song's title is a metaphor suggesting that words and music can mix to become a kind of magic potion. Strange Brew: Metaphors of Magic and Science in Rock Music traces the evolution of psychedelic music from its roots in rock and roll and the blues to its influence on popular music today, shows how metaphor is used to create the effects of songs and their lyrics, and explores how words and music came together as both a cause and effect of the cultural revolution of the nineteen-sixties.
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Victor Kennedy is Professor of English and American Studies at the University of Maribor, Slovenia, and he has taught at the University of Toronto and Trent University, Ontario. His articles on visual and conceptual metaphor may be found in Metaphor and Symbol. His most recent book, co-edited with Michelle Gadpaille, is entitled Words and Music.
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