As we tweeted yesterday, I really liked those chapters. For me, the bits that didn’t quite fit were some of the US stuff. So much of the book was (understandably) focused on the UK that the American scenes either seemed a bit token (“Surely there was more going on in all of America?” I’d think) or just not very related to the surrounding chapters.
Otherwise, I liked the earlier post-punk stuff because I was too young at the time to be aware of it, never mind appreciate it, and I’ve heard little about it since. It’s awful that I hadn’t even *heard* Gang of Four until (checks) 2007.
And then I liked the later, more mainstream and synthy stuff because although I knew a lot of it from my teen years I wasn’t into music enough then to put it in context. It was all just part of the big mix of chart pop to me. And so seeing how it could all be made to fit together was an eye-opener.
So I don’t quite agree with your minor criticism but yes, it’s generally a wonderful book.