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Are We Still Rolling?: Studios, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll - One Man's Journey Recording Classic Albums Paperback – 10 Nov 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Tape Op (10 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977990311
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977990313
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'...This book's diary format takes the reader on a tour through 30-odd memorable recording sessions with a mix of legendary and obscure artists...' --Record Collector, May 2011

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David M. Briffa on 12 April 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was recommended to me by a friend who has been involved in the music business. He thought I'd particularly like it for the pages on Traffic and Steve Winwood, my favourite musicians. It's a terrific read. If you like British (mainly) rock and pop from 1965 to 1995 and are interested both in the artists and how the music was recorded, this is a gem. Packed with rich detail. Very well written (the style is easy and effortless). And he doesn't take himself too seriously.

Now here's a funny thing. How many people review a book before they've finished it? I've only read about 20% of the book so far. I've picked out some of the chapters: Olympic Studios; Steve Winwood; Jeff Beck; Dana Gillespie. But I'm looking forward to Pink Floyd, Robert Palmer, John Martyn, The Rolling Stones, Roxy Music and others. Those who are ten years younger than me will doubtless savour the chapters on acts like Go West, Talk Talk and Dido. Not that I expect not to like those pages. The writing, and the material, is that strong. I just think I will like them slightly less than the other, older stuff.

Normally with a good book you race through it, enjoying every minute. Phill Brown's book is so damned fine (and I read five or six rock biographies a year, so I'm probably in a position to make a relative judgement) I want to do the opposite. I'm going to ration myself to a chapter a day. It's that good. And, when I've finished it, I'm immediately going to read it again. It's rather like a great album or track. You've just got to stick it on automatic replay.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. P. Brodrick on 22 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
I almost met Phill once having been in the fortunate position of being at his daughters wedding due to me having played in a band with his son-in-law, but due to my shyness and he having much more important things on his mind we never did meet & chat about his past.

No matter as Are We Still Rolling? gives you an insight into the recording, engineering and innovative technical wizardry behind some of the most seminal albums of the 60, 70, 80 & 90s, and also the role that the studio engineer actually plays that more than often goes without credit.

Phill's attention to detail in the book covers equipment used & the positioning of mike's to individual artists height, which made me smile and also the stress, long hours and fun that can be had in a recording studio environment. Certain aspects show a comic/tragic element to Phill's life when at one point after working for a year with Talk Talk during which he had little contact with family, the outside world or reality in general he finally goes home and asks his family to listen to "... what I have been up to for the last year ...". When it finished nobody said a word and life went on as normal.

I was pleasantly surprised at how many great albums I have that Phill has played a part in, from Jeff Beck and Traffic to John Martyn and Throwing Muses but Phill's insight inspired me to download album's by Talk Talk and Murray Head who I had previously never heard of.

If you are a music collector, musician or reader of Biography/Autobiographies like me then I highly recommend "Are We Still Rolling?".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rabbi D on 28 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
Phill Brown gives a potted history from 40 odd years working with some of the biggest bands from The Rolling Stones (back when they were good), via John Martyn to Dido more recently. Almost everyone will have some of the albums that he writes about and whenever I could I was listening to the album as I read about how it was made. John Martyn and Talk Talk (Spirit of Eden/ Laughing Stock) were particularly memorable.
For anyone who makes music this is a fascinating collection of stories, especially since the days of hiring big recording studios for weeks or months at a time are all but gone now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matt Testifies on 14 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thanks for writing this Phil. I assume you kept diaries, you couldn't possible have remembered all the detail with all the substance abuse!

I didn't know most of the stories but they're all quite fascinating but also unsurprising. It's amazing how closely the vibes of the lps you worked on reflect the pain or pleasures of their births.

I remember the Island 50th do, I was signed at the time. Wished I'd known you then, would had a chat and a spliff.

One moan, why not a few sentences about your use of compression and limiting?

Essential reading for any SE student.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. Harpur on 5 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a truly fascinating book that describes working life in the (still) mad world of the recording studio through several decades. From the days of gigantic 4 track tape machines through to contemporary digital setups with 'as many tracks as you want guvna!'. Phill doesn't spare his own blushes and is incredibly honest in his descriptions of what went on. The book is I think equally entertaining for both the more techno/muso reader and the interested 'punter' - loaded with great anecdotes and fly on the wall observations. I tried to read it slowly... but failed!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By woostie on 16 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
A fascinating and hugely entertaining insight into the world of studios and music making by one of the great engineers/producers of our time. Highly recommended reading for anyone involved in studios and bands.
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