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Industrial Evolution: Through the 80s with "Cabaret Voltaire" (Poptomes) Paperback – 27 Apr 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: SAF Publishing Ltd (27 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0946719462
  • ISBN-13: 978-0946719464
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 12.7 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 528,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Synopsis

A journey through the 80s via the Sheffield music scene of Cabaret Voltaire, the Human League, ABC, Clock DVA, Hula and The Box, offsetting it against a background of rampant Conservatism and local authority politics.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jay M VINE VOICE on 21 Oct. 2002
Format: Paperback
Books about Cabaret Voltaire, the pioneering Sheffield industrial/indie/electronic group, are rare enough. But this book has an extra appeal. The writer Mick Fish takes you on a journey through some of the darkest times in English life and politics and combines this with the tale of Cabaret Voltaire.
The writer will tell you all about the music scene in Sheffield in the 1980's, from the Human League to ABC. Aligned to this will be the story of the grip the Margaret Thatcher government took hold on Britain, and in particular run down areas like Sheffield in the 80's.
You will read all about the decay, the dark nights, the valiant refusal of a city to be undermined by government, the vicious internal wrangling in the local council and political scene. You may ask is this relevant to the story of Cabaret Voltaire? Well yes it is. The writer worked at the local council and also as a Cabaret Voltaire fan he could see the similarities between the two. The rise of CV in the early 80's which was brutally stamped out by the greedy, stubborn nature of the big money record labels which in essence ruined their career. Mick Fish worked at the council and at the same time he watched as Thatcher took hold of power and left Sheffield to rot and decay. A perfect comparison to what the major record labels did with CV, squeezed the life out of them.
At first glance maybe it won't grab your attention, but get over that, if you're a Cabaret Voltaire fan you should have this already! For others if you were into the music scene of Sheffield in the 80's, this book is a must have. For those of you with an interest in the political side of things, this book may be a worthy read, showing how Thatcher's government tried to squeeze northern cities like Sheffield off the map, through her ignorance of the area and through actions in the local political scene.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gerard O'Doherty on 28 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
I avoided this book for nearly a decade because I knew - just knew - that it would be a polytechnic melt of worn out music journalist cliché, streams of extraneous adjectives, and ponderous meditations.

Well, I was wrong. Mick Fish can write - and Industrial Evolution: Through the 80s with "Cabaret Voltaire" (Poptomes) manages to tell the (very odd) story of Cabaret Voltaire without falling into the trap that so many music biographers fall into, e.g. weird otaku/ hikikomori obsession. In fact, Fish's other genius move here is that he talks honestly the local government job he held during the story without sounding like either a whinger or a wannabe author. Now, given that he was literally a wannabe author until the book got printed, that's testament to his writing/ perception/ soul.

My only minor criticisms of Industrial Evolution:

1. Fish disses some CV records that were actually pretty good
2. The book doesn't really go off on enough tangents about other acts of the time. Yes, some are mentioned, but I think there was space among the dead trees for more on this type of stuff.

*spawn trashmaster* it's a 9.4 out of 10 from me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Drexyl Spivey on 22 Oct. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
After ordering the 'redux' version of Peter Care's 'JOHNNYYESNO' film, I wanted to find out more about Cabaret Voltaire. Maybe I'm in a minority, but I actually prefer
their 1980's output to what they released during the late 1970's. The John Robie mix
of 'Yashar' still packs a punch today and influenced the Cabs future sound.

'Industrial Evolution' is a true story written by Mick Fish, who worked in a very tedious job for local government whilst being immersed in the Sheffield music scene
at the same time that Cabaret Voltaire struggled to keep their musical identity after signing to a major record label. Fish's story is fascinating and it also covers the birth of SAF Publishing, who could be described as being the Rough Trade of cultural and music book publishing. SAF have published books about Suicide; Can and Kraftwerk, as well as other mavericks and outsiders.

Any one with an interest in Cabaret Voltaire, Sheffield's music scene; the bad politics and cultural change within the age of greed, should buy this book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Dude on 26 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback
Maybe the big record companies sucked the life out of CV, of course they could have signed to Factory or Mute or any of the indy's.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Polished account of 80's music, political scene in Sheffield 23 Dec. 2002
By Jay M - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Books about Cabaret Voltaire, the pioneering Sheffield (UK) industrial/indie/electronic group, are rare enough. But this book has an extra appeal. The writer Mick Fish takes you on a journey through some of the darkest times in English life and politics and combines this with the tale of Cabaret Voltaire.
The writer will tell you all about the music scene in Sheffield in the 1980's, from the Human League to ABC. Aligned to this will be the story of the grip the Margaret Thatcher government took hold on Britain, and in particular run down areas like Sheffield in the 80's.
You will read all about the decay, the dark nights, the valiant refusal of a city to be undermined by government, the vicious internal wrangling in the local council and political scene. You may ask is this relevant to the story of Cabaret Voltaire? Well yes it is. The writer worked at the local council and also as a Cabaret Voltaire fan he could see the similarities between the two. The rise of CV in the early 80's which was brutally stamped out by the greedy, stubborn nature of the big money record labels which in essence ruined their career. Mick Fish worked at the council and at the same time he watched as Thatcher took hold of power and left Sheffield to rot and decay. A perfect comparison to what the major record labels did with CV, squeezed the life out of them.
At first glance maybe it won't grab your attention, but get over that, if you're a Cabaret Voltaire fan you should have this already! For others if you were into the music scene of Sheffield in the 80's, this book is a must have. For those of you with an interest in the political side of things, this book may be a worthy read, showing how Thatcher's government tried to squeeze northern cities like Sheffield off the map, through her ignorance of the area and through actions in the local political scene.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
first-rate 19 Nov. 2002
By wirespy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
What should be clear from the title is that no devotee of industrial music should pass this book by. CV should need no introduction to anyone even loosely acquainted with the genre, and their home city of Sheffield must undoubtedly be flagged as one of the most important cities in the proliferation of industrial music during the early eighties.

The author (Mr. Fish) was there. Unlike so much music biz writing that is based on the self-righteous posturing of a critic-turned-ducumentarian, who's only ties to their subject matter are hand-me-downs and afterimages, this is a first-hand account from a true storyteller. Knew the band, drank with the band, traveled with the band, drank with the band some more...
However, Mr. Fish's greatest achievement here was to NOT rewrite the agonizing rock-star biography we've already suffered through time and again. His achievement foremost was to effortlessly, poignantly and humorously carry us through the days and long nights of industrial music's enigmatic reign. 1980's Sheffield becomes our backdrop, Mr. Fish's own life experiences our satiric companion, and Cabaret Voltaire our cryptic guide.
If you are interested in the music or the bands that lifted the mantle of defiance and DIY from Punk's exploited corpse, you will enjoy this. Better yet, even if you don't care about that tumultuous "industrial" racket that some long-lost roommate used to blare to drown out your Journey records -- if you enjoy a very well told story, it's a can't miss. A pleasure to read, difficult to put down, too quick to finish. Isn't that what brought us to the bookstore in the first place?
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
We all like a glimse into the lives of others 3 Nov. 2007
By Michael A. Duvernois - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Especially those we respect. Like the lives of members of our favorite bands. But what if we find there's nothing to learn?

Cabaret Voltaire made good, interesting music. This is an "inside" view of their history, but there's little to be found in here. Sorry.
1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Getting Pissed with Cabaret Voltaire 16 Jan. 2005
By G. Cousins - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Anyone hoping this book would delve deeply into the music of Cabaret Voltaire will be sorely disappointed. Yes, you will learn about what sort of alcohol Mal and Richard pickled themselves with every chance they got, but not much else.

The author himself seemed in a drug and alcohol induced coma for most of the time he was hanging out with the band, so maybe he doesn't remember as much about his association with them as he'd like to admit. It seemed for every revelation about the band (they were few and far between) there were a hundred references to getting pissed.

The comments by another reader that the demise of the band had anything to do with corporate greed and the rise of Thatcherism are baseless. Mr. Fish himself concluded that the Cabs simply weren't musicians who could actually write songs. Yes, they were musical pioneers. Yes, they influenced a whole generation of musicians. But could they write, play or sing? No, not really.

I did enjoy reading about Mick's early days at the Council rubbish depot. There were lots of interesting characters populating his workday, which oddly enough didn't seem to consist of any work. Reading about employees whose only job seemed to be making tea and socializing didn't do much to make me feel sympathetic when the move to make local government more efficient started to unfold. I know Thatcher and her mates weren't saints, but the need for change was clearly evident.

I suppose I had different expectations for this book and thus feel disappointed having read it. I grew up with the Cabs and was looking for more insight than this glossed over account managed to serve up.
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