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The True Story of Acid House: Britain's Last Youth Culture Revolution [Paperback]

Luke Bainbridge
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

10 Feb 2014
The arrival of a new style of music and a new type of drug in 1988 ignited a revolution. To coincide with the 25th anniversary of the second summer of love, this is the definitive story of the seismic movements in music and youth culture that changed the cultural landscape forever. Luke Bainbridge is uniquely positioned to tell this story, having connections both in the industry, through nearly two decades as a music journalist, and on the dancefloor, through two decades of dancing, promoting and DJing. Bainbridge has interviewed most of the protagonists who led the revolution, from the DJs and musicians to the promoters, gangsters and ravers, and built up a relationship of trust and mutual respect. This will be true story of acid house, from the DJ box to the dance floor. He examines the legacy and lasting impact of acid house, and how the second summer of love is viewed 25 years on. How has acid house been assimilated into mainstream culture? How did the change in drugs, away from ecstasy towards other drugs, affect the music and the party scene? Why has the free party scene never really been replicated, despite new technology greater capacity to organise events and disseminate information? Did the summer of 1988 leave us with a generation of drug users? Has there been any lasting effect of such an explosion in drug use? Who were the real winners and casualties in the story? Do the world s current biggest DJs Tiesto, Swedish House Mafia, David Guetta have any connection to the original scene? Where next for house and dance music in general?

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Omnibus Press (10 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780387342
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780387345
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 16 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 190,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Luke Bainbridge was one of the founding editors of the Observer Music Monthly and ghostwriter of Shaun Ryder s 2011 autobiography, the bestselling Twisting My Melon. Over the last 20 years, Bainbridge has interviewed almost every top musician and popstar, from Jay-Z to Paul McCartney, Kanye West to to Oasis.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not much new - but some revelatory interviews 11 Mar 2014
By H Root
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is worth buying because
a) The popular format of juxtaposed oral histories with commentary works. The commentary –particularly the final chapter is astute
b) The quotes from Tappenden are an absolute revelation – the Cabinet were pulling the strings of the Pay Party Unit. I am more sympathetic with him now
c) Surprisingly Weatherall comes across great – get this man a publisher.
d) Fiona Allen presents one of the few female perspectives on the scene. But 99% of those interviewed are male –including the clubbers. Shame!

But here is the downside
a) What you get is a London –Manchester axis. So it’s the usual focus on white heterosexual men in Ibiza in 1987, the Wag, Shoom, 80s acid house clubs in the West End, The Hacienda (and surrounding Lancs clubs) that have been well documented elsewhere hundreds of times before. Yawn!
b) So the South West, Scotland, the Midlands, the East Coast and so on all had thriving scenes 1988-92 but don’t get more than a cursory mention -other than as a breeding ground for DJs like Graeme Park to move on to better things .

This elitism is part of the problem in most writing on youth culture and began in the 1970s with the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (see Stuart Hall, Dick Hebdige etc.) which focused only the birth of each subculture and saw them as worthless the moment they spread to Wrexham, Coventry, Norwich, Belfast, Ayr, Penzance and so on. (Gary Clarke of CCCS highlighted this as a problem way back as 1981)

Subsequent populist writing on youth culture continues in this vein. Consequently we always get a clichéd elitist version of history (repeated and reinforced in every publication) rather than the true story of how the style /music spread to be massively popular.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A spine-tingling chronicle of events 25 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An absolute must for anyone who has celebrated rave culture in any form. I was a late-comer to the scene in 1994 but absolutely love the histrionics
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Anecdotal amnesia 6 April 2014
I think H Roots review is spot on actually, this is really yet another revision of the same story we've seen over the years. What's really quite annoying about this particular book is that a lot of the anecdotes are repeated almost word for word by different interviewees, often on the same page! If you really like hearing the same thing told by two people you'll love this.

In addition, the chronological timeline of events seems to jump back and forth quite a lot. For my money not enough detail on the free parties, hardly any mention of things like Castlemorton, and again as mentioned by previous reviewer, the axis is very London / Manchester centric, when I reality the towns and suburbs were totally going off in the early days too.

It's good but not great. Will we ever see the TRUE true story? Doubtful, considering the anecdotes and stories have been embellished over the years. It's a real shame more actual video footage of the early heady days doesn't exist, but then again I don't know if I really want to see the badly dressed, sweaty saucer eyed 19 year old me stumbling out of some basement. What a time to be a teenager.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disjointed collection of short interviews 1 Jun 2014
By U.S. Book Reviewer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has potential, but it is generally disappointing. Unless you are British and were part of the Acid House scene in 1988, you will not understand the material. The persons and places in the book will have no relevance whatsoever to you. If you are a musician who wants to learn about the gear used during that period, you will not find much discussion of it here.

The format of the book is a collection of disjointed, short interview pieces thrown together into a book. This would have worked well enough as a video documentary, but in text form the reader will become bored quite soon because the names and places will have no meaning to those who were not involved in Acid House decades ago. The potential buyer should understand that the book is well researched; the material just does not work well in a book format.

Eventually this book will be discounted. If you can buy it for under $10, then you might consider ordering it. I cannot recommend paying any more than that because much of the material will have no meaning to the average reader.
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