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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Un-put-down-able! (Should anyone like to correct this Grammar, feel free!...), 13 May 2008
By 
Picard (USS Enterprise) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Last Night a DJ Saved My Life (updated): The History of the Disc Jockey: 100 Years of the Disc Jockey (Paperback)
Are an aspiring DJ yourself? Or are you maybe a complete audiophile? Who knows, maybe you're like me where you're both! If so then you "need" (don't just consider) to buy this book.

This is the Bible of all DJ stories out there. At over 2 inches thick, you'll be forced late at night to eventually put down this entertaining read that covers just about every aspect that has shed a light in the world of 'DJing' not just as you know it today, but in all the ways you never even dreamed of it existing.

It's all here. From reading about Jimmy Savilles first gig's that led him to partially melting a grand piano, to an old vinyl-junkie learning the benefits of a felt slip-mat all by accident because he misplaced the rubber mat that would have normally been on the platter, you'll be sniggering away on every chapter to the weird and wonderful ways in which ordinary people changed the way we not only played music, but the way we created music around the notion of dancing.

Perhaps the most enlightening thing about this book is that because it covers all the stories, events, tales, and facts between the early 1900's to 2004, you judge for yourself just how placid and selfish the business has become. When reading about the lovely feel-good era that was the early 1980's, where Frankie Knuckles played smooth new 'house' tracks that influenced a whole generation of people to party wildly, the latter two decades suggest that anyone high-up in the club/marketing business is merely after a taste of £££. This just wasn't an issue back in the discothèque days.

I myself have taken Popular Music Studies as a University course, and although I was DJ'ing before I started Uni, this book opened my eyes to the truth, and I wish it had been on the course!! I'd also like to think it's just spurred me on even more to love the music for what it is, yet the book leaves you on an open note... Is technology a benefit for DJ's in the current fast moving age? While Sasha (Alex Coe) quotes in the book it does, the writer continues in a neutral but fun vein to leave you to conclude how the genre will live on in the future. Do laptops make you a skilful DJ? Does pressing a few buttons account for computer/technology skill or musical/hands on skill? It's for you to decide.

I can't rate this book highly enough. The fact that it would appeal to me even if I never realised I could DJ, or never took an interest in clubs and going bonkers at 3am is all the more credit to the writer for writing in an entertaining manner that displays an extraordinary effort for gaining so much research on such a huge, yet in reality, quite un-questioned topic and subject that few people have touched. Luckily, if you've stopped on this internet page, you need not go anywhere else. The bible is here at an incredible price!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and comprehensive, 30 Aug 2006
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This review is from: Last Night a DJ Saved My Life (updated): The History of the Disc Jockey: 100 Years of the Disc Jockey (Paperback)
Although this book has been re-written to celebrate the centenary of the DJ, the story really begins with the rise of the Northern Soul clubs of Wigan and Blackpool and the early 1970s. What follows is a comprehensive account of dance music of the last 35 years and it is at its best when charting the explosive rise and fall of disco, the origins of hip-hop and the social revolution that followed in the wake of house music.

Brewster & Broughton clearly know what they are writing about: the development of the techniques of mixing, back beats etc are well explained although I remain unenlightened as to the finer points of what is garage as opposed to house, trance etc (if that matters?). They make a convincing case as to the creativity of the DJ and are withering in their dismissal of clubs like Manumission and its "rather tawdry sex show".

This is a book both for the dedicated clubber in search of some context and also the general reader. It also a record of personal tragedy as so many of the DJ greats have succumbed to AIDS, drug overdoses and suicide. A number of unexpected heroes emerge: Richard Burton's first wife Sybil, Malcolm McLaren, Kraftwerk; and the late greats are honoured, principally DJ Francis, Larry Levan and Ron Hardy. RIP.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last a music bible!, 29 May 2007
By 
A. Khan (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Last Night a DJ Saved My Life (updated): The History of the Disc Jockey: 100 Years of the Disc Jockey (Paperback)
I have lost count of the number of times I have read this book, re-read it, checked out the record lists in the back, bought copies for people, used it to prop up a wobbly table. It is a seminal trip through 100 years of the DJ pushing the musical boundaries from soul, reggae, hip hop, disco, house and all forms of dance music to soundtracking the nights we've all loved. The arcane details of lost dj's seminal club figures and nights from Italy, New York, Manchester to the island of Ibizia are poured over in detail but with great wit. Not a lightweight coffee table book nor some earnest socio-cultural phd thesis but a highly informative and entertaining read. I sense a great deal of love, passion and enthusiam have been poured into this book and you can't help but be carried along. I bought the first edition and the latest one and the additional chapters on Balearic and Garage are fascinating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History every DJ should know..., 27 Feb 2008
This review is from: Last Night a DJ Saved My Life (updated): The History of the Disc Jockey: 100 Years of the Disc Jockey (Paperback)
Great guide to how it all began and to different dance music genres. Even if your not a fan of Northern Soul, Jungle, Hip Hop, or what ever it's still worth reading those chapters to appreciate all that's gone before.

And who'd have thought Jimmy Saville started it all..
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5.0 out of 5 stars Everything You Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask, 8 April 2013
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This review is from: Last Night a DJ Saved My Life (updated): The History of the Disc Jockey: 100 Years of the Disc Jockey (Paperback)
If there's something missing from this book about the history of the DJ and dance / electronic based music then I'm at a loss to know what it is. It starts at the start right back at the birth of turntables and covers every conceivable musical genre which employed DJs to peddle its wares. The research is unparalleled and the writing is consummate. This is a huge and comprehensive tome that just keeps going and going, leaving no stone unturned. A total page turner.

After reading this book I went away and looked up many of the seminal records from various genres to further educate myself - it is that infectious.

Word! And the last one at that on dance / electronic music. Don't even start opining about dance music until you've read this. You need this book on your shelf.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Top notch, 13 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Last Night a DJ Saved My Life (updated): The History of the Disc Jockey: 100 Years of the Disc Jockey (Paperback)
Bought this for further reading for my dissertation and has proven a truly interesting read, not to mention it being cited by almost everyone who has ever wrote about ANYTHING to do with DJ and rave culture.
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5.0 out of 5 stars NOT 'JUST' a book for 'DJs', 20 Dec 2011
This review is from: Last Night a DJ Saved My Life (updated): The History of the Disc Jockey: 100 Years of the Disc Jockey (Paperback)
I read this book once almost seven years ago when I borrowed it from a library. Now I NEED my own copy.

As a music lover and history lover with a wide love of music in general, there are few books I've ever read that chart social change in such a fantastic, entertaining and easy to read manner as this book. From the advent of recorded music, through the first 'radio' broadcasts, replacement of live acts in music halls, advent of the 'two deck DJ', the rise of the pirate in the 60's, Motown and the subsequent Northern soul era, punks, hip-hop, Jamaican dancehall, the Orbital parties and more, this book covers it all. Follow the creation of modern popular (not "pop" music) music from classical and locally recorded to the modern day with coverage to all.

Follow the various paths of music and musical technology (live and recorded) through the last 100 years via fantastic annecdotes, facts, figures, feelings and the odd song suggestion (such as the first ever 'house' track) all across the US, UK and wider Europe.

Did you know there was a point when punk and hip-hop were the same? Do you know where the term 'house' music comes from? Did you know that Disco wasn't just a glittery extravaganza of "Abba" and "Brotherhood of Man"? Have you ever stopped to think how (whilst definately hurtful to industry) "piracy" has furthered popular ideas that moved not only the music industry but our society forward? Did you think that reggae could be created purely by poor trade links and enterprising individuals?

Everyone should be issued with a copy of this book. Everyone. Outstanding.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, clear, easy to read, 15 Mar 2010
This review is from: Last Night a DJ Saved My Life (updated): The History of the Disc Jockey: 100 Years of the Disc Jockey (Paperback)
If you're interested in dance music, give this excellent historical overview a go, enjoyed from start to finish - loved it.
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