11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2004
There's a danger of over-familiarity with the stories of 70s New York disco. The names, the venues and the labels have gone into clubland folklore and, in turn, are in danger of becoming cliche or parody. Lawrence has therefore achieved a remarkable feet in making the story seem brand new, fresh and fascinating all over again. Through intimate and painstaking interviews with seemingly hundreds of players and punters on the scene, Lawrence has come up with the definitive documented history of the, predominantly New York City, disco scene of the 1970s.
Refreshingly Lawrence focusses less on the periphery of celebrities, glitz and dodgy films, concentrating instead on the deejays, downtown club kids, music, record industry and promoters that make up the essence of disco. The scene really comes to life and familiar figures like Mancuso, Levan and many more take on a real, three dimensional character.
My only concerns are that it has a New York-centric emphasis. Manhattan being the epicentre of the scene makes this inevitable perhaps and attempting to cover other scenes in sufficient detail would have led to over a thousand pages, so I'll forgive him that.
Other readers may find the academic nature of some of the text a bit burdensome (the book started out as a Phd thesis) but if you're prepared to engage with the disco movement in a serious way then a bit of intellectual rigour doesn't go amiss. I was happy to along with his sociological theses and they steer largely clear of pretentious waffle, thankfully.
An essential book for anyone with an interest in the beauty of 70s disco and the gay, black & hispanic underground club scene that spawned it.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 10 July 2004
Loves Saves the Day (LSD) is a very timely book, opening out a thorough and weighty cruise through the 1970's disco scene in America. Key to the history are the most significant DJs of the era who spin their music to a back drop of a wide and varied cross-section of urban Americans who change in type and character with the evolution of the cultural phenomenon that is disco. Breathing life into the pages are the caringly drawn people politics, sexual antics, drug habits, amusing quotes and vividly expressed opinions within the sounds and movements of these events.
No apologies for the depth and detail of this lively and informative read. It is a surprising gaze into the origins of this art form, which at its musical best has deep rooted energy, soul and passion - as experienced streaming from David Mancuso's reach for the most sublime auditory experience, and Nicky Siano's search for the most exciting... This book reveals the substance behind the Italian American led disco culture, the loft music spaces, venues and clubs into which the sounds poured and the people filled en masse.
The silver thread woven through LSD is the starry role of the DJ. The truly great figures set musical standards that shape and became one in communion with the crowd. Standards are expressed in choice of track, by quality of rapport between DJ and punters, and the musical splice. Dancers are taken on a journey into sound, of ecstatic cliff hanging highs, a low with a drug induced crash of equipment, or to the bar for a drink with a profit motive in mind.
LSD tells of an often uneasy relationship with the music industry, the money making machinery, and commercialization. It draws in a shower of contemporaneous divas and explores the creation of some great dance mixes and the origins of the 12". The DJ too has presence in the studio with his deft skills, overlaying and mixing, constructing and inventing new and wild dance beats for the dance floor with technical imagination and flair.
I grew up in the seventies and it is fun to reflect upon the dance sounds of my childhood. Music that colours my early memories: the Noel Edmunds primary school disco playing The Osmonds and Jackson Five; a first teenage disco with sounds like the Hustle, the Bump and It Only Takes a Minute; our unique date out with mum to see Saturday Night Fever at a Gravesend cinema; and the hours that I sat in my girl friend's room listening to Motown, Earth Wind and Fire, and Sister Sledge before my brothers introduced punk into our living room below.
Leafing through LSD I hardly recognise the stringy cheesy disco impression pulled from my youth as the same liberating, flexible, energetic disco scene all grown up in New York. What a discovery! So read with zeal, I have found this book a heartening and enlightening delve into popular dance music culture. Making steps through an alternative and happening way of life entwined by Mancuso's CDs presenting music from The Loft.
For those with a passionate interest in this subject and its reference to a point in time, this inspired book is a must have for your library.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 14 November 2004
Love Saves The Day - A REVIEW
Love Saves The Day is a fully comprehensive (including enough charts and photos) well-composed analysis of dance cultures most crucial subliminal times.
An expert, dynamic approach delivered with a delightful intimate style: it can be enjoyed at all levels for being so open minded, so embellished with amusing little stories as well as being authentic and knowledgeable.
Tim Lawrence deeply and meaningfully penetrates via the eyes of the dancer, through all their moves and steps into the heart and soul of the New York dance scene of the 70's and more...
This book will most definitely reveal to the reader the captivating, enlightening and continuous link between the most significant 'disco' themes, the greatest parties which made an 'era' and the never-ending journey-quest into the true spirit of dance culture. It is a key book and not-to-be missed if anyone likes to combine knowledge with entertainment.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 November 2009
What a remarkable, well-researched, fascinating account of this era. Having read several other books on the same subject(and enjoyed them), I can recommend this as the one that really gets to the core of it all. Its a masterful piece of work.
on 14 September 2014
Anyone who is into Disco, real disco (not the commercial stuff that made Disco (in)famous in the 70's, and its modern hybrid, House NEEDS to read this book. Essential reading for anyone traversing the history of all things dance. Also anything by Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton will compliment this great work.
A stunning and MUST read brilliantly researched and presented from a Social Anthropology angle, comeplete with analysis.
on 24 July 2013
A highly exacting (whilst highly readable) journey through the evolution of DJ'ing in seventies clubland.
Even more essential based on the contemporary playlists for all the legends included in the story (Alfredo, David Mancuso, Nicky Siano, Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles et al).