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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DJ or Social Scientist?
This book was a real surprise, originally bought for my Manchester styled headonist boyfriend, i began reading this myself, as it was recommended reading for a social science course i was taking.
The last thing i expected was an extemely well written, and well researched study into the history of Manchester's music and club scene, stretching back to the start of the...
Published on 16 Oct 2003 by alicej59

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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Outsiders View of Manchestere
Reads like a University dissertation. I'm afraid factually it's pretty poor when it comes to Manchester post punk. Too many important people left out of the book who helped create the whole scene, and Manchester did have a scene before Dave Haslam trolled up via University doing his Student nights from his native Birmingham in 1986.Lots about what Dave did and even his...
Published on 18 Dec 2008 by Old Trafford kid


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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DJ or Social Scientist?, 16 Oct 2003
This review is from: Manchester, England: The Story of the Pop Cult City (Paperback)
This book was a real surprise, originally bought for my Manchester styled headonist boyfriend, i began reading this myself, as it was recommended reading for a social science course i was taking.
The last thing i expected was an extemely well written, and well researched study into the history of Manchester's music and club scene, stretching back to the start of the industrial revolution, and taking into account the social conditions and politics of the day.
This book is not a superficial, single-opinioned coffee-table read. I honestly expected something more along the lines of Tony Wilson's '24 hour party people', what i got was an indepth and well researched study into the social, political, and economic development of Manchester.
At times it seemed a little slow to get going, but on the whole a gr8 book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unsung hero, 12 Aug 2007
By 
Jeffrey M. Black "jblack437" (Stockport) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Manchester, England: The Story of the Pop Cult City (Paperback)
One of the real reasons the 'Madchester' thing happened was Dave Haslam. Where indie and dance were previously like oil and water, Dave would mix up hip hop with The Fall or the psychedelic Beatles and it somehow worked. For me, the most eye-opening part of the book is when he pinpoints the week he thought he noticed something beginning to happen on the Hacienda dancefloor - late August 1986. Purely by coincidence, I moved to Manchester a week later and made a bee-line for the club. So I got to see with my own eyes how Fac51 went from being a cavernous white elephant to the coolest place on Earth.

I'd recommend this book to anyone with an interest in why Manchester and dance music in particular are inextricably linked. Machine rhythm is in the soul of the city. If you don't believe me, visit the science museum and have a listen.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than I could have expected., 19 Mar 2007
This review is from: Manchester, England: The Story of the Pop Cult City (Paperback)
I expected to be reading an interesting book about a period of 15 years in Manchester. What I actually read was a fascinating book that transported me from Manchester 200+ years ago through to the end of the Millenium. The book tracks social history in Manchester over the last 200+ years (it touched briefly on the Romans at Castlefield!) Most of all, it gives the history of places and people that would suprise many Mancunians (I am a Manc, by the way). I wish that we had been given this book to read at school. I might have been better informed about my city of birth. Buy this book - you will love it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Manchester in a book, 26 July 2010
By 
Mr. Andrew Palmer "A.Palmer" (West Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Manchester, England: The Story of the Pop Cult City (Paperback)
If you think you're going to get a run through of the lively excesses of a music mad city, then you'll be (a little) disappointed. If however you want an evocative and lyrically contextualised assessment of why Manchester is the way it is, and where its music emerged from, then get this book. Dave Haslam has the authority not only of a good modern historian and first-hand witness, but also a participant in the shaping of the post-industrial music city. There are a few good reads about Manchester music out there - Kevin Cummins, John Robb, Mark E. Smith for example - but this is the definitive read, and re-read, because it gets under the skin of the Manchester attitude that made everything happen, rather than just celebrating the fact that it did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious book for an ambitious city, 27 Oct 2007
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This review is from: Manchester, England: The Story of the Pop Cult City (Paperback)
Haslam takes on a big project here. He could've stuck to his niche and just covered more recent developments on the music scene but he digs deep, really deep, and the book is so much richer for it. If you love Manchester you love 'Manchester, England'.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as it gets, 6 Dec 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Manchester, England: The Story of the Pop Cult City (Paperback)
Very ambitious book, and not just about music but about the whole city and the people and the history, but it would be of interest to anybody. Usually books about music are either very shallow or very academic but this one manages to be intelligent and very well written. It gives you the big picture behind the music, the Stone Roses, New Order, the Hacienda etc etc with lots of great stories and anecdotes. The stuff at the end about urban regeneration and what it's like living in England today is brilliant. People I know swear by this; it's a classic.
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How History will be writern in the future, 11 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Manchester, England: The Story of the Pop Cult City (Paperback)
Haslam's Manchester, England provides the reader with an extraordinarily detailed account of the development of what Paul Willis termed "Common Culture" in Manchester England.
Taking a largely historical perspective this book begins at the dawn of industrial revolution and traces the semiotic development of Manchester as Industrial City and Manchester as Cultural Capital.
Haslam a Disk Jockey at Manchester's Hacienda understands the link between the development of the industrial working class and the rise of popular culture and this is a focal point of the work. Seldom before in one volume has an author encapsulated so succinctly but so perfectly the terrible and contradictory natures of street life.
Taking the lead from Whyte's "Street Corner Society" rather than relying on anecdote and stereotype this book explores and explodes myth and urban legend in a beautiful style which is all Haslam's own. This book oozes style and the suggested sound track to supplement the chapters as an innovative as it is indispensable
For those who are interested in the development of popular music, the city of Manchester and the working class in general this book is a must.
Two distractions or question, firstly the goons on the front cover - why? Secondly why wasn't this book written about Liverpool 10 years ago?
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Outsiders View of Manchestere, 18 Dec 2008
This review is from: Manchester, England: The Story of the Pop Cult City (Paperback)
Reads like a University dissertation. I'm afraid factually it's pretty poor when it comes to Manchester post punk. Too many important people left out of the book who helped create the whole scene, and Manchester did have a scene before Dave Haslam trolled up via University doing his Student nights from his native Birmingham in 1986.Lots about what Dave did and even his Fanzine Debris , very little about the impooirtant radio shows and Tv shows and newspaper columns , plugging companies and local magazines that breathed life into the scene(unless they were mates of Daves or had a lower profile than him) , no mention of people like Hewan Clarke ( first DJ to play House at The Hacienda ) or the numerous so called indie/soul/dance nights that had existed in Manchester for many years before that( Berlin Club , Devilles, even Rafters) . Needs redoing without the subtle greater glory of Dave Haslam in it. Anthony H Wilson hated this book as did many others in Manchester because they saw it as some middle class student trying to sequester the local scene- it's worked partly for Dave, just a shame he wasn't around in the sixties, seventies and early eighties, how did we manage without him.
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9 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Worthy but dull, 2 Oct 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Manchester, England: The Story of the Pop Cult City (Paperback)
Much of the best British music of the last forty years, and many of popular music's most memorable characters, have emerged from Manchester. Dave Haslam sets out to chronicle the history of the town's contributon to popular culture, going back to the Victorian age. His own career as a DJ during the late 80s glory days of the Hacienda makes him well qualified to look at the grass roots origins of much of the work he discusses, and his well-researched, academic tone is surprisingly assured. However, my experience of reading the book was a disappointing one: I found it tedious and self important. Haslam has no gift for telling a story and, much as he attempts to assert otherwise, much of the history of Manchester is pretty unremarkable. Even the genuinely fascinating period from the rise of punk to the demise of the Hacienda fails to excite much interest here due to the author's plodding, workmanlike approach. Another problem is that he tries too hard to convince the reader that everything ever done by Mancunians was great - if I remember correctly, he even finds some praise for the justly derided Slaughter and the Dogs. A much more vivid read about the interaction between class, drugs and popular culture in Manchester is Bez's autobiography 'Freaky Dancin', or you could just rent '24 Hour Party People' from the video shop.
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Manchester, England: The Story of the Pop Cult City
Manchester, England: The Story of the Pop Cult City by Dave Haslam (Paperback - 2000)
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