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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the average nostalgia fest
Being something of an addict to post war British history, I had to buy this, although I was slightly worried by the fact that Jones is, or at least was, a contributor to the truly awful Daily Wail and, worse, openly supports David Cameron as if this was nothing to be ashamed of. Having reached the end I would certainly recommend it to you.
The text weaves together,...
Published 19 months ago by Tarquin

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bloated retrospective with occasional moments of insight
Dylan Jones's retrospective of 1985's Live Aid concert is well-meaning, but way too long and too broad in scope to be a consistently good read. Taking the running order of the acts as his chapter headings, the book occasionally feels as long as the original concert, and achieves something of the inconsistency of the event itself - a few nuggets and insights interspersed...
Published 11 months ago by Jl Adcock


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bloated retrospective with occasional moments of insight, 14 April 2014
By 
Jl Adcock "John Adcock" (Ashtead UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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Dylan Jones's retrospective of 1985's Live Aid concert is well-meaning, but way too long and too broad in scope to be a consistently good read. Taking the running order of the acts as his chapter headings, the book occasionally feels as long as the original concert, and achieves something of the inconsistency of the event itself - a few nuggets and insights interspersed with a lot of dross and quite a bit of repetition.

"Zeitgeist", "global jukebox" and "global phenomenon" are over-used expressions by Jones throughout the book, so much so that they lose their impact before too long, and the combination of personal "I was there" reflections, wider social commentary (much of it simply not supported by convincing evidence) and other source material gives the overall tone of the book an uneven and rambling feel - occasionally taking on the tone of a Ronnie Corbett style monologue from The Two Ronnies in that Jones seems to wander all over the place before drawing the threads of the point to some sort of cobbled conclusion.

There are, however, some good bits. Points about lack of big black acts of the day wanting to take part are well-made, and the concluding chapter shows an awareness that Live Aid didn't change as much as it hoped for, and in some ways you have to have a grudging respect for acts who actually didn't want to be involved because they doubted the success of the outcome or the point of the venture in the first place. Thirty years on, it would he hard to disagree with that stance.

Like many books of this genre, the writing isn't great - Jones feels like he is struggling to marshall his material into shape in several places, making it feel like an A level essay that's got out of control. But the shallow nature of pop musicians comes over well, and the book re-creates the mood of the times and the impact of the event well enough.

Live Aid is better viewed than read about. A couple of excellent BBC documentaries from around 2005 tells the story much better than Jones can, and he clearly has topped up his knowledge of the concert with YouTube viewings, and drawn heavily on people who were there and can reflect on it more meaningfully than he can (notably Mark Ellen).

Overall, something of a laboured review of an event that undoubtedly defined much of the Eighties, but perhaps some of the claims that Jones makes for the importance of the concert are overblown, and certainly could have been expressed with fewer words.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the average nostalgia fest, 9 Aug. 2013
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Being something of an addict to post war British history, I had to buy this, although I was slightly worried by the fact that Jones is, or at least was, a contributor to the truly awful Daily Wail and, worse, openly supports David Cameron as if this was nothing to be ashamed of. Having reached the end I would certainly recommend it to you.
The text weaves together, skilfully for the most part, the 1985 Live Aid concert with various elements of the history of the decade - the chapter dealing with Paul Weller handles the left, Elton John discusses Princess Di, Queen discusses AIDS - you get the picture. The book has a strong slant towards popular culture rather than politics of course, with the day handled chronologically rather than the decade. Perhaps inevitably, there is a bit of a London thing going on here.
The writing is mostly good although there are a number of slightly annoying minor issues. One sentence paragraphs for journalistic impact and a tendency to repeat some phrases. On the other hand we are left in no doubt about where the author stands on some of the performers and I did wonder how many digs were the product of previous run-ins during his career as a journalist. There are many revealing insights and some great one-liners.
Readers who enjoyed this book should have a look at the work of Alwyn Turner who uses popular culture as a medium for his books looking at the 70s and 80s.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Biased and disappointing, 7 Mar. 2015
This review is from: The Eighties: One Day, One Decade (Hardcover)
I was deeply disappointed by this book (it irritated me so much that I didn't finish it, so it's possible I missed some of the good stuff). I remember Live Aid very clearly but his account doesn't bring it to life for me. I agree with the earlier comment that said there is no doubt where the author stands on some performers, and I also wondered if he was paying off old scores. But much of the writing only regurgitates Bob Geldof's autobiography "Is That It?" except it's much bitchier. I'm not sure that bitchy comments about Princess Diana's hair add to the experience - it was the 1980s for God's sake. We ALL had bad hair. Even Jones's hero Bono. If you want to find out about Live Aid, watch it on YouTube and make up your own mind.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been better!, 19 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: The Eighties: One Day, One Decade (Hardcover)
I bought this book because I wanted to know more about Live Aid - the concert and its aftermath. This author does give us some info ,at the start of each chapter, about the each artist who played - but then goes off on a tangent about anything loosely connected about the 80's. He talks about everything from New York literature to the miners strike . I know the title says THE EIGHTIES but it claims to be mostly about Live Aid . If you are looking for a book just about Live Aid and behind the scenes - then this is not your book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cherish The Music, 9 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: The Eighties: One Day, One Decade (Hardcover)
A brilliant book full of appropriate affection for the past and hope for the future. As unpretentious and honest (the incredible Queen descriptions, the WHAM! sections), insightful (Prince's 'Feed The World' film and involvement in Madonna's choreography for Philadelphia) as it is funny (the description of The Style Council as a "great band with a terrible name"). It had me rushing back to YouTube to relive the day but also reminded me of the power of music and the effect it can have on you, how you dress and what you think.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Something was happening here..., 30 Aug. 2013
By 
indomir (London England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Eighties: One Day, One Decade (Hardcover)
Was a bit wary of reading this after being disappointed with When Ziggy Played Guitar. This however is excellent, describing the Eighties through the prism of Live Aid and the performers on the day. In its own way it is at least as good as the other chroniclers of post-war Britain - Sandbrook, Beckett, McSmith et al. Slightly repetitive last chapter and wouldn't have lost anything if the chapter on the Philadelphia show went under the red pen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great read about Live Aid and the 80's, 2 Jun. 2014
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Really interesting insight to the putting on of Live Aid and this time in history, having watching the show fascinating read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative, 14 Aug. 2013
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As one of the millions who set aside the day to watch this concert (in my case at home) this is a wonderful evocation of the event. The explorations into the wider social issues of the day via the groups who played is done very well. Recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Live aid relived, 3 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: The Eighties: One Day, One Decade (Hardcover)
I was there and this book brings back the emotion of every moment of that hot day in July , we sang and cried ,laughed and danced in Wembley stadium
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 11 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: The Eighties: One Day, One Decade (Hardcover)
I was really looking forward to reading this book but it was a rather dull and disappointing read. These are my suggestions to Mr Jones 1. check the footage of Live Aid I think you will find there was a big event in the US which gets little coverage in your book. 2. check your facts, to the best of my knowledge John Ottway has never played with Daryl Hall, though it would be interesting! 3. leave the writing of these kind of books to Stuart Maconie 4. don't mention your association with David Cameron.
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The Eighties: One Day, One Decade
The Eighties: One Day, One Decade by Dylan Jones (Hardcover - 6 Jun. 2013)
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