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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exhaustive yet lacking...
This book features a whopping 427 pages (with little in the way of illustrations), making it perhaps the most in-depth study on Wire ever written. In the introduction, the author states what it is not. There are two items which are to the detriment of such an exhaustive title:
[1] it does not cover the solo projects when Wire was on hiatus, and
[2] there is only...
Published 18 months ago by Charles Miller

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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In the yellow bulb light
This is a better book than 3 stars would credit it, but if you have been listening to Wire since the outset, it's very frustrating as well, by virtue of what it elides, and how it is essentially a transcription of a pub argument over the years.

There are moments when it reveals sublime insights into Wire's history and process, but it gets certain facts and...
Published 16 months ago by JW


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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exhaustive yet lacking..., 12 April 2013
By 
Charles Miller "objective clarity" (Baltimore, Maryland U.S.A.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Read & Burn: A Book about Wire (Paperback)
This book features a whopping 427 pages (with little in the way of illustrations), making it perhaps the most in-depth study on Wire ever written. In the introduction, the author states what it is not. There are two items which are to the detriment of such an exhaustive title:
[1] it does not cover the solo projects when Wire was on hiatus, and
[2] there is only a "selected discography" versus a complete one.

In the case of the former issue, it simply does not make sense to keep the subject matter strictly on Wire. The book kicks off with the members' backgrounds to illuminate what they brought to the table, and that makes sense. But wouldn't the solo material created by its members during periods of Wire inactivity also shed light on this topic? Certainly Graham Lewis and Bruce Gilbert's work in Dome influenced what was yet to come as did Colin Newman's solo releases. Additionally, a few more pages could have made this large book more encyclical with a complete discography. In other words, I question the wisdom of eliminating these subjects.

Okay, so I just covered the minuses with regards to this book and hence, the 4-star review. Had these items been included, it certainly would be a 5-stars because again, this book is not only well-written, but what it does cover is everything you ever wanted to know about Wire and more. Indeed, it is exhaustive... 5 years in the making and hundreds of hours of interviews to make it so. The thought processes from start (1976) to finish (Change Becomes Us) is covered in a way that certainly yields a better understanding of what makes Wire, Wire. The lack of illustrations and its reasonable size also makes it great reading book, rather than some over-sized monstrosity to accommodate photographs. There are a few pages of illustrations, but again, not to the point that this could ever be regarded as a coffee table book, which it shouldn't be. Actually, I cannot emphasize enough how spectacular the detail is. I've learned more about Wire than all the previous Wire books combined provided save the solo work and discography.

For anyone who takes Wire as seriously as I do, this book is absolute must as it explains so very much. Highly recommended.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extensive, comprehensive, accurate., 19 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Read & Burn: A Book about Wire (Paperback)
I once found the "EVERYBODY LOVES A STORY" book by Kevin S. Eden (hope I'm being accurate here), and it's comparatively a fan book with all it's fan enthusiasm, but without much insights. This now READ & BURN object displays an incredible depth in the heart of the WIRE project, with articulated details about the rights & wrongs of human decisions and actions, motives, plans, ambitions, guilty feelings, errors, career strategies, alliances (albeit temporary) etc. I loved the Kevin Eden book and it lead me to search for documents. This now effort took me back to listening to WIRE again and NOW, especially in the shape of the CHANGE BECOMES US project, which offers such an enthusiastic piece of work : I used to love those ODD tracks on the DOCUMENT & EYEWITNESS record-as-testament, and the reworking of these songs and instrumental gives an immense pleasure, which was the purpose, or so it seems, of the project : these tracks have only been played live, without being recorded at the time (79/80). Amazingly wonderful, WIRE at their most inspired to the date. A book about four respective artists working together.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In-depth insight into an essential band, 15 April 2013
By 
Craig Grannell (Fleet, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Read & Burn: A Book about Wire (Paperback)
Neate makes it quite clear that this book isn't intended as a biography, but rather a chunky slice of critical insight into a band that, for various reasons, has been hugely influential in the world of music but never had the commercial success said influence would suggest. It's clear Neate is a fan (he clearly says so himself) and reading between the lines, one suspects he's particularly fond of the now-departed Bruce Gilbert; however, although Neate offers his evaluation on Wire's albums, artwork and methods, this is typically kept to a minimum and is also objective. Elsewhere, the volume is packed with interviews that are refreshingly honest and blunt, sometimes contrary, and showcase how Wire has never been the typical 'friends playing music' band, but a collaborative project involving several strong-willed but very different-thinking personalities.

For the most part, then, this book is almost the polar opposite of most band tomes. It's almost anti-fawning, regularly painting the band in a fairly negative light in terms of interpersonal relationships and strategies. This is balanced by the sheer determination evident throughout the band's history to create new things, retain its integrity, and be 'other'. On that basis, it's a worthwhile purchase for anyone with a keen interest in what makes creative people tick and how differing viewpoints can be both a recipe for creative drive but also lead to a unit tearing itself apart. However, for anyone considering themselves a fan of Wire, there's no 'perhaps' about it--this is a fascinating look 'behind the curtain', with an astonishingly warts-an'-all approach.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A book about Wire but the muic matters most!, 7 Sep 2014
This review is from: Read & Burn: A Book about Wire (Paperback)
This is a book about Wire and the processes of recording their many releases. Put their magnificent output on listening/stroke watching in between periods of reading. the music is far more vital and important than any words written about it!
Great read but the music is what matters!
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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential (?), 10 April 2013
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This review is from: Read & Burn: A Book about Wire (Paperback)
THEN Look - it arrived today. It has a nice cover. I have not read it.
The index looks exhaustive. I love Wire and am uncritical if you are too it looks ok; alright?

UPDATE 1/5/13 - now read the thing. It is really a good piece of work. From origins through to Change Becomes Us. Not hagiography and surprisingly blunt quotes from Colin and Graham - perhaps even lessons in getting on over a long period. Nice titbits for the obsessed (the Erasure remix was unknown to me) plus an unintrusive author but maybe tell that 154 is probs his fave. For a fan this is the real deal. Stick by my 5* rating.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In the yellow bulb light, 3 July 2013
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This review is from: Read & Burn: A Book about Wire (Paperback)
This is a better book than 3 stars would credit it, but if you have been listening to Wire since the outset, it's very frustrating as well, by virtue of what it elides, and how it is essentially a transcription of a pub argument over the years.

There are moments when it reveals sublime insights into Wire's history and process, but it gets certain facts and "shifts in emphasis" completely half-cast - for me, it is most disappointing for its inability to properly document the Wire energy in 78/79 once they really got cooking -

Wilson Neate admits he never saw them till the 80's by which time they were a very different item, as he describes, maybe over-egging the retrospective dissatisfaction the band say they have with their Mute recordings. And a background echo of the book is "What's the state of Wire now that Bruce (Gilbert) has left"...

Bruce is happy. Wire is happy - they just released their best record for aeons, "Change becomes us".

The book is of interest to all fans, certainly. But it's presenting itself as a thorough and well-researched view, which it isn't really.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars As a Wire fan from way back..., 1 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Read & Burn: A Book about Wire (Paperback)
...I can remember buying Pink Flag on my way home from school in 1977 and even then i knew this group was a little different. They were a tad more intellectual than the run of the mill thrash that was popular in those days. I witnessed the dogs abuse that they got supporting The Tubes in Manchester, Bruce even replied to a fan letter that i wrote to the group after Chairs Missing came out. But really is there any need for a 400+ page book about this group..? As i understand, Wire didn't commission this book : the author had the idea and the Wire members agreed to contribute with interviews by email and such. A lot of research has gone into this book and my guess is that the book was intended to be perhaps 200 pages shorter than it turned out. And as such the book is full of tantrums and tours, fall-outs over the Roland R8 Human Rhythm Composer drum machine, creative differences, and of those there are plenty, and the reunions with and without Bruce. Only you can decide if this book was absolutely necessary, but i still have my vinyl copies of Pink Flag, Chairs Missing and 154, with the free ep, and those records are the best reminder (or document) of what a great group they were.
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Read & Burn: A Book about Wire
Read & Burn: A Book about Wire by Wilson Neate (Paperback - 29 Mar 2013)
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