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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great music books
Fabulous book. I picked it up in the library but will certainly buy a couple of copies to give as presents. It's full up with mad little anecdotes from start to finish. An original page-turner which seems to cover every event, trend and star in the history of British pop music - and to connect each of them with their own drug. It all makes sense when you read it...
Published on 9 Feb 2002 by Amazon Customer

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sex, drugs and rock and roll
I've managed to read a preview of this book, and if you at all interested in the history of British music, and the influence drugs has had in this fickle industry over the years then this well written, easy to read book is for you. Really enjoyable. Note: Fans of Japan and Wham / George Michael will particulary like it!
Published on 13 Mar 2001 by sleazyred@downtownlasvegas.fre...


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great music books, 9 Feb 2002
Fabulous book. I picked it up in the library but will certainly buy a couple of copies to give as presents. It's full up with mad little anecdotes from start to finish. An original page-turner which seems to cover every event, trend and star in the history of British pop music - and to connect each of them with their own drug. It all makes sense when you read it anyway. The constant reminders of the gay influence over the British pop industry of the last 50 years is quite hilarious at times, and Simon Napier Bell's own memories are full of wit and no regret. Recommended completely.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When more is not enough..., 26 Nov 2004
By 
Siriam (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This book comes loaded with great raves on the cover by many well known writers and critics on UK pop music - why, is easy to see in that the book tells more of the truth by a longtime insider in a manner that none of those writers have ever approached.
Napier- Bell has a simple thesis which is that UK pop owes it all to drugs and gay culture from the 1950s to date and certainly tells enough scurrilous but amusing anecdotes to support the proposition. His own predelictions (being gay but not into drugs) allow a writing style that seems to match Kenneth Anger and Hunter Thompson in sparing no blushes but also making telling points that this was sadly how it all was.
The most incisive aspects of the book and that justify it being a great read are on the wheeling and dealing by artiste's managers and the record companies and the tricks played along the way to maintain their control, with "rip off" being the only term applicable. With his own involvment with the Yardbirds and Wham being honestly told, the story has a level of depth and range that is rare in other pop books and avoids the researcher/avid fan tomes that litter this area of writing.
An excellent airplane or beach read - gripping but enjoyable.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent guide to the British music business, 8 Oct 2002
I enjoyed every word of this wonderful account of the British music business. I was born in 1960 and found that this was a reminder of the soundtrack of my life, from Dusty Springfield, through the days of Marc Bolan and Ziggy Stardust to the greed of the eighties.
The way in which Napier-Bell links the sounds of each era with the most popular drug could have been a bit of a cheap gimmick, but it works beautifully and is never less than totally convincing.
Anyone who's interested in popular music should read it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read between the white lines, 17 April 2001
By A Customer
This is the most readable and thought-provoking history of the music business that I've read. Although you might be forgiven for thinking that gay sex was just as influential as drugs, the book is a shrewd and honest insight into a business which has had a major influence on youth, and now adult, culture for the past 50 years. It may have taken 3 years to write - and if drugs is so influential then it's hardly surprising - but Black Vinvyl White powder was well worth waiting for.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sex, drugs and rock and roll, 13 Mar 2001
I've managed to read a preview of this book, and if you at all interested in the history of British music, and the influence drugs has had in this fickle industry over the years then this well written, easy to read book is for you. Really enjoyable. Note: Fans of Japan and Wham / George Michael will particulary like it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT READ FOR THE CONVERTED, 23 Feb 2009
By 
David P. Weber (North Fremantle) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I sort of felt ripped off when I first read this book as it was not what was promised on the cover. Then I read the author's book about Wham! which was fantastic (sic)! I woke up to his raconteur style and went back to 'Black Vinyl', and appreciated it much more. Napier Bell has been at the centre of several major developments in the music industry so why not run it as a sort of memoir? It's certainly less self-indulgent that Walter Yetnikoff's book. There seem to be a few errors-- Billy Currie RE-formed Ultravox with Midge Ure for the 'Vienna' album, and Band Aid's song was called 'Do They Know It's Christmas?', not 'Feed The World'. And I thought Asia formed in the early Eighties, not the Seventies. But this is all relatively innocuous, given the wealth of information in the book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars not as in depth as I'd hoped, 23 Nov 2014
By 
Suze "Susie" (England) - See all my reviews
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I have read the first book in this "trilogy" and he does tend to repeat himself a bit. He is good fun though and writes entertainingly. I was disappointed that he didn't go into much detail about the Band "Japan" because his being their Manager was one of the reasons I bought this book.
He briefly mentions the time they made the Tin Drum album but doesn't even mention the Gentlemen Take Polaroids album - so either he wasn't their manager then or he isn't interested in telling us much about the Band.
Its not a bad read but I found myself skim reading bits towards the end.
I want to know about Japan and George Michael but he doesn't really tell us very much about them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly informative &hilarious, 19 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Black Vinyl White Powder (Kindle Edition)
Brilliant book on the British (and to a great extent American) music scene of the last 60 years or so. Written by someone on the inside with no axe to grind and very frank. Absolutely loved it and cannot recommend it high enough, if you're interested in this subject.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unrivalled, 13 May 2013
By 
Mrs. Gillian Reynolds (London, England) - See all my reviews
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Fascinating, frank, funny, knowledgeable, full of insight, well constructed and thoughtful. I liked this very much and would recommend it highly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Powder Burn, 7 May 2013
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An entertaining and interesting book.Napier -Bell tells a good story. The personalities,the stars.the drugs that fuel the music business are all here.
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