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This is a good book as far as it goes
on 21 July 2014
This is a good book as far as it goes, and it definitely gives a sense of the massive amount of musical creativity in NYC in the mid-70s, but ultimately that's about all it does. While it's trying to do something different to, say, 'England's Dreaming' by jon Savage, it doesn't get anywhere near the depth, importance, and perceptiveness of that book. More on the visual arts in all forms and fashion too (and possibly literature - why does nobody who writes about Television ever discuss poetry?) I really can't agree with Nick Hornby that this is 'social history' - it's not - it's music writing with occasional historical references. Various bits of history come and go, and are dealt with fairly well, but they're really nothing more than throwaway references - the Son of Sam killer, for instance, pops up in a fairly sinister way at a couple of points, but later on other shootings he was responsible for are tossed away in half a sentence.
also - I realise the author didn't have an indefinite amount of space - but the choices of which people to follow seems arbitrary. It's nice to see Latin music given some attention, and jazz too, but there's nothing about, for instance, broadway musicals.
Oddly for a book like this, the personal recollections are among the best bits - I'd have liked more of them.