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Reelin' in the Years: The Soundtrack of a Northern Life by [Radcliffe, Mark]
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Reelin' in the Years: The Soundtrack of a Northern Life Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Length: 352 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description


'A pleasant ramble through five decades of pop culture seen through the eyes of a music-loving northerner... Radcliffe writes in much the same way that he talks - warmly and wryly' --Independent

'Funny, well-informed and self-deprecating' --Metro

'Radcliffe's given us a remarkable music history and picked 52 defining albums, one from each of those years. Diverse is just one way to sum it up' --Mirror

'An entertaining new memoir. Starting at 1958, Radcliffe picks a favourite song from each year and uses it as a launch pad for his trademark rambling reverie. The chosen tracks are diverse (everything from Cliff Richard to Prince), and the writing is funny and there's an expert X Factor takedown to savour' --Shortlist

'An easy-read memoir is reliant on good anecdotes, and Radcliffe has more than a few' --Guardian

About the Author

Mark Radcliffe was born in Bolton and attended Manchester University. He has been employed by the BBC to talk in between records for over twenty years, many of these with Lard (aka Marc Riley) and currently with Stuart Maconie on Radio 6. He has won 6 Gold Sony Awards plus Sony's Music Broadcaster of the Year 2009, and has recorded five albums with two bands. He has three daughters and lives in Cheshire.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 746 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (12 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0050C04F4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #175,073 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First up I need to declare I am a big fan of Mark Radcliffe- his and Stuart Maconie's Radio 2 show kept me company on the long drive home when I was working late, until their move to 6 Music and I have previously given very favourable reviews to his previous "Showbusiness" and "Thank You For The Days" offerings, so I want to try and avoid this turning into a hagiography.

This is, however, a well thought out and structured book. Each chapter covers a year in his life since he was born, with each named after a song from that year. There is a clever mix of pop history, autobiography and general history, putting everything into context from the personal to the political, and each chapter has a slightly different angle- in some the actual song takes centre stage and Radcliffe uses his encyclopedic knowledge and wide-ranging tastes to dissect it, whereas in others the track is merely refered to in passing, but still provides a theme. One chapter is simply a letter of apology, starting "Dear Kate", but most people will work out quite quickly who he is addressing.

I know it is a bit of a cliche to talk about laugh out loud moments when reading, but many hackneyed phrases become such because they do contain a basic truth. Radcliffe's great use of the English language in a non-prentitious way shows that you can exhibit intelligence without being ostentatious- that it's okay to be clever and still come across to the common man. There is the odd bit that would probably work better on a radio show than it does on the written page- eg his riff on DJs named after kitchenware (although he does make a good comeback from this one with Mary Anne Hobbs).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
No point beating around the bush, Mark Radcliffe's 2009s "Thank you for the days" was not a uniquely entertaining memoir, indeed if truth were told it was rather dull in parts. A shame since he and his ex Fall best mate Marc Riley were an hilarious partnership. I once accidently spat tea at a passenger on a train as I spluttered laughing at a Mark and Lard's "Beat the clock" and a particularly vicious attack on Kelly Jones of the Stereophonics. Who could also forget "pathelogical News", "stone deaf again" and particularly "classic cuts" where their love of music was combined with wicked p-takes. The great news is that in terms of his new book "Reelin in the years: The soundtrack of a Northern life"" Radcliffe has decided to concentrate primarily on his first love for the music but obviously throw in plenty of autobiography, history and anecdotes for good measure. His premise is a cracking one to choose a song that soundtracked each of his 53 years on terra firma. This does not mean it will necessarily be the best song of that year. He accepts for example that in 1981 the defining song was the Specials anti Thatcher classic "Ghost Town". Instead he picks the wonderful "Love Action" by the Human League who started as a "four piece of badly dressed occasionally mustachioed and inadvisably coiffured blokes" and went on in their second phase to produce infectiously immaculate pop songs. He also thinks that Phil Oakley and Co have a classic ingredient, a fundamentally great band name, unlike the one judged by he and Marc Riley to be the worst ever - "Grab, Grab the Haddock".

Radcliffe manages not to pick any records by the Beatles, the Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Oasis and most surprisingly his hero David Bowie (except a cover).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You probably have to be a fan of amark Radcliffe already to thoroughly enjoy this book, I can't help myself and found it a joyful read from start to last. The previous reviewer said it really well; Mark can use the English language as the expert he undoubtedly is (his use of aliteration is legendary), yet he keeps it all simple and incredibly readable and thoroughly enjoyable. It is true to say he writes as he talks on the "Radcliffe and Maconie" radio show, and you can hear his dulcet Bolton accent jumping off the page.
For me, Mark's trump card is his humour, which shines through in spades in "Reelin' in the Years". Of course humour is a very individual thing and if you are a person from Stoke Poges who takes themselves too seriously, this book is not for you. Mark has been there and bought the t-shirt, you know his stories are from first-hand and he is one class story-teller, without any question. And a very funny one at that.
I was totally fscinated by his choices of the records which he chose, the ones that have punctuated his (up to press)52 years on this earth. I await the accopanying CD; meanwhile I have set out to collect all the 52 tracks, by one means or another. I have seriously annoyed some of my friends in this pursuit, so nothing new there then. I am convinced that the tracks selected are not necessarily Mark's favourites per se, e.g. From all the fantastic works from the Summer of Love,1967, he picks "Puppet on a string", seriously? But they all have a very personal meaning for Mark, which is fine by me. He also weaves historical facts and important political events etc into the mix, which adds a great deal to the overall flavour and makes the book well worthwhile if History floats your boat instead of listening to good music.
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