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Wired for Sound: Now That's What I Call An Eighties Music Childhood Paperback – 7 Jun 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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  • All in the Best Possible Taste: Growing Up Watching Telly in the Eighties
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  • A 1980s Childhood: From He-Man to Shell Suits
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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (7 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849833931
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849833936
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.7 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 175,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Tom Bromley's detailed and evocative memoir of the eighties music scene is funny, warm and joyously spot on. Whether or not you grew up in the
eighties, you will be transported back with him to the most creative and
flamboyant era in music pop history
" Carol Decker

"In Tom Bromley's self deprecating hands reliving the age of Wham! and
Duran Duran is a joy ... *Wired for Sound* is a witty and likeable tribute
to the innocent, childlike charms of pop music"
Will Hodgkinson--Will Hodgkinson

Review

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
*Written by duchess1's daughter, Rachel Louise Jones, with duchess1's permission.*

I really wanted to enjoy this book, and in all honesty it was a very fun read. Bromley writes in a way that is comical, self-deprecating, and at times quite tongue-in-cheek, and I'm sure that for anyone who was a child and / or teenager in the eighties, this book will bring back many musical memories. However, my enjoyment of the book was ruined considerably by the simple fact that Tom Bromley's own facts are largely wrong.

Many of the factual errors are silly mistakes that surely no-one could ever make - getting the year of Michael Jackson's death wrong, for example, or saying that Wendy Carlos used to be Wayne Carlos, when everyone surely knows that she was Walter Carlos (just where on earth did Bromley get "Wayne" from?!).

And still there's more. Bromley says "A Clockwork Orange" was banned (it wasn't; it was in fact withdrawn by Stanley Kubrick himself), he lists Kraftwerk's "Tour De France" as one of his favourite eighties albums when actually it was never more than a 1983 single (an album of new material, "Tour De France Soundtracks", wasn't created until 2003), and he makes myriad lazy descriptions of famous music videos and live performances that suggest that he has seen said clips, but didn't bother to refresh his memory with a quick visit to Youtube five minutes before writing about them. Add to this mix page after page of typographic errors, and for someone who a) is a sucker for getting the facts perfect and pedantic, and b) wasn't born until 1990 and yet I know that I'm right and he's wrong, does make it at times a very frustrating read.
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Format: Paperback
Nostalgia-driven jog-trots through childhood are ten a penny since Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch first hit paydirt nearly 20 years ago. This book by Tom Bromley is an enjoyable addition to the genre. Bromley is absolutely a child of the '80s, just about becoming aware of music as the decade began and beginning to detach himself gently as the decade ended, and his knowledge of and affection for an often much maligned era in popular culture is infectious.

Bromley's tastes are thoroughly mainstream. He actually liked Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Wham! and everyone else it was deeply uncool to like at the time, only tuning in to the Smiths very late in the day when late adolescence struck. He even remembers the engagingly pointless Tiffany v Debbie Gibson rivalry that any sane man would have blotted out of his mind as the scene spiralled into decline in the later years, despite the brief glory of the Stone Roses. He is also spot on in his analysis of how developments in technology drove and were driven by the music. This is all organised thematically by some key tracks of the time, albeit only loosely.

If I must be critical, I would say that Bromley can't quite decide whether it wants to be an in-depth look at his own past through the medium of the music (including toe-curling dips into teenage diaries and his own lamentable attempt to become a pop star himself) or a critical analysis of the music itself. Thus it does tend to fall in between two stools.

(A minor factual quibble, too. At the start of the second part, Bromley slates Bob Geldof for getting the University of York's Central Hall, the only decent venue in his home town, closed down as a music venue after swearily telling the audience to come down and dance in a venue that was structurally unsound for it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An enjoyable read about personal reflections on 80s music. Like me, most fans of music of this time, will already know the majority of factual content. Hence the main attraction is the personal perspective the authors adds. In many cases this is engaging and informative. However due to this perspective, some very popular bands get essentially no coverage (The Police, The Jam and most of 2-tone). The content on the first half of the decade is much stronger (much like the actual music).
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Format: Paperback
Really enjoyed this entertaining look back at the 80s. It sums up how I feel about music which is how it affects people personally that makes it work or not. The child's eye view of music and especially 'the charts' gave it an enjoyable edge to me and certainly more fun to read than a book of facts and figures. I was a little older than Tom so don't have the excuse of being at a school disco sitting on a dusty floor doing the 'oops up inside your head' dance. We were grown ups and drunk enough to get down and slap the floor at weddings even. I honestly never thought I would look back on 80s music with nostalgic fondness but after reading this know there was so much about the decade (mostly first half) that was really good. I disagree with Tom on Culture Club favourites (Victims top tune) and also would have liked to see Squeeze covered more. I have the 'Singles' LP which straddles the 70s and 80s and is an excellent example of classic singles and also superb, timeless lyrics. Definitely a keeper this one.
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Format: Paperback
Obviously this book has a fairly limited target audience, but if you love music, have fond memories of the 1980's and enjoy reading books, you can't go far wrong with this.

I do not know the author, but I think we could be kindred spirits. Not only does he love music,like me he loves musical knowledge, statistics, data; trivia if you will. There's plenty of info about what inspired the names of certain bands, the inspiration behind certain songs, why certain bands split up or ejected members. Also all the main Aids (Band/Live/Ferry) are covered extensively, as you would expect. There's even a bunch of lists at the end of the book detailing who sold the most records and what have you. But its not all work, Bromley (or dare I say 'Tom') has an easy going matey style which was also amusing enough to keep me hooked. To be honest I rattled through this pretty quickly; the present day was soon forgotten and all my 80's memories came flooding back and I didn't want it to end. In fact I could envisage hanging out with my new mate 'Tom', jabbering on about music and 80's TV (he's also written a book about the latter, which I would also heartily recommend) long into the night. We even agree on the best song of the decade; 'Two Tribes' by the briefly legendary Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Which also, in my very umble opinion, has the best video ever made.

Anyway, it may not be the most important or intellectual subject matter, but 'Tom' obviously cares about it, and wants you to care as well. And you will, too. I can think of no higher compliment than to say that, once I'd finished reading it, I closed the book and thought, 'I wish I'd written that'.
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