Top positive review
One person found this helpful
At last! A music autobiography that IS worth reading!
on 1 April 2014
Well it soon became apparent, when reading this book, that Tony Visconti is much more than a producer. With his amazing ability to quickly arrange instruments, score strings, and recognise chords, (something maybe even Todd "the god" Rundgren might not have the aural skills for!), I'm seriously wondering if he could be "the best"?!?!
In fact, it raised a serious question about a particular interest of mine. For years we heard about David Bowie being a genius (and he is of course), knowing "so much about music". The we learned that it was in fact Mick Ronson who should take a lot of the credit. Now this book had made me pause again, wondering how much Tony Visconti is responsible for the incomparable sound and atmosphere of Bowie's classic albums? Will we ever know?!
Whichever way you look at it, Visconti is VERY intelligent, and a genius in his own right. Whilst I don't care for many of the other artists he's worked with over the years, his contribution to Bowie's and Bolan's careers is immeasurable.
The book pitches the "technical side" absolutely perfectly. It lets you know a producer does more than tiwiddle a few knobs, and gives you an idea as to the kind of problems faced, but without blinding you with science.
He is very candid about his own drug participation, although I did wonder at times is he was playing it down a little. Either way, I'm not going to judge him on that, because (as he says) it was a recreational thing which he refused to let impinge on his work duties. (Unlike the majority of the artists he was producing!)
He does not "slag" anyone off for the sake of it. Any criticisms are well-founded and explained. True, Marc Bolan is no longer here to defend himself, but I have heard so many reports from other sources over the years, that it's all credible. In any event, I don't think anbody could ever deny Bolan was more into "being a star" than being a musical trailblazer!
The book is littered with odd, almost trivial facts about all kinds of facts and incidents (musical and non-musical), but they are just downright interesting! He has an excellent grasp of what the reader, music fan or not, might not know but appreciate knowing. Likewise, it was great to hear his take on things he found strange about the UK, things which we take for granted. In fact, as his "adopted home" he actually thanks Britain at the end of the book, which I thought was a nice touch.
The only thing that marred the book, for me, was reading about his forays into some New Age Group Awareness codswallop (similar to E.S.T.), and how he tried to involve others in it. I think he's come to his senses a little since that escapade, but it was enough to make me think he (maybe) wasn't as intelligent as I'd thought. Whatever, he' s still streets ahead of Joe Public though!