on 26 November 2004
Finally a comprehensive and authorised biography of the late Kirsty MacColl. It is clear that this book has been written with the co operation of MacColls family. This is evident from the inclusion of many personal photographs (in colour) and family anecdotes. Of particluar interest are the early chapters outlining MacColls childhood and formative years which are intriguing as little has been previously documented.The book also focus's on MacColls diverse career, over a twenty year period, from early stagefright to prolific songwriting,recording and performing. It is a fascinating read and a respectful testament to the life and career of a greatly missed artist
on 2 April 2005
I'm really disappointed in this book. Finally there is an opportunity to read about Kirsty the songwriter and musician and the author wastes the opportunity. My main problem with the book is that it is dull dull dull. It's written like a news report and written, it seems, for a mass audience not fans of music. It's hard to tell if the author even has a grasp of music outside of the immediate MacColl sphere. Passages like the one where Kirsty's brother admits that he didn't like "They Don't Know" because it sounded too much like Twinkle go nowhere. In fact Twinkle doesn't appear to be referenced elsewhere. Nor are other MacColl influences. Steve Lillywhite mentions that Kirsty played records all of the time but never does the author explore what those records were. She does drone on about 80s bands and other music in MacColl's era but that's it. Frustrating. Even more frustrating are the long passages about the MacColl's trips to Poland. By the end of the pages and pages dedicated to those trips you're sure there will be some amazing revelation about the trips but... nothing! But hands down the most laughable part of the book, and the part that solidified this review, is where the author talks about Che Guevara having asthma... just like Kirsty. This is music writing at it's absolulte worse. In fact the book is more about Cuba than it is about music. It's written like a CNN report. Yuck! The only reason I'm not giving the book one star is that it is the only biography on Kirsty and perhaps will be the only one ever. Kirsty combined some diverse pop influences and while she is no longer here to talk about them there must be people who can speak to her love of records. It's sad that a biography of Kirsty never once mentions the Caravelles. Even sadder that Twinkle isn't even listed in the index when Che Guevara is. Get the EMI boxed set and enjoy the music but save your money on the book if you are looking for a book about pop music. RIP Kirsty, this book does you none of the justice you deserve as a songwriter.
on 25 November 2008
I was given this book as a lovely thoughtful gift to read about Kirsty MacColl's life. I had only been introduced to her via her Tropical Brainstorm album which was fantastic, only to hear of her death shortly thereafter. I got about halfway through this book when I could no longer bear reading it. It wasn't captivating & to the point in the book that I read the book seemed more about everyone else than her. I would suspect it is difficult to write a poignant autobiography when the subject is suddenly killed, but I was horribly disappointed.