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4.1 out of 5 stars
Wired for Sound: Now That's What I Call An Eighties Music Childhood
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on 16 December 2016
Oh my word! Amazing book. Could have been written for or by my husband as it is just the way he talks about music. He couldn't put it down and when he was out I found myself reading it! Funny and interesting, broken up in to clever chapters. Great read. Buy it!
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on 29 November 2014
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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on 25 August 2017
If you were you growing up in the 80's and listening to music this will take you back and make you very nostalgic. I was 13 when the 80's started and I was transported back! Easy, entertaining read and I loved it!
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on 16 March 2017
A very enjoyable read. Well written and researched with plenty of humour, A great little book for anyone who enjoys looking back to the 80s music scene.
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on 19 July 2013
Brilliant holiday reading for an 80s fan like myself, always looking for another's take on a brilliant decade for music
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on 15 February 2017
A really fun book to read, a true bop down Memory Lane!
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on 30 July 2014
I bought this book expecting a funny memoir of growing up in the Eighties that would ring bells about my own youth. To a degree there is some of that in this book but its failing is that it falls between two stools: it's neither entertaining memoir nor a potted, pub-quiz history of Eighties music. What it is, is a bit of both and it strikes me that it was written for people who weren't there but are curious about what the decade was like rather than those of us who were there and who wanted a book to help us recapture our youth. I must confess I gave up reading after the author had covered 1985 but then, the Eighties I remember was over by that point too!
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on 5 December 2017
This is a bit like a talking heads (as in stuart maconie et al rather than the 'road to nowhere' lot) 80s TV review programme - there's some mildly amusing nostalgia, decently enough written (if poorly edited for factual content at times). The first half of the book - rather like the music of the period - is much stronger than the second half, with Bromley struggling to find any groups - or phenomena - to write about, beyond the accursed Stock Aitken and Waterman acts, who are the ancestors of the awful x factor acts that dominate these days.
Of the 5 supposedly dominant bands of the first half of the decade, I would concur with Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and Wham!, but both Culture Club and Frankie Goes to Hollywood were by my recollection brief marketing-led shooting stars, who were annoyingly ubiquitous for about 6 months each, but neither had more than about 3 decent songs. Neither act, interestingly, had sufficient confidence in their own ability to take part in Live Aid. Frankie says triumph of production and hype over talent.
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on 8 September 2016
Rather like (most of) the music of the 80s, this book is enjoyable, easy to absorb, has occasional flashes of real class alongside some cringeworthy moments, but is ultimately destined to be forgotten.

Other reviewers have commented on the standard of fact-checking and proofreading, which appears to deteriorate as the book progresses (some alarmingly clunky errors creep in the final two or three chapters). I'd also add that - with the exception of Prince, Michael Jackson and Madonna, American artists barely get a look in; surprising as they were a large part of the music scene back then. Australia is at least represented by the (inevitable) Kylie Minogue, but INXS might as well have never existed. To be fair to the author he makes no claims that this is a comprehensive overview.

The second part of the book is shorter than the first, reflecting the author's view that the quality of popular music went downhill during this period (and, as someone born in the same year, I'm inclined to agree). So "Side 2" as it's called leans more heavily on personal history and - as the author admits - his personal history isn't that different to most other people's of the time.

So overall a decent but not outstanding book. Certainly worth the time spent reading it, and the expense if you can get a copy cheaply, but not one I'll be returning to.
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on 16 September 2013
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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