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Monday, 7 December 2009

The Brooklyn Boy Done Good: Tony Visconti

Has to be said that Tony Visconti is no great prose stylist, but this is a top life all the same, and more than adequately described. I'd never seen any pictures of Visconti and had always imagined him older - more like the cigar-chompers he regularly disparages - but he's very much Bolan's and Bowie's contemporary and provides a compelling view from the front line of pop life in the late 60s and 70s.

There's plenty of stuff from inside the studio, including quite a bit of technical gen (which worked fine for me), providing a new insider angle on many famous names. Of those, it has to be said (meaning no disrespect), that while Bolan's human qualities come a poor second to his musical ability (not the first time I'd heard that), Bowie comes across as a gent throughout and Iggy, contrary to his public image, as a man posessed of a phenomenal work ethic and professionalism.

Tony Visconti, it's fair to say, changed pop music's soundscape, creating music of a depth and resonance which you simply don't hear any more. This book gives you a good idea of how he did that - it's a significant contribution to the history of those fantastic times and a cracking read to boot.

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