Hot Best Seller

I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution

Availability: Ready to download

Remember the first time you saw Michael Jackson dance with zombies in "Thriller"? Diamond Dave karate kick with Van Halen in "Jump"? Tawny Kitaen turning cartwheels on a Jaguar to Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again"? The Beastie Boys spray beer in "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)"? Axl Rose step off the bus in "Welcome to the Jungle"? Remember When All You Wanted Remember the first time you saw Michael Jackson dance with zombies in "Thriller"? Diamond Dave karate kick with Van Halen in "Jump"? Tawny Kitaen turning cartwheels on a Jaguar to Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again"? The Beastie Boys spray beer in "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)"? Axl Rose step off the bus in "Welcome to the Jungle"? Remember When All You Wanted Was Your MTV? It was a pretty radical idea-a channel for teenagers, showing nothing but music videos. It was such a radical idea that almost no one thought it would actually succeed, much less become a force in the worlds of music, television, film, fashion, sports, and even politics. But it did work. MTV became more than anyone had ever imagined. I Want My MTV tells the story of the first decade of MTV, the golden era when MTV's programming was all videos, all the time, and kids watched religiously to see their favorite bands, learn about new music, and have something to talk about at parties. From its start in 1981 with a small cache of videos by mostly unknown British new wave acts to the launch of the reality-television craze with The Real World in 1992, MTV grew into a tastemaker, a career maker, and a mammoth business. Featuring interviews with nearly four hundred artists, directors, VJs, and television and music executives, I Want My MTV is a testament to the channel that changed popular culture forever.


Compare

Remember the first time you saw Michael Jackson dance with zombies in "Thriller"? Diamond Dave karate kick with Van Halen in "Jump"? Tawny Kitaen turning cartwheels on a Jaguar to Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again"? The Beastie Boys spray beer in "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)"? Axl Rose step off the bus in "Welcome to the Jungle"? Remember When All You Wanted Remember the first time you saw Michael Jackson dance with zombies in "Thriller"? Diamond Dave karate kick with Van Halen in "Jump"? Tawny Kitaen turning cartwheels on a Jaguar to Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again"? The Beastie Boys spray beer in "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)"? Axl Rose step off the bus in "Welcome to the Jungle"? Remember When All You Wanted Was Your MTV? It was a pretty radical idea-a channel for teenagers, showing nothing but music videos. It was such a radical idea that almost no one thought it would actually succeed, much less become a force in the worlds of music, television, film, fashion, sports, and even politics. But it did work. MTV became more than anyone had ever imagined. I Want My MTV tells the story of the first decade of MTV, the golden era when MTV's programming was all videos, all the time, and kids watched religiously to see their favorite bands, learn about new music, and have something to talk about at parties. From its start in 1981 with a small cache of videos by mostly unknown British new wave acts to the launch of the reality-television craze with The Real World in 1992, MTV grew into a tastemaker, a career maker, and a mammoth business. Featuring interviews with nearly four hundred artists, directors, VJs, and television and music executives, I Want My MTV is a testament to the channel that changed popular culture forever.

30 review for I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution

  1. 5 out of 5

    charlie

    Ay Ay Ay... I could go on for hours but fear that's a bad idea. But at the risk of sounding like a complete loser, I'll at least write something. As an MTV staffer during the years covered in this book, and friend and/or coworker of too many of the people interviewed, I have a unique perspective to comment... (unique or worthless - that's what I can't decide.) But, I was a pretty insignificant cog in the wheel. The bottom line is that the book really captured a huge range of the dimensions of the Ay Ay Ay... I could go on for hours but fear that's a bad idea. But at the risk of sounding like a complete loser, I'll at least write something. As an MTV staffer during the years covered in this book, and friend and/or coworker of too many of the people interviewed, I have a unique perspective to comment... (unique or worthless - that's what I can't decide.) But, I was a pretty insignificant cog in the wheel. The bottom line is that the book really captured a huge range of the dimensions of the culture of MTV and the video music industry during the 80's. And it really reminded me of the crazy times, crazy characters (famous and very not famous), and the innumerable complex creative, intellectual, business, social issues that were swirling around every day for all of us in this world. The most genius decision of the writers (compilers?) was to do an oral history. And then they interviewed 90% of the key players ... Few who hold back. By removing the historian's "omnipotent" voice, they were able to achieve the impossible: to illustrate the cornucopia of contradictory environments in which this entire revolution took place. The cast of characters were all so diverse that there is no one true story to tell. It was the variety that made this particular revolution so dynamic... And kudos to the authors for capturing something I thought would be uncapturable. Music videos were sexist? MTV was too pop? MTV was a creative's paradise? MTV was run by corporate money grubbing tools? Or run by die hard passionate music fans? Rotting people's brains or responsibly guiding a new found generation? A bunch of jerks or geniuses? The true answer to all these questions was "yes". The music video revolution was driven by a thousand cast of characters who all contributed different often contradictory shades to the social explosion or worthless pop culture fad. Only an oral history could have captured this complex web of contradictions and even begin to explain the joy and idiocy of the entire era. The petty arguments in the chapters about who created mtv or unplugged are classic... Not because of the pathetic nature of hindsight reinvention. But because these were two of the biggest catty fights filtering thru the hallways at the time and its hysterical to see them still raging on the page. The authors captured most of the warring parties perspectives perfectly. So, as an insider, I can stress the stories not only are accurately told (as much as possible) but amazingly the authors found 100 percent of the key beats of the times for all of us. I really wanted to hate this book... Who wants to read about their old officemates... But have to begrudgingly admit, it took a very very complex moment in time and synthesized intellectually and emotionally as well as anyone could. All that being said, I believe I am the only one of my coworkers who didn't despise this book with a passion. one final note: my edition may have had more typos and misprints than any book I've ever read... Probably proofed by some coke head burnout... Tho come to think of it, maybe that was on purpose.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    This is the second book I have desired to read in some electronic format with internet connection (the first being 1Q84 because the darn thing was HEAVY.) Reading this book, I greatly desired the internet as I was reading because I wanted to watch the videos as they discussed them. Because watching videos while reading a paper copy involved me getting up out of my chair and booting up the laptop (which is chained up so I can't bring it to my chair)I didn't watch as many videos as I would want to This is the second book I have desired to read in some electronic format with internet connection (the first being 1Q84 because the darn thing was HEAVY.) Reading this book, I greatly desired the internet as I was reading because I wanted to watch the videos as they discussed them. Because watching videos while reading a paper copy involved me getting up out of my chair and booting up the laptop (which is chained up so I can't bring it to my chair)I didn't watch as many videos as I would want to and the book was called back to the library before I could really get started, when I was in the early Madonna era. Once I get that whole "read and watch video" issue worked out, I will happily finish this book because it is FAN-TAS-TIC especially for me who came of age watching MTV during the time period the book covers (1981-1992) The format is excerpts of interviews with people involved in MTV, the creation of the station, the VJs, the bands, the people making the videos. It is very hard to stop reading, especially when you get multiple viewpoints of a single event. This is pure delightful candy.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Amar Pai

    Readable enough, but there's a surprising dearth of wild and crazy stories. It's more a collection of A&R types bickering about arcana like who should get the credit for MTV Unplugged. As if it were the cure for cancer! I've read really great oral histories, e.g. Once in a Lifetime: The Crazy Days of Acid House and After . They weave together a fantastically entertaining tale that's greater than the sum of its parts. With I Want My MTV the assorted interviews never coalesce into anything so Readable enough, but there's a surprising dearth of wild and crazy stories. It's more a collection of A&R types bickering about arcana like who should get the credit for MTV Unplugged. As if it were the cure for cancer! I've read really great oral histories, e.g. Once in a Lifetime: The Crazy Days of Acid House and After . They weave together a fantastically entertaining tale that's greater than the sum of its parts. With I Want My MTV the assorted interviews never coalesce into anything so great. Don't get me wrong there are enough bits in here to catch your interest that it's worth flipping through. But I feel like it should've been much better given the material. Also it bugged me that they only interview 2nd stringers and biz execs-- no Kurt Loder, for instance. A lot of the most prominent MTV personalities/musicians don't get any interviews in the book. They mourn the end of the golden age of MTV, but f*** that, Youtube gave us the golden age of music videos right now!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Hank Stuever

    It shouldn't be this hard to get me interested in the complete oral history of the birth and rise and fall of MTV, as it synchs up perfectly with my adolescence and young adulthood. This book managed to get into just about everything that made MTV what it was, but it also somehow makes it all seem quite dull -- which surprised me, even with benefit of adult hindsight. There are some real hilarious moments and quips, in which various rock stars, producers and directors remember the inanity of It shouldn't be this hard to get me interested in the complete oral history of the birth and rise and fall of MTV, as it synchs up perfectly with my adolescence and young adulthood. This book managed to get into just about everything that made MTV what it was, but it also somehow makes it all seem quite dull -- which surprised me, even with benefit of adult hindsight. There are some real hilarious moments and quips, in which various rock stars, producers and directors remember the inanity of being on the ride -- i.e., Stevie Nicks being able to look at a video and remember being "gakked to the tits." I'm usually a fan of the oral history format, but this account could have done with a lot more editing and paring down to its essential story; as others have noted, it has way too many music industry people blah-blah-blahing about stuff only they care about. There's something weird about the way it's organized, too -- separating out different genres (Yo MTV Raps, Headbanger's Ball), which only makes things more clinical and boring. I wound up skimming large chunks. Also, there's not enough (for me) in here about the original VJs, who, according to Publisher's Marketplace list of new book deals, are now collaborating with a Rolling Stone editor on their own oral-history-of-early-MTV book. Maybe that one will have more life to it?

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michael McCarty

    I WANT MY MTV takes you back to when the hair was high and so were the shoulder pads. It really is a sad commentary on MTV ... that goes from "Hungry Like The Wolf" to "Jersey Shore" in one lifetime. A lot of interesting stories about the making of the videos and the channel's movers and shakers. A fascinating look at the "Music" television channel and its history. Recommended. Another good book on the same topic is VJ about the original VJs on MTV....

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nikki Stafford

    OMG I loved this book so much. Covering the first 12 years of MTV—until it stopped being a music television station and became a pioneer of reality television—this book is an oral history of the groundbreaking network, with stories from the executives, VJs, and artists who were not only featured on the channel in its nascence, but who grew up glued to the channel and ended up being rock stars themselves. Featuring interviews with EVERYONE you can think of from David Lee Roth to Dave Grohl to OMG I loved this book so much. Covering the first 12 years of MTV—until it stopped being a music television station and became a pioneer of reality television—this book is an oral history of the groundbreaking network, with stories from the executives, VJs, and artists who were not only featured on the channel in its nascence, but who grew up glued to the channel and ended up being rock stars themselves. Featuring interviews with EVERYONE you can think of from David Lee Roth to Dave Grohl to Robert Smith to Tom Petty to Huey Lewis, this was like a capsule of my coming-of-age years, with stories so outrageously funny I was crying while laughing, and with shocking revelations about the behind-the-scenes antics at the offices of MTV, and on the sets of music videos. The '80s are always seen as an era of excess, but when you read about how women were treated—despite being executives, for god's sakes—and how they were used to sell the songs of oversexed, drug-addicted rock stars, it'll make your blood boil. And then David Lee Roth will come back in with yet another ridiculous story in a hotel room and you'll be laughing all over again. This book is brilliant.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marissa

    I grew up on MTV, and it's very hard to reconcile the MTV I knew and loved with what it is today. This book covers the best years, 1984-1992, and is a great read for fans of Music Television as it used to be. Some of my favorite facts and quotes: - The iconic Ford hot rod coupe from ZZ Top's "Eliminator" album (and various of their eighties videos featuring girls with legs who know how to use them) was only used so it could be written off as a tax deduction. Billy Gibbons bought the car originally I grew up on MTV, and it's very hard to reconcile the MTV I knew and loved with what it is today. This book covers the best years, 1984-1992, and is a great read for fans of Music Television as it used to be. Some of my favorite facts and quotes: - The iconic Ford hot rod coupe from ZZ Top's "Eliminator" album (and various of their eighties videos featuring girls with legs who know how to use them) was only used so it could be written off as a tax deduction. Billy Gibbons bought the car originally in 1976, and ended up paying about $250,000 to get it finished. - Mark Metcalf (from Animal House) featured in a couple of Twisted Sister's videos in the eighties. On Dee Snider - "Dee is just so ugly. It's like God made the ugliest guy in the world and then He hit him in the face with a shovel." - All of the members of Duran Duran were straight. Even Nick Rhodes, the prettiest of all. Limahl, on the other hand, was not. - Actor Timothy Hutton directed the "Drive" video for The Cars. - Pat Smear (Foo Fighters) was an extra in Prince's "Raspberry Beret" video. - Sebastian Bach - "..when they talk about hair metal, whose hair do you think they're talking about? I've still got it...and it's so flaxen!" - Axl Rose once left the Rolling Stones waiting for two hours for a scheduled soundcheck. Once Axl appeared, Keith said, "I slept inside of a chandelier last night. What's your excuse?" - Janet Jackson asked Gene Kelly to be in her "Alright" video. He told her he was too old and just didn't dance anymore. - Karen "Duff" Duffy went out with Chris Farley for awhile, until he left her for a model. - Sting is a dick. (I already knew this, but still.) A nice walk down memory lane, though a bit shocking at times to read about all the things that went on behind the scenes. There was no sugarcoating of anything that happened, and most of the people involved admit to regrets. All in all, a great tribute to the eighties/early nineties, and an excellent piece of nostalgia.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mediaman

    This disappointing book is merely a bunch of pasted-together quotes from different people involved with the history of the first decade of MTV. There is no narrative and the "authors" write only small introductions to chapters filled with quotes, most of which say little. Their book introduction is also poorly written and at times makes no sense. The main problem is that the format of the book is all wrong--instead of assembling a narrative from the over 400 people they talked with, they just This disappointing book is merely a bunch of pasted-together quotes from different people involved with the history of the first decade of MTV. There is no narrative and the "authors" write only small introductions to chapters filled with quotes, most of which say little. Their book introduction is also poorly written and at times makes no sense. The main problem is that the format of the book is all wrong--instead of assembling a narrative from the over 400 people they talked with, they just string together quotes. The book's subtitle is a joke: it's not "uncensored" but actually heavily edited, with only small bits of interviews included. There are also many mistakes those quoted make that go unchallenged. The book repeats the 100% incorrect idea that MTV got Bill Clinton elected (Clinton did NOT get the majority of votes from young voters that year! He got 46% of 18-25 year olds, 41% of 25-30 year olds; his biggest numbers came from people over 50! Go look it up, authors!) And it short-changes many of the early pioneers of the music video format, never really explaining in detail the late 1970s history that led to MTV. Female executive Judy McGrath seems to get the least amount of credit for turning the network around while many guys fight over taking credit for anything successful. Certainly there are some interesting perspectives provided but the "writers" actually quote too many people (some seem to have nothing to do with the subject, like Conan O'Brien?) and include too much insignificant information. There are complete chapters that have nothing to do with MTV and focus on the making of a music video instead (which really belongs in another book). Namely, it's a pretty big wasted opportunity that ends up rather incomplete in its subject matter while difficult to trudge through.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dan Phillips

    As someone who was just hitting puberty when MTV was born, I Want My MTV was a walk down memory lane, bolstered by behind-the-scenes insight into how it all stayed afloat. (The answer, for the first two or three years at least, is "barely.") How did they get Bowie to in their early ads? How did they come up with their logo? How did they convince record labels to give them their content for free? Where'd they get that first generation of hosts ("VJ's")? And that's just the beginning chapters. As someone who was just hitting puberty when MTV was born, I Want My MTV was a walk down memory lane, bolstered by behind-the-scenes insight into how it all stayed afloat. (The answer, for the first two or three years at least, is "barely.") How did they get Bowie to in their early ads? How did they come up with their logo? How did they convince record labels to give them their content for free? Where'd they get that first generation of hosts ("VJ's")? And that's just the beginning chapters. Once MTV takes off, the stories of the videos themselves -- with their bloated budgets and rampant sensory overload -- provide plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. There's a whole chapter devoted to Billy Squire's "Rock Me Tonight" video, and it serves as a cautionary tale about everything that can and did go wrong in the relationship between artist, director, and record label. I actually kept a notepad next to me as I read, jotting down videos to check out later on YouTube. Some I'd seen before, and others were new to me, as my access to / interest in MTV faded at the dawn of the 90's... Absorbing and hilarious I recommend this to anyone who's even slightly interested in the subject. MARTHA QUINN FOREVER!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Story: Over 400 interviews with directors, executives, producers, artist, VJs, and anyone else associated with the industry combine for this oral history of MTV from its beginnings in ‘81 to the end of the music video era in ’92. Thoughts: It’s a book full of anecdotes that quickly becomes a one trick pony. I don’t think it’s the authors fault necessarily, but there is only so many stories about sex, drugs, and pretentious people you can read before becoming bored. Some of the stories are Story: Over 400 interviews with directors, executives, producers, artist, VJs, and anyone else associated with the industry combine for this oral history of MTV from its beginnings in ‘81 to the end of the music video era in ’92. Thoughts: It’s a book full of anecdotes that quickly becomes a one trick pony. I don’t think it’s the authors fault necessarily, but there is only so many stories about sex, drugs, and pretentious people you can read before becoming bored. Some of the stories are interesting, a lot feel like you just read the same basic thing a couple pages ago. Oh look another person is snorting coke. Oh geez someone doesn’t want to do videos and now they do, but they’re being a prick. Oh wow you, also slepted with a bunch of women like the other five stories. And on and on. Should you read it? Probably not. Yes, it’s nice to reminisce about the golden age of music videos, but as the book points out in the end, YouTube has it all now. Bands can shoot their own videos and get publicity through the Internet.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Unfortunately, according to this book, MTV was totally over by 1992. I guess by the time I really got into it in 1993, I wasn't watching anything cool, I was just a big loser. It's nice that David Fincher gets a lot of play here, but it is absolutely criminal that Mark Romanek only gets mentioned twice. In my opinion, he's a much better video director and I honestly think that his Never Let Me Go could totally give anything by Fincher (except Seven) a run for its money. There is some downright Unfortunately, according to this book, MTV was totally over by 1992. I guess by the time I really got into it in 1993, I wasn't watching anything cool, I was just a big loser. It's nice that David Fincher gets a lot of play here, but it is absolutely criminal that Mark Romanek only gets mentioned twice. In my opinion, he's a much better video director and I honestly think that his Never Let Me Go could totally give anything by Fincher (except Seven) a run for its money. There is some downright hilarious stuff in here from Stevie Nicks, Aresenio Hall, Billy Idol - who knew Billy Idol was so laugh out loud funny? - and Sebastian Bach. And any thoughts you may have harbored about the size of Adam Curry's ego are apparently pretty much true!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    Smutty and delicious. This book, an oral history of MTV's so-called "glory years" of the 80s and early 90s, was 600 or so pages of absolute and utter TRASH. And I loved every last filthy word! If you want to know which rockers wore wigs or who among the extinct species of MTV veejays was the most hated by their peers (hint: "Wubba, wubba"), this book is for you. Sure, there's plenty included about the business of MTV, and how the network evolved into the Jersey Shore marathon it has now become - Smutty and delicious. This book, an oral history of MTV's so-called "glory years" of the 80s and early 90s, was 600 or so pages of absolute and utter TRASH. And I loved every last filthy word! If you want to know which rockers wore wigs or who among the extinct species of MTV veejays was the most hated by their peers (hint: "Wubba, wubba"), this book is for you. Sure, there's plenty included about the business of MTV, and how the network evolved into the Jersey Shore marathon it has now become - but if you really want to know about Kurt vs. Axl at the VMAs or the extent of Michael Jackson's over-the-top requests, this is your book. I burned through this in the space of a weekend, and my eyes are still burning. A good read indeed.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mary McDonough

    I want my, I want my, I want my money back. This is trash. If you want a bro-history of MTV that ignores any interesting conversations beyond “there were naked girls on set,” go ahead and read this. Otherwise, don’t bother. The “compilers” don’t even do Martha Quinn the favor of letting her reply to the numerous disgusting comments about her, although she is interviewed for the book. Men refer to her as an animal who had to be “thrown in the bathtub,” as a “combination of a girlfriend and a I want my, I want my, I want my money back. This is trash. If you want a bro-history of MTV that ignores any interesting conversations beyond “there were naked girls on set,” go ahead and read this. Otherwise, don’t bother. The “compilers” don’t even do Martha Quinn the favor of letting her reply to the numerous disgusting comments about her, although she is interviewed for the book. Men refer to her as an animal who had to be “thrown in the bathtub,” as a “combination of a girlfriend and a child,” and as a sex worker who does whatever MTV wants. I stopped reading after the second time a slur about trans people was used. It was in a chapter title. Looking forward to a less lazy history of MTV someday.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Evan McB

    Oral histories like this or Live From New York are real page-turners, and the only thing that slowed me down with I Want My MTV was looking up all the videos as they were mentioned. Here's a link to most of them. Can you imagine needing to wait through a broadcast playlist, with commercials, to see the video you wanted to see? What a concept. Meanwhile, today's typical MTV broadcast schedule is as follows: 10 hours of Jersey Shore, followed by 10 hours of Wild N' Out, followed by 3 hours of the Oral histories like this or Live From New York are real page-turners, and the only thing that slowed me down with I Want My MTV was looking up all the videos as they were mentioned. Here's a link to most of them. Can you imagine needing to wait through a broadcast playlist, with commercials, to see the video you wanted to see? What a concept. Meanwhile, today's typical MTV broadcast schedule is as follows: 10 hours of Jersey Shore, followed by 10 hours of Wild N' Out, followed by 3 hours of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, followed by 10 hours of Ridiculousness, followed by 10 hours of Teen Mom 2, wash, rinse, repeat (GTL). It's like Kevin Godley says, "It's always Art vs. Commerce, but in the beginning, art won out because commerce didn't understand it." But as bad as most of the current MTV shows are (excepting the CHALLENGE), they are all still more watchable than anything by Metallica or Nirvana. Anyway, thanks MTV, for once providing a less-good platform than the one we have now, to watch music videos. Here's some of the best stuff that was on the channel in the era recounted in this book (1981-1993): 1) EVERY Michael Jackson video 2) EVERY Huey Lewis and the News video 3) EVERY Madonna video 4) The Robert Palmer videos that are supposedly parodies of oversexualized music videos even though that's not really something that can actually be parodied 5) ZZ Top's "Legs" (ironically), and "Sharp Dressed Man" (unironically) 6) The Scorpions' "Big City Nights" 7) Lionel Ritchie's "Hello" (haha oh wow) 8) Aimee Mann's deep, soulful gaze 9) Clips of Rachel Ward in Phil Collins' "Against All Odds" 10) A-Ha's "Take On Me" 11) Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing" 12) David Fincher's Paula Abdul videos 13) Courtney Cox in that Bruce Springsteen video 14) Elton John's "I'm Still Standing" (wow) 15) Just, you know, Billy Idol's whole presentation of self 16) Sting, too 17) Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" 18) Heart's "Never" 19) Susanna Hoffs' strange eye movements in "Walk Like an Egyptian" 20) Milton Berle showing up in some Ratt videos 21) Neil Young's "This Note's For You" 22) Cindy Crawford in general and specifically in George Michael's "Freedom! '90" video 23) Pretty much anything produced by Dr. Dre 24) The Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Under the Bridge" 25) Tawny Kitaen doing acrobatics on car hoods in Whitesnakes' "Here I Go Again" I'm not the world's biggest fan of a lot of the rest of what was shown, but hey, mass media dinosaurs have something for everyone... ...26) Was Not Was, "Walk the Dinosaur" (not mentioned in this book).

  15. 4 out of 5

    Leftjab

    So my reading of this oral history I think mirrored what MTV was to me and to many people of my age. When I started I Want My MTV, I was also reading Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me and Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction, two extremely serious and timely books that are pretty much the definition of un-fun. I wouldn't necessarily call reading them a chore, but they put you in a pretty specific headspace that is pretty much the polar opposite of I Want My MTV. So of course, once I So my reading of this oral history I think mirrored what MTV was to me and to many people of my age. When I started I Want My MTV, I was also reading Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me and Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction, two extremely serious and timely books that are pretty much the definition of un-fun. I wouldn't necessarily call reading them a chore, but they put you in a pretty specific headspace that is pretty much the polar opposite of I Want My MTV. So of course, once I got start with MTV, what it means to be African-American in America ca 2016 and humanity's hand in its own extinction fell by the wayside as I read stories of Duran Duran's hairstyles, Downtown Julie Brown's diva behavior, and how Sam Kinison liked to freebase. But then I thought what MTV really was, and why my parents' generation hated it, beyond its contribution to the moral decline of Western Civilization as we know it (two words: Motley Crue): It removed whatever good will the pop music of the 60s gave to its listeners. I know, that sounds like a dodgy proposition considering Elvis's gyrations, Mick's gyrations, Tina's gyrations, and Led Zeppelin being in league with the devil. But MTV really was a major signpost of the 80s- peace, love, progress were ultimately just advertisements for the companies that were selling the music, the millionaires were what came out of the 60s. The non-human systems that dictated behavior (government, school, church, business, industry, etc) won, so let's dance with Boy George and Duran Duran and not care about anything. Meaning, depth to pop music was a farce, and we would never top the Beatles anyway, so why try? Yes, I am aware of how cynical that sounds, but in my defense, I was a 100% product of MTV. Michael Jackson posters, Duran Duran, and then hair metal leading into alternative rock/grunge explosion. I watched MTV in the morning, I watched MTV in the afternoon - I cared about what the top 20 was, bought music based on the videos I saw, blissfully unaware that I was the prey of record executives looking to separate me from (ultimately my parents') money. It's interesting to see that the MTV bands - the ones that were the pure product of image over sound, style over substance - began as androgynous, mopey Brits and then became androgynous party animals from LA. And as with most people, I grew bored of the story once the 80s were ending and MTV started to see that its own shelf-life was quickly coming to an end.... More on that in a second. At the same time, those who became masters of MTV in the 80s - Michael, Prince, Madonna, Bruce, U2, and finally Guns N Roses - did create some solid pop music, some of it on a par with anything that the Beatles and the Stones created. But as with anything in America, once it makes money, lets find a way for it to make A LOT of money. Marvel movies, live action versions of Disney films - these are still the dreams of corporations because they are now literally making BILLIONS of dollars. Michael Jackson - the first true master of music videos, one of the most interesting anecdotes in the book was how resistant MTV was initially to Michael, and how completely racist it was as well. (There's a corollary to show that MTV, even when it had Yo MTV Raps and hip hop started dominating the videos after the grunge explosion, was in the end still an extension of racist white America.) Yes, the words might be anti-racist, the artists might be anti-racist, you got young people to vote/elect Bill Clinton (so you say), but ultimately, the forces behind the curtains were rich white man who might be willing to let African-Americans play at their parties but really had no interest in truly pursuing some agenda of equality. Again, this sounds like coming from someone who feels burned, and I guess I am. How could I fall for something like that? Something so blatantly opportunistic and materialist? Easy - I was 8 years old. There were some good things to come out of MTV - when the grunge explosion hit in 1991, there was a brief period around 1992-94 where the lunatics took over the asylum. Weird videos dominated, music went further out there and MTV seemed to champion the weird. Shudder to Think playing on 120 minutes? Faith No More playing white noise bursts on Hangin With MTV? Definitely shapes the formative mind, for better or worse. And then what happened? The Real World - the irony of what The Real World injecting itself into MTV did to MTV in the end, should not be lost on anyone. The junk food culture perpetuated by MTV showed that the music was secondary to something else that was REALLY coming out of the Tube: Entertainment. Jersey Shore, Jackass, Real World, etc have no redeeming value beyond A. giving its audience 25 minutes of brain-free enjoyment and B. creating celebrities of its participants. So that's the ultimate legacy of MTV - not music, but celebrity. Fame. Michael, Prince, Madonna became icons because of the images they perpetuated, not just the music they made. And the vast amounts of money that came with it created non-people in a way. This is the mediated landscape JG Ballard chronicled in his 70s diatribes disguised as science fiction. Plastic surgery, pornography - because the image doesn't sell unless there is an aspect of the sexual to it. Prince, Madonna, and Michael were all ultimately androgynous. Bruce Springsteen - ultimately akin to Dylan - was a reaction to the over-stimulation of that triple threat. And here's the rub of all of this - I read 500 pages of the history of MTV, and have just written way longer than what needs to be said about MTV. It's all crap in the end. Fun crap, but crap. Time to go back to work.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Allysia K

    I laughed, I cried. Mainly just laughed. At first I was skeptical about the style of the book - almost entirely made up of quotes - but the authors strung everything together so effectively that it still felt like a story as I read. Also drugs. Soooooo many drugs. A fun read, and I learned something too! What more can you ask for?

  17. 5 out of 5

    Freesiab (Bookish Review)

    I was really bummed about this book. It was really good but after a while there were too many blurbs and it was too long. Total bummer because it was really interesting on the whole.

  18. 5 out of 5

    C.E.

    It's hard to imagine anybody who came of age in the 80s and who loves pop culture not being gaga for this book, which although simple, is one of the most thoroughly engaging reads I've come across in quite some time. The structure is simple. Marks and Tannenbaum take a more or less chronological approach approach to their oral history. Each chapter starts with something of an introductory essay and then is followed by pages of cannily sequenced quotes which allow the chapter to tell the story of It's hard to imagine anybody who came of age in the 80s and who loves pop culture not being gaga for this book, which although simple, is one of the most thoroughly engaging reads I've come across in quite some time. The structure is simple. Marks and Tannenbaum take a more or less chronological approach approach to their oral history. Each chapter starts with something of an introductory essay and then is followed by pages of cannily sequenced quotes which allow the chapter to tell the story of a particular aspect of MTV's history. And what a story it is. There's something for everybody here as MTV at once provides a history of the rise and fall of the megabucks music biz,an interesting primer on how to run a business, a history of the cable broadcasting industry and a pretty fair look at the overall ebb and flow of American culture since the Reagan era. Plus, it's really funny. Essentially, the timeline is as follows. A bunch of renegade radio and pop culture types start a network nobody thinks anybody will watch. Because of that, nobody's really minding the store and the network adapts an "anything goes" approach, throwing slop at the wall and seeing what sticks. This mix of irreverence and incompetence strikes a chord and MTV becomes the dominant force in pop culture for a quarter century or so. The first section of the book is fascinating as the early pioneers of the network share how things got started. It's a classic rags to riches tale with a lot of sex and copious drug use. The stories in the interviews in this part of the book give readers a real sense of a bunch of young people who aren't making any money but are having the time of their lives and that sense of fun translates to readers. Once the network is started, the book becomes a tour-de-force nostalgia trip, digging up the stories of once favorite videos, long since forgotten and spending time with VJs is sort of like a virtual high school reunion. I kept scrambling to Wikipedia and YouTube to search some of the names and videos that tickled a memory chord. As the story comes up into the last decade, there's a pervasive sense of loss as the inevitable corporate takeover turned MTV into just another slick, processed product. Yet, behind it all you get a sense that the authors and most of the key players understand that for a network where 90 percent of the programming was beyond inane, MTV did more than anything to shape America's cultural landscape in the past 20 years and, without overreaching, the book does a nice job suggesting thought provoking nuggets such as "MTVs support of synth pop videos paved the way to an increasingly gay-friendly culture" to how "Remote Contro"l paved the way for much of today's comic sensibility." Overall credit goes to the authors. It might seem like an oral history is a lazy way to tell a story, but the intros to each chapter are incisive, the interviews exhaustive and the sequencing intelligent. It all makes for an engaging, coherent and really, really entertaining read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Barney

    In the spirit of High Fidelity, Top Five interview statements from this fantastic oral history of that big part of my childhood, MTV. 1. Dee is just so ugly. It's like God made the ugliest guy in the world, and then He hit him in the face with a shovel -- Mark Metcalf (128) Mark Metcalf is better known as Neidermeyer, and comes off in this text as a world class prick. But you can't argue with the campy genius of Twisted Sister videos. In my classroom, on the right day, if I close my eyes I can In the spirit of High Fidelity, Top Five interview statements from this fantastic oral history of that big part of my childhood, MTV. 1. Dee is just so ugly. It's like God made the ugliest guy in the world, and then He hit him in the face with a shovel -- Mark Metcalf (128) Mark Metcalf is better known as Neidermeyer, and comes off in this text as a world class prick. But you can't argue with the campy genius of Twisted Sister videos. In my classroom, on the right day, if I close my eyes I can hear "Well, MR. SISTER! WHAT DO YOU WANNA DO WITH YOUR LIFE!!!!" 2. Our success had a lot to do with timing. I guess there was a hole--there was a need by the people for a Bon Jovi. Just a good time entertainment band, you know? A bridge between Phil Collins and Whitesnake. -- Richie Sambora (298) Phil Collins and Whitesnake? 'Nuff said. 3. I interviewd David Lee Roth at the U.S. Festival in 1983. He was drunk and coked up, laughing at every joke he made. Dave was the greatest interview. -- Mark Goodman (125) This book went far toward my belief that David Lee Roth is the single greatest rock star of all time. No one ever, not even the Lizard King in 1967, not even Elvis in 1956, perhaps not even Marvin Gaye between 1969 and 1980 could score the girls that Diamond Dave did. Short, tall, it didn't matter, Diamond Dave had 'em all. No woman or pile of white powder was safe. Even coked up and freaked out he was 17 times the lead man that Sammy Hagar ever was. 4. For "Uptown Girl", the director told me, "look at the picture in your locker as if you're in love with this woman and then dance around with a wrench in your hand." I said, "Are you fucking kidding me?" -- Billy Joel The sheer absolute nonsense of most 1980s videos is reflected in the comments by the artists themselves. This is one of the things that made MTV so wonderful; here were these idols making complete asses out of themselves 90% of the time and looking like they enjoyed it. 5. When a musician starts to use the phrase "mini-movie" to describe a video, it's time to quit. Some videos I enjoyed just because they were train wrecks, like "November Rain." -- Dave Grohl MTV got big, powerful and lost that irreverence. In so many words, around the time the book ends (1993) MTV became self aware....like Skynet. It then destroyed everything that is good and holy by broadcasting The Real World. The network lost its fun. For me, that is the message of this sublime book. MTV lost its fun, but left its incredible mark on people my age. Read this for the great insights into the creation of a TV network, but take away the sometimes acidic commentary of the people who were there. This is an excellent read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    JBP

    Naturally, being a music fanatic who came of age during MTV's heyday, I was going to like reading about how MTV came into being, the antics of the VJs [both on and off the air], infamous videos that caused a stir, but like a lot of massive, oral histories of this ilk, it's actually kind of hit and miss regarding what has made it into the "story" of MTV. The stuff I cared about--bands, musical genres--I liked, but reading about the behind the scenes business people and programmers? Not so much. I Naturally, being a music fanatic who came of age during MTV's heyday, I was going to like reading about how MTV came into being, the antics of the VJs [both on and off the air], infamous videos that caused a stir, but like a lot of massive, oral histories of this ilk, it's actually kind of hit and miss regarding what has made it into the "story" of MTV. The stuff I cared about--bands, musical genres--I liked, but reading about the behind the scenes business people and programmers? Not so much. I vividly remember when I first encountered MTV and it was a transcendent experience for me. I was 12 years old and it was late in 1981. I was staying with my parents and brother at Camelot Hotel in Tulsa. Even though we lived less than an hour from Tulsa, my parents loved to take my little brother and me to the Camelot [a huge hotel that resembled a castle that was sadly torn down a few years ago by classic Tulsa nimrods who love to tear stuff down] and pretend we were on vacation. We did this every couple of months. I loved the Camelot, but on this night, as I hunkered down to check out the cable choices [Camelot had the cable TV set-up that had an "A" and "B" switch, you'd toggle back between A or B to get 16 or so channels on each letter. There was no remote] I found myself flicking across a channel with a music video. What is this? I thought to myself. I was awestruck. I soon realized that this was a channel that was showing NOTHING but music videos!!! That was worth many more exclamation marks to my 12 year old, music loving self. I didn't turn the channel the rest of the night, stayed up as long as I could and immediately turned the TV back on when I woke up. People who didn't experience MTV at the start like this, have no idea the cultural impact it had on people like myself--a young kid obsessed with music, living in rural Oklahoma, starving for any kind of unique band. Luckily, Tulsa and Oklahoma was one of the places that got MTV right off the bat and I was able to discover a lot of new bands. Within a few years, I had fully embraced a new style of music and bands from England and Europe and was one of the few oddballs in my small-town. MTV was the catalyst. Now, of course, MTV sucks, but in 1981 and for a few years after that--it was an amazing thing to behold in this pre-Internet world. That's my MTV story.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Vivian

    When MTV really became big in the NY area in 1982, during my junior year of college, I remember spending every free minute in front of the TV screen, gorging on music videos. The impact was huge: the first Madonna videos, "Thriller," The Police, Tom Petty...the list goes on and on. If a group came on you didn't like (for me, anything heavy metal), waiting a few minutes brought renewed happiness. So reading this book, which is really just an extended series of interviews with some of those When MTV really became big in the NY area in 1982, during my junior year of college, I remember spending every free minute in front of the TV screen, gorging on music videos. The impact was huge: the first Madonna videos, "Thriller," The Police, Tom Petty...the list goes on and on. If a group came on you didn't like (for me, anything heavy metal), waiting a few minutes brought renewed happiness. So reading this book, which is really just an extended series of interviews with some of those involved in the first 10 years of MTV, brought back lots of memories. Obviously I had no clue what went on behind the scenes at MTV during those years, and after reading this, I'm glad of my ignorance. But it's a fascinating trip down memory lane just the same. The executives, the VJs, the musicians, the directors, and the fans, everyone had their take on the magic of early MTV. But if you really want to make the story come to life, then read it the way I did: an hour or two at a time, next to a computer where you can access all the YouTube videos of the old music videos. Some of them I remembered vividly, others I had completely forgotten. But reading about the "behind the scenes" trivia while watching the actual footage was addicting, as MTV was so long ago. I skipped over lots of the later sections of the book, since I didn't watch MTV much in the late 80s/early 90s. Jobs, marriage and kids weren't conducive to extensive music video watching. And the lack of photos was a real shame, but I'm sure there must have been issues regarding publication rights. Still, I spent an enjoyable few days reliving a vivid part of my young adulthood. This was more a guilty pleasure than a cultural analysis, but fun just the same.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Epepple

    Insanely readable, fast-paced oral history of the first decade or so of MTV. For a channel slagged for valuing style over substance, the book's brief chapters and soundbyte-style quotes (except from the mighty John Landis, whose raconteur-ship cries out for a book of its own, or at the very least and anecdote-off with Peter Bogdanovich) are a clever conceptual structuring tactic mirroring the nature of the channel itself--it's simultaneously packed with information, but info that breezes by at a Insanely readable, fast-paced oral history of the first decade or so of MTV. For a channel slagged for valuing style over substance, the book's brief chapters and soundbyte-style quotes (except from the mighty John Landis, whose raconteur-ship cries out for a book of its own, or at the very least and anecdote-off with Peter Bogdanovich) are a clever conceptual structuring tactic mirroring the nature of the channel itself--it's simultaneously packed with information, but info that breezes by at a fast-as-fast can clip. A few voices are conspicuously missing in the interviews--David Fincher, Kurt Loder, Chris Connolly, Madonna, to name but four--but the range of interviewees is impressive and comprehensive. Also interesting are the discussions of not just the programming (Remote Control and Yo MTV Raps fans will be pleased) but the explorations and back stories of some of the most famous videos, most notably the discussion of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana's rise to success. So often framed as a refutation of MTV the band's game changing Smells Like Teen Spirit is here presented as a calculated manipulation of the system--the music may have sounded different, but Cobain worked the system as adroitly as Duran Duran and hair metal bands to which he was so often placed in opposition. As with many books set within the music world the stories of behind-the-scenes debauchery are a ton of fun to read, but it's when the book gets into the channel's complicated (to put it mildly) relationship with race and gender and the calculated corporate gamesmanship at the upper levels, that it really takes off and offers a compelling portrait of one of the most important pop cultural moments/institutions of the century.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Florinda

    The popular music of my lifetime is divided, in my mind, between “before MTV” and “after MTV.” I first saw Music Television in the fall of 1982--my boyfriend’s family had cable--and was fascinated by the channel and the new music it showcased. I lost track of it for a few years--the boyfriend became a husband, we became parents, and we didn’t have cable--and when I caught back up with it again, we had both changed. MTV came to define the 1980s...but in reading about its first decade in the oral The popular music of my lifetime is divided, in my mind, between “before MTV” and “after MTV.” I first saw Music Television in the fall of 1982--my boyfriend’s family had cable--and was fascinated by the channel and the new music it showcased. I lost track of it for a few years--the boyfriend became a husband, we became parents, and we didn’t have cable--and when I caught back up with it again, we had both changed. MTV came to define the 1980s...but in reading about its first decade in the oral history I Want My MTV, it occurred to me, and not for the first time, that its 1980s weren’t exactly my 1980s. The 1980s are sometimes dismissed as an era when style trumped substance, and MTV and its influence are a big part of why it has that reputation. In its early years, MTV was radio with an enormous potential reach, and as the book notes, it reached audiences that hadn’t had the chance to be exposed to cutting-edge popular culture--many smaller, more isolated markets had cable television well before the big coastal cities did. (MTV was produced in New York City, but it actually wasn’t available for New Yorkers to watch it for a while.) But the “television” part of Music Television was what made the difference--the channel’s reach was amplified by the visual images that accompanied the music, and presented us with style and attitude that soon seeped into the mainstream. I Want My MTV delivers on the style and attitude.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    The book is enjoyable, though long, and I keep getting lost in terms of who is speaking and what his/her role is--there are a ton of interviewees, and while the glossary at the back of the book is helpful in placing most of them, it sucks to have to keep flipping back to it (and I’ve found at least one person who doesn’t appear on the list). I am much less interested in the business/personnel history of MTV than I am in the music. As such, the interviews with/about the artists were far more The book is enjoyable, though long, and I keep getting lost in terms of who is speaking and what his/her role is--there are a ton of interviewees, and while the glossary at the back of the book is helpful in placing most of them, it sucks to have to keep flipping back to it (and I’ve found at least one person who doesn’t appear on the list). I am much less interested in the business/personnel history of MTV than I am in the music. As such, the interviews with/about the artists were far more interesting to me than the parts about the industry people whose names I couldn’t keep straight. There are some truly golden anecdotes--I was constantly marking passages to share with my husband, and we did a lot of laughing over them (but we were also horrified by some of them). Also, we watched a lot of terrible videos after reading about them here. This was great, but I think I would have enjoyed it even more if I had actually been watching MTV during its heyday--I didn’t come to it until after the time period that is chronicled in this book. There are many, many delightful parts of the book, but there are some particularly good anecdotes about Prince, Michael Jackson, and Stevie Nicks. Recommended!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    I came of age in the era of MTV's ascention into pop culture dominance, so almost all of the material in this book was familiar to me. It was fun to be able to hear these songs echoing in the far recesses of my brain while reading about the making of the videos, and for the most part I could recall a lot of the imagery from the videos themselves as they popped up in these chapters. While MTV is currently a black hole in my cable lineup that I haven't purposefully tuned into for years, I do I came of age in the era of MTV's ascention into pop culture dominance, so almost all of the material in this book was familiar to me. It was fun to be able to hear these songs echoing in the far recesses of my brain while reading about the making of the videos, and for the most part I could recall a lot of the imagery from the videos themselves as they popped up in these chapters. While MTV is currently a black hole in my cable lineup that I haven't purposefully tuned into for years, I do fondly remember how big of an impact it had on myself and my friends from the mid 80's to the early 90's. I don't think any of us had cable until at least 1984, so the channel was in full swing by the time we discovered it. It sparked our adolescent imaginations and gave us enough material to fuel countless daydreams of stardom (and surely more than a few dirty daydreams that we'd rather not discuss). The book itself seems a little too long for its own good, but it was such a fun read that even the slower sections moved along nicely. And the book answers the burning question: "What the hell happened to Billy Squier, anyways?".

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bob Brooks

    This book could have been written in two different ways. The first way,which the authors did not use, would have been more of a summary of the history of MTV with random quotes throughout the narrative. The second way, having an introduction to each chapter and then using quotes from different people referring to the issues pertaining to the introduction for that chapter gave me the sense of a roundtable discussion with each person weighing in their opinions or remembrances as the story This book could have been written in two different ways. The first way,which the authors did not use, would have been more of a summary of the history of MTV with random quotes throughout the narrative. The second way, having an introduction to each chapter and then using quotes from different people referring to the issues pertaining to the introduction for that chapter gave me the sense of a roundtable discussion with each person weighing in their opinions or remembrances as the story unfolded. Having read many books where the second way of storytelling was used I found that for a book about a subject such as this that the authors made the right choice by using that method. As the chapters went on and as different songs were mentioned I could hear the songs and see the videos for the songs playing in my head. This book definitely brought me back to the 80's when music was new and interesting and had many genres to choose from. If you were a fan of MTV back in the day or if you want to find out more about it I highly recommend this book for you.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Angie Six

    For a child of the 80s, this book was a fantastic trip down nostalgia lane. I was a 6 year old in Fort Wayne, Indiana when MTV first appeared on our TV. What was a 6 year old doing watching MTV? Well, when you have a 17-year-old brother and parents that don’t have a clue what happens on 24-hour music television, you get to watch a lot of MTV. I fell in love with those early VJs the way other kids fell in love with the characters on Sesame Street. The authors take you from the early days of MTV’s For a child of the 80s, this book was a fantastic trip down nostalgia lane. I was a 6 year old in Fort Wayne, Indiana when MTV first appeared on our TV. What was a 6 year old doing watching MTV? Well, when you have a 17-year-old brother and parents that don’t have a clue what happens on 24-hour music television, you get to watch a lot of MTV. I fell in love with those early VJs the way other kids fell in love with the characters on Sesame Street. The authors take you from the early days of MTV’s improbable conception to the Real World era, when it became less about the music and more about the television. In between are first hand accounts from the VJs, executives, bands, video directors, and the infamous video girls (you might not remember their names, but you remember them). The format isn’t great. Instead of a narrative the book is made up of thoughts and reflections from the hundreds of people that shaped MTV. But for anyone who grew up anxiously awaiting the next world premiere video, the book is pure fun.

  28. 5 out of 5

    John

    A giant book filled with mostly interviews. The book is very choppy and disjointed. Each chapter focuses on some theme and pull together quotes from interviews to help explore the topic. Some of the transitions in the quotes are awkward. As much as the method of story-telling annoyed me (some bridges, please, even MTV had VJs to tie everything together), it matched the culture and mindset of early MTV. MTV pioneered the jump cut and programming for short attention spans, so the style of the book A giant book filled with mostly interviews. The book is very choppy and disjointed. Each chapter focuses on some theme and pull together quotes from interviews to help explore the topic. Some of the transitions in the quotes are awkward. As much as the method of story-telling annoyed me (some bridges, please, even MTV had VJs to tie everything together), it matched the culture and mindset of early MTV. MTV pioneered the jump cut and programming for short attention spans, so the style of the book makes sense. It also means you can read through the massive book quickly as there's no real narrative you need to follow. Biggest disappointment is that the book focuses on the start of MTV and what they call the golden age (80s to start of the 90s) and give the last two decades very little space. It would have been interesting to read more about how MTV adapted to being a real network as opposed to the stories of drugs, sex and the early days. Best part of the book was the confirmation on how much sex, drugs and attitude was going on at the network.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gretchen

    As part of the MTV generation, this book had a lot of nostalgia for me. I can tell you where I was when I first saw Home Sweet Home. I know a large part of my deep ongoing love for Bruce Springsteen is because of his Born In The USA videos. And yes, I know the Thriller dance, and how to Walk Like and Egyptian. While I appreciated the book, I didn't love the format. Bringing in so many interviews and commentary made for a choppy narrative. It would have worked on air, but in the book, it was easy As part of the MTV generation, this book had a lot of nostalgia for me. I can tell you where I was when I first saw Home Sweet Home. I know a large part of my deep ongoing love for Bruce Springsteen is because of his Born In The USA videos. And yes, I know the Thriller dance, and how to Walk Like and Egyptian. While I appreciated the book, I didn't love the format. Bringing in so many interviews and commentary made for a choppy narrative. It would have worked on air, but in the book, it was easy to put down before the end of the chapter, There was a missed opportunity for ebooks here. So many videos are referenced, it would have been great to have links from within the ebook. Instead, ended up closing my kindle so I could google videos and 80s bands. Overall, a good trip down memory lane, but not one I'm likely to remember in 12 months.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    This is an "oral history" book very much like the seminal Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Music, or the more recent Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live. Marks and Tannenbaum interviewed hundreds of personalities, executives, and talent involved with the golden age (1981 to 1992) of MTV. The results are engrossing, especially if you remember the channel from its' music-playing heyday. One of the book's virtues is that it doesn't seek out many of the This is an "oral history" book very much like the seminal Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Music, or the more recent Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live. Marks and Tannenbaum interviewed hundreds of personalities, executives, and talent involved with the golden age (1981 to 1992) of MTV. The results are engrossing, especially if you remember the channel from its' music-playing heyday. One of the book's virtues is that it doesn't seek out many of the big names you associate with MTV; you won't find candid interviews with Madonna or Bruce Springstein here. Instead, you'll find their stories being told by the people who surrounded them and I think that's pretty apt. The secondhand nature of stories shared here extends the air of mystique those performers carried with them then and now. At any rate, it's a good read.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.