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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of inside info...
A look into the way a nobody with real talent works his way into the corrupt business of R&B records. Lots of inside stories. Especially liked the story of the recording of the Isley Brothers' "Twist and Shout." A real look at how it was in the '50s and '60s in the world of making records. As Danny O'Keefe said in his song about the music business, "you...
Published 5 months ago by Mike Callahan

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3.0 out of 5 stars An OK Read...
Not as well written as I had hoped - takes a while to get to the point and has quiet a bit of fluff for filler..but still full of "fun facts"-
Published 9 days ago by Jane Austen


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of inside info..., April 30, 2014
By 
Mike Callahan (McKinney, TX United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm and Blues (Hardcover)
A look into the way a nobody with real talent works his way into the corrupt business of R&B records. Lots of inside stories. Especially liked the story of the recording of the Isley Brothers' "Twist and Shout." A real look at how it was in the '50s and '60s in the world of making records. As Danny O'Keefe said in his song about the music business, "you write about the moon, and you write about the stars; You're right about the moon, but you're wrong about the stars." An ugly business at times as people - some talented, some not - are scratching their way to their lifelong dreams. Some sell their souls along the way.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A more fully realized portrait of a character usually considered a villain., May 11, 2014
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This review is from: Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm and Blues (Hardcover)
Most histories of the Brill Building era treat Bert Berns with hissing contempt, but Joel Selvin's fast-paced overview of Berns and his milieu shows you the complex man beneath the bad toupee. Selvin doesn't whitewash Berns' tendency to screw-over his artists, or his mob connections and willingness to use them, but he gives due to the man's joie de vivre, his rapport with musicians, and what nobody can deny: his ability to create more than a few unforgettable hit songs. It's interesting how Berns -- not unlike Bobby Darin -- had a heart condition (sounds like valve disease -- Selvin could have gone into the medical side a little more deeply) and knew he was in a race against time to make his mark on the world. Yes, Berns was vulgar and obnoxious, and hurt some people who didn't deserve it (and some who did), but songs he wrote, produced or brought to market have contributed much to the "gaiety of nations" and "increased the stock of harmless pleasure in the world". Selvin handles all this with great skill, and fills each page with behind-the-songs stories and potted biographies of everyone from backup singers, to mob enforcers. The book is so rich with offhand characters and tantalizing byways, it makes you realize that there are many more great tales yet to be told of this wonderful period in American music.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Book, Rich With Detail, Texture and Some Great Anecdotes, May 22, 2014
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Like Jon Tiven, I've been waiting for this book for years. THANK YOU JOEL FOR FINALLY GETTING IT TO ALL OF US! First of all, it's incredibly well-written. And because of that, I lost only one day of work staying up way past my bedtime, because this really is a book you cannot put down. The book weaves the story of Berns, and the reason why this genius has been overlooked, with the backstory- which is essentially a history of R&B once rock and roll entered the lexicon and the culture. The attention to detail and impeccable research is superb-and I can really say that because I'm working on a project about a person who is sort of a peripheral part of this story and is in the book. I might suggest that in the next print run of this book, the youtube urls be included when Mr Selvin writes about Berns' productions and songs he'd written, because this is no namby-pamby book: Selvin uses his skills as one of the country's best rock critics from lets say the Woodstock days to the present to write about what's going on in each song. ( I read the book on my laptop, opened a new tab, and listened to all the songs as i read about them). Selvin doesnt mince words when describing the players: I was a bit taken aback by his description of Jerry Wexler because it is so blatantly honest. The entire book is that honest. The only down side: I was left bereft when the book ended, because Berns died, and the book ended. I wanted more. If you know about some of the stories and some of the players, this book gives you more. If you dont know about them, this is the book that gives you the keys to the kingdom. Bert Berns WAS a genius and many of us knew that. That Joel Selvin has finally told the story is a gift to all of us who love the music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic Story. Selvin's Best Writing Ever., May 7, 2014
This review is from: Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm and Blues (Hardcover)
This is an amazing, torrid tale. Interesting insight in the record business. There are so many vignette's of history, music, songs we all know, musicians we all loved and stories we never knew. There was a real twist and knack for investigative reporting that an old newspaper guy like Joel Selvin could pull-off. Research, research, stories and interviews that really come to light. Joel Selvin has been writing for many years but this book is by far his best work. This story needed to be told and Selvin did it better than anyone could ever write it for us to enjoy. The book is pieced together like an intricate quilt or fine piece of Irish lace. 60 Minutes should cover this book. Can't put the book down. Must read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars worth waiting for, May 18, 2014
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This review is from: Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm and Blues (Hardcover)
I've been waiting for this book to be finished for at least ten years. It was worth it. Not just for Berns lovers, but as a history of the Music Business, particularly NY R&B.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 Stars A Visionary Sleaze, July 21, 2014
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Things only imagined re the music business this cat accomplished. Pacing, chronology, pre and post British Invasion, anecdotal bits w/ various names- terrific. The dismissiveness of American blues artists as being nothing here in America they never sold really showed where his focus was- hit records. Selvin nailed it w/ this. Excellent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book!, July 27, 2014
This review is from: Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm and Blues (Hardcover)
It is the best true history of rock and roll I have ever read. His life was surrounded by so many writers, perfomers, record producers, and the early history of Atlantic records. This book is an anthology of the birth of rock and roll in 1955 to 1967. I use it for research.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a bit too broad, but fascinating nevertheless, April 4, 2014
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This review is from: Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm and Blues (Hardcover)
I feel that Selvin spends too much time telling the tales of Berns' contemporaries, until the last few chapters, which focus squarely on him. It's a great read for those who don't know the environs of the Brill Building and 1650 Broadway, and how they shaped popular culture in the sixties.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drenched in period character, May 28, 2014
By 
Baboomaroonie (Brooklyn, NY USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm and Blues (Hardcover)
...and characters. I feel like I really know the gravity and degree of all the many creatives and industryites who people this book, intimately, as if I were a co-worker or competitor in the very same circle.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Chart Topper, August 14, 2014
By 
Writer By Trade (Washington, D.C.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm and Blues (Hardcover)
Bert Berns wasn't a household name, then or now. I'll bet only a handful of music aficionados even know his name. Perhaps author Joel Selvin can change that. "These were record men," writes Selvin. "Their work was their lives. They were a breed apart and operated by their own rules... Berns was one of these centurions of pop."

Selvin cogently tells the tale of this hard, hard driving man. But he crams in so many artists, players, hangers-on, songs, sessions, etc., that the casual music fan may at times feel overwhelmed by the detail.

Yet if you stay with it you're rewarded with a smashing story about Berns and the shadowy rhythm & blues world he embraced and embodied. A gem of a book, just like so many of Berns' classics. Personally, I rank Are You Lonely For Me (Baby) as one of the best ever, and I've never even been to Jacksonville.
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Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm and Blues
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