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Love Saves the Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970-1979 Paperback – February 2, 2004


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Love Saves the Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970-1979 + Last Night a DJ Saved My Life: The History of the Disc Jockey + The Record Players: DJ Revolutionaries
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books (February 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822331985
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822331988
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #722,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Love Saves the Day is what we need for generations to come: it’s the real history of dance music and dj/club culture.”—Louie Vega, dj/producer, Masters At Work & Nuyorican Soul


“As authoritative as it is gossipy, Love Saves the Day is the ultimate backstage view of disco, the underground phenomenon that ended up defining a decade. Tim Lawrence talked to virtually everyone who shaped ‘70s urban nightlife, but he keeps his prime focus on the djs who created its seductive soundtrack. With them as your witty, opinionated guides, you’ll find yourself well past the velvet ropes, deep inside a scene that has never been so thoroughly or lovingly illuminated.”—Vince Aletti, Village Voice


“At last disco gets the history it deserves. Tim Lawrence tells the story of ten years that shook the musical world with the scholar’s concern for detail and the fan’s concern for honor. Great tales of the humble and the ahubristic, of money, sex, and the utopia of the sound system. Illuminating and moving.”—Simon Frith, author of Performing Rites: On the Value of Popular Music


“At long last, a candid, detailed, and authoritative look back on one of dance music’s most seminal moments in time. This book on the genesis of the movement in 1970s New York will delight anyone from the researcher wanting some serious unbiased fact-checking all the way to the casual music lover curious for juicy anecdotes. It’s about time!”—François K., dj and founder and president of Wave Music


“I wish I'd written it myself.”—Barry Walters, Senior Music Critic, Rolling Stone

About the Author

Tim Lawrence leads the Music Culture: Theory and Production degree program at the University of East London. He has written liner notes for David Mancuso Presents the Loft and Masters at Work: The Tenth Anniversary Collection. The author’s website for the book is available at www.timlawrence.info


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Customer Reviews

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I found it easy to read, & without blurring the facts, very entertaining.
Danny Krivit
I wish I had paid more attention because after reading LOVE SAVES THE DAY, I clearly felt like I missed something really special.
Jeffrey Capshew
The book begins in his legendary club, The Loft, and lovingly details his obsession with sound and the disco experience.
Robert Rives

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Danny Krivit on July 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
Over the years I've read very many articles & books on the 70's disco & underground dance scene,

along with seeing quite a few documentaries & movies in the same vain.

I started DJing in NYC in 1971 & this is a subject that I lived & breathed.

"Love Saves The Day" is without a doubt the very first to tell the real story,

& accurately chronicle that entire decade year by year.

I found it easy to read, & without blurring the facts, very entertaining.

When it comes to "The Loft", "Paradise Garage" & the rest of this subject,

I consider this book a 'must read', & highly recommend it!

Danny Krivit
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Brook on January 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is an exceptional historical analysis that introduces, in chronological order, the key events and personalities in the 1970s American disco dancing scene, including the major remixers, DJs, nightclubs, musicians, singers, record producers, and magazine journalists. The playlists provided throughout the book are very good snapshots of each period of 1970s R&B and disco, and many of the photos are well selected.
Lawrence first explores the roots of dance-oriented nightclubs, then known as discotheques, where attendees danced to recorded rather than live music. Discotheques had already existed in the U.S. by the mid-1960s but then declined for a number of years until revitalized in the early 1970s. Besides the concept of a "discotheque", Lawrence also mentions (page 26) that the mirror ball was a fixture of a typical disco and also in the Loft parties run by David Mancuso. The atmospheric aspects of a disco -- lighting, dancefloor, etc. -- were also important to dancers, though one big negative was the high volume of sound emanating from the speakers in many discos, such as Paradise Garage (pages 347-348). The most necessary element was a large supply of good danceable music. Disco DJs gained influence when they caused many records to become big sellers and formed record pools. Lawrence notes (page 307) that in some downtown discos the dancers danced freestyle whereas in suburban discos the tendency was towards regimented dance steps like the latin hustle and line-dancing.
The story of disco as a separate musical genre begins with the merging of funk and Philly soul elements with a constant four-on-the-floor beat, thanks to Earl Young's innovations in drumming (page 120).
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robert Rives on January 22, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thank you Tim Lawrence. This book is the antedote to all the haters out there who still believe that "Disco Sucks" after the post-Comiskey Park backlash. This book is such an amazing and wonderfully readable document that I would recommend anyone interested in 20th century American musical history, or the [...]/black urban experience of the 1970's, or relatively recent New York history read it. Of course if you're interested in disco music or dance music the book is absolutely essential.

This book goes much deeper than the usual Studio 54 cliches that people associate with the genre (although Studio 54 is included, of course) and discusses the origins of the sound and the largely unhearalded people who made this scene happen. David Mancuso is described as a pivotable person here, and the folks who were there will confirm it. The book begins in his legendary club, The Loft, and lovingly details his obsession with sound and the disco experience. Other innovators from the early 70's are also featured including Francis Grasso, Steve D'Acquisto, Bob Casey, and many more. The scene is chronicaled from humble beginnings through the glory years of the mid 70's and ends the decade with the backlash in full swing in mainstream culture but continuing to thrive in clubs like Paradise Garage and Better Days. Along the way you meet producers like Walter Gibbons and Tom Moulton who made some of the classic recordings of the era, and Lawrence takes the time to explain what is so remarkable about their work. You also get delightfully naughty stories about some of the key players in the scene including DJ's, artists, and of course, the patrons that illustrate some of the excesses of the time .
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By disco75 on March 3, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lawrence does a good job translating his former academic piece into a more general survey that would be of interest to a lay reader. He takes a mostly chronological journey through the events of the 70s that pertained to the disco subculture. (Disco is, even now in the book's title, being euphemistically called "dance music," which is something of a misnomer, given the ongoing presence in our society of vibrant polka, salsa, square dance, contra, two-step, honky-tonk, ballroom, and other dance cultures.) In writing this book Lawrence has done his homework: he assembled the extant written sources-- even the rare ones-- and located participants from the era to reminisce and provide new anecdotal material.
As a one-stop overview of disco life in the seventies, this book serves its purpose well. It is not as academic as Fikentscher's converted dissertation You Better Work, and therefore will be of interest to a wider audience. Lawrence writes mostly in plain language. He includes some of the interesting photos and images contained in the harder-to-find volumes like Night Dancin' by Miezitis, and he quotes from virtually all of the older and newer writings, both periodicals and books.
If a reader has already delved into the current books about disco, Lawrence's book will seem largely redundant. Its focus is primarily on the clubs and the DJs. The stories told in Mel Cheren's autobiography and in the two disco chapters of Last Night A DJ Saved My Life are here: the joyous beginnings of the clubs, the inspired DJs, the rivalries, the egos, the drug use, and the love-hate relationships between the DJs and record execs.
Lawrence adds something to this genre by recording dancers' and DJs' recounting of the actual *experience* of dancing, of losing oneself in the music.
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