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My Bloody Valentine's Loveless (33 1/3) Paperback – January 10, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
McGonigal's major folly has been duly noted in several user reviews on this site that appeared prior to this one; if I'm not mistaken, the headline below mine screams, "Too much McGonigal, not enough MBV." That's a pretty succinct summation. To be more specific, though, this book reads like a report written by an over-enthusiastic high-school senior who has just discovered the work of Lester Bangs, and it's pretty obvious that the author of this piece is excited to be writing something that he knows SOMEONE will be reading. Thus, it seems he lets his own ego gets the better of him.
Between gratitous and blatant name-dropping (bands/artists referenced on pages 6-8: Dinosaur Jr, Flipper, G.G. Allin, Throbbing Gristle, Charlie Patton, Lou Reed, Terry Riley, La Monte Young, Maryanne Amacher, and the Sun City Girls; we get it dude, you like indie rock) and superfluous personal anecdotes (if you want to know what drugs the author was using or selling and when, check out page 17, which falls in the middle of a four-page "chapter" that's supposed to name and describe each of the individual tracks that comprise "Loveless"), McGonigal's narrative is a big, sloppy mess.Read more ›
I also really enjoyed the book, but not for the reasons I usually enjoy this series. The book does have a lot of McGonigal's personal anecdotes, but I was able to look past those, because he made a damn good effort to speak to every member of the band (3 of 4 are represented in the text), people from the Creation lable, engineers, management and friends. Primary interviews make a world of difference -- why speculate about Kevin Shield's state of mind when you can ask him? Few authors in this series have gone the extra mile to deliver points of view from so many people involved with the album in question.
I also enjoyed getting what I consider the first real response from Shields about the huge cost and time consumption of Loveless -- even if he's wrong, it at least balances out the people who say he bankrupt the company (clearly he didn't help).
However, the book is really only partially about Loveless and only mostly focused on the time the album was being made. It's really a My Bloody Valentine book and as Loveless is their most important work and took up a huge amount of the time they were a band, it's the central issue. The book treads into technical and song writing territory to a certain degree, however I still don't have much of an idea about what Shields was doing in the studio, but that has as much to do with the way Shields answers the questions as how the book was written.
If you've read every Shields interview and think you know everything about My Bloody Valentine, you can probably skip this book. If however, you want to read everything you need to know about them in an afternoon -- pick it up, it's a very enjoyable, if somewhat disjointed read.
In the book McGonigal even mentions that it had to be rewritten because MBV's Kevin Shields disagreed with the first version of it.
If you love the album, you will think the book is OK. Just be ready to ignore the author occasionally.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
More than a little fangirlish but generally well written and gives clarity and insight to one of the great albums in all of pop music.Published 6 months ago by Marshall D. Mckenzie
I disagree with the reviews that charge the author with first-person egotism. He's comfortable, in fact, portraying himself as an unglamorous music dork. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Paul Rayson
Interestingly written in places, not over-full of new information (not a book's worth, in any case). Read morePublished on November 14, 2013 by Michael A. Emanuele
Unfortunately this author feels the need to inject himself into the story. At least a third of the book made me just cringe as I read about his drug habits, his preferences in... Read morePublished on July 19, 2013 by Graham Hunter
An album as iconic as Loveless deserves a much better writer. I still find it astonishing that this man was granted such intimate access to information surrounding this album. Read morePublished on April 22, 2013 by Juan Diego Marroquin
If you know and love the album, this book is aggressively irrelevant. If you've never heard Loveless and are curious about the hubbub, take the money you would have spent on it and... Read morePublished on September 26, 2011 by Brutus Franco
Not a bad book, but I was hoping for more insight into what was happening behind the scenes and possibly more about the making of the album. Read morePublished on June 10, 2010 by Ahren E. Lehnert
I thought this generally was a good book - the quotes from Shields were probably the highlight of it. Read morePublished on June 25, 2009 by dreamsofvisions
Loveless is author Mike McGonigal's tale as much as it is about this immortal record and even more legendary band. Read morePublished on January 12, 2009 by David M. Madden