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MTV Ruled the World: The Early Years of Music Video Paperback – January 25, 2011
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"It's fun to read the first-person accounts of the people who were actually there and made it all happen. I thought it was an accurate and entertaining narrative of a singularly important era in pop culture history." --Weird Al Yankovic
"'MTV Ruled the World: The Early Years of Music Video' takes us on a trip back to the time when the ‘M’ in MTV actually stood for music. Our tour guides are the performers, industry professionals, and creators of the phenomenon that had everyone clamoring, 'You'll never look at music the same way again'." --Nina Blackwood, MTV VJ
"MTV Ruled the World covers the channel's formative years, when music videos evolved from something only a handful of companies even considered into a hugely profitable arm of the industry." --Ron Wynn, Option Magazine
"MTV Ruled The World brought back some great memories. It's also a very interesting, entertaining and informative book that captures an important part of music history." --Chad Bowar, about.com
"Amazingly comprehensive oral history featuring over 70 interviews with both the talent from that era of MTV and a plethora of the A-list artists featured on the channel during the time period." --Matt Wardlaw, popdose.com
"The book not only pulls the curtains back on the upstart video channel but reveals what was happening industrywide in the 1980s." --Steven Rosen, curledup.com
"Greg has complied a wondrous microscopic view into MTV’s formation and it’s earliest and what some would deem as its most essential years." --Arasia Magnetc, thewellversed.com
“MTV Ruled the World details the halcyon days of a television channel and its VJs that impacted pop culture in ways its creators couldn’t possibly have ever imagined." --Peter Lindblad, Backstage Auctions Inc.
“MTV Ruled the World covers a variety of subjects from the channel’s humble beginnings to the controversy over their decision early on to avoid playing black artists. There is even one hilarious chapter dedicated to music videos that served as career killers. --David Medsker, bullz-eye.com
"Similar to Prato's other books, MTV Ruled The World is written in the oral history format, as the story of the station is told from the interviewees' point of view." --Shon Troelstrup, Rockstar Weekly
"MTV Ruled the World' will make you miss the original MTV, and make you say, 'I want my MTV!'" --Stone & Double T, WXRX, Rockford, IL
About the Author
Greg Prato is a Long Island, New York-based journalist, whose writing has appeared in such renowned publications as Rolling Stone, All Music Guide, and Classic Rock Magazine. He is the author of several popular books, 'A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon,' 'Touched by Magic: The Tommy Bolin Story,' 'Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music, 'No Schlock . . . Just Rock!,' 'The Eric Carr Story,' 'MTV Ruled the World: The Early Years of Music Video,' and 'Sack Exchange: The Definitive Oral History of the 1980s New York Jets.'
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MTV can be considered a first example of modern day social media because it promoted artists, songs and albums through cable tv in the same way that the various social media do today. Back in 1981, some 15 years before the internet became part of the American mainstream, cable tv was as cutting edge as there was available in terms of technology.
I recommend Greg Prato’s book to anyone who grew up watching videos in the early days of MTV. Back then I was just an observer of MTV, after reading this book I felt like an MTV insider with inside knowledge. Some much that I saw on MTV in the early/mid 80’s was explained in the book.
MTV was a major revolution in American culture, which later affected world culture. Kudos to Greg Prato for writing such an informative and easy-to-read book. Most of all, the book was fun to read. I recommend this book to anyone from the “MTV generation” as well as anyone who wants to read an accurate history of this cultural phenomenon.
I have wanted, forever, to read an in-depth book about the early days of MTV. Thankfully, Greg Prato wrote this fantastic book. Every single angle of MTV is covered here. From it's start up, to the VJs, to discussions about the making of and look of countless classic videos, to the genesis of the "I Want My MTV" slogan and on and on. No area is left uncovered. MTV's story is told, in this book, through the eyes of the people that were there and made MTV what it was (Nina Blackwood, Alan Hunter, Fee Waybill from the Tubes, Mike Reno from Loverboy, Joe Elliot from Def Leppard - you name a person and they've probably been interviewed for this book). Prato covers the basic stuff (how the studio was actually set up, how the VJ segments were taped and not live) to the more complex (for example, Prato tackles the age old criticism of MTV [that it was racist in the beginning because it played no videos from groups or singers that weren't white] and looks at it from all angles). No point of view is left out, here, and by the end of the book, you're really amazed at all the info that's been put forward in this book.
I really couldn't put this book down. I devoured chapters each day and always looked forward to reading more. More than anything, though, Prato somehow captured the magic of the early MTV days. I found myself feeling incredibly nostalgic as I read through the book. I found myself heading to the internet to watch so many of the videos discussed in the pages of this book. It's not just a trip down Memory Lane, indeed, it felt like I was reliving the early 80s and the genesis of MTV as I read this book.
I am an avid reader and am not always easy to please. This book, though, was one of the best books that I've read in years. I do not have a single criticism of this book. Buy it, read it and, I assure you, you'll find yourself countless times humming Duran Duran's "Rio," doing Bowie's moves from "Let's Dance" and saying, more than once, "I want my MTV."