The Remarkable Tale of Radio 1

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Omnibus Press, 2021)

Karakter: 5/6

Radio 1 book cover_1.jpgWhat a riveting read this one is! Robert Seller's latest literary work focuses on the iconic Radio 1 in the UK and how it was at one point the most popular radio station in the world only to fade into oblivion in the mid-nineties under less-than-ideal circumstances.

There were many aspects and parts of its 337 thought-provoking pages that completely enthralled me, and it managed to transport me far away from the pandemic in a most efficient and elegant manner. The world of Radio 1 essentially becomes your world for a short while and Sellers does a fantastic job at evoking the atmosphere of the place and captures something very specific about what it meant to be a radio personality, a DJ, or a producer at the station between the late sixties and early nineties. While some paragraphs will make you cackle with laughter, others will startle you. It speaks to the poignant value of Radio 1's role in the lives of the British population and nowadays it is so easy to forget that many fans and casual listeners were exposed to their favorite bands and artists through the radio and that it served as their primary source of entertainment, news, music, and so on. DJs were almost akin to superstars back then and Sellers weaves an interesting tapestry out of their recollections and thoughts revolving around their work for Radio 1 and what it was like to be a part of such a hallowed institution. Believe me, there is absolutely no shortage of either bliss or sorrow here, and if you want a well-balanced mixture of music history, drama, comedy, and arguably even tragedy, look no further than this one. For many of the DJs and production staff members, working at Radio 1 was a calling and a lifestyle and so you had strong personalities full of passion and integrity, but that also entailed that their egos ran absolutely rampant now and then. Some of the characters that appear throughout are occasionally quite unlikeable and yet there is something strangely compelling about them too. Drawing on archive material and several first-hand interviews, Sellers has done a remarkable job with respect to laying bare the vortex of brilliance and madness that was Radio 1.

"The Remarkable Tale of Radio 1" feels true and honest, its brisk pacing is refreshing, and it comes across as a genuine labor of love. Apart from being incredibly illuminating, I also found it to be a page-turning delight and a thoroughly well-composed piece of work that captures the essence of what Radio 1 was all about and what it meant to millions of listeners for four decades. This one comes highly recommended and paints a vivid, lively portrait of a hugely important part of the British music industry and its key players.


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