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Greg Prato - 'MTV Ruled The World: The Early Years Of Music Video'

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MTV Ruled The World: The Early Years Of Music Video

MTV Ruled The World: The Early Years Of Music Video

Younger readers may not even realize that the “M” in MTV stands for music. Today's programming is mostly lowbrow reality shows, with what little music is left relegated to off hours. To my generation, MTV was a groundbreaking, highly influential network that changed music (both positively and negatively) in many different ways. Now Greg Prato captures the early days of the network with MTV Ruled The World: The Early Years Of Music Video.

The book is an oral history, with interviews of numerous figures important in the development and success of MTV along with artists and other music insiders. It includes executives, original VJs Alan Hunter and Nina Blackwood and dozens of artists. MTV Ruled The World is a fascinating chronicle of the founding, development, programming and effects of a tiny cable channel that quickly grew into a behemoth.

To me the most interesting stories were from the VJs. Hunter and Blackwood don't hold back as they talk about everything from their auditions and hiring to the first broadcasts to behind the scenes anecdotes about artists and others. The spectrum of artists Prato interviewed for the book is impressive. Many different genres are represented, from metal (Rob Halford, Warren DeMartini) to rock (Geddy Lee, Ann Wilson) to punk (Marky Ramone, John Doe) to hip-hop (Chuck D) to pop (Daryl Hall, Rick Springfield).

The book is organized sometimes chronologically, and other times the chapters focus on specific artists or topics, such as Michael Jackson or fashion. Metal is represented as well, with a chapter on heavy metal videos. As someone who got into music not long after MTV launched, MTV Ruled The World: The Early Years Of Music Video brought back some great memories. It's also a very interesting, entertaining and informative book that captures an important part of music history.

(published December 2010 by Lulu.com)

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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