Winner of the Best Book Award 2013 at the NME Awards
"This book is going to try and get as close as possible to the full story of what informed the noise of The Streets. Obviously that's something I should be fairly well qualified to know about, and I'm going to be as honest as the publisher's lawyers will allow."
With the 2001 release of The Streets' debut single "Has It Come to This?" the landscape of British popular music changed forever. No longer did home-grown rappers have to anxiously defer to transatlantic influences. Mike Skinner's witty, self-deprecating sagas of late-night kebab shops and skunk-fuelled Playstation sessions showed how much you could achieve simply by speaking in your own voice.
In this thoroughly modern memoir, the man the Guardian once dubbed "half Dostoevsky... half Samuel Pepys" tells a freewheeling, funny and fearlessly honest tale of Birmingham and London, ecstasy and epilepsy, Twitter-fear and Spectrum joysticks, spread betting and growing up. He writes of his musical inspirations, role models and rivals, the craft of song writing, and reflects on the successes and failures of the decade-long journey of The Streets.
©2012 Mike Skinner (P)2012 Random House Audiobooks
"Cleverer, funnier, more illuminating and beautifully written than anything I have read in the longest time." (Decca Aitkenhead, Guardian)
"A hard way to make an easy living"
No one sounds like Mike Skinner, and as his famous timbre begins, you do find yourself thinking, a 3 minute song is fine, but will I be able to stand a whole books worth of his monotone? And then you listen to what he's saying and you know that no-one else could read it. Every sentence about his music reminds you of the music itself, as his vocals *are* the streets. His words and the way he says them, that's what made me a fan in the first place.
This is a brilliant insight into the UK music business, from a man who is intelligent, articulate, humble when necessary, interesting, and above all, incredibly normal, with a brilliant, objective view on life, served with a slice of acerbic wit.
"The Story of the Streets"
Brutally honest, compelling and refreshingly free from b******t.
It's been a privilege to hear the story behind the music that has meant so much to me over the years from the man himself. Far from being a fly-by-night 'geezer', Mike Skinner is a grafter, a craftsman and an unashamed control freak.
Skinner's reading is, errrm, uncomfortable. It sounds like reading his book aloud is the last thing in the world he wants to be doing. But I get the impression he feels letting someone else narrate it instead would be an even worse option. I agree.
If you're a fan of The Streets I can't see how you would fail to get more form the music after listening to the story.
"Should've got someone else to narrate it"
I am not a huge Streets fan but I like them enough to be interested and I was not disappointed. I felt Skinner told an insightful story about the 5 albums from The Streets. He comes across as humble and honest without any silly showbiz gossip, no self-indulgent stories of crazy parties and no bad mouthing any contemporaries (apart from one). He talks about song writing and structure in a way that I never appreciated and I intend to go back and re-visit the albums with this insight.
HOWEVER! I wish he hadn't read it himself as he is truly a terrible narrator! For a guy who raps on songs and is a good laugh in interviews I've heard with him, he is articulate and amusing but all of this is lost in the dreadful monotone with doesn't abate for the entire 7 hours! If you can stick with it it's worth it but if I were you, I'd buy the book and read it yourself. At least listen to the sample first.
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