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Le Freak:
An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco and Destiny

Nile Rodgers

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Sphere

Published : 2012

Copyright : Nile Rodgers 2012

ISBN-10 : PB 0-7515-4277-6
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-7515-4277-6

Publisher's Write-Up

The astonishing and wildly entertaining memoir of Nile Rodgers: legendary producer and co-founder of the band Chic.

You will hear a Nile Rodgers song today. It will make you happy. Legendary producer and co-founder of Chic, Nile wrote We are Family for Sister Sledge and I'm Coming Out for Diana Ross, and then produced Let's Dance for David Bowie and Like a Virgin for Madonna. But before he reinvented pop music Nile Rodgers invented himself. Le Freak is an astonishing, exuberant and inspiring story of a creative genius. It is also a stunning recreation of a time and place - by the man who wrote its soundtrack.

'Consistently exhilarating.'

Independent on Sunday

'The lonely, sickly child of two jazz-obsessed junkies, Rodgers grew into a brilliant musician blessed with a clear artistic vision that propelled him into almost unimaginable success, with him riding a spectacular tidal wave of sex, money and drugs. An unforgettable, gripping book.'

Sunday Times

'Name a star and you can bet they're in this book, playing or partying with Rodgers. But far from being a succession of name-dropping anecdotes, this autobiography is a wonderfully funny, moving and wise reflection upon the important things in life: the people you love and the things you create.'

Sunday Telegraph
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Ben Macnair (311214) Rating (8/10)

Review by Ben Macnair
Rating 8/10
In Pop music, so much emphasis is put on the importance of the lead singer, that the contributions of musicians, producers and arrangers is often over-looked, and we can forget about the vital role that they play in the studio, and in the creation of songs that become the soundtracks to our years.

Chic’s guitarist and songwriter Nile Rodgers is a case in point, as this incredibly well written and factual autobiography attests. In the seventies his funk based disco guitar sound lit up dancefloors across the world, with songs such as Le Freak, and Good Times becoming million selling songs. If that had been it, Rodger’s position in music would have been assured, but he went onto write songs and produce albums for Diana Ross, Madonna, Debbie Harry, Johnny Mathis, David Bowie, Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan, INXS, Jeff Beck, Duran Duran, The B52s, and Bryan Ferry. He still has an active career, touring with a new version of Chic, and producing for Duran Duran, performing on Bryan Ferry’s latest release, and having one of last year’s biggest hits Get Lucky with Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams.

Rodgers is not one for name dropping within the book, though. For the number of stars and successful musicians he has worked with and played for, he seems to have no sense of entitlement, or bitterness about his job, purely providing the guitar parts they need, or the production help they need. His sound is very commercial, aimed more towards the feet than the brain, which explains the level of demand that he faces. The book, however, is not all about the music. He talks openly and candidly about his drug addiction, about the cancer that he faced and beat, and about the difficult family history he grew up with, as well as such issues as racism, death, bereavement and how best to use his gifts and talents to serve the many people he met and worked with throughout his storied career.

In all, this is a fine book that talks about the music that he made, and the life he lived. Although it contains much pathos, the book is also filled with the joy and fun that flows through his best known sonic creations.
Ben Macnair (31st December 2014)

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