Electronically Yours, Vol. I: My Autobiography

Constable: Little, Brown Mar. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780349135151. $28.99. MUSIC
Synthesizer star Ware’s autobiography covers his life through 1992. Starting from his working-class upbringing in Sheffield, England, the first third of the book covers his youth, when he joined various short-lived bands and met future vocalist Phil Oakey. Ware describes the various influences on his music. These include Roxy Music, electronic wizard Brian Eno, the electronic/ambient phase of David Bowie, American dance music, and synthesizer innovator Wendy Carlos. Science-fiction books and futuristic films informed his first major project with Oakey, Ian Craig Marsh, and the Human League. After the band unceremoniously dropped him, Ware continued on and succeeded with his new venture, the synthesizer-driven, pop, dance groove sounds of Heaven 17, which reflected his lifelong commitment to socialism. This book outlines the chart-topping success of his production work in the British Electric Foundation, which reinvigorated the career of Tina Turner and launched Terence Trent D’Arby, a.k.a. Sananda Maitreya. The book concludes with an appendix that details each song on each mentioned album.
VERDICT Spiced with fascinating stories, this book provides a valuable personal insight into the heyday of ’80s electropop that will appeal to general readers.
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