The Glamour Chase: The Maverick Life of Billy Mackenzie

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9781846972096: The Glamour Chase: The Maverick Life of Billy Mackenzie
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A first-rate charmer with a devilish twinkle in his eye, Billy MacKenzie was a maverick figure within the music industry whose wild and mischievous spirit possibly did him more harm than good. As frontman of the Associates, gifted with an otherwordly, octave-scaling operatic voice, MacKenzie, together with partner Alan Rankine, enjoyed Top Twenty chart success in 1982. At the height of their success, however, they split. Over the ensuing years, MacKenzie gained a reputation for his unhinged career tactics, generous spirit and knack for squandering large amounts of record-company money. Born in Dundee in 1957 he was the eldest son in a large Catholic family. He was bullied at school and sought refuge in music. He was a schemer and dreamer, a breeder of whippets and a bisexual who kept quiet about his private life. During his lifetime, his unique vocal gift attracted the attention of Shirley Bassey, Annie Lennox and Bjork. However, in the tradition of Scott Walker, Syd Barrett and Nick Drake, MacKenzie's tale is one of thwarted talent and, ultimately, tragedy. He was found dead, aged 39, at his father's home in Scotland, on 22 January 1997, having taken an overdose.

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Review:

Billy Mackenzie was unique. Blessed with an extraordinary voice, which shifted effortlessly from bass blues to falsetto diva posturing, the Dundee-born Mackenzie fronted the Associates' early 80s series of archly literature, miraculously melodious hit singles and a classic album, Sulk. But the success collapsed, and saving a few scattered moments of genius, Mackenzie fell into obscurity. When news broke in January 1997 that he had killed himself days before his 40th birthday, most people had long forgotten he was alive.

Tom Doyle is a Dundee lad himself who first met Mackenzie in his teens. From a plethora of interviews, he has fashioned a fascinatingly intimate account of Billy's rise and fall. Although print can never capture that voice, Doyle depicts Mackenzie as good old-fashioned genius: temperamental and perfectionist to the point of neurosis. Doyle recreates some marvellous moments, such as Mackenzie's first television appearance, and his encounter with Shirley Bassey, who recorded his The Rhythm Divine. But the lasting impression is one of chaos and waste--of one of music's most idiosyncratic talents thrown away by a recording industry that had not the faintest idea what to do with him. Hopefully Doyle's book will get Mackenzie back in the public eye--and his long out-of-print oeuvre back in the record shops. --Alan Stewart

Review:

'An affectionate portrait and incredibly well informed. A fine epitaph for an extraordinary character and talent.' --Record Collector

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Book Description Birlinn General, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised. Language: English . Brand New Book. A first-rate charmer with a devilish twinkle in his eye, Billy MacKenzie was a maverick figure within the music industry whose wild and mischievous spirit possibly did him more harm than good. As frontman of the Associates, gifted with an otherwordly, octave-scaling operatic voice, MacKenzie, together with partner Alan Rankine, enjoyed Top Twenty chart success in 1982. At the height of their success, however, they split. Over the ensuing years, MacKenzie gained a reputation for his unhinged career tactics, generous spirit and knack for squandering large amounts of record-company money. Born in Dundee in 1957 he was the eldest son in a large Catholic family. He was bullied at school and sought refuge in music. He was a schemer and dreamer, a breeder of whippets and a bisexual who kept quiet about his private life. During his lifetime, his unique vocal gift attracted the attention of Shirley Bassey, Annie Lennox and Bjork. However, in the tradition of Scott Walker, Syd Barrett and Nick Drake, MacKenzie s tale is one of thwarted talent and, ultimately, tragedy. He was found dead, aged 39, at his father s home in Scotland, on 22 January 1997, having taken an overdose. Seller Inventory # ABS9781846972096

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Book Description Birlinn General, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised. Language: English . Brand New Book. A first-rate charmer with a devilish twinkle in his eye, Billy MacKenzie was a maverick figure within the music industry whose wild and mischievous spirit possibly did him more harm than good. As frontman of the Associates, gifted with an otherwordly, octave-scaling operatic voice, MacKenzie, together with partner Alan Rankine, enjoyed Top Twenty chart success in 1982. At the height of their success, however, they split. Over the ensuing years, MacKenzie gained a reputation for his unhinged career tactics, generous spirit and knack for squandering large amounts of record-company money. Born in Dundee in 1957 he was the eldest son in a large Catholic family. He was bullied at school and sought refuge in music. He was a schemer and dreamer, a breeder of whippets and a bisexual who kept quiet about his private life. During his lifetime, his unique vocal gift attracted the attention of Shirley Bassey, Annie Lennox and Bjork. However, in the tradition of Scott Walker, Syd Barrett and Nick Drake, MacKenzie s tale is one of thwarted talent and, ultimately, tragedy. He was found dead, aged 39, at his father s home in Scotland, on 22 January 1997, having taken an overdose. Seller Inventory # ABS9781846972096

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Book Description Birlinn General, 2011. Condition: New. 2011. Revised. Paperback. 'The Glamour Chase' is the colourful - and frequently hilarious - life story of a hugely talented singer, his whirlwind personality and his attempts to take on the music industry on his own, free-spirited terms. Num Pages: 288 pages, Illustrations, ports. BIC Classification: AVGP; AVH; BGF. Category: (ES) Secondary. Dimension: 227 x 161 x 25. Weight in Grams: 482. . . . . . . Seller Inventory # V9781846972096

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Book Description Birlinn General. Condition: New. 2011. Revised. Paperback. 'The Glamour Chase' is the colourful - and frequently hilarious - life story of a hugely talented singer, his whirlwind personality and his attempts to take on the music industry on his own, free-spirited terms. Num Pages: 288 pages, Illustrations, ports. BIC Classification: AVGP; AVH; BGF. Category: (ES) Secondary. Dimension: 227 x 161 x 25. Weight in Grams: 482. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory # V9781846972096

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. Not Signed; A first-rate charmer with a devilish twinkle in his eye, Billy MacKenzie was a maverick figure within the music industry whose wild and mischievous spirit possibly did him more harm than good. As frontman of the Associates, gifted with an otherwordly, octave-scaling operatic voice, MacKenzie, togeth. book. Seller Inventory # ria9781846972096_rkm

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