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


Kirkus Reviews 2011 October #1
One of the heaviest figures from an unjustly maligned musical era tells all, and tells it well. Casual music fans may not recognize Rodgers' name, but they will definitely recognize his music: The producer/composer/arranger/guitarist's fingerprint is all over such smashes as Madonna's "Like a Virgin," the Sugar Hill Gang's "Rapper's Delight," David Bowie's "Let's Dance" and Diana Ross' "I'm Coming Out." But what launched and ultimately made Rodgers' career was his work with his band Chic, most notably on the disco classic "Le Freak." His heavy discography alone would merit a memoir, but add a dash of family drama, a dose of drug addiction, a bird's-eye view of the music industry, and the result is a book that will appeal to both music aficionados and casual fans. Rodgers is enthusiastic, honest and charming, and he has a reverence for the artists who came before him; he discusses the Chitlin' Circuit with as much authority as he does Studio 54. The author also provides an insider's look at the disco world unlike any that has been offered before, if only because he was coming at it from all angles--he was both in the scene and of the scene. The book should appeal to readers interested in music, the '70s, survival and triumph. In his energetic memoir, Rodgers, as was almost always the case with his songs, brings the funk. Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Journal Reviews 2011 May #1

A musician, composer, arranger, and producer, Rodgers has sold millions of albums and hung out with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Madonna, Michael Jackson, the B52s, and Laurie Anderson. So this memoir promises to be good and juicy. A real insider's account from the guy responsible for "Like a Virgin"; buy wherever pop music books move.

[Page 61]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Library Journal Express Reviews
Most people may know Rodgers as the leader of the band Chic, whose songs "Le Freak" and "Good Times" raced to the top of the charts in the late 1970s. But there's so much more to the artist behind those songs. Raised in a mixed-race and counterculture family, Rodgers was almost destined to become a musician. His story culminates in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when he produced hits with such superstars as David Bowie and Madonna. His writing style is reminiscent of his music; full of life and energy and a whole lot of fun. Verdict Rodgers's story is thick with typical rock star excess, but it shouldn't be dismissed as such. His firsthand knowledge of the late disco and early 1980s pop-music scene makes his memoir an original and telling read. [See Prepub Alert, 4/4/11.]-Justin Hoenke, Portland P.L., ME (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews

Rodgers's page-turning memoir is packed with emotionally charged vignettes of a tumultuous childhood and equally dramatic adulthood that found him awash in cash, cars, and celebrities. Raised and surrounded by junkies and alcoholics, Rodgers was literally shuffled from coast to coast and relative to relative during his formative years. Music was his salvation, and he pursued it with vigor, playing whenever and wherever he could. Those skills would eventually lead him to working with some of the biggest names in music (Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Diana Ross, Madonna), as well as creating his band Chic, with which he had massive hits, such as "Le Freak." Sadly, however, the combination of success and drugs and alcohol spiraled out of control. While the story of velvet ropes and addiction is a common one, Rodgers's version emphasizes the arc of his life, rather than relying on salacious details or name-dropping to provide a narrative. His storytelling skills propel the reader through the book, making the ending all the more jarring. Remarkable for its candor, this rags-to-riches story is on the year's shortlist of celebrity memoirs. (Oct.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2011 PWxyz LLC

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