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Got to Be Something Here: The Rise of the Minneapolis Sound
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Got to Be Something Here: The Rise of the Minneapolis Sound

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  74 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Beginning in the year of Prince’s birth, 1958, with the recording of Minnesota’s first R&B record by a North Minneapolis band called the Big Ms, Got to Be Something Here traces the rise of that distinctive sound through two generations of political upheaval, rebellion, and artistic passion.

Funk and soul become a lens for exploring three decades of Minneapolis and St. P
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by Univ Of Minnesota Press
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P.e. lolo
Jun 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: music
I got this book thinking that the author was going to talk about Prince, Morris Day, Time, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, among others. Really not the case. The first part of the book brings you up to speed on the music scene of the fifties and sixties, in Minneapolis. The author also gives you some of the people in the jazz and club scene who were important during though times. All of this was good along with the history of Minneapolis, like the rioting in the sixties which I understood needed to ...more
Jay Gabler
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A music history, a social history, an engrossing and enormously poignant read. I reviewed Got To Be Something Here for The Current.
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a perfect example of why I fell in love in researching popular music. Beautifully written, insightful, sincere, emotional, trustw0rthy. A must-read for every Prince fan, music fan, or simply every person who is interested in the history of American music, but not this kind that we know from an encyclopedia. A personal one.
Nov 14, 2017 rated it liked it
The first part is a workmanlike look at the unexceptional Twin Cities regional R&B scene, not too different from that of any mid-sized city in the '60s. But the final chapters are gold. What I still don't know, and is not explained, is why (if there is a why) such immense talent exploded from the city in the late '70s. Not just Prince, but also Morris Day and the Time, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, the aberrant wonder of Lipps, Inc. and "Funkytown" etc. The Minneapolis/St. Paul rock scene, in ...more
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was such a wonderful read and truly gave me a greater appreciation for those singers and musicians who created the Minneapolis sound and paved the way for Prince, Morris Day, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, and many others to further develop, refine, redefine, and blow it up. Having been a transplant to MN, I wasn’t familiar with this little-known history and am glad to even catch a glimpse. Would I liked to have read more in-depth? No doubt. But the author gave me a compelling story and whet ...more
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: music, prince, research
This review originally appeared on my Prince blog, dance / music / sex / romance.

The last 18 months have seen an explosion in critical and scholarly discourse on Prince: his music, persona, cultural significance, and beyond. It was only a matter of time until the focus would widen to include the “Minneapolis Sound” Prince played a significant role in shaping and delivering to an international audience. Got to Be Something Here, written by former City Pages music editor and current Minnesota Publ
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
Got to Be Something Here: The Rise of the Minneapolis Sound by Andrea Swensson is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early October.

Swensson writes about the vibrant funk, rock, pop, dance, and jazz scene created by Black artists in Minnesota - a place where people expect to find Lutheran/Swedish/Norsk music - and acknowledges economic and social segregation of the Twin Cities while giving a detailed timeline of what had happened between Bob Dylan's and Prince's first albums. I felt immediate
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wish there was a soundtrack to go with the first part of this book, of all the lost recordings mentioned from the early bands that helped to form the Minneapolis sound. I enjoyed the personal stories of the musicians and how they met, stories of the old neighborhoods before they were carved up by interstates, the old clubs and learning more about the Minneapolis and St. Paul-specific political and racial tensions of the time. I didn’t expect so much of this book to be devoted to Prince’s forma ...more
Linda Steighner
Sep 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: won
"Got to Be Something Here: The Rise of the Minneapolis Sound" by Andrea Swensson is a wonderful collection of the histories of musicians recording in Minnesota from the late 1950's to the 1980s. It also covers a lot of the venues where the artists first made a name for themselves. There is a lot of funk, soul and blues between the pages. While the book predominately covers the black artists, there are also mentions of Dylan and Bonnie Raitt added into the mix with Wee Willie Walker, Maurice McKi ...more
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a pleasant surprise. Very well researched, and great interview subjects. Lots of Minneapolis history beyond the music, filling in a backdrop to the main characters in the story: the young bands of Rondo and Near North Minneapolis. Swensson does an excellent job describing the sound - even in instances where no actual recordings exist.

There is a section at the end of the book that outlines key recordings. I recommend that readers consult this section while reading as opposed to saving u
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Outstanding book on the Minneapolis Sound and the history. I did not realize that some of the other acts came out of Minneapolis. Let's be honest, when we think of Minneapolis, we think of His Purple Badness. This book shows that Minneapolis has given us so much more. I devoured this book and found it to be well written. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the music that Minneapolis has blessed us with. Thanks to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for the ARC of this book in retur ...more
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent! One of my fave DJs on The Current really dove into the history of the great Minneapolis Sound and made me miss living in the Twin Cities more. One can’t help but wonder what other greats are going to come from this legacy of music. We think immediately of Prince but forget the ones who came before him, who influenced him.
“Rock and roll is alive, and it lives in Minneapolis!”
Thank you Ms Swensson!
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an absolutely fascinating history of the Minneapolis music scene. I learned a lot, not only about key players and now-shuttered clubs, but also about race relations in the city. Highly recommended!
Jane Minton
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly well researched and written music history of the Rondo and Near North Minneapolis neighborhoods, and how the music scene of the 60's and 70's laid the groundwork for Prince and "The Minneapolis Sound."
Nov 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Very interesting. I learned so much from this book!
Kimberly Cunningham
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lots of research which laid out the history of the Minneapolis sound. Well put together and filled with great information.
Dan Haugen
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
So good. Andrea Swensson brings to life a neglected history of the Twin Cities that provides important context for Prince to Philando Castile.
Sam Bauman
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fun stories with plenty for fans of the twins cities music scene to be proud and ashamed of.
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book about Minneapolis/St. Paul social history and music history. My regret is that there are not many recordings of the live music she writes about.

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Andrea Swensson is an author, radio host, and music journalist. She hosts a weekly program about the Minnesota music scene, The Local Show, at Minnesota Public Radio’s 89.3 The Current and contributes to the Local Current Blog. Prior to joining MPR, she was the music editor at City Pages, where she founded the AAN AltWeekly Award-winning Gimme Noise music blog.