Khris Sellin's Reviews > Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever

Love Goes to Buildings on Fire by Will Hermes
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's review
Jan 19, 2012

really liked it

The title is a riff on The Talking Heads' "Love Goes to Building on Fire" and it is focused on NYC from New Year's Day 1973 to New Year's Eve 1977.

It is an EXHAUSTIVE account of all the great music that was being made during that time period, from hip hop up in the Bronx, to the punk scene downtown, which are the genres I was really interested in, and also jazz, salsa, disco, experimental... Hermes leaves nothing out.

He was a young kid from Queens during this time period and he mixes in a little of his own perspective on things at the time, and also weaving in everything else that was happening in the city at the time: the tough economic times, Gerald Ford telling the city to "drop dead," the graffiti artists, the big blackout and what everyone was doing when it happened, the rise in crime... It's all there.

It was so comprehensive, though, at times it was too much to absorb. I found myself skimming through the salsa and jazz sections in the beginning (jazz has never been my thing), but then found myself getting into the stories.

Great discography and filmography in the back. I'm going to keep it for reference material.
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Reading Progress

January 19, 2012 – Started Reading
January 19, 2012 – Shelved
March 5, 2012 – Finished Reading

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