If you’ve listened to pop music over the past thirty years or so, you’ve probably heard a song produced by Nile Rodgers. His best-known work was done with his partner Bernard Edwards on Chic; their hits included “Everybody Dance,” “Le Freak,” and “I Want Your Love.” They also worked together with Sister Sledge, an act that is probably best known for “We Are Family,” which was produced by Rodgers and Edwards. On his own, Rodgers produced David Bowie’s Let’s Dance album, Madonna’s Like a Virgin album, as well as many other songs over the course of the 1980s.
Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny is an autobiography of Nile Rodgers’ life and career. I originally wrote a review of the book for the Amazon Vine Program after reading a proof copy of the book that I received through the program.
Over the course of this book, Rodgers talks about his childhood, his teenage years, his family, his rise to stardom, hitting rock bottom, and going all the way to the point he was at in his life when he sat down to write this book. As I read the book, I found myself riveted to the stories and anecdotes that Rodgers shared about his life; he has a gift with words that keeps the reader captivated. Rodgers had definitely lived quite an extraordinary life by the time he was fifteen years old, so reading about his childhood was just as exciting as reading about his music career. There were times when I found myself wanting to keep reading in order to learn more of his story, even though I had to put the book down to do other things.
One of the things I appreciated when I read this book was the tone of sincerity I sensed as I read the words on the pages. There was also a tone of positivity in the book; even at points in the story where Rodgers had had a falling out with someone, he doesn’t use the book to attack those individuals. He also handles difficult situations with a lot of sensitivity; in other words, don’t expect to see a lot of “tabloid” fodder stories.
I should mention that there is some swearing that appears in the book, for those readers who may be sensitive to such things. But the swearing usually appears in the context of dialogue in the book, so those words were probably said during the events that Rodgers recollects.
Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny is a very well-written autobiography. I would recommend it to readers who are fans of Nile Rodgers and his work, as well as music buffs and music listeners who enjoy learning the background for songs, artists, and others who have had an impact on music as we know it today.
I wrote this review after reading a pre-release copy of Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny that I received from the Amazon Vine program.