Once Upon a Nightwish: The Official Biography 1996-2006 Paperback – Dec 29 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
I was blissfully unaware of the Nightwish with Tarja Era when its drama took place between 1996 and 2005. I don't have the emotional baggage that comes with following and loving the band’s career and then living through the traumatic dismissal of Tarja after the Hartwall Concert in 2005. I like to think that that would afford me a measure of objectivity. Making this task difficult is that I have one main written secondary source of information for this era and it is far from objective.
The main source for propagating the myth of the Nightwish with Tarja era is the book by Mape Ollila, "Once Upon a Nightwish: The Official Biography, 1996-2006". Whenever I see 'Official' in a title the proverbial Red Flag goes up: so who decides what is 'official'? It was the culmination of an idea that was hatched in the fall of 2002. Mape Ollila had the task of writing a biography while the story continued to unfold day by day. As a result, the book has a dual personality—there are sections where the narrative is a chronology of events, more anecdotal in nature, fairly balanced and non-judgmental: clearly material collected and written from 2002 to 2004. In comparison, other sections speak to the biased and judgmental interpretive framework and underlying thesis of the book that took shape from 2005 to its completion for publication (and release on May 11, 2006). It is here we find out who determined what was 'official'.
Despite their protests to the contrary, Mape Ollila wrote with the authorization of Tuomas Holopainen (with the other band members providing entertaining anecdotes and general support to the leader).Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Its traces the life of my idols form the very beginning. You get a whole new perspective of Nightwish as you read it. Especially in the the first few chapters of the book.
Its wonderful to see how life takes you a wonderful course, if you follow your passion like how these wonderful individuals did.
The pictures were great, the quality of the book was very good.
I did have a feeling that towards the end the book was a bit rushed.
The tour stories were very nice to read... some of them sad and some funny.
One gets a very clear picture of Tarja's departure and only one person is responsible for it, and only one. not the guys or Tarja herself. I wish he never came into the picture of the band... its hard to think that Tarja is gone, and what the band would have become if she stayed on. I do love Annette though.
In the end you will end up liking Nightwish more that you do.
The book says nothing about post end of an era, which is fine, coz its the beginning of an new era, i assume it will come up in the next book!
There are additional stuff which are interesting to read like the band requirements, all the concerts of my idols, and more.
Its one of the best books i have ever read, one because i love Nightwish so much, and then for the content, the stories and the experiences.
A definite buy if you are a true Nightwish fan... like me... :)
The book's author, Mape Ollila, a Finnish journalist and music editor who has followed the band pretty much from their startup and traveled with them on tour a number of times, has done a great job with this book. It's not just a flattering write-up, Ollila knows the band, had free access to them, and it's very much an "official" bio. As well as band members, he's also interviewed industry and record label insiders, families and friends, the stage crew, peers in the music industry. You get a fairly complete picture of the band, it's members and it's history, in many cases it's a "warts and all" view, which is the exception rather than the rule for an officially sanctioned bio. That said, Ollila also comes to his own conclusions about various events within the band's history, and writes about the negatives as well as the positives.
The band s founder and songwriter Tuomas Holopainen comes across as a fascinating figure. Apart from their music and the very public firing of their lead singer, the incomparable Tarja Turunen, in 2005, I really didn't know much about the band until I read this book. Tuomas comes across right through the book as an outstanding musician whose life is centered on Nightwish. A really creative and totally driven person but throughout the book one thing that stands out is his inability to communicate with the rest of the band, which causes problem after problem. Tarja Turunen, the band's former lead singer, also comes across as another fascinating figure. Ollila documents her transformation from shy schoolgirl to superstar diva very effectively, as well as giving a very clear picture of the events that led up to her being very publicly fired from the band. Ollila pretty much blames Tarja's manager, whom she had married, for driving a wedge between Tarja and the rest of the band.
When Tarja was fired in 2005, it was a major news story in Finland - ten minutes of prime time news on TV with Tarja in tears for much of it. And then front page news for months on end in the mainstream press as well as in the music news. As another reviewer pointed out, the Tarja/Tuomas saga drew the kind of publicity in Finland that Britney Spears or Paris Hilton does here in North America. Even the Finnish prime minister was asked to weigh in on the split. Her replacement, Annette Olzen, IMHO just doesn't come across the way Tarja did. The book doesn't go much beyond this but all said, it's a great book about a great band! Well worth the read for anyone interested in Nightwish.
The book traces their beginning even before they became a band. Tuomas was a dreamy keyboard player who put together the whole thing. He loved Donald Duck and Disney Land and he writes his music in order to take you to another world. Empuu is the hyperactive guitar player who may have attention deficit disorder by the sound of things. Always energetic and yet alll overthe place and forgetting things.Sami was the bass player who partied too hard and Jukka was the drum player. Tarja the female singer was the bands figure head and the most fragile of all the band members.
All of the original members came from Kitee, Finland. At the time of Nightwish's birth the metal scene looked rather dismal and Finland never produced much by way of good musical bands. Nightwish changed all of that. All of them received their training from Plamen Dimov a Greek ,Bulgarian who emigrated to Finland. Tuamos was not only the creative force behind the band he is also the one who got it exposure. While touring with another band he let some music producer listen to the music and he liked . From their they made it into an Album called "Angels Fall First" it garnered a positive response even if it was still a bit rough..around the edges. They toured a lot of small places around Europe and the community of Kitee was instrumental in helping this band get off the ground. Ocean Born was their second effort. A totally new and improved sound and lots of new exposure. Wishmaster being the third took things to another level. Tuamas could be a taxing band leader. So taxing that he pushed Tarja until she cried. The Wishmaster tour also took them to South America where they would run into Marcelo, a somewhat devious promoter.
Things in the band have always been heavy. The book gives you glimpses behind the scenes of what rock band have to got through while traveling.Substandard living conditions, sometimes no showers, living on a bus for weeks on end and endless partying. The boys got crazy and Tarja being a classy girl was not cut out for such heavy antics. The business end of politics is often behind some of the disappointments as album releases and tours are always postponed or cancelled. Even at this stage there was tension between Tarja and the rest of the members. Part of it was that a refined woman cannot put up with excess party antics of uncouth males and number two touring is very stressful.
Later on when Tarja would marry Marcello and he became her manager. He would not only advocate for her needs but also interfere with the band business. He torpedoed deals by asking for too much money. Tarja also began thinking that she was doing the bands a favor by singing for them. In a sense it got to her head a bit. Thanks to her and Marcello they would cancel gigs and wwhole legs of a tour. Tarja hated touring. They would go on to make Century's Childe and then "Once" the album Once really broke through for them and it seems that Tarja and Marcello were holding things back.
In the end the band let her go and in Finland it generated major controversy. The book ends off with Nightwish looking for a replacement. End of review. At the end of it all they got Annette Olzson who lasted for two albums and then left mid tour of Imaginarium. Now it seems Floor Jansen is with them. I hope they can hold on to this one.
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