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In 2003, Pharrell Williams was responsible for (by performing or producing) 43 per cent of all the music played on radio across the USA, and 20 per cent in the UK. His prolific and varied collaborations with scores of the best-known musicians of the twenty-first century have earned Pharrell millions of radio plays, as well as album sales, songwriter credits and dollars. In 2013-14 alone, Pharrell has enjoyed two million-selling singles (in the same month, unbelievably), for the tracks 'Get Lucky' and 'Happy' - the latter earning an Oscar nomination for Best Song. Since 2001, Pharrell has established himself as a respected, and ambitious, musician, composer, fashion designer, businessman, charity-owner and 'universalist', whose star is showing no signs of falling back down to earth.
In SCAR TISSUE Anthony Kiedis, charismatic and highly articulate frontman of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, recounts his remarkable life story, and the history of the band itself. Raised in the Midwest, he moved to LA aged eleven to live with his father Blackie, purveyor of pills, pot, and cocaine to the Hollywood elite. After a brief child-acting career, Kiedis dropped out of U.C.L.A. and plunged headfirst into the demimonde of the L.A. underground music scene. He formed the band with three schoolfriends - and found his life's purpose. Crisscrossing the country, the Chili Peppers were musical innovators and influenced a whole generation of musicians.;But there's a price to pay for both success and excess and in SCAR TISSUE, Kiedis writes candidly of the overdose death of his soul mate and band mate, Hillel Slovak, and his own ongoing struggle with an addiction to drugs.;SCAR TISSUE far transcends the typical rock biography, because Anthony Kiedis is anything but a typical rock star. It is instead a compelling story of dedication and debauchery, of intrigue and integrity, of recklessness and redemption.
Two acclaimed albums and an upcoming US tour - Joy Division had the world at their feet. Then, on the eve of that tour and the beginning of what would surely have been an international success story, the band's troubled lead singer, Ian Curtis, killed himself. 'We didn't really think about it afterwards. It just sort of happened. One day we were Joy Division, then our lead singer killed himself and the next time we got together, we were a new band...'Peter Hook That band was New Order.Their distinctive sound - a fusion of post-punk and ground-breaking electronica - paved the way for the dance music explosion of the '80s and earned them the reputation as one of the most influential bands of their generation. Despite their success, the band has always been a collision the visionary and the volatile, and relationships have often been fraught with tensions. Peter Hook has written a no-holds-barred, comprehensive account of the band's entire history, packed with outrageous anecdotes and including every set list and tour itinerary and interspersed with 'geek facts' of every piece of electronic equipment used to forge the sound that changed the direction of popular music.
'The truest measure of the man we have thus far' - Mojo'Affectionate, impeccably researched biography' - Mail on Sunday'Head and shoulders above the usual rock hagiography' - Sunday TelegraphThe first biography to be written with the cooperation of the Lynott Estate, Cowboy Song is the definitive authorised account of the extraordinary life and career of Thin Lizzy guiding spirit, Philip Lynott.Leading music writer Graeme Thomson explores the fascinating contradictions between Lynott's unbridled rock star excesses and the shy, sensitive 'orphan' raised in working class Dublin. The mixed-race child of a Catholic teenager and a Guyanese stowaway, Lynott rose above daunting obstacles and wounding abandonments to become Ireland's first rock star. Cowboy Song examines his key musical alliances as well as the unique blend of cultural influences which informed Lynott's writing, connecting Ireland's rich reserves of music, myth and poetry to hard rock, progressive folk, punk, soul and New Wave.Published on the thirtieth anniversary of Lynott's death in January 1986, Thomson draws on scores of exclusive interviews with family, friends, band mates and collaborators. Cowboy Song is both the ultimate depiction of a multi-faceted rock icon, and an intimate portrait of a much-loved father, son and husband.
Our cultural darlings make music; we make them mythic. Every musical genre begets a community of listeners, performers, and critics, and quite often those categories are blurred. From the principled punk refusal of celebrity to hip-hop's celebration of its power, the music world is self-obsessed.
Stars Don't Stand Still in the Sky assembles scholars, music writers, industry workers, and musicians, who offer a range of opinions and experience of the nature of fame. The collection focuses on commerce, the crowd, performance and image, history and memory, and romance. Contributors discuss black women icons, love-songs, the legacy of the blues, the image of the tortured rock star, MTV, the politics of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the joy of line-dancing, and more.
The contributors are James Bernard, Anthony DeCurtis, Katherine Dieckmann, Chuck Eddy, Paul Gilroy, Daniel Glass, Lawrence Grossberg, Jessica Hagedorn, Kathleen Hanna, James Hannaham, Dave Hickey, Jon Langford, Greil Marcus, Angela McRobbie, Paul D. Miller (a.k.a. DJ Spooky), Barbara O'Dair, Ann Powers, Toshi Reagon, Simon Reynolds, Robert Santelli, Jon Savage, Danyel Smith, Arlene Stein, Deena Weinstein, and Ellen Willis.
Grand Funk Railroad were one of the biggest US rock 'n' roll acts of the 70s. Initially coming to prominence following the band's performance at the Atlanta Pop Festival, they sold millions of records and played to sold out arenas the world over. A hard working, no-nonsense power trio fronted by the energetic showmanship of Mark Farner, they were often cited as the loudest rock and roll band in the world. In an era dominated by progressive rock, Grand Funk faired badly with critics, but the public, especially in America, had no such problem in adopting them as their favourite band. This authorized biography details how the band rose to stardom and captured America's heart.
The punk band D.O.A., established in 1978, is considered one of the founders of hardcore punk, alongside such other seminal groups as Black Flag and Minor Threat. Their raw, melodic sound, which drew comparisons to The Clash and The Ramones, has always been matched by the band's acute political sensibility. Known for its uncompromising and outspoken anarchist viewpoints, D.O.A. has been active on behalf of many issues, including anti-racism, anti-globalization, freedom of speech, women's rights, and the environment. Its slogan, "Talk - Action = 0," refers to the importance of artists and others who need to "walk the walk" when it comes to their politics.
After more than thirty years, D.O.A. remains as active as ever, touring internationally (including a trip to China, the first punk band to do so) and recording regularly (their thirteenth studio album was released in 2010); their fan base now spans three generations. This large-format book is a sprawling visual history of the group by lead singer and guitarist Joe Keithley--made up of vintage photographs, posters, handwritten lyrics, and other various ephemera--that offers a visceral glimpse into the hardcore life of one of the hardest-working punk bands in the business.
Joe Keithley is the founder of D.O.A. His autobiography "I,
Shithead: A Life in Punk" was published by Arsenal Pulp Press in
2003; now in its third printing, it has been translated into
French, German, and Italian.
Pop music and rock music are often treated as separate genres but the distinction has always been blurred. Motti Regev argues that pop-rock is best understood as a single musical form defined by the use of electric and electronic instruments, amplification and related techniques. The history of pop-rock extends from the emergence of rock'n'roll in the 1950s to a variety of contemporary fashions and trends rock, punk, soul, funk, techno, hip hop, indie, metal, pop and many more. This book offers a highly original account of the emergence of pop-rock music as a global phenomenon in which Anglo-American and many other national and ethnic variants interact in complex ways. Pop-rock is analysed as a prime instance of 'aesthetic cosmopolitanism' that is, the gradual formation, in late modernity, of world culture as a single interconnected entity in which different social groupings around the world increasingly share common ground in their aesthetic perceptions, expressive forms and cultural practices. Drawing on a wide array of examples, this path-breaking book will be of great interest to students and scholars in cultural sociology, media and cultural studies as well as the study of popular music.
Approaching 50, Mark Radcliffe decided to write about his life and his love of music. But crucially, he only wanted to write about the most interesting days and not the dull ones in between. From "The Day My Mother Hit Me With a Golf Club" to "The Day I Met the Band Who Changed My Life," he charts the peaks and troughs of his life and career with wit, panache, and insight. He is very funny when recounting his days working at the BBC in the 1980s and 1990s (including how, when bored, he and his colleagues invented a fictional department), and on winning Stars in Their Eyes as Shane MacGowan. Yet amongst the laughter are more sober days, such as the day when he learned John Peel had died. A cracking read and a potted history of both one man's life and his love affair with music, "Thank You For the Days" is a uniquely entertaining memoir that will appeal not just to music fans but to connoisseurs of British popular culture.
As dazzling as the decade they dominated, The Beatles almost single-handedly created pop music as we know it. Today, their songs are cited as seminal influences by stars like Oasis and Blur. Eloquently giving voice to their time, The Beatles quite simply changed the world. Fully updated to include material from The Beatles Live at the BBC and the Anthology series, this acclaimed book goes back to the heart of The Beatles - their records. Drawing on a unique resource of knowledge and experience to 'read' their 241 tracks - chronologically from their first amateur efforts in 1957 to 'Real Love', their final 'reunion' recording in 1995 - Ian MacDonald has created an engrossing classic of popular criticism in which the extraordinary songs of The Beatles remain a central and continually surprising presence.
'Genuinely funny; indeed, the story will keep you entertained for a very long time' Sunday Times Joy Division changed the face of music. Godfathers of the enduring alternative scene, they reinvented rock in the post-punk era, creating a sound - dark, hypnotic, intense - that would influence U2, Morrissey, R.E.M., Radiohead and many others. This is the rollercoaster story of Joy Division - the friendships, fights, fall-outs; the rehearsals and recording sessions; the larger than life characters - told by the band's legendary bassist, Peter Hook. 'Hook has restored a flesh-and-blood rawness to what was becoming a standard tale. Few pop music books manage that' Guardian 'An honest, enthusiastic account . . . it's a window like no other into the reality of life in this most aloof of bands' Metro 'An immense account of Joy Division's rise . . . having read Hook's book, you'll feel like you were the fifth member of the band' GQ 'A bittersweet, profanity-filled recollection . . . if you like Joy Division, you really have to read it' Q Magazine 'Hook lifts the lid on the real Ian Curtis' NME 'He's frank, incredibly funny, and it isn't shy' Artrocker
In this original memoir following Billy Idol from his childhood in England to his fame at the height of the punk-pop revolution, the iconic superstar tells the real story behind the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll that he is famous for. A member of the punk rock revolution whose music crossed over into the pop mainstream during the 1980s, Billy Idol is a rock 'n' roll legend. Dancing With Myselfwill cover the events and the people who shaped his life, his music, and his career, including accounts of his childhood in England and the U.S., his year at Sussex University, his membership in the Bromley Contingent, his period spent hanging out with the Sex Pistols, his time in Siouxsie and the Banshees, Chelsea, and Generation X. Idol also tackles his successful solo career, which involved collaboration with Steve Stevens and, ultimately, some of the most influential, ground-breaking music videos ever seen on MTV. In Dancing With Myself, Idol renders detailed accounts of his life's highs and lows with the unapologetically in-your-face attitude and exuberance that made him famous. In part a survivor's story, but equally a very funny and always riveting account of one man's creative drive.
The story of a remarkable time and place: Los Angeles from the dawn of the singer-songwriter era in the mid-Sixties to the peak of The Eagles' success in the late Seventies.`Hotel California' is an epic tale of songs and sunshine, drugs and denim, genius and greed, and is the first in-depth account of the LA Canyons scene between 1967 and 1976.Hoskyn's history of this vital period in the development of today's great musical influences spans the rise of Joni Mitchell, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, The Eagles, James Taylor and Jackson Browne, and focuses on the brilliance and determination of David Geffen, the man who linked them all.Covering genius, drug-crazed disintegration, and the myriad relationships between these artists and the songs that issued from them, and drawing on extensive interviews with countless stars, singers, writers, managers, executives and scenesters, `Hotel California' is a pop-culture classic.
From 1958 to 1963, Neil Sedaka sold 25 million records - more than anyone except Elvis Presley. He thought he could do no wrong, but a year later he was all but off the charts, swept away by The Beatles and the British Invasion - a blow he never saw coming. The deejays stopped playing his records, and the public stopped buying them. For 12 agonizing years, Sedaka battled to get back on the charts-back to respectability. He tried everything: working with hip, young songwriters, playing on demo sessions, and even enduring the rough and tumble of working men's clubs in remote corners in the UK. Then, one magical night, he performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London. His new songs, including 'Solitaire,' were greeted with thunderous applause. Shortly thereafter, Elton John, the biggest rock'n'roll star of the decade, stopped by to see him and offered to sign Neil to his new label, Rocket Records. And that was it. In October 1974, 'Laughter In The Rain' showed up at number 95 on Billboard-Sedaka's first appearance on the charts in over a decade. Sixteen weeks later it reached number one, sealing one of the most amazing comebacks in music history. This vivid and authoritative book, written with full access to Sedaka and those closest to him, tells the absorbing story of how he overcame one obstacle after another to become the ultimate rock'n'roll survivor.
They were a phenomenon together and a fascination apart. The
Beatles as a group released 12 studio albums in 8 years. As solo
artists, however, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and
Ringo Starr have released a collective 70 LPs and 900 songs since
1968. Never before have the Fab 4 been covered like this:
masterpieces and missteps, triumphs and tragedies, moments of
clarity and serious lapses in judgment - they're all here. From
George Harrison's lush "Wonderwall" (the shot that launched the
post-Beatles era), to the Plastic Ono Band, Wings, the Traveling
Wilburys, The Firemen, Ringo's hit singles and All-Starr Bands and
more. An examination of their individual musical catalogues, their
film careers, and their personal lives far and away from the studio
are all covered for Beatles fans to enjoy.
Once-in-a-generation memoir of a rock legend - the No. 1 SUNDAY TIMES bestseller.With the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards created the riffs, the lyrics and the songs that roused the world, and over four decades he lived the original rock and roll life: taking the chances he wanted, speaking his mind, and making it all work in a way that no one before him had ever done.Now, at last, the man himself tells us the story of life in the crossfire hurricane. And what a life. Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records as a child in post-war Kent. Learning guitar and forming a band with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones. The Rolling Stones' first fame and success as a bad-boy band. The notorious Redlands drug bust and subsequent series of confrontations with a nervous establishment that led to his enduring image as outlaw and folk hero. Creating immortal riffs such as the ones in 'Jumping Jack Flash' and 'Street Fighting Man' and 'Honky Tonk Women'. Falling in love with Anita Pallenberg and the death of Brian Jones. Tax exile in France, wildfire tours of the US, 'Exile on Main Street' and 'Some Girls'. Ever increasing fame, isolation and addiction. Falling in love with Patti Hansen. Estrangement from Mick Jagger and subsequent reconciliation. Solo albums and performances with his band the Xpensive Winos. Marriage, family and the road that goes on for ever. In a voice that is uniquely and intimately his own, with the disarming honesty that has always been his trademark, Keith Richards brings us the essential life story of our times.
Someday I'm Gonna Rent This Town! is a peek behind the musical curtain, written with humor and truth, revealing the struggles and glories of life as a hit songwriter. From Eddie Rabbitt's, "I Love a Rainy Night," to Dr. Hook's, "When You're in Love With a Beautiful Woman," the creative process is laid bare for all to see. Welcome to the odd world of Even Stevens. How does a preacher's kid from a small farm town arrive in a beat-up mail truck with 40 bucks in his pocket, survive on the cold, lonesome streets of Nashville, and end up a BMI "Songwriter of the Century"? Even Stevens pulls back the curtain for a peek at the music business in his book Someday I'm Gonna Rent This Town!, revisiting the rejection, false promises, inspiring creative characters, and money-grubbing scum suckers he met along the way: the drugged up record label exec, the Tina Turner Â mistake," Clint Eastwood, and more. From his Â Hippy" days in San Francisco to creating hit songs, the world of an aspiring songwriter is laid bare for all to see. Welcome to the odd world of Even Stevens.
Prog. rockers Yes probably polarise opinions more than just about any other band. To their army of fans they are visionaries who have consistently raised the musical bar. To their detractors, they represent all that is bad about progressive rock - bloated, self-indulgent and not connected to the real world. In Time and a Word Martin Popoff collects interviews with the band members to give the story of Yes, in their own words. A great read for Yes fans, old and new.
How do you make a song a global smash hit that is guaranteed to make $millions? Who are the hit-manufacturers that can create a tune that is so catchy, so wildly addictive, that it sticks in the minds of millions of listeners? And who are the powerful few that have the capacity to transform, say, a young Barbadian woman called Robyn Rihanna Fenty into the global megastar that is Rihanna? In The Song Machine, John Seabrook dissects the workings of this machine, travelling the world to reveal its hidden formulas, and interview its geniuses - 'the hitmakers' - at the centre of it all. Hilarious and jaw-droppingly shocking, this book will change how you think and feel about music, as well as how you listen to it.
Finding the right rhyme can be excruciating, songwriters too often choosing ridiculous words in desperation. This is an invaluable resource for any budding songwriter or even an experienced lyricist with writer's block. Featuring tips on songwriting, the book focuses on the types of rhyme and assonance (end rhymes, last syllable rhymes, double rhymes, beginning rhymes, first syllable rhymes) for a range of popular styles. Arranged phonetically and drawn from a variety of musical 'dialects', from rock and pop to folk and hip-hop, this is the quick and simple guide you need.
The inside story of The Cure 'Beautifully realised' Irish Times Coming of age in Thatcher's Britain in the late 70s and early 80s was really tough, especially if you lived in Crawley. But against the grinding austerity, social unrest and suburban boredom, the spark of rebellion that was punk set alight three young men who would become one of the most revered and successful bands of their generation. The Cure. Cured is a memoir by Lol Tolhurst, one of the founding imaginary boys, who met Robert Smith when they were five. Lol threads the genesis of The Cure through his schoolboy years with Smith, the iconic leader of the group, and the band's most successful era in the 1980s. He takes us up to the present day, a riveting forty years since the band's inception. The band's journey to worldwide success is woven into a story not only of great highs and lows but also of love, friendship, pain, forgiveness and, ultimately, redemption on a beach in Hawaii. Cured highlights those parts of the creative journey that are not normally revealed to fans, incorporating many first-hand recollections around Lol's personal odyssey. From suburban London to the Mojave desert, Cured brings an acute eye for the times to bear on a lifelong friendship, with tales of addiction and despair along the way. Cured is the story of a timeless band and a life truly lived.
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