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A GUARDIAN AND INDEPENDENT BEST MUSIC BOOK OF 2017. `At last an expert classicist gets to grips with Bob Dylan' Mary Beard `A poignant blend of memoir, literary analysis through a classical lens, musicology and, above all, love' Guardian When the Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to Bob Dylan in 2016, the literary world was up in arms. How could the world's most prestigious book prize be awarded to a famously cantankerous singer-songwriter in his seventies, who wouldn't even deign to make a victory speech? In Why Dylan Matters, Harvard professor Richard F. Thomas answers that question with magisterial erudition. A world expert on classical poetry, Thomas was initially ridiculed by his colleagues for teaching a course on Bob Dylan alongside his traditional seminars on Homer, Virgil and Ovid. Dylan's Nobel prize win brought him vindication, and he immediately found himself thrust into the limelight as a leading academic voice in all matters Dylanological. This witty, personal volume is a distillation of Thomas's famous course, and makes a compelling case for moving Dylan out of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and into the pantheon of classical poets. The most dazzlingly original and compelling Dylan book in decades, Why Dylan Matters will amaze and astound everyone from the first-time listener to the lifetime fan. You'll never think about Bob Dylan in the same way again.
Peter Gabriel rose to fame as the lead vocalist and flautist of the progressive rock group Genesis. After leaving Genesis, Gabriel went on to a successful solo career. His 1986 album, So, is his most commercially successful, and the album's biggest hit, Sledgehammer, won a record nine MTV Awards. He has also been involved in various humanitarian efforts and won numerous music awards throughout his career, including Brits and Grammies and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis in 2010. Includes hours of new interviews with key friends, musicians and aides. This new edition is fully updated.
2017 marks the 50th anniversary of what many think is the greatest Beatles album. This book is a new way of telling the album's story and is split into two distinct halves: A: The "A-side" is all about the Beatles, the music on the album, the recording process, how the disc was received at the time and how subsequently it has been acknowledged as one of the greatest albums ever recorded. B: The "B-side" looks at the state of the world in 1967. It covers the Summer of Love, anti-war protests, the Six-day War, the death of Che Guevara, the launch of Rolling Stone magazine, Jimi Hendrix's first UK tour as a solo artist - and many more events of global significance. Fascinating photographs and text build up a complete picture of the world as it was when one of the most famous albums of all time was released.
Has pop burnt itself out?
Paul Morley takes the reader on an epic drive through the history of music to find out. A succession of celebrities, geniuses and other protagonists led by Madonna, Kraftwerk, Brian Eno, Erik Satie, John Cage and Wittgenstein appear to give their points of view. Detours and sights along the way include Missy Elliot, Jarvis Cocker, Eminem, Human League, Radiohead, Lou Reed, "Now! That's What I Call Music," Ornette Coleman and the ghost of Elvis Presley.
A tell-all biography of the epic in-fighting of the Grateful Dead in the years following band leader Jerry Garcia's death in 1995 The Grateful Dead rose to greatness under the inspired leadership of guitarist Jerry Garcia, but the band very nearly died along with him. When Garcia passed away suddenly in August of 1995, the remaining band members experienced full crises of confidence and identity. So long defined by Garcia's vision for the group, the surviving "Core Four," as they came to be called, were reduced to conflicting agendas, strained relationships, and catastrophic business decisions that would leave the iconic band in shambles. Wrestling with how best to define their living legacy, the band made many attempts at restructuring, but it would take twenty years before relationships were mended enough for the Grateful Dead as fans remembered them to once again take the stage. Acclaimed music journalist and New York Timesbestselling author Joel Selvin was there for much of the turmoil following Garcia's death, and he'll offer a behind-the-scenes account of the ebbs and flows that occurred during the ensuing two decades. Plenty of books have been written about the rise of the Grateful Dead, but this final chapter of the band's history has never before been explored in detail. Culminating in the landmark tour bearing the same name, Fare Thee Wellcharts the arduous journey from Garcia's passing all the way up to the uneasy agreement between the Core Four that led to the series of shows celebrating the band's fiftieth anniversary and finally allowing for a proper, and joyous, sendoff of the group revered by so many.
Angelo Sindaco, a contributing photographer to Vice magazine, has been taking backstage pictures and live video footage at clubs since the 1990s. Ten years later, he is sitting on an unparalleled recent history of the indie rock scene, a virtual night out like no other. This is a book about the new rock-and-roll fever. This is a book about being young, and crazy for music, and for the moment's brightest stars. This is a book about the ritual of a rock concert, and it captures that spirit of celebration--its sound, sweat and raw energy--in conversely rigorous black-and-white. Backstage, in live performances, in portraits of the bands and their audiences, Sindaco catches the credibility and attitude of the new generation of stars in the genre that won't quit, showcasing underground legends including the Editors, Art Brut, Maximo Park, Animal Collective, The Cribs, Cazals and Baby Shambles from a stunningly intimate point of view. These are our youth culture's new pagan gods, and if you can't be there at the altar, Sindaco brings them to your doorstep. With a preface by Alan McGee, founder of the Creation and Poptones labels and the former manager of Oasis and the Libertines, and with text by Christian Zingales, the Editor-in-Chief of Blow Up magazine. Rock lives. Display copy available.
As heard on Radcliffe and Maconie, Danny Baker and Simon Mayo `Fascinating from start to finish' Simon Mayo, Radio 2 The age of the rock star, like the age of the cowboy, has passed. Like the cowboy, the idea of the rock star lives on in our imaginations. What did we see in them? Swagger. Recklessness. Sexual charisma. Damn-the-torpedoes self-belief. A certain way of carrying themselves. Good hair. Interesting shoes. Talent we wished we had. What did we want of them? To be larger than life but also like us. To live out their songs. To stay young forever. No wonder many didn't stay the course. In Uncommon People, David Hepworth zeroes in on defining moments and turning points in the lives of forty rock stars from 1955 to 1995, taking us on a journey to burst a hundred myths and create a hundred more. As this tribe of uniquely motivated nobodies went about turning themselves into the ultimate somebodies, they also shaped us, our real lives and our fantasies. Uncommon People isn't just their story. It's ours as well.
Guns N' Roses emerged from Los Angeles in the 1980s to become a global rock'n'roll phenomenon, selling in total more than 100 million albums. Three decades on, Guns N' Roses are once again headline news around the world - with the return of iconic guitarist Slash marking the end of his bitter 20-year feud with singer Axl Rose. When Guns N' Roses' debut album Appetite For Destruction was released in 1987, the band were so out of control that their record company stated: "They'll make it - if they live." And yet, somehow, they did. Appetite For Destruction became the biggest selling debut in the history of American music, and songs such as "Sweet Child O' Mine", "Welcome To The Jungle" and "Paradise City" became era-defining classics. Known as The Most Dangerous Band In The World, Guns N' Roses' success continued into the 1990s with the albums Use Your Illusion I and II, but by the end of that decade only singer Axl Rose remained from the original line up. This book follows the complete story of Guns N' Roses: the highs and lows, the triumphs and failures, the fights, the excess, and the great music that shook the world. Now, with Axl and Slash reunited - along with another member of the band's classic line-up, Duff McKagan - Guns N' Roses are set to make history once again with one of the biggest tours ever. The story continues...
A disciplined study that reveals the many contributions of Jews throughout the history of rock 'n' roll.
A raucous and vividly dishy memoir by the only woman on the masthead of Rolling Stone Magazine in the Sixties. A female Almost Famous. In 1971, Robin Green had an interview with Jann Wenner at the offices Rolling Stone Magazine. She had just moved to Berkley, California, a city that promised "Good Vibes All-a Time." Those days, job applications asked just one question, "What are your sun, moon and rising signs?" Green thought she was interviewing for clerical job like the other girls in the office, a "real job." Instead, Green was hired as a journalist. A brutally honest, intimate memoir of the first girl on the masthead of Rolling Stone magazine, The Only Girl chronicles the beginnings of Robin Green's career. In this voice-driven humorous careening adventure, Green spills stories of stalking the Grateful Dead with Annie Liebowitz, sparring with Dennis Hopper on a film set in the desert, scandalizing fans of David Cassidy and spending a legendary evening on a water bed in the dorm room of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. In the seventies, Green was there as Hunter S. Thompson crafted Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Now, she presents that tumultuous time in America, written with a distinctly gonzo female voice.
Affectionately known as `Koss', Paul Kossoff's playing touched people. It still does today, more than forty years after his sad and untimely death at the age of twenty-five. This authorised biography pays fitting tribute to a much-loved and widely admired musician whose influence and inspiration is still very evident. It's all here: Kossoff's musical childhood, his formative years with Black Cat Bones, forming Free at seventeen, that group's dizzying success, breakup, reforming and dissolution, the solo years, Back Street Crawler - the sessions, the tours and big concerts, the triumphs, the tragedies and the heartbreak - J.P. James takes the reader right there. Over four distinct sections, Kossoff's many guitars and the equipment he used to make them sing are fully documented; a brand-new detailed analysis of Kossoff's distinctive playing style and technique is presented for the first time; a broad overview of Kossoff's creative life draws on the voices of family, friends and fellow musicians; and finally, Kossoff's musical influences, approach to playing and his wider musical interests, hopes and dreams are explored - all drawn from his own words. Cramming so much into his short years, Paul Kossoff left a rich musical legacy, and he is indeed All Right Now. Thoroughly researched and sensitively written, given often in Kossoff's own words and packed with anecdotes from those who were there, musicians and fans alike will enjoy this authoritative and comprehensive biography.
Transformer, Lou Reed's most enduringly popular album, is described with varying labels: it's often called a glam rock album, a proto-punk album, a commercial breakthrough for Lou Reed, and an album about being gay. And yet, it doesn't neatly fit into any of these descriptors. Buried underneath the radio-friendly exterior lie coded confessions of the subversive, wounded intelligence that gives this album its staying power as a work of art. Here Lou Reed managed to make a fun, accessible rock'n'roll record that is also a troubled meditation on the ambiguities-sexual, musical and otherwise-that defined his public persona and helped make him one of the most fascinating and influential figures in rock history. Through close listening and personal reflections, songwriter Ezra Furman explores Reed's and Transformer's unstable identities, and the secrets the songs challenge us to uncover.
This is the story of how the Verve rose from obscurity in Wigan, sank into nothingness then rose again t o the passionate sound of Bitter Sweet Symphony. It is a tal e of contradictions, obsessions and pure rock''n''roll. '
"I never wanted to be a big star. I just wanted to be the biggest at what I do! Powerful, unstoppable, heavy - when that word still meant something good!" - Meat Loaf, as told to Mick Wall Everything in the story of Meat Loaf is big. From the place he was born (Texas); to the family he was born into (his father weighed 22 stone, his uncle weighed over 40 stone, while Meat Loaf himself weighed 17 stone before he was even in his teens); to the sound he made (a colossal collision between Richard Wagner, Phil Spector and Bruce Springsteen); and of course the records he sold - nearly 50 million in Britain and America alone. Now, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Bat Out of Hell, the album that gave rise to Meat Loaf's astonishing career, and the premiere of Bat Out Of Hell: The Musical, Mick Wall, who has interviewed Meat Loaf on numerous occasions throughout his career, pulls back the curtains to reveal the soft-hearted soul behind the larger-than-life character he created for himself. From a tumultuous childhood with an alcoholic father to the relentless abusive bullying from classmates and their parents alike, nobody could have predicted Meat Loaf's meteoric rise to fame. But when the messianic rock opera Bat Out of Hell was released in 1977, it became one of the biggest albums of all time, selling over 45 million copies worldwide to date. Its release marked the start of a rollercoaster ride of incredible highs and seemingly career-ending lows. By the 80s, Meat Loaf was battling with drug and alcohol addiction and escalating money problems that would eventually lead to a nervous breakdown. But just when it seemed like it was all over, the astonishing success of Bat Out of Hell II and the mega-hit 'I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)' marked an extraordinary new wave of success. Now, Mick Wall will bring this extraordinary story up to date, drawing on the hours he spent with Meat Loaf, both in interviews and on tour, as well as offering up a unique insight from those who have known him best.
Chameleon, entertainer, actor, and iconoclast. It would be difficult to think of a rock star who has had a more varied and influential career than David Bowie and the list of bands and musicians who have been influenced by Bowie reads like an A to Z of popular music. But Bowie himself has skillfully and consistently maintained his credibility as the most innovative performer of his generation by staying one jump ahead of the many who seek to imitate him. Classic Tracks: David Bowie explores this icon in detail. While his many artistic incarnations are known, few know David Bowie the man, and as this book will show, through its exploration of his diverse body of work, the only real constant factors in his career are his incredible voice, his imagination and his supreme talent for artistic reincarnation. Every track of each of his albums is examined in great detail, giving you an insight to both the music, and the enigmatic man who created it.
When the world's greatest pop band played their final public concert, in January 1969, there were no tickets or posters printed. When John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr emerged at lunchtime from the headquarters of their own company, Apple, five storeys above London's Savile Row, only a select group of people knew what the hell was happening.The rooftop concert was one of the Beatles' most spontaneous acts. Beatles on the Roof studies the rooftop concert in penetrating detail, uncovering new truths and debunking old myths about the event. Nobody knew it yet - not even the band - but this was the last time they would play live to the public.
Born in 1948 into a family of ministers in Kingston, Jamaica, the statuesque and strikingly beautiful Grace Jones lived with her family in Syracuse, NY, before launching a career as a model in New York City. Gaining fame as the cover girl for such publications as Vogue and Elle, Jones's flamboyant look proved to be a hit on the New York City nightclub circuit and she became a darling of the disco scene, which led to a recording contract and a substantial following among gay men. With her sexually charged, outrageous live shows, Grace soon earned the title of 'Queen of the Gay Discos.' When she moved to Paris in 1970, the French fashion scene embraced her unusual, androgynous looks and, in addition to cover work, she dominated the runways of designers like Yves St. Laurent and befriended the likes of Giorgio Armani and Karl Lagerfeld. While there, she shared an apartment with Jerry Hall and Jessica Lange and became artist Jean-Paul Goude's muse - he also fathered her son Paulo. (Grace was married twice - to a producer and a bodyguard - and she dated Swedish actor Dolph Lundgren for four years.) But with the dawn of the '80s came a massive anti-disco movement across the U.S., leading to Grace Jones focusing on more new wave and experimental-based work, putting her 21/2 octave voice to good use. She is as known for her unique look as she is for her music and has influenced the likes of Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Annie Lennox. In the book, Grace takes us on a journey from her religious upbringing in Jamaica to her heyday in Paris and New York in the 70s and 80s, all the way to present-day London, where she is working on a new album.
The definitive account of Whitney Houston's astonishing life, ground-breaking career and tragic death - complete with never-before-seen photographs - from the only one who truly knows the story behind the headlines: her mother, Cissy Houston. Cissy has said little publicly about Whitney's heart-breaking death. Now, for the first time, she opens up and shares the unbelievable story of her daughter's life, as well as her own, and addresses Whitney's brightest and darkest moments. A legendary Grammy Award-winning gospel singer in her own right, Cissy Houston shows how the lessons from her own musical journey helped to shape Whitney's career - from teaching Whitney to use her voice, to keeping her level-headed throughout her meteoric rise to fame. With candour and respect, she sets the record straight about Whitney, exploring both her turbulent marriage and her misunderstood struggles with drug abuse. Cissy goes behind the tabloid headlines to show fans around the world the true, human side of a strong, successful - yet flawed - musical icon who died much too young. Includes a Foreword by Dionne Warwick.
`It s amazing that this style came to be. Can you imagine being a struggling musician back then? It must take an incredible amount of restraint to play that gently. Actor/comedian Fred Armisen, from his foreword to this book. Just what is `yacht rock, you ask? Perhaps the easiest description is: music that would not sound out of place being played while carousing aboard a yacht back in the good old days. But these songs were also some of the top pop gems of the 70s and 80s. And while some associate yacht rock s biggest songs with one-hit wonder artists, several of rock s most renowned artists fall under this category, too including Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, Steely Dan, Hall and Oates, The Doobie Brothers, Toto, and more. By the early twenty-first century, yacht rock seemed to have become extinct until a comedic video series, simply titled Yacht Rock, went viral and introduced captain s hats and blazers to a whole new generation as well as the emergence of a popular cover band, the Yacht Rock Revue, and of course, Jimmy Fallon s on-air admiration of all things yacht rock. Now, yacht rock is one of the most celebrated `yesteryear styles of pop music, and has resonated with a new generation of musicians (including the Fred Armisen/Bill Hader led Blue Jean Committee and soul/funk/electronica crossover act Thundercat). But despite all the hoopla, there has never been a book that told the entire story of the genre. Until now. Featuring interviews with many of the heavy hitters of the genre, including John Oates, Kenny Loggins, and Don Felder, The Yacht Rock Book leaves no sail unturned. This is the definitive story of the yacht rock s creation, rise, chart-smashing success, fall, and stunning rebirth.
A GUARDIAN AND CHOICE BOOK OF THE YEAR 'A walk on the wild side with the alt-rock pioneer ' GQ 'DeCurtis is well placed to trace Reed's five-decade career, drawing on insider knowledge but skilfully balancing it with detailed research and fascinating interviews' Mojo Magazine As lead singer and songwriter for the Velvet Underground and a renowned solo artist, Lou Reed invented alternative rock. His music, at once the height of sanctity and perversity, transcended a genre, speaking to millions of listeners, inspiring a new generation of musicians, and forever changing the way we think of that iconic era of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. Throughout his five-decade career, Reed embodied artistic self-awareness and captured the beauty, paranoia, and vivacity of his time into an array of hit songs, experimental albums, and a larger-than-life persona. With such masterpieces as 'Sweet Jane' and 'Walk on the Wild Side', Reed exerted an influence on popular music rivaled only by the likes of Bob Dylan and the Beatles and is recognized to this day as one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century. Now, just a few years after Reed's death, comes the thrilling, provocative story of his complex life. An acclaimed Rolling Stone contributor, Anthony DeCurtis interviewed Reed extensively and knew him well. With unparalleled access to Reed's friends, family, and dozens of other intimate relations, DeCurtis brings Reed's story compellingly alive and deepens our understanding of his indelible music. We travel deep into the underground artist clubs, listen along in the studio as the Velvet Underground record their signature work, and revel in Reed's relationship with legendaries like Andy Warhol, Patti Smith, and David Bowie. Insightful, revelatory, and intimate, Lou Reed is a gripping tribute to a quintessential American icon.
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