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I have been seeking P.F. Sloan, but no one knows where he's gone. -from the song 'P.F. Sloan' by Jimmy Webb. Absolutely none of 'em could beat ol' P.F. -Lester Bangs, Rolling Stone magazine. What's Exactly The Matter With Me? is a first-person account of an extraordinary life and pilgrimage through the most fascinating years of American and English musical culture. This is a story of dreams, success, destruction, and miraculous resurrection; the incredible, heartbreaking, and ultimately inspiring story of one of the greatest songwriters in American music-and also one of the most elusive and mysterious. P.F. Sloan was one of the most prolific and influential geniuses to emerge from the golden age of the 60s, and a pioneer of folk-rock. Between 1965 and 1967, 150 of his songs were recorded by major acts, and 45 of those made the charts. No other songwriter has ever come close to achieving so great number of hits in such a short period of time. From his little studio at Dunhill Records, P.F. Sloan was a veritable hit-machine, writing for The Mamas and The Papas (that's Sloan's infectious guitar lick on 'California Dreamin"), Jan and Dean (the falsetto you hear on most of their hits is Sloan's), Barry McGuire (the brilliant and controversial 'Eve Of Destruction'), Johnny Rivers ('Secret Agent Man'), The Turtles, The Fifth Dimension, and many, many more. He wrote so many songs, in fact, that Dunhill sold him as seven different acts. Unsurprisingly, he wound up exhausted and broken, thus beginning a long journey into the wilderness-a journey of UFOs and psychiatric hospitals, healing and survival, and, ultimately, redemption.
We are children of the world is an original song for unison or 2-part upper voices and piano, with words and music by Lin Marsh. This uplifting, multilingual composition was commissioned by the University of Oxford to help celebrate the many languages spoken in the UK's schools and communities. The piece features folk songs in seven different languages: Arabic, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Swahili and Urdu, as well as English.
2013 marks the 50th anniversary of Beatlemania, with their first number one, and their first album. From the time they were formed in 1962, through to their break-up eight years later, the Beatles were associated with a multitude of items, places and people. This illustrated collection focuses on 100 of the most important of those 'objects' - which heralded landmark moments, career changing achievements or curious episodes in the life of a Beatle. From tickets to records, instruments to memorabilia, clothes and the stories and histories behind them - including the drum kit Ringo purchased in 1960 and a copy of 'My Bonnie' (the band's first professional recording) and a ticket for Candlestick Park (the Fab Four's last concert); here are 100 amazing objects that tell the story of the Beatles as never before.
Jet Harris was a member of probably the most successful instrumental band in the world, The Shadows. The good, bad and sad days are all here. The affair that Cliff Richard had with his wife Carol, which led to his lifelong fight against alcoholism, and inevitably, his fall from grace. Affectionately known as 'The Godfather' of the Electric Bass Guitar, he enjoyed both the fame and notoriety that went with the job, finally finding an inner peace in his later years on the Isle of Wight. A musical legend...
Rich Cohen enters the Stones epic as a young journalist on the road with the band and quickly falls under their sway - privy to the jokes, the camaraderie, the bitchiness, the hard living. Inspired by a lifelong appreciation of the music that borders on obsession, Cohen's chronicle of the band is informed by the rigorous views of a kid who grew up on the music and for whom the Stones will always be the greatest rock 'n' roll band of all time. This is a non-fiction book that reads like a novel filled with the greatest musicians, agents and artists of the most indelible age in pop culture. It's a book only Rich, with his unique access, experience and love of the band could write.
In the late 80s, a group of high school dropouts, drug dealers, and ex-cons spoke out against racial injustice and police brutality. They did it through hip-hop. Their explosive popularity put their Los Angeles neighborhood of Compton on the map. They gave a voice to disenfranchised African Americans across the country. And they quickly redefined pop culture across the world. Their names remain as popular as ever--Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac Shakur. Music journalist Ben Westhoff shows how this group of artists shifted the balance of hip-hop from New York to Los Angeles. He shows how N.W.A.'s shocking success lead to rivalries between members, record labels, and eventually an all-out war between East Coast and West Coast rappers. In the process, hip-hop burst into mainstream America at a time of immense social change, and became the most dominant musical movement of the last thirty years. At gangsta rap's peak, two of its biggest names--Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls--would be murdered, and the surviving superstars would have to make peace before their music collapsed in its own violence. Exhaustively reported and masterfully written, ORIGINAL GANGSTAS is a monumental work of music history that will offer news-making stories about a legendary group of artists, some living, some dead.
He's made $100 million, is the hottest DJ in the world and has worked with the pop royalty - but who is Calvin Harris? And how did he go from stacking shelves in his local supermarket to such astonishing global success? He's come a long way from making music in his bedroom in his native Dumfries but since bursting onto the music scene with 'Acceptable in the 80s' in 2007, he has broken Michael Jackson's record for most hits from one album, become the first British artist to have one billion plays on Spotify and turned hit-maker for stars like Kylie Minogue, Rihanna, Cheryl Cole and Dizzee Rascal. This is the astonishing story of Calvin Harris's journey from struggling musician to international star, revealing what makes him tick, why he has the Midas touch, how he went from being a lanky kid with little self-confidence to a modelling deal with Armani and how he became a global megastar.
Seven years after their unprecedented arrival in the UK, The Kings of Leon are finally making a name for themselves overseas, thanks to a series of hit albums and singles (peaking with 2008's anthemic "Sex on Fire") and a headline slot at Glastonbury in 2008 then Reading in '09 topped off with a Grammy Award for "Use Somebody". No longer indulging in the drugs which were threatening to come between them, the band are older, wiser and in a better position to reflect in their rise to glory. Their's is a unique tale, from their youth as touring musicians in their preacher father's church to their discovery by the American music industry and beyond. Joel McIver's new book, the first ever Kings of Leon biography, digs deep into their history to reveal a band like no other.
***2015 BOOKS OF THE YEAR - THE TIMES, UNCUT, ROUGH TRADE*** ***SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2015 GORDON BURN PRIZE*** Twenty years ago every town had one. From Bangor to Bradford, Bognor Regis to Bournemouth, independent record shops could be found on every High Street and many back streets, across the length and breadth of the land. But as the principal format for music switched from vinyl to CD, these places - synonymous with the thrill of discovery experienced by every serious fan and collector - started to disappear. Vinyl has recovered but its natural environment - the record store - is a rare and precious beast. Richard King's book about several years spent working in Bristol's Revolver, is a clear-eyed yet romantic account of life behind the counter in a business run from the heart not the head with a tendency towards dysfunction. In ten chapters of elegiac prose, King brings this lost environment back to life: the smells, the people, and of course the sounds. We see the landscape of a young person's taste come into view with magnificent passages on CAN, Captain Beefheart, Augustus Pablo, Rod Stewart, Sun Ra Arkestra and the free jazz of Cornelius Cardew. And we see the development of Bristol as one of the key musical cities, from its roots sound systems, through the parties run by the Wild Bunch collective, to the emergence of Massive Attack. Original Rockers evokes a golden moment about to turn to dust in the history of British record stores and celebrates the abandon with which we hear music, and it does so magically, without recourse to nostalgia.
Detroit 67 is the story of Motor City in the year that changed everything. Twelve chapters take you on a turbulent year-long journey through the drama and chaos that ripped through the city in 1967 and tore it apart in personal, political and interracial disputes. It is the story of Motown, the break-up of The Supremes and the damaging disputes at the heart of the most successful African-American music label ever. Set against a backdrop of urban riots, escalating war in Vietnam and police corruption, the book weaves its way through a year when soul music came of age and the underground counterculture flourished. LSD arrived in the city with hallucinogenic power and local guitar band MC5 - self-styled holy barbarians of rock - went to war with mainstream America. A summer of street-level rebellion turned Detroit into one of the most notorious cities on earth, known for its unique creativity, its unpredictability and self-lacerating crime rates. The year 1967 ended in social meltdown, rancour and intense legal warfare as the complex threads that held Detroit together finally unravelled. Features the true story of DETROIT, now a major motion picture.
From a Los Angeles hospital bed, equipped with little more than a laptop and a stack of records, James "J Dilla" Yancey crafted a set of tracks that would forever change the way beatmakers viewed their artform. The songs on "Donuts "are not hip hop music as "hip hop music" is typically defined; they careen and crash into each other, in one moment noisy and abrasive, gorgeous and heartbreaking the next. The samples and melodies tell the story of a man coming to terms with his declining health, a final love letter to the family and friends he was leaving behind. As a prolific producer with a voracious appetite for the history and mechanics of the music he loved, J Dilla knew the records that went into constructing "Donuts "inside and out. He could have taken them all and made a much different, more accessible album. If the widely accepted view is that his final work is a record about dying, the question becomes why did he make this record about dying?Drawing from philosophy, critical theory and musicology, as well as Dilla's own musical catalogue, Jordan Ferguson shows that the contradictory, irascible and confrontational music found on "Donuts "is as much a result of an artist's declining health as it is an example of what scholars call "late style," placing the album in a musical tradition that stretches back centuries.
Alesha Dixon has one of the most incredible stories of any star, yet she remains an enigma. Behind the fabulous smile and signature laugh is a private woman whose childhood was blighted by domestic violence, poverty and a lack of confidence. As a beautiful young woman, she has struggled to overcome professional failure and the devastating effect of her husband's infidelity. The UK's leading celebrity biographer Sean Smith has travelled to her home town to uncover the truth about her upbringing, her unconditional love for her mother, her loyalty to her extended family, her feud with her elder brother and her unsettled relationship with her Jamaican father, who left home for good when she was four. He discovers a sensitive and secretive woman, who managed to keep her long-term relationship with a member of one of the country's best-known boy bands hidden from public scrutiny. For the first time that love affair can now be revealed. He examines the circumstances that led to the break-up of her marriage to rapper MC Harvey and the effect that unhappy time has had on her life. Aleshadescribes a roller-coaster career that began when she was 'discovered' at a dance class in Central London. She achieved huge early success with Mis-Teeq, who had seven consecutive top ten hits before their record label went bust. Her subsequent solo career stalled when she was dropped by Polydor before her debut album was even released, but she turned things around with a spectacular victory on Strictly Come Dancing. Sean Smith lays bare her subsequent TV career, including the row over her appointment as a judge on the programme, as well as her triumphant switch to Britain's Got Talentin 2012. Aleshais the dramatic and uplifting account of her journey from a humble start in life and how she overcame all obstacles in her way to become an inspiration to women everywhere.
A definitive collection of photographs of the legendary and influential band New Order. New Order remains one of the most popular bands of the last half century. Founded in the dying years of punk and disco, and combining elements of post-punk, new wave, and electronic dance music, New Order was responsible for some of the biggest hits of the era and is one of few bands to have achieved mainstream success while retaining cult status. Having been the most trusted photographer of Joy Division in the 1970s, Kevin Cummins was uniquely placed to document the rise and fall of New Order, from their formation in 1980 to their split in 1993. From underground beginnings as the flagship group of Factory Records in Manchester to grandstand tours around Europe and America, Cummins captured the band in every light, from the intimacy of the studio to the frenetic energy of live performance. Collected here for the first time are more than a hundred photographs reflecting over a decade of New Order. Prefaced by a selection of rarely seen ephemera, conversations with the band members, and an introduction from Douglas Coupland, this is a stunning celebration of a band whose influence on music and fashion is still palpable today.
Evening Standard Book of the Year. Observer Book of the Year. Guardian Book of the Year. Sunday Times Book of the Year. Telegraph Book of the Year. New Statesman Book of the Year. Herald Book of the Year. Mojo Book of the Year. Brett Anderson came from a world impossibly distant from rock star success, and in Coal Black Mornings he traces the journey that took him from a childhood as 'a snotty, sniffy, slightly maudlin sort of boy raised on Salad Cream and milky tea and cheap meat' to becoming founder and lead singer of Suede. Anderson grew up in Hayward's Heath on the grubby fringes of the Home Counties. As a teenager he clashed with his eccentric taxi-driving father (who would parade around their council house dressed as Lawrence of Arabia, air-conducting his favourite composers) and adored his beautiful, artistic mother. He brilliantly evokes the seventies, the suffocating discomfort of a very English kind of poverty and the burning need for escape that it breeds. Anderson charts the shabby romance of creativity as he travelled the tube in search of inspiration, fuelled by Marmite and nicotine, and Suede's rise from rehearsals in bedrooms, squats and pubs. And he catalogues the intense relationships that make and break bands as well as the devastating loss of his mother. Coal Black Mornings is profoundly moving, funny and intense - a book which stands alongside the most emotionally truthful of personal stories.
A rising hotshot in the cinema business loses and then rediscovers his spirituality along the way to making history with David Bowie. In the autumn of 2003 author Marc John organised a live satellite broadcast of a specially produced David Bowie concert which was shown exclusively in cinemas around the world. This marked the first time ever that a live event had been beamed to cinemas world-wide, and reflects the coming of 'digital cinema', which is seeing the cinema industry steadily adopt satellite dishes, hard drives and digital projectors to diversify cinema programming to include live music, sport, interactivity and video games, for the first time in cinemas 100 year old history. This book goes revealingly behind the scenes as this major, digital transition takes place, culminating with the fast paced, high flying experience of beaming David Bowie to tens of thousand of fans across four continents in sold out, rocking cinemas. But at what price to the authors spiritual direction did this historic landmark and career height cost? As an aspiring actor/playwright in New York in his teenage years, a former political candidate back home in England in his 20s and a guerrilla moviemaker whose low budget digital video experiments brought him into the executive ranks of Odeon, the UKs biggest cinema chain, the author discovered, through many improbable adventures leading up to the Bowie gig, the journey in life that we are all on. And this book is as much about the change within as it is about the change around us as the digital age gathers pace in transforming every area of our work and lives.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Memphis, Tennessee, was the launch pad of musical pioneers such as Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Al Green and Isaac Hayes, and by 1968 was a city synonymous with soul music. It was a deeply segregated city, ill at ease with the modern world and yet to adjust to the era of civil rights and racial integration. Stax Records offered an escape from the turmoil of the real world for many soul and blues musicians, with much of the music created there becoming the soundtrack to the civil rights movements. The book opens with the death of the city's most famous recording artist, Otis Redding, who died in a plane crash in the final days of 1967, and then follows the fortunes of Redding's label, Stax/Volt Records, as its fortunes fall and rise again. But, as the tense year unfolds, the city dominates world headlines for the worst of reasons: the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King.
Jeff Beck is one of the greatest electric guitarists Britain has ever produced. Dave Thompson presents an in-depth analysis of the short-lived Jeff Beck Group of the late 1960s, featuring interviews with Beck himself and other bandmates.
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