Tin Pan Alley
The Rise of Elton John
Drawing on first-hand accounts from, among others, his piano teacher, managers and collaborators such as Kiki Dee and Rick Wakeman, this book covers the formative years of Elton John’s musical career – from training at the Royal Academy of Music to his rise to fame in the early 1970s.
The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin's 1975 American Tour
The author of the bestselling biography of Led Zeppelin, Hammer of the Gods, Stephen Davis presents an up-close-and-personal account of his journey across America with the band at the peak of their success – on their 1975 tour. Slightly off-mint.
In Conversation With
A biography in the form of interviews, this book explores the life and music of the celebrated tenor, Jonas Kaufmann. In extended conversations with Thomas Voigt, Kaufmann discusses his work in opera, and particularly his relationship to Verdi and Wagner, the sacrifices of success, and the performance of lieder, which he describes as ‘the ne plus ultra of singing’. Foreword by Plácido Domingo.
Who Is That Man?
In Search of the Real Bob Dylan
The writer and founding editor of Rolling Stone, David Dalton describes his book as a quest ‘to look for Dylan’s poetic intention, to read Dylan’s biography by the flickering light of songs’. In a creative and critically acclaimed work, Dalton reveals the many personas of Dylan, from Folk Messiah singing Masters of War in 1963 to Living National Treasure. Slightly off-mint.
Tales of the Smiths
A Graphic Biography
Originally a daily online comic on a Greek website, created by the multidisciplinary artist Con Chrisoulis and published as a book in 2018, this is the story of the teenage years and musical influences of Morrissey, Marr, Rourke and Joyce in Manchester, culminating with the formation of The Smiths in 1982. Slightly off-mint.
Springsteen on Springsteen
Interviews Speeches Encounters
Spanning four decades, from an interview with Rock (US) magazine in 1973, less than a month after the release of Springsteen’s first album, to his keynote speech at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival in 2012, this is The Boss speaking to journalists or directly to his audience. Slightly off-mint.
Fryderyck Franciszek Chopin
Illustrated Lives of the Great Composers
Quoting extensively from contemporaries of Chopin, Ateş Orga traces the composer’s life and musical career from his birth in the village of Żelazowa Wola, west of Warsaw, in 1810, to his life as an emigré in Paris and his tragically early death in 1849. A selection of his music is performed by Idil Biret on the accompanying CD.
Illustrated Lives of the Great Composers
Following Mahler from his birth place in Kalist, Bohemia in 1860 to his early death in Vienna in 1911, Seckerson explores the vicissitudes of his reputation – internationally renowned as a conductor during his lifetime, Mahler was initially neglected as a composer after his death. The CD contains seven selections from the symphonies and three lieder.
Illustrated Lives of the Great Composers
Paul Holmes traces the musical career of the ‘father of modern music’, Achille-Claude Debussy (1862–1918), from his first teacher, herself once a student with Chopin, to his death in Paris during the city’s darkest days in March 1918. The CD comprises 18 pieces, including the great Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Illustrated Lives of the Great Composers
Born in 1756, into a family where he ‘lived and breathed in an atmosphere of music’, Mozart was to become music’s most famous prodigy. Drawing on contemporary accounts and the composer’s letters, Woodford presents the story of a prolific musical life, cut short at the age of 35. The 15-track CD includes excerpts from the operas, concertos and requiems.
A Personal Introduction to Western Classical Composers
Homi Dastoor, a lover of Western Classical music since his teens, compiled this introductory guide at the age of 90 to pass on a lifetime’s knowledge and reflection. He profiles 34 great composers, from Palestrina and Monteverdi to Rachmaninov and Stravinsky, assessing their importance in musical history and providing lists of their major compositions for the reader to explore. Foreword by Zubin Mehta. Off-mint.
Cobain on Cobain
Interviews and Encounters
In this compilation of interviews with music press and radio journalists, Kurt Cobain tells the story of Nirvana from February 1989 when, as the band’s front man, he described their music as having a ‘gloomy, vengeful element based on hatred’, to his final letter in April 1994 and its terrible message – ‘it’s better to burn out than to fade away’.
The Day I Was There
The Crystal Ballroom in Fargo, North Dakota in 1959; Monterey in 1963 (with Joan Baez ‘dragging my little vagabond out onto the stage’); the Royal Albert Hall; the Isle of Wight Festival; the Slow Train Coming recording session in Alabama, 1979 ... This book covers 20 years of Dylan performances as described by fellow musicians, record producers and fans who were there, along with set lists, photographs and quotations from rock music’s A list.
My Life of Sex, Drums, and Rock 'N' Roll
From Vanilla Fudge in the late 1960s, through Cactus, Beck, Bogert & Appice, the Rod Stewart Band and Ozzy Osbourne, the American rock drummer and percussionist Carmine Appice has played with some of the great rock bands and is one of the most influential heavy rock musicians. This is an outrageous memoir of his ‘crazy ride’. With a foreword by Rod Stewart.
Who Is That Man?
In Search of the Real Bob Dylan
The writer and founding editor of Rolling Stone, David Dalton describes his book as a quest ‘to look for Dylan’s poetic intention, to read Dylan’s biography by the flickering light of songs’. In a creative and critically acclaimed work, Dalton reveals the many personas of Dylan, from Folk Messiah singing Masters of War in 1963 to Living National Treasure. This paperback edition has a new foreword, Dalton’s ‘Letter to Bob’ on his 75th birthday. Slightly off-mint.
When Ziggy Played the Marquee
David Bowie's Last Performance as Ziggy Stardust
Most Bowie fans will be familiar with his ‘final’ Hammersmith Odeon performance in the Ziggy persona, which was filmed by DA Pennebaker. However his last portrayal of the role came a few months later in a Marquee show filmed for US television. Terry O’Neill, well known for photographing the glamorous and the good, captured the front and backstage action: his photos are accompanied here by reminiscences from fans who were there.
George Smart and Nineteenth-Century London Concert Life
In presenting a critical biography of Sir George Thomas Smart (1776–1867), the significant musical animateur, conductor and founder of the Philharmonic Society, Carnelley also provides a contextual history of London concerts in the early decades of the 19th century.
Inside the Music and the Masks
The rock journalist Ronin Ro chronicles the life and music of Prince Rogers Nelson (1958–2016), from teenage obscurity to his international fame, with huge hits such as Little Red Corvette and Purple Rain, and his creative contribution to the music industry. Slightly off-mint.
A Radiohead Compendium
Following the band from 1991 when, as On a Friday, they played the Jericho Tavern in Oxford and Ronan Munro wrote about it for the local music paper Curfew, to a Times Literary Supplement article in May 2016, this book is a compilation of interviews and articles on Radiohead, including reviews of the albums from Pablo Honey to the digitally released The King of Limbs and Thom Yorke’s work with Atoms for Peace.
Led Zeppelin were together for twelve years, from 1968 to the death of John Bonham, the band’s drummer, in 1980, but their reputation stands as one of the most successful and influential bands in rock music – and Stairway to Heaven lives on. This unofficial history of the band is illustrated with over 80 photographs, mostly of Led Zeppelin onstage.
The Faces and the Masks
Judith Chernaik describes Robert Schumann (1810–1856) as a key figure in Romanticism: ‘a true Romantic in his embrace of poetry and feeling, his love of emotional extremes, his intermingling of life and art’. In this groundbreaking biography, she traces the composer’s life and musical career, from his provincial, middle-class upbringing to his tragically early death, and draws on the medical records kept by Schumann’s doctor to shed light on the composer’s final illness in the Endenich asylum.
I Ran With the Gang
My Life In and Out of the Bay City Rollers
The bass player in the tartan-clad pop sensation from Edinburgh, Alan Longmuir was the first to tire of the endless touring and screaming teenagers and leave the band. His biography describes how the Rollers got to the top and gives his views on the acrimonious bust-ups and financial wranglings that followed.
I Am Brian Wilson
One of three brothers and a cousin who formed The Beach Boys in the early 1960s, Brian Wilson emerged as the leading creative force of the group. This autobiography explores the influences that nurtured his talent and the productive years of creativity, before his struggles with mental illness and drugs began, as well as his rehabilitation since the 1990s and the completion of his legendary abandoned album, Smile. Slightly off-mint.
Don't You Leave Me Here
Born in 1947, Wilko Johnson read English at university, hit the hippie trail to Afghanistan and taught Shakespeare in a secondary school before becoming Dr Feelgood’s mesmerizing guitarist in the 1970s. His candid and often funny memoir tells his story from first love in Canvey Island, through rock stardom, to not dying with cancer.
Bob Marley and the Wailers
The Ultimate Illustrated History
Bob Marley’s musical heroes growing up in Jamaica in the 1950s and ’60s were not the local calypso singers but black American vocal groups, such as the Drifters. His later transformation of Jamaican musical styles into reggae and his resulting rise to international fame are described in this celebration volume, illustrated with archive photographs, concert posters, record labels and other Marley ephemera. Slightly off-mint.
The Extraordinary Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939–45
First published in 1946 Wladyslaw Szpilman’s account of his survival in the Warsaw Ghetto inspired the Oscar-winning film The Pianist. Reprinted here with diary extracts by the German officer who saved him, it offers a picture of the claustrophobia and terror of ghetto life.
David Matthews, the fellow-composer who worked for several years as Benjamin Britten’s assistant, combines an account of the great musician’s life with comments on works ranging from Peter Grimes and the War Requiem to pieces written while their composer was still at school. Revised edition.
The Essential Interviews
From street poet in 1962 to international celebrity performing an evening of nostalgie at the Palais de Congrès in Paris, 2009, this volume covers Bob Dylan’s career in 34 interviews, including conversations with Rolling Stone journalists, with Robert Shelton during the documentary No Direction Home, with Sam Shepard for Esquire and with many others who braved Dylan’s warning, ‘Don’t ask me nothin’ about nothin’/I might just tell you the truth’.
A Lonely Life
Growing up in a humble shack in America’s poorest state, Elvis Presley dreamed that success would free him from poverty. So how did he become dependent on bank loans even after achieving huge worldwide fame, and why did he despise his own movies and songs, even fearing that he would be forgotten after his death? This biography focuses on identifying the origins of the contradictions and frailties that lay behind Elvis’s charming, confident onstage persona. Slightly off-mint.
The Rolling Stones All The Songs
The Story Behind Every Track
Keith Richards claims he wrote '(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction' in his sleep, only discovering the now-familiar riff when he listened to a cassette tape that had been accidentally left running. The writing and recording of all 340 of the Stones’ tracks are explored in this compendium, which is illustrated with contemporary photographs of the band, their gear, and other musicians and people associated with the recordings. Off-mint.
All the Songs
In 1982 Michael Jackson made a demo of a song called Starlight for his new album but it was judged inadequate until a new lyric transformed it into Thriller, his career-defining recording. This highly illustrated book tells the story of all Jackson’s songs from the first hits of the Jackson 5 to songs released since the singer’s death in 2009, and includes profiles of key producers and collaborators. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge
During the last decade of his life Leoš Janácek sent hundreds of passionate letters to Kamila Stösslová, a married woman half his age. Selections from their correspondence are translated in this volume, with linking commentary, photographs and a decoding of the lovers’ erotic references. Their words reveal how much this relationship inspired the composer’s final, greatest works – including the String Quartet ‘Intimate Letters’ – and shed valuable light on his personality.
The Short Life and Long Country Road of Hank Williams
A prototype tragic hero for the rock generation to follow, Hank Williams struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse and died before he was 30 on New Year's Day, 1953. This new biography of the country legend describes his childhood of rural poverty, tracing his musical roots to the street corner bluesman he befriended in Alabama, and explores the powerful influence in his life and career of his domineering mother, Millie, and fiery wife, Audrey. Off-mint.
A Cultural History
Édith Piaf (1915–1963) began her singing career on the streets of Pigalle in 1929; at her death in 1963, she had become an icon of French chanson. In this study, Looseley examines ‘the cultural phenomenon known as Édith Piaf’ and argues that it was a deliberate invention.
The Ballad of Blind Tom
Tom Wiggins (1849–1908) was born a slave; blind and probably autistic, he soon displayed a remarkable memory for sound. This biography traces his career as an international piano virtuoso and shows how attitudes to celebrity, race and disability intersected in the response to his skills. Slightly off-mint.
A Life in Pictures
From his childhood in Pontypridd to his performance at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert in 2012, this volume follows the life and career of Tom Jones (b.1940) in over 100 photographs. Accompanied by a description of his experiences, image and musical style, there are formal portraits, stills from his stage and television career, and photographs with stars including Elvis, Cher, and his fellow judges on the BBC series The Voice.
The Rolling Stones
Kings of Rock ’n’ Roll
Adding ticket stubs, posters and other period ephemera to a collection of archive photographs, this celebration of the Rolling Stones chronicles their rise from the London blues scene of the early 1960s to world fame and profiles each of the band members. Organized around their 22 album releases, each chapter discusses the progress of their recording and live career as well as telling the story of each of the songs.
The celebrated photographer Brian Duffy collaborated with David Bowie during the 1970s, helping to create his highly influential album artwork. The images in this catalogue, which was inspired by the V&A’s ‘David Bowie is’ exhibition, are supported by the recollections of people who worked on the shoots.
Perhaps the most aggressive expression of the pop culture of the 1960s, The Who were powerful exponents of early British rock and their reputation as an unrivalled live act kept audiences flocking to their concerts well into the 21st century. This photographic portfolio presents many previously unpublished images of the group from early promotional portraits and London pub gigs of the mid 1960s to their Live 8 performance of 2005. Felt-tip mark on the upper trimmed edge.
Dreams to Remember
Otis Redding, Stax Records and the Transformation of Southern Soul
Otis Redding (1941–1967) made a seismic impact on American popular culture, and his recordings for the STAX label during the 1960s helped to define the sound of soul music and bring it to the mainstream. Based on interviews and extensive archival research, this chronicle of his life traces his rise from an unknown rural gospel singer to a superstar capable of selling out huge venues across the world. American-cut pages.
Recollections of a Friendship with David Bowie
This illustrated memoir celebrates the friendship and innovative collaboration between David Bowie and the artist Edward Bell. It explains how they met, describes Bowie’s involvement in the creative process and explores the unique qualities that made him a cultural icon.
Classic Tracks: All the Songs, All the Stories 1969–1982
This exploration of the meaning of and inspiration for every track in Led Zeppelin’s ten-album canon charts the band’s movements during their decade at the top and recounts the circumstances of the writing and recording of each of their celebrated tracks.
Richard Wagner's Beethoven (1870)
Written to mark Beethoven’s centenary, this long essay forms the principal aesthetic statement of Wagner’s later years and influenced the young Nietzsche. Allen’s new English translation faces the German original; his introduction places the essay within its historical, political and philosophical contexts.
One of the first internationally famous conductors, Richter (1843–1916) premiered works by Wagner, Brahms and Elgar. Fifield’s detailed biography draws on the letters and diaries of Richter and other prominent musicians; this expanded edition also features his complete ‘conducting books’ documenting 4,351 public performances. (Previously published as True Artist and True Friend.)
The Composer and the Community
Beginning with Benjamin Britten’s speech On Receiving the First Aspen Award (1964) in which he expressed his commitment to community and place, this volume presents 20 essays, interviews and commentaries by composers, performers and facilitators reflecting on the role of the composer in the community in Britain during the last 50 years.
Composing an American Life
One of America’s foremost composers reflects on his life and times, from the marching bands of his 1950s childhood to his acclaimed 2005 opera Doctor Atomic. He also explains the interplay of tradition and innovation in his own compositional process and the work of fellow-musicians.
Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill
Jerry Dantzic was commissioned to photograph Billie Holiday during a week-long engagement at Sugar Hill jazz club in Newark, New Jersey, in 1957. Allowed into her inner circle, Dantzic was able to capture intimate moments backstage and at the singer's Manhattan apartment, as well as atmospheric shots of her performances. The 100 images in this portfolio present a poignant portrait of the troubled star two years before her death at the age of 44.
An Artistic Vision
Beethoven’s compositional sketchbooks preserve his incipient and laconic ideas for many symphonic movements, some of which grew into the nine completed works. Presenting a movement-by-movement analysis, Professor Lockwood uses evidence from these documents to trace the symphonies’ historical, biographical and creative origins. He reveals how they evolved slowly in Beethoven’s mind – the earliest ideas for the Fifth and Sixth appear with sketches for the Third – and how they relate to major compositions in other genres.
Sounds and Sweet Airs
The Forgotten Women of Classical Music
For centuries female composers have been unjustly ignored and patronized, since they worked within a male-dominated musical culture that sought to exclude them, even to the extent of questioning their music’s authorship. The eight composers profiled here all challenged this prejudice with courage and pragmatism, from Francesca Caccini, who manipulated the gender politics of the Medici court, to Vaughan Williams’ pupil Elizabeth Maconchy, who fought back against sexism by working with ‘rigid self-discipline’.
and the Story of Free Improvisation
In the early 1960s the Sheffield-born guitarist Derek Bailey created an uncompromisingly abstract free-form jazz. This biography features excerpts from interviews with Bailey himself and with other avant-garde musicians, including Gavin Bryars, who worked with him as he developed this new idiom.
Gustav Mahler (1860–1911) is now celebrated as a great composer, but during his lifetime he was best known for his activities as a conductor. This meticulously researched volume, by one of the world’s foremost Mahler experts, assembles evidence for the dates, locations and programmes of more than 320 concerts in which Mahler participated as conductor or pianist. Many documents are reproduced in facsimile; and an appendix surveys Mahler’s 2,025 opera performances.