Sympathy for the Devil
The Birth of the Rolling Stones and the Death of Brian Jones
Despite former bandmates marginalizing his contribution in their memoirs of recent years, Brian Jones was the originator of the Rolling Stones, placing an advert for musicians in Jazz News in 1962 that was answered by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, among others. This biography examines the birth and early years of the Stones from the perspective of their controversial, troubled and ultimately doomed leader.
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.
Elvis: The Legend
The Authorized Book from the Graceland Archives
Elvis's career began to take off in 1955 when he was picked up by the shady Dutch-born promoter ’Colonel' Tom Parker, who secured a major recording deal. The contract sent to Elvis's parents (as the singer's guardians) to authorize Parker as manager is one of the items of memorabilia reproduced in this celebration of Elvis's career, which includes many concert and promotional photographs, film stills and posters as well as private snaps and personal documents.
The Triumph of the Will
How do we come to terms with a great artist who was also a monstrous human being? Richard Wagner was a mass of contradictions: charming, aggressive, radical, reactionary, visionary and virulently anti-Semitic. In this learned account, Simon Callow plunges the reader into the composer’s world, setting his epic music dramas against a turbulent backdrop of poverty, revolution, violent controversy, critical contempt and hysterical hero-worship.
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Album, The Beatles and the World in 1967
As well as the quality and originality of the music, the timing of Sgt Pepper contributed to its reputation, released at a pivotal moment in post-war social history. This highly illustrated book explores the album itself and how it was made with the input of studio engineers, journalists and record company executives, and also the wider cultural and political events of 1966–1968 that set the climate for The Beatles' masterpiece.
In The Camera Eye
When Barbra Streisand began to make her mark on Broadway in the early 1960s, her unusual and striking looks were as notable as her singing and acting. Beginning with studio portraits made when she was only 18, this portfolio collects some of the finest images of the star throughout her whole career, including stills from iconic stage and film productions and commissioned portraits by leading photographers including Bob Willoughby, Cecil Beaton and Philippe Halsman.
‘Even in his own lifetime Handel passed from being an individual to an institution’: in this acclaimed biography the conductor Christopher Hogwood assembles documentary evidence to take us back to the original Handel. After tracing the composer’s career from his early years in Germany to fame as an opera composer in London, Hogwood ends the book by surveying the posthumous development of the Handel legend. This revised edition features a new afterword that provides analysis of recent advances in Handelian scholarship. (First published in 1984.)
The Rameau Compendium
Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683–1764) was a composer and performer of operas, keyboard works and chamber music, but also a sophisticated theorist and teacher. This reference work, by a leading authority on French Baroque music, reflects the full range of those activities. The book begins with a short biography drawing attention to significant patterns in his life and work; the rest of the volume forms a Rameau ‘dictionary’ with entries on people, places, instruments and institutions as well as the composer’s own works.
Musorgsky & His Circle
A Russian Musical Adventure
The 'Mighty Handful' of five Russian composers who came together in St Petersburg in the 1860s had little musical education, but they created some of the most popular music in the classical repertoire, including Borodin's Prince Igor and Rimsky-Korsakov's Sheherazade. Walsh's study analyses how this rare example of a creative musical collective worked and reveals the crucial role played by their mentor, the art historian Vladimir Stasov, in fostering a Russian nationalist music. Slightly off-mint and American-cut pages.
The Last Waltz
The Strauss Dynasty and Vienna
An empire was dying, but the band played on, reeling out one intoxicating waltz after another: Voices of Spring, Tales from the Vienna Woods, The Blue Danube… This absorbing narrative tells the story of the two Waltz Kings, Johann Strauss father and son, whose melodies beguiled Europe even as the family was riven with tension, jealousy and feuds, mirroring the dysfunction of the Austrian Empire as it danced and drank its way to catastrophe.
Formed in 1977 by Howard Devoto, with John McGeoch, Barry Adamson, Dave Formula and John Doyle, Magazine combined elements of avant-garde pop, funk and rock. While never commercially successful, it was an influential and much respected band. This book is a complete, illustrated ‘biography’ of Magazine, plus lyrics, performance chronology and discography.
Spider from Mars
My Life with Bowie
In 1970 David Bowie and his bass player Tony Visconti had some ideas for a new sound that could make the impact that Bowie's first two albums hadn't. Guitarist Mick Ronson suggested the drummer from his old band and Woody Woodmansey joined the team. This biography tells the story of his time recording and touring with Bowie up until 1973, and his later career with his own band and as a session player.
Now best remembered as the conductor of Manchester’s Hallé Orchestra, Sir Hamilton Harty (1879–1941) began his career in Ulster and Dublin before coming to prominence in London as a piano accompanist. This biography reveals how he was influenced by these early experiences, analyses the debates he provoked on such topics as jazz and modernism and emphasizes his parallel career as a composer of orchestral works, chamber music and songs. The book ends with complete lists of Harty’s recordings and compositions.
A household name since his prodigious childhood, the violinist and conductor Sir Yehudi Menuhin (1916–99) strove to use his fame to draw attention to many humanitarian issues. Humphrey Burton, who knew Menuhin for 40 years, compiled this biography with full access to his subject’s personal archive; it offers a rounded portrait of his family life and his wide-ranging activities as performer, teacher and ‘musical diplomat’. The preface to this centenary edition highlights Menuhin’s continuing legacy.
Philip Norman's history of The Beatles, Shout!, and his biography of John Lennon seemed to take a largely anti-McCartney stance so it was a surprise when Paul gave tacit approval to Norman to write this biography, enabling access to family members and close friends. The result redresses the balance, describing the importance of McCartney's creative leadership in The Beatles and exploring his later career and personal life from the early death of his mother to his highly publicized marriages. Felt-tip mark on upper trimmed edge.
I Saw the Light
The Story of Hank Williams
One of the most significant figures in American popular music, Hank Williams (1923–1953) rose to fame in the late 1940s, but alcohol and drug abuse made him difficult to work with and contributed to his untimely death. This definitive biography, updated with new information about the singer that has emerged in recent years, forms the basis of the 2015 film of the same title.
A Memoir of Madness, Medication and Music
‘Music has, quite literally, saved my life.’ After experiencing sexual abuse, addiction and a devastating mental breakdown, James Rhodes found solace in listening to music and has since become a renowned concert pianist. In this memoir, by turns shocking, witty and outspoken, he describes his emotional turmoil, discusses the great composers and performers who mean the most to him, reflects on the state of classical music today and conveys his passionate belief in music’s power to transform all our lives.
Kill 'Em & Leave
Searching for the Real James Brown
Having stolen the show ahead of a cast of stars in Las Vegas, the 'Godfather of Soul', James Brown, shunned the after-show glad-handing and left; 'Kill 'em and leave,' he remarked to his friend, civil-rights activist Al Sharpton. This biography uses the recollections of people close to Brown, such as Sharpton, to piece together the story of a man who was notoriously secretive and evasive about his private life.
Travels with My Harp
The Complete Autobiography
For more than half a century, Mary O’Hara’s voice has delighted audiences across the globe. In this warm and inspiring autobiography, she recalls her childhood in the west of Ireland, the tragic death of her first husband, and her retreat to a nunnery before re-emerging to restart her career to even greater acclaim. Enriched with humorous anecdotes of life on the road, it also recounts her later years as a charity worker with her second husband in Africa.
Over the Top and Back
Achieving phenomenal success in America in the 1960s and 1970s, Tom Jones's image as a hairy-chested Vegas superstar contributed to his becoming deeply unfashionable by the 1980s, but his resilience and vocal ability saw him come back strongly after teaming up with the Art of Noise to cover Prince's Kiss in 1988. In this autobiography he discusses his childhood, teenage marriage and early struggles as well as the highs and lows of his showbiz career. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Sir Harrison Birtwistle is one of Britain’s greatest contemporary composers, but has usually been reluctant to discuss his music. In 2013, as he approached the age of 80, he agreed to take part in this series of conversations, which happened mostly at his kitchen table, over a period of six months. They offer insights into his career and compositional process, his thoughts on the composers whom he most admires and his non-musical interests, such as cricket, nature and his family.
Born in New Jersey in 1915, Frank Sinatra began singing with various dance bands from the 1930s and in a six-decade career became one of the most influential musical artists of the 20th century as well as an Oscar-winning actor. Marking the centenary of his birth, this large-format celebration draws on the Sinatra family archive to present unseen photographs and ephemera from his life, and includes contributions from Tony Bennett and Sinatra’s children: Nancy, Tina and Frank Jr.
Messiaen Perspectives 2
Techniques, Influence and Reception
The second of a two-volume work that examines Olivier Messiaen’s interconnections with his cultural milieux, this collection of 14 essays analyses his compositional approach and the repercussions of his music and includes Robert Fallon’s Catalogue of Messiaen’s Birds.
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.
The Leonard Bernstein Letters
Spanning six decades in the life of composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein (1918–90), this selection comprises 650 letters, in which he corresponds with members of his family, fellow musicians such as Aaron Copland, John Cage, Serge Koussevitzky and Stephen Sondheim, and admirers including Jacqueline Kennedy and Bette Davis. The volume also features Bernstein’s lengthy exchange with Walter Hussey, Dean of Chichester, which documents the process of commissioning, composing and performing the Chichester Psalms.
Words without Music
With mesmeric symphonies, operas and film scores, Philip Glass has shaped the dominant idioms of today’s classical music. In this autobiography he identifies the family, friends, teachers and places that influenced him most, from his childhood in post-war Baltimore through studies in Chicago and New York to travels in India and Africa. Describing the thrill of artistic creation, he recalls studying with the formidable Nadia Boulanger and collaborating with such eminent figures as Ravi Shankar, Allen Ginsberg and Martin Scorsese. American-cut pages.
Letters of the American Harpsichordist and Scholar
This collection of letters to and from the harpsichordist, scholar and early music pioneer Ralph Kirkpatrick spans his career, from Paris in the 1930s to the 1980s, and includes a selection of family letters as well as correspondence with composers and colleagues.
Mendelssohn, the Organ, and the Music of the Past
Constructing Historical Legacies
These twelve essays focus on the fascination shown by Mendelssohn (1809–47) with Bach’s organ music and the tradition of Palestrinian counterpoint, as well as his interest in Handel’s oratorios and the influence of Beethoven. Setting the composer within a wider cultural context, they also show how he promoted icons of the German past, such as Dürer, Gutenberg’s printing press, Luther and the Reformation, in works which would play their part in the growth of nationalism after his death.