The Life of Paul Simon
From his childhood in Queens, New York, and Hey, Schoolgirl, the hit song recorded with his best friend Artie Garfunkel in 1957, to the release of Stranger to Stranger in 2016, Paul Simon has sustained one of the most interesting and successful careers in popular music. Peter Ames Carlin’s biography delves deep into the life and character of the artist responsible for the incomparable Bridge over Troubled Water (1970) and the solo album, Graceland (1986).
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.
The First Great Romantic Symphony
When it was first performed in 1805, Beethoven’s Third Symphony (the ‘Eroica’) baffled audiences with a size, complexity and expressiveness that broke the Viennese Classical mould and would change the course of Western music by making symphonies the vehicle for composers’ greatest thoughts. This guide to the work analyses its innovations and explores its biographical and political background, including Beethoven’s increasing deafness and his shifting opinions of Napoleon, to whom the ‘Eroica’ was once dedicated.
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.
We Sing a New Language
Many rock stars become monuments to their youthful fame, but Thurston Moore has remained innovative. In this account of the guitarist’s career, friends and colleagues discuss his work from 1978 to the present, including Sonic Youth and his free jazz improvisations.
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 birthplace 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.
From flamboyant Jean-Paul Gaultier bustiers to sophisticated Dolce & Gabbana gowns, Madonna's fashion choices have long proved as influential as her hit records. This volumeillustrates her style evolution from the street-punk look synonymous with her early performances to her surprising reinvention as a tweed-clad countrywoman. Concluding with the elaborate costumes she showcased in her 2012 'MDNA' World Tour, this is a comprehensive visual record of a near four-decade-long career.
The Day I Was There
Musicians such as Eric Clapton were stunned by Jimi Hendrix’s virtuosity when they first heard him in 1966 and an army of fans were similarly bowled over by his concert performances in the few years before his death in 1970. Supported by personal photographs and memorabilia this volume collects over 500 eyewitness accounts of Hendrix concerts from early New York gigs to Woodstock.
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.
Big Time: The Life of Adam Faith
‘Being Adam is like playing a part in a film,’ Terry Nelhams once said of his alter ego, Adam Faith. Drawing on the recollections of friends, family and colleagues, this biography follows the many reinventions of the boy from Acton, first as a pop star and, when the hits dried up, as a financial adviser, property speculator and TV actor.
My Life of Sex, Drums, and Rock 'N' Roll
Carmine Appice came to prominence with Vanilla Fudge in the 1960s, his innovative style helping to define modern rock drumming and inspiring players such as John Bonham. Recounting wild stories from decades of touring, this biography describes his experiences playing with Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, Ozzy Osborne and Pink Floyd as well as reflecting on his childhood and life in recent years.
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.
No Way But This
In Search of Paul Robeson
The singer and actor Paul Robeson was one of the most celebrated African-Americans of his time, but sacrificed fame and fortune for his political ideals. Blending biography with travelogue, the author follows Robeson from Harlem to Spain, the Welsh valleys and Moscow.
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.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience Through the Lens of Ed Caraeff
At the Monterey Festival in June 1967 a German photographer told Ed Caraeff, ‘save some film for this Jimi Hendrix cat’; among the photographs that Caraeff took that day was the famous image of Hendrix setting fire to his guitar. From that summer to the Newport ’69 festival, this volume of photographs follows the iconic guitarist and his band as they played gigs across America.
A Radiohead Compendium
Following the band from 1991 when Ronan Munro reviewed their gig at the Jericho Tavern in Oxford for the local music paper, to a Times Literary Supplement article in May 2016, this book is a compilation of interviews and articles on Radiohead. It includes reviews of the albums from Pablo Honey to the digital release of 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.
Thomas Adès: Full of Noises
Conversations with Tom Service
Perhaps best known for his opera, The Tempest, composer, conductor and pianist Thomas Adès is one of Britain’s leading musicians. This extended interview reveals his influences and creative processes and includes a foreword with his thoughts on his 2016 opera The Exterminating Angel.
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.
George, Constant and Kit
The former poet laureate tells the story of three generations of an artistic family: George, a leading Australian painter; Constant, a composer-conductor; and Kit, who managed rock group The Who. With cultural insights into topics ranging from revivalist art and classical music to post-war ballet and pop, this depicts a family whose artistic urges were frequently undermined by internecine strife and self-destructive tendencies.
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.
A Lonely Life
Growing up in a humble shack in Tupelo, Mississippi, 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.
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’.
The Complete Lou Reed Story
Sent for electroshock treatment to cure behavioural problems as a teenager, Lou Reed continued to be unconventional and provocative in his career with the Velvet Underground and as a solo performer. This biography explores his influential work and volatile private life.
Sweet Dreams Are Made of This
A Life in Music
Dave Stewart’s career as songwriter, performer and producer has spanned four decades. In this memoir he shares the stories behind his creative partnerships with a host of musicians and his rise to global stardom with Annie Lennox as Eurythmics. Foreword by Mick Jagger. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
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
Simon Callow developed a one-man play for the Royal Opera House for the bicentenary of Wagner’s birth in 2013. He subsequently wrote this biography which sets out, as the actor did on stage, to understand what drove this most divisive and mercurial of musical figures, examining the intellectual, political and artistic climate of his times, the struggle to create his great operatic works and his turbulent private life.
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 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
Europe’s capital of music and the centre of café culture, Vienna was the home of the two waltz kings, Johann Strauss and his even more successful son of the same name. Illustrated with contemporary photographs, paintings and drawings, this biography describes their musical careers and sets their success in the context of their city in the second half of the 19th century, when the power of the Austro-Hungarian Empire declined.
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. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on upper trimmed edge.