Music (and Music CDs)
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.
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.
Many of the great operatic singers of the 20th century led lives as extraordinary as the characters they portrayed on stage. In this refreshingly readable survey, acclaimed tenor and BBC presenter Nigel Douglas assesses the lives and careers of 14 great singers, from Enrico Caruso to Kirsten Flagstad, from Lotte Lehmann to Fritz Wunderlich. The book provides anecdotes and recollections from those who knew them, and also recommends the best CDs of their work.
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.
Art, Music, and Sounds of the City
‘I love images almost as much as music,’ said Claude Debussy, and he was fortunate to live and compose in Paris, then the art capital of the world. Published to accompany an exhibition at Smith College, Massachusetts, this illuminating book explores his passion for painting, and the visual culture of the city at the turn of the century. The superb reproductions include works by the artists who inspired him, including Turner, Whistler, Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec.
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink
The son of a big band singer, Declan McManus emerged from the post Punk era as one of the most significant British songwriters of his generation. This thoughtful memoir discusses his long career and many collaborations with other artists including Paul McCartney and Burt Bacharach. Felt tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
A-Z Of String Players
Focusing on string players whose performances have been captured on disc, this guide sets acclaimed soloists of today, such as violinist Joshua Bell and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, alongside great performers of the past; each entry includes an appraisal of the player’s style and their recorded legacy. The book comes with four CDs, featuring tracks by 69 artists, which illustrate how string playing and recorded sound developed across the past century.
Music in the Air
The Selected Writings of Ralph J Gleason
This volume collects material from books, essays, interviews and album notes written by the co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine. Full of his insights into a variety of genres and musicians, it also highlights wider cultural trends of the mid 20th century.
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.
The Jazz Composer
Moving Music off the Paper
Internationally renowned jazz composer Graham Collier (1937–2011) offers a radical analysis of the composer’s place in a genre associated with improvisation and traditional ‘standards’. Looking back over the development of jazz composition, he considers the work of such important figures as Gil Evans and ‘acknowedged genius’ Duke Ellington. He then examines the new directions taken by contemporary jazz, illustrating his points with examples from his own music and anecdotes from his life. References to websites may no longer be valid.
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.
The 100 Greatest Cover Versions
The Ultimate Playlist
Robert Webb, the Independent’s music writer, tells the stories behind his selection of 100 cover versions, from The Kingsmen’s Louie Louie (originally by Richard Berry) to the Ramones’ Baby I Love You (originally by the Ronettes), with a bonus track: Smells Like Teen Spirit – one of the most covered songs of the last 25 years.
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.
Images of America in Rock ’n’ Roll Music
Originally written in 1975, when Rolling Stone hailed it as ‘probably the best book ever written about rock’, Mystery Train remains an astute and engrossing analysis of popular music and American culture. The book is structured around six artists: the ‘ancestors’, blues men Harmonica Frank and Robert Johnson, and the ‘inheritors’, The Band, Sly Stone, Randy Newman and Elvis Presley. Now fully half the book, the ‘Notes and Discographies’ has been revised and expanded over the years. This is the sixth edition.
Psychedelia and Other Colours
The music writer Rod Chapman takes ‘the scenic route’ in his exploration of the history and cultural impact of LSD in the mid 1960s. Starting with earlier experiments with drugs by poets, painters and musicians, Chapman describes what was really going on, from Haight-Ashbury hippies to Charles Manson in the USA, and from Love Me Do to the trajectory of the Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones ‘from blues purist to experimentalist to crushed spirit’.
Blues in Black & White
The Landmark Ann Arbor Blues Festivals
The blues, and specifically the electric Chicago blues of the 1950s and 1960s, were hugely influential in the development of popular music, but not until the Ann Arbor Blues Festival of 1969 had the genre been presented to a mainstream American audience. This atmospheric photographic record of the legendary inaugural festivals in 1969 and 1970 includes images of Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, BB King and Howlin' Wolf, among many others.
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.
The Operas and Choral Works
In a long and remarkable career Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) composed 28 operas, which mark the culmination of the Italian tradition. Focusing on the most significant of these works and the monumental Requiem, Lederer highlights Verdi’s growth as a musical dramatist, from the early Nabucco to Aida, Otello and Falstaff. The accompanying CD features 19 historic recordings of excerpts from the operas, performed by such singers as Caruso, Tetrazzini and Claudia Muzio.
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.
History in Mighty Sounds
Musical Constructions of German National Identity 1848–1914
Highlighting connections between 19th-century German music and nationalism, this study focuses on works based on popular, mythologized versions of historical subject-matter, in particular the life of Barbarossa and the Roman legions’ annihilation at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. It explores how compositions in many musical genres participated in a project of shaping the nation’s future and how composers such as Max Bruch and Carl Reinecke responded to contemporary notions of gender, landscape and religion.