Music (and Music CDs)
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 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.
Sammy Davis Jr
A Personal Journey With My Father
Faced with the prejudice and segregation of post-war America, Sammy Davis Jr established himself as a mainstream entertainer, famously teaming up alongside Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin as part of the Rat Pack. His life was extremely eventful and his experiences included a near-fatal car accident, conversion to Judaism and a prominent interracial marriage. This biography, illustrated with photographs from the family archive, has been compiled from conversations between the star and his daughter.
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.
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.
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 Great Jazz and Pop Vocal Albums
Released on Columbia Records in 1946, The Voice of Frank Sinatra consisted of eight love songs which, though known by the public for years, were given a new musical treatment by the singer’s arranger, Axel Stordahl. The runaway success of this approach set the standard for a new genre of pop and jazz vocal album, the best 57 of which are analysed here, including classic records by Chet Baker, Nina Simone and Sarah Vaughan. Slightly off-mint with felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The World's Greatest Electric Guitars
Includes Classic, Modern, Rare and Vintage Instruments
This compendium, arranged alphabetically and illustrated with over 100 photographs, provides a description of each guitar’s origin, design and influential players. There are milestone instruments from manufacturers including Fender and Gibson, examples by lesser-known independent luthiers, and famous one-offs such as Brian May's homemade 'Red Special'. This selection by the editors of Guitarist magazine reflects the artistry of the finest guitar makers, and examines how their models continue to inform today’s evolving designs.
Jazz, Race, the Beats, and Drugs
Marijuana was part of the scene for the early jazzmen of New Orleans, and the arrival of heroin in Harlem in the 1940s hooked the bebop players and helped create the culture that influenced writers such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. This social history examines the connection between drug use and the evolution of jazz music and discusses its influence in shaping American culture in the 20th century. Slightly off-mint with a felt-tip mark on upper trimmed edge.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 cuts.
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.
Haydn's Visits to England
The year 1790 brought the death of Haydn's patron Nicolaus Esterházy and the subsequent sacking of his music staff; the impresario Johann Peter Salomon seized this moment to lure the celebrity composer to London for two visits in 1791–2 and 1794–5. Hogwood makes extensive use of contemporary documents – such as newspaper reports and Haydn's own notebooks and letters – to examine the English public's Haydn-mania and the composer's own reactions to new people and experiences. No jacket.
Anatomy of a Song
The Oral History of 45 Iconic Hits That Changed Rock, R&B and Pop
This compendium of the popular Wall Street Journal column tells the stories of 45 hits by artists including Elvis, Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell and The Clash, based on interviews with the songs’ writers and performers. Off-mint.
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.
The Supernatural Voice
A History of High Male Singing
The quest for ‘authentic’ performances of early music has inspired much interest in the Western tradition of falsetto singing. Challenging orthodox views, Ravens reconsiders the historical and musical evidence as he traces how various types of high male voice have been used in different periods.
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.)
Containing 450 letters (in English translation), this volume sheds light on the life and work of the important Viennese music theorist. His communications with such figures as Wilhelm Furtwängler and Paul Hindemith reveal the nature and extent of his influence as teacher, writer and administrator.
Masques, Mayings and Music-Dramas
Vaughan Williams and the Early Twentieth-Century Stage
These eight essays elucidate a significant moment in the renaissance of English music-theatre. Focusing particularly on Vaughan Williams, they show how Wagner’s ideas influenced English composers who were reimagining dramatic traditions going back to Mummers’ plays, 17th-century masques and the music of Purcell.
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.
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.
The Crafty Art of Opera
For Those Who Make It, Love It or Hate It
Acclaimed director Michael Hampe presents ‘useful rules’ for staging opera, giving examples from his work with singers and conductors. He discusses such questions as how to move on stage and how to convey comedy, aiming to help performers realize the art form’s full potential.
The Sea in the British Musical Imagination
From Purcell and Arne to Vaughan Williams and Maxwell Davies, British composers have often made use of maritime tropes. These twelve essays examine how their music reflects changes in Britons’ relationship with the sea, focusing on three themes: the sea as landscape, profession and metaphor.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Histories of Modernist Music Drama from Parsifal to Nono
Beginning with the composer’s final stage work, Mark Berry traces the impact of Wagner on 20th-century opera. In particular he identifies how music drama, staging and political engagement intersect in the work of five composers with very different conceptions of a Wagnerian tradition.
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.
An Intimate Portrait of a Musical Legend
This biography of Dusty Springfield, one of the most celebrated pop stars of the 1960s, not only discusses her musical development and lasting legacy, but also delves beyond the professional persona to explore her somewhat troubled private life. Interviews with friends, lovers, employees and other confidants shed light on Springfield's relationships, addictions and struggles with her sexuality. Through it all, however, is the music that brought so much joy to so many.
Mozart's music has enthralled listeners for centuries. In this concise biography, the historian Paul Johnson charts the composer's life from the age of three, when he first recognized chords, to the creation of his mature masterpieces Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro. Dispelling popular myths, it explores his relationships with his father, his wife and the royal court of Vienna, and highlights the intelligence, wit, charisma and drive of this extraordinarily gifted man.
The Symphonic Repertoire
Volume 1 The Eighteenth-Century Symphony
A vast amount of symphonic music survives from the 18th century, when Haydn, Mozart and many ‘minor’ composers across Europe created the formal conventions that would long govern the writing of symphonies. In chapters organized by country to reflect the development of regional styles, this volume’s 22 contributors address issues such as the correct attribution of works, the importance of patronage, orchestration techniques and early performance contexts. The book comes with a CD featuring recordings of music by eight little-known composers.
The Story of British Classical Music
Anthony Burton’s extended essay surveys a millennium of British music, illustrating its distinctive features through the pieces assembled on the accompanying pair of CDs. These 47 tracks range from an anonymous motet honouring St Thomas of Canterbury (c.1300), via such composers including Boyce, Bax and Britten, to Colin Matthews’ Pluto, the Renewer, written in 2000 to complement Holst’s The Planets.
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.