It is almost amazing how much material is written about music. Some of it is even worth reading. We'll let you know when to read it and when to skip it.
Surf Beat - Rock n' Roll's Forgotten Revolution by Kent Crowley (Backbeat Books) book review by Nick Kizirnis As a long-time surf music fan I am excited to see Kent Crowley’s in-depth account of the genre’s history in “Surf Beat”. Sub-titled “Rock’n”Roll’s Lost Revolution”, Crowley takes the reader on an intimate chord-by-chord account of the formation of the first surf music, the rise of surf music starts like Dick Dale and behind the scenes with Leo Fender as he evolved his famous guitars and amplifiers … even Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa are tied to surf music’s legacy.
Top 10 Pop Hits: A 70-Year History of Every Top 10 Hit 1940-2010 (Record Research) book review Music tends to divide us: we laugh at our parents’ music and despise what our kids’ listen to. Joel Whitburn has finally compiled a book to bring us all together. Top 10 Pop Hits: A 70-Year History is unique because, for the first time, the entire history of the Billboard charts is represented, beginning from it’s very first Top Ten chart in 1940 to present day.
Red – My Uncensored Life in Rock – Sammy Hagar (It / Harper Collins) book review Sammy Hagar is one of the most likeable figures in music. He’s the kind of guy that you’d invite back to your place for a backyard barbecue. After reading Red – My Uncensored Life in Rock, we also find out that he’s quite a good businessman – not only forging a successful music career, both solo and with Van Halen, but also as owner of a bike shop, travel agency, the Cabo Wabo Cantina, and his most popular venture, his own brand of tequila.
And Party Every Day – The Inside Story of Casablanca Records – Larry Harris (Backbeat Books) Book review When you think music of the Seventies, you inevitably think disco. And no record label was more closely associated with the genre than Casablanca Records. In And Party Every Day, Larry Harris, who helped found the label with his cousin, Neil Bogart in 1973, chronicles the rise and fall of this influential record company. No label in the history of recorded music had such monumental success, yet saw it all crumble so quickly.
The Eagles – An American Band – by Andrew Vaughan (Sterling) book review The Eagles are the biggest rock band ever to come from America, yet most of the books written about them tend to be tabloid in nature, concentrating on the infighting and debauchery that eventually led to the band’s breakup in 1980. The Eagles – An American Band is the first book to truly do the group justice; a BIG book for a BIG band.
Talking to girls about Duran Duran – One Young Man’s Quest For True Love and a Cooler Haircut – Rob Sheffield (Dutton) book review What first drew me to this book was it’s title and the cover art – an old-school cassette tape unraveling. After I read the book flap, I was even more intrigued. The author was only a year older than myself….so generally the same age….and almost all the artists in the table of contents I recognized. I had to give it a read.
December 8, 1980 – The Day John Lennon Died – Keith Elliot Greenberg (Backbeat Books) Book review There are certain dates that, if you lived through them, are etched in your memory – Lennon’s murder is one of those instances. On the 30th anniversary of Lennon’s death, December 8, 1980 offers a unique angle, focusing on that final day of his life. You might ask how you can write a book on just one day? Greenberg tackles this by introducing each character that plays a role in Lennon’s final hours, and then gives a back story to each one.
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