Paul McCartney and John Lennon described him as the Beatles' "favorite group", he won Grammy awards, wrote and recorded hit songs, and yet no figure in popular music is as much of a paradox, or as underrated, as Harry Nilsson. In this first ever full-length biography, Alyn Shipton traces Nilsson's life from his Brooklyn childhood to his Los Angeles adolescence and his gradual emergence as a uniquely talented singer-songwriter.
She seemed to have it all: children, a handsome husband, and a trust fund. But in the early 1950s, Nica Rotschild heard "Round Midnight" by the jazz legend Thelonious Monk; the music overtook her like a magic spell, and she abandoned her marriage to go and find him. She was shunned by society but the musicians gave her friendship. She gave them material and emotional support. Her convertible Bentley was a familiar sight outside the clubs; her notoriety was sealed when Charlie Parker died in her apartment. But her real love was reserved for Monk, whom she cared for until his death in 1982.
"Not nearly as good as 'The Improbability of Love'"
Described as the perfect fusion of poetry and garage-band rock and roll (the original concept was "rock and Rimbaud"), Horses belongs as much to the world of literary and cultural criticism as it does to the realm of musicology. While Horses pays homage to the record's origins in the nascent New York punk scene, the audiobook's core lies in a detailed analysis of Patti Smith's lyrics and includes discussions of lyrical preoccupations: love, sex, gender, death, dreams, god, metamorphosis, intoxication, apocalypse, and transcendence.
Music managers and artists will learn the secrets of successful management with scenarios from a manager's work life, along with the legal and business skills to master them. The book teaches future music managers and artists how to acquire clients, negotiate contracts, develop image, administer taxes and finances, and deal with promoters, media, attorneys, and unions. Packed with industry guidelines and sure-fire career tips from industry icons, this book is a professional springboard for music managers, recording artists, singers, and rock bands alike.
Purple Rain is a song, an album, and a film - each one a commercial success and cultural milestone. How did this semiautobiographical musical masterpiece that blurred R&B, pop, dance, and rock sounds come to alter the recording landscape and become an enduring touchstone for successive generations of fans?
"An amazing book about a misunderstood genius that is Prince!!!!"
Ted Gioia's History of Jazz has been universally hailed as a classic - acclaimed by jazz critics and fans around the world. Now Gioia brings his magnificent work completely up-to-date, drawing on the latest research and revisiting virtually every aspect of the music, past and present. Gioia tells the story of jazz as it had never been told before, in a book that brilliantly portrays the legendary jazz players, the breakthrough styles, and the world in which it evolved. Here are the giants of jazz and the great moments of jazz history.
"Thorough, Thought provoking and clear"
Smart and incisive, this unique book takes us through Bruce Springsteen's life by tracing the cultural, political, and personal forces that shaped his music. Beyond his constant stylistic adaptations, Springsteen developed over the decades from expressing the voice of a guy from working-class New Jersey to writing about the larger issues facing the country, including war, class disparity, and prejudice. Marc Dolan draws on a range of new and little-known sources - including hundreds of unreleased studio recordings and bootlegs of live performances - making this an indispensable reference for avid Springsteen fans as well as those interested in learning the stories behind his music.
In her bestselling autobiography, Bedsit Disco Queen, Tracey Thorn recalled the highs and lows of a 30-year career in pop music. But with the touring, recording and extraordinary anecdotes, there wasn't time for an in-depth look at what she actually did for all those years: sing. She sang with warmth and emotional honesty, sometimes while battling acute stage fright.
Before he was the swaggering, stadium-packing megastar, Bruce Springsteen was a brooding introvert, desperate to strike a balance between his nuanced songwriting and the heft of his backing band. Clinton Heylin's revelatory biography, E Street Shuffle, chronicles the evolution and influence of Springsteen's E Street Band as they rose from blue-collar New Jersey to the heights of rock stardom.
"Insight into Bruce's early days"
Written by award-winning jazz historian Ted Gioia, this comprehensive guide offers an illuminating look at more than 250 seminal jazz compositions. In this comprehensive and unique survey, here are the songs that sit at the heart of the jazz repertoire, ranging from "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "Autumn in New York" to "God Bless the Child," "How High the Moon," and "I Can't Give You Anything But Love." Gioia includes Broadway show tunes written by such greats as George Gershwin and Irving Berlin, and classics by such famed jazz musicians as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, and John Coltrane.
Daydream Nation is the kind of gorgeous monstrosity (born of extremes, rife with difficulties, and mythic in proportion) that can crush the will of the most resilient, well-intentioned listener if the necessary preparations haven't been made. Matthew Stearns explores the album from a range of angles, including a track-by-track analysis and a look at the historical and cultural context within which the album was made. Featuring a foreword by Lee Ranaldo and exclusive interviews with the band, this truly is the definitive guide to Daydream Nation.
Low is a kaleidoscope in which Bowie's obsessions and traits explode into fragments and reform in a new pattern. Sonically, it is hugely adventurous: combining a driving R&B rhythm section with the experimental soundscapes of Brian Eno, it evolves a whole new musical language. Thematically, it's the sound of a man struggling to get well. Bowie has often talked about his fear of insanity.
"How many times can you say "Parenthesis" in 4 hrs?"
The definitive account of Louis Armstrong - his life and legacy - during the most creative period of his career. Thomas Brothers picks up where he left off with the acclaimed Louis Armstrong's New Orleans, following the story of the great jazz musician into his most creatively fertile years in the 1920s and early 1930s, when Armstrong created not one but two modern musical styles. Brothers wields tremendous skill in making the connections between history and music accessible to everyone.
The serene, delicate songs on Another Green World sound practically meditative, but the album itself was an experiment fueled by adrenaline, panic, and pure faith. It was the first Brian Eno album to be composed almost completely in the confines of a recording studio, over a scant few months in the summer of 1975. The album was a proof of concept for Eno's budding ideas of "the studio as musical instrument", and a signpost for a bold new way of thinking about music. In this book, Geeta Dayal unravels Another Green World's abundant mysteries, venturing into its dense thickets of sound.
Two entwined narratives run through the creation of Swordfishtrombones and form the backbone of this book. As the 1970s ended, Waits felt increasingly constrained and trapped by his persona and career. Bitter and desperately unhappy, he moved to New York in 1979 to change his life. It wasn't working. But at his low point, he got the phone call that changed everything....
The Pixies have had a career unlike any other in alternative rock, disappearing as a not-quite-next-big-thing only to become gods in absentia. Doolittle is the embodiment of their abrasive, exuberant, enigmatic pop. While traveling around Oregon with Charles Thompson, chatting about surrealism and llamas, and interviewing other members of the Pixies, Ben Sisario reveals the inner workings of this knotty masterpiece.
Formed in 1968, Jethro Tull are one of rock's most enduring bands. Their 1971 album Aqualung, with its provocative lyrical content and continuous music shifts, is Tull's most successful and most misunderstood record. Here, music professor and fan Allan Moore tackles the album on a track-by-track basis, looking at Ian Anderson's lyrics and studying the complex structures and arrangements of these classic songs.
"A balanced but dull take on Tull's gem."
Ignored by virtually everyone upon its release in November 1968, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society is now seen as one of the best British albums ever recorded. Here, Andy Miller traces the perilous circumstances surrounding its creation, and celebrates the timeless, perfectly crafted songs pieced together by a band who were on the verge of disintegration and who refused to follow fashion.
"Good book, odd narration"
In Catch a Wave, Peter Ames Carlin pulls back the curtain on Brian Wilson, one of popular music's most revered luminaries, as well as its biggest mystery. Drawing on hundreds of interviews and never-before heard studio recordings, Carlin follows the Beach Boys from their earliest days through Brian's deepening emotional problems to his triumphant re-emergence with the release of Smile, the legendarily unreleased album he had originally shelved.
"Just another in a long line of tragic lows caused by stardom highs"
The award-winning creator of the acclaimed documentary The Music Instinct: Science & Song, explores the power of music and its connection to the body, the brain, and the world of nature. Only recently has science sought in earnest to understand and explain this impact. One remarkable recent study, analyzing the cries of newborns, shows that infants' cries contain common musical intervals, and children tease each other in specific, singsong ways no matter where in the world they live.
Lin-Manuel Miranda's groundbreaking musical, Hamilton, is as revolutionary as its subject: the poor kid from the Caribbean who fought the British, defended the Constitution, and helped to found the United States. Fusing hip-hop, pop, R&B and the best traditions of theater, this once-in-a-generation show broadens the sound of Broadway, reveals the storytelling power of rap and claims the origins of the United States for a diverse new generation. Hamilton: The Revolution gives listeners an unprecedented view of both revolutions.
In 1991, five wannabe Mancunian musicians came together and cracked the spark that ignited the explosion which became Oasis. The band went from obscurity to a global phenomenon in the space of a year, achieving world-wide recognition and selling over 70 million records. What started out as five young lads with a common dream of becoming rock stars eventually disintegrated into in-fighting, clashes of egos, and financial disputes.
Great music is a language unto its own, a means of communication of unmatched beauty and genius. And it has an undeniable power to move us in ways that enrich our lives-provided it is understood.If you have ever longed to appreciate great concert music, to learn its glorious language and share in its sublime pleasures, the way is now open to you, through this series of 48 wonderful lectures designed to make music accessible to everyone who yearns to know it, regardless of prior training or knowledge.
"A treat for ears and heart"
The '60s ended a year late - on New Year's Eve 1970, when Paul McCartney initiated proceedings to wind up The Beatles. Music would never be the same again. The next day would see the dawning of a new era. Nineteen seventy-one saw the release of more monumental albums than any year before or since and the establishment of a pantheon of stars to dominate the next 40 years - Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Marvin Gaye, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Rod Stewart, the solo Beatles and more.
"The year nostalgia started"
The Sunday Times best seller. Frank Turner narrates a searingly honest and brilliantly written account of his journey from pub circuit to Wembley Arena.
"Great stories, honestly told"
Have you ever been put off by music theory or thought that is too hard to learn? If the answer is yes, then this book is the answer for you. It covers everything that anyone who plays (or wants to play) music, and wishes to become better as a musician, should know. This is the most comprehensive book on music theory that you can find today. Not only that, but this book is written in a way that is really easy to follow, understand and internalize all the concepts explained.
Jazz is a uniquely American art form, one of America's great contributions to not only musical culture, but world culture, with each generation of musicians applying new levels of creativity that take the music in unexpected directions that defy definition, category, and stagnation.
Now you can learn the basics and history of this intoxicating genre in an eight-lecture series that is as free-flowing and original as the art form itself.
Peter Hook, as co-founder of Joy Division and New Order, has been shaping the course of popular music for 30 years. He provided the propulsive bass guitar melodies of 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' and the bestselling 12-inch single ever, 'Blue Monday' among many other songs.
Corey Taylor has seen a lot of unbelievable things. The Grammy Award-winning singer of Slipknot and Stone Sour's curiosity has drawn him into situations that would've sent most people screaming scared and running for the hills. Corey's ballsy enough to go into the darkness and deal with the consequences though. As a result, he's seen ghosts up close and personal, whether it be while combing through an abandoned house in his native Iowa as a child or recording an album in the fabled Houdini Hollywood Hills mansion.
"Entertaining, Informative and Gripping"
In the last decade, no industry has been through as much upheaval and turmoil as the music industry. If you're looking for quick fame and instant success, you're in the wrong field. It's now a democratic DIY business, and any guide to success in these new waters must be told by someone who's already survived them.
Amid rising gang violence, the crack epidemic, and police brutality, a group of unlikely voices cut through the chaos of late 1980s Los Angeles: N.W.A. Led by a drug dealer, a glammed-up producer, and a high school kid, N.W.A. gave voice to disenfranchised African Americans across the country. And they quickly redefined pop culture across the world. Their names remain as popular as ever: Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, and Ice Cube. Dre soon joined forces with Suge Knight to create the combustible Death Row Records.
Though unappreciated in his own time, Johann Sebastian Bach has ascended to Olympian heights, the verdict of contemporary audiences long since overruled by succeeding generations of music lovers. But what makes his music great? In this series of 32 lectures, a working composer and musicologist brings his exceptional teaching skills to the task of helping you hear the extraordinary sweep of Bach's music. You'll understand the compositional language that enabled him to compose such extravagant, unbridled music while still maintaining precise control of every aspect - beat, melody, melodic repetition, interaction, and harmony.
In Music as a Mirror of History, Great Courses favorite Professor Greenberg of San Francisco Performances returns with a fascinating and provocative premise: Despite the abstractness and the universality of music - and our habit of listening to it divorced from any historical context - music is a mirror of the historical setting in which it was created. Music carries a rich spectrum of social, cultural, historical, and philosophical information, all grounded in the life and experience of the composer.
For more than a quarter of a century, Philip Norman's internationally best-selling Shout! has been unchallenged as the definitive biography of the Beatles. Now, at last, Norman turns his formidable talent to the Beatle for whom belonging to the world's most beloved pop group was never enough. Drawing on previously untapped sources, and with unprecedented access to all the major characters, here is the most complete and revealing portrait of John Lennon that is ever likely to be published.
"Never written a review before, but..."
Inspired by the attitude and energy of punk, Peter Hook and school friend Bernard Sumner joined lead-singer and lyricist Ian Curtis and drummer Stephen Morris, and with some cobbled-together instruments, they created their own unique sound. In 1980 they had released two albums and were on the cusp of touring America when Ian Curtis committed suicide. In this no-holds-barred account, Peter Hook gives us the inside story of life with Joy Division. He talks with candour and reflection about Curtis's suicide and covers the band's friendships and fall-outs....
Written by Jennifer Worth, Farewell to the East End is one of the trilogy of memoirs upon which the popular BBC series Call the Midwife is based. London's East End in the 1950s was a vibrant place-a close-knit community of families where children made playgrounds on bombsites and a lively social scene emerged.
"'Boy, do I have a lot to learn!'" Anyone who's ever picked up a musical instrument of any kind - from the first caveman banging rocks to that little kid at the guitar shop - has thought that. I know I did. I'd been trying for years to break in to the music scene, to show everyone my chops, to make my mark. And I was good. But I wasn't great. I knew that there was something wrong. Then the teacher showed up...."
Accompanies BBC2's major new TV series and The Story of Music in 50 Pieces on Radio 3. Music is an intrinsic part of everyday life, and yet the history of its development from single notes to multi-layered orchestration can seem bewilderingly specialised and complex. In his dynamic tour through 40,000 years of music, from prehistoric instruments to modern-day pop, Howard Goodall does away with stuffy biographies, unhelpful labels and tired terminology.
"Exactly the book I wanted to hear"
The focus of this book is music practice, but these techniques and mindsets can be applied to any skill you want to improve. The Practice of Practice covers essential practice strategies and mindsets you won't find in any other book. You'll learn what research tells us about practice, but more importantly, you'll learn how great musicians in many genres of music think about practice, and you'll learn the strategies and techniques they use to improve.
Beginning with medieval chant, discover how its single musical line evolved into polyphony (music with multiple simultaneous melodies). You'll also learn how the religious reformations of the 16th century compelled composers to create new musical genres and to make religious texts more intelligible. Additionally, observe how 17th-century composers blended sacred styles with genres such as opera, producing music of dramatic and unforgettable beauty.