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Seven years after their unprecedented arrival in the UK, The Kings of Leon are finally making a name for themselves overseas, thanks to a series of hit albums and singles (peaking with 2008's anthemic "Sex on Fire") and a headline slot at Glastonbury in 2008 then Reading in '09 topped off with a Grammy Award for "Use Somebody". No longer indulging in the drugs which were threatening to come between them, the band are older, wiser and in a better position to reflect in their rise to glory. Their's is a unique tale, from their youth as touring musicians in their preacher father's church to their discovery by the American music industry and beyond. Joel McIver's new book, the first ever Kings of Leon biography, digs deep into their history to reveal a band like no other.
This long-awaited treatise on Montrose and Gamma is first and foremost the story of the five Montrose and four Gamma records, their making and baking, the hirings and firings, the superlative delivery live. Within the detailed analysis, one of course gets to celebrate with the author Montrose classics like `Rock the Nation', `Make it Last', `Rock Candy', `Bad Motor Scooter', `I Got the Fire', `Matriarch' and `Jump on It', along with the entirety of the Gamma years, including the top-shelf Gamma 2, an album Popoff considers the equal to the earth-shattering first Montrose album of 1973. But there's a darker turn to this extensive tribute as well, as we look at Ronnie's shocking suicide in 2012, before we correct the record, so to speak, looking at his legacy as articulated by those who played with him and knew him best. All told, it's a rough ride, with unsettling doses of negativity, but once our tale winds down, there are more than enough lessons on creativity to satisfy any lover of the arts, particularly those centred around the type of six-string mayhem cooked up by the hero of our story, Ronnie Montrose.
From 'Eight Miles High' to 'Empire State of Mind', from Mississippi to Mali and from Ella Fitzgerald to Elton John, 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die picks through nearly a century of music to bring you an inspiring selection of some of the greatest recordings ever made. Each entry in this wonderfully browsable book tells the story of a great song. Find out what inspired the songwriter, what makes the track so enduring, which songs it influenced in turn and which cover version to listen out for. You will also pick up a wealth of fascinating trivia along the way. What links Lead Belly, Lonnie Donegan and 'Black Betty'? Whose gravestone inspired Phil Spector's first hit? And for which song did Johnny Rotten replace the singer from Def Leppard? Read on and find out. Love your music? Then you need 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die in your life.
**THE DEFINITIVE, UP-TO-DATE BIOGRAPHY OF FREDDIE MERCURY** 'An outstanding biography. . .a fitting testament to the creative genius' -- Daily Mail 'Touches all manner of intriguing rock 'n' roll debauchery. . .fascinating reading' -- Time Out This fascinating biography of Freddie Mercury has received outstanding acclaim from Queen and rock fans worldwide -- now revised and updated to coincide with the release of the film about his life, Bohemian Rhapsody. Born Farrokh Bulsara on the island of Zanzibar, Freddie Mercury rose to worldwide stardom as the lead singer of Britain's biggest music act of all time. In this bestselling biography, Laura Jackson reveals the reality behind Queen's flamboyant frontman and lead singer, as she looks behind his unique brand of showmanship to discover who Freddie Mercury really was. Featuring exclusive interviews with some of those closest to Freddie right up until his tragic death, original Queen members and many others -- including new and intimate stories from Tim Rice, Richard Branson, Cliff Richard, Bruce Dickinson, Mike Moran, Wayne Eagling, Zandra Rhodes and Susannah York -- this is the definitive biography of one of rock's greatest legends.
View the Table of Contents. Read the Introduction.
aTo the Break of Dawn marks a crucial turning point in hip-hop
writing. . . . By opening the discourse on hip-hopas aesthetic,
Cobb spearheads a new sub-genre, and perhaps a return or revolution
in hip-hop aesthetics.a
a[P]eels back the many digitized layers of hip-hop to explore
the evolution of the MC, from African folkloric traditions to the
global (and often hypercommercial) phenomenon it is today.
SEE ALSO: "Pimps Up, Hoas Down: Hip Hopas Hold on Young Black Women" by T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting.
aTo the Break of Dawn is smart, funny, conversational -- a book
to touch off serious study of the modern MC.a
aUpon finishing To The Break of Dawn any objective fan will
acknowledge that Cobb has done a commendable job in chronicling
rapas evolution and explaining its multiple influences and
aTo the Break of Dawn dissects the evolution of hip hop lyricism
from its most primitive beginnings to its current manifestation as
a global phenomenon. Author Jelani Cobb examines issues of race,
geography, genre and bravado in this overview of hip hopas lyrical
art. Covering words from B.I.G., Cube, Obie Trice and Pimp C, Cobb
offers an intellectual and up-to-date report on hip hopas most
aWhat makes William Jelani Cobb's To the Break of Dawn so
refreshing is that it centers on what hip-hop is, rather than on
what it does. Eschewing the common practice of treating rap lyrics
as just another way to talk about race, politics or the self, Cobb
treats them as art. His aim is ambitious: toarticulate hip-hop's
aesthetic principles while tracing its roots back to the aancestral
poetic and musical traditionsa of black oral culture, from Sunday
sermons to gut-bucket blues. To the Break of Dawn celebrates
lyrical invention, the artists and even the particular rhymes that
make hip-hop great. For the uninitiated, it is Hip-Hop 101,
offering a rich overview of rap's verbal artistry. For the
aficionado, it alternately affirms and challenges deeply held
beliefs of what is valuable in hip-hop.a
aThis book makes an important contribution to hip-hop history. .
. . Cobbas writing style is engaging, and the book benefits from
the legitimacy provided by the authoras background: he is a former
MC who grew up with the culture.a
aOn literally every page [Cobb] displays a tremendous command of
language and history as he aexamines the aesthetic, stylistic, and
thematic evolution of hip hop from its inception in the South Bronx
to the present era.a But make no mistake: this groundbreaking work
is an artfully constructed and vividly written look at athe
artistic evolution of rap music and its relationship to earlier
forms of black expression.a Much of the book's pleasure also comes
from Cobb's ability to afreestylea serious and humorous
insights-from how artists such as Tupac and Nas sometimes astepped
outside the conventions of hip-hop to pen sympathetic narratives
about the sexual exploitation of young women, a to how LL Cool J's
pioneering aI Need a Beata sounded alike he'd raided every entry in
an SAT book.a aa
aVital stuff for hip hop fans eager to know more about their
favorite culturalidiomas development and underpinnings.a
aAt a time when academics are just beginning to recognize hip
hop as a legitimate form, William Jelani Cobb, a child of rap
himself, brings an unparalleled level of understanding to the
music. His historically informed yet hip-to-the-tip viewpoint roots
readers in the art form rather than the hype.a
aWith poetic passion and surgical precision, William Jelani
Cobb's engaging exploration of the hip hop aesthetic lovingly
demonstrates that, when it comes to beats and rhymes, the beauty of
the (bass) god resides in the details.a
aFinally, a hip hop study that captures the verve and swagger
that marked the work of our critical forebears Albert Murray and
Amiri Baraka. In his brilliant new tome, William Jelani Cobb
bridges the gap between the majesty of the blues and the gully
regality of hip hop.a
"Wow! "To the Break of Dawn" is a crucial contribution to hip
hop history. I'm thrilled that William Jelani Cobb has documented
hip hop's relationship to the blues. If you want to truly
understand how hip hop was born, read this booka
"aTo the Break of Dawn" tells the serious story of hip hop's
artistic roots, and in the process revels in the great MCs who
stand at the crossroads of music and literature. In a crowded field
of hip hop scholars, pundits, and journalists, "To the Break of
Dawn" puts William Jelani Cobb way out in front.a
aUpon finishing To the Break of Dawn, any objective fan will
acknowledge that Cobb has done a commendable job in chronicling
rapasevolution and explaining its multiple influences and impact.
Hereas a fresh look at a music that continues to electrify,
confound, alienate, and fascinate.a
"He'll idle with some prelim scratches to let the crowd know what's coming next. And if his boy got skills enough, if the verbal game is tight enough, that right there will be the kinetic moment, that blessed split-second when beat meets rhyme."
With roots that stretch from West Africa through the black pulpit, hip-hop emerged in the streets of the South Bronx in the 1970s and has spread to the farthest corners of the earth. To the Break of Dawn uniquely examines this freestyle verbal artistry on its own terms. A kid from Queens who spent his youth at the epicenter of this new art form, music critic William Jelani Cobb takes readers inside the beats, the lyrics, and the flow of hip-hop, separating mere corporate rappers from the creative MCs that forged the art in the crucible of the street jam.
The four pillars of hip hop--break dancing, graffiti art, deejaying, and rapping--find their origins in traditions as diverse as the Afro-Brazilian martial art Capoeira and Caribbean immigrants' turnstile artistry. Tracing hip-hop's relationship to ancestral forms of expression, Cobb explores the cultural and literary elements that are at its core. From KRS-One and Notorious B.I.G. to Tupac Shakur and Lauryn Hill, he profiles MCs who were pivotal to the rise of the genre, verbal artists whose lineage runs back to the black preacher and the bluesman.
Unlike books that focus on hip-hop as a social movement or a commercial phenomenon, To the Break of Dawn tracks the music's aesthetic, stylistic, and thematic evolution from its inception to today's distinctly regional sub-divisions and styles. Written with an insider's ear, the book illuminates hip-hop's innovations in a freestyle form that speaks to both aficionados and newcomers to the art.
This stylish album for violin and piano takes players on a musical tour of autumn, presenting well-loved songs such as 'September in the Rain', 'Autumn Leaves', 'Danny Boy', and '(Somewhere) Over the Rainbow' and original compositions on other seasonal themes. The nine pieces reflect a wide variety of jazz styles, including swing, blues, calypso, and bossa nova, and draw on artists such as Yehudi Menuhin, Stephane Grappelli, Didier Lockwood, and Regina Carter. With fully notated rhythms, grooves, and improvisations, Violin Jazz in Autumn is the perfect collection for instrumentalists looking for that authentic sound.
From the ultimate David Bowie expert comes this exploration of the final four decades of the popstar's musical career, covering every song he wrote, performed or produced from 1976 to 2016.Starting with Low, the first of Bowie's Berlin albums, and finishing with Blackstar, his final masterpiece released just days before his death in 2016, each song is annotated in depth and explored in essays that touch upon the song's creation, production, influences and impact.
A rising hotshot in the cinema business loses and then rediscovers his spirituality along the way to making history with David Bowie. In the autumn of 2003 author Marc John organised a live satellite broadcast of a specially produced David Bowie concert which was shown exclusively in cinemas around the world. This marked the first time ever that a live event had been beamed to cinemas world-wide, and reflects the coming of 'digital cinema', which is seeing the cinema industry steadily adopt satellite dishes, hard drives and digital projectors to diversify cinema programming to include live music, sport, interactivity and video games, for the first time in cinemas 100 year old history. This book goes revealingly behind the scenes as this major, digital transition takes place, culminating with the fast paced, high flying experience of beaming David Bowie to tens of thousand of fans across four continents in sold out, rocking cinemas. But at what price to the authors spiritual direction did this historic landmark and career height cost? As an aspiring actor/playwright in New York in his teenage years, a former political candidate back home in England in his 20s and a guerrilla moviemaker whose low budget digital video experiments brought him into the executive ranks of Odeon, the UKs biggest cinema chain, the author discovered, through many improbable adventures leading up to the Bowie gig, the journey in life that we are all on. And this book is as much about the change within as it is about the change around us as the digital age gathers pace in transforming every area of our work and lives.
Not Dead Yet is Phil Collins' candid, witty, unvarnished story of the songs and shows, the hits and pans, his marriages and divorces, the ascents to the top of the charts and into the tabloid headlines. As one of only three musicians to sell over 100 million records both in a group and as a solo artist, Collins breathes rare air, but he has never lost his talent for crafting songs that touch listeners around the globe. This is the story of his epic career, from child actor to one of the most successful songwriters of the pop music era. A drummer since almost before he could walk, Collins received on-the-job training in the seedy, thrilling bars and clubs of 1960s swinging London before finally landing the drum seat in Genesis. Later he would step into the spotlight on vocals after the departure of Peter Gabriel, and compose the songs that would rocket him to international solo fame with the release of Face Value and `In the Air Tonight'. Whether he's recalling jamming with Eric Clapton and Robert Plant, pulling together a big band fronted by Tony Bennett, playing twice at Live Aid, or writing the Oscar-winning music for Disney's smash-hit animated film Tarzan, Collins keeps it intimate and his storytelling gift never wavers.
From being transported by the sound of 'True Love' by Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly on the radio, as a small child living in condemned housing in ungentrified West London in the late 1950s, to going out to work as a postman humming 'Watching the Detectives' by Elvis Costello in 1977, Alan Johnson's life has always had a musical soundtrack. In fact music hasn't just accompanied his life, it's been an integral part of it. In the bestselling and award-winning tradition of This Boy, In My Life vividly transports us to a world that is no longer with us - a world of Dansettes and jukeboxes, of heartfelt love songs and heart-broken ballads, of smoky coffee shops and dingy dance halls. From Bob Dylan to David Bowie, from Lonnie Donnegan to Bruce Springsteen, all of Alan's favourites are here. As are, of course, his beloved Beatles, whom he has worshipped with undying admiration since 1963. But this isn't just a book about music. In My Life adds a fourth dimension to the story of Alan Johnson the man.
A galvanizing history of how jazz and jazz musicians flourished despite rampant cultural exploitation The music we call "jazz" arose in late nineteenth century North America--most likely in New Orleans--based on the musical traditions of Africans, newly freed from slavery. Grounded in the music known as the "blues," which expressed the pain, sufferings, and hopes of Black folk then pulverized by Jim Crow, this new music entered the world via the instruments that had been abandoned by departing military bands after the Civil War. Jazz and Justice examines the economic, social, and political forces that shaped this music into a phenomenal US--and Black American--contribution to global arts and culture. Horne assembles a galvanic story depicting what may have been the era's most virulent economic--and racist--exploitation, as jazz musicians battled organized crime, the Ku Klux Klan, and other variously malignant forces dominating the nightclub scene where jazz became known. Horne pays particular attention to women artists, such as pianist Mary Lou Williams and trombonist Melba Liston, and limns the contributions of musicians with Native American roots. This is the story of a beautiful lotus, growing from the filth of the crassest form of human immiseration.
'Kiss Me Neck' is detailed guide to the records produced by Lee 'Scratch' Perry and those that hailed from his Black Art Studio. With over 1000 releases to his name in some form or another, there is a wealth of material here for the fan and collector to immerse themselves in.
A raucous and vividly dishy memoir by the only woman on the masthead of Rolling Stone Magazine in the Sixties. A female Almost Famous. In 1971, Robin Green had an interview with Jann Wenner at the offices Rolling Stone Magazine. She had just moved to Berkley, California, a city that promised "Good Vibes All-a Time." Those days, job applications asked just one question, "What are your sun, moon and rising signs?" Green thought she was interviewing for clerical job like the other girls in the office, a "real job." Instead, Green was hired as a journalist. A brutally honest, intimate memoir of the first girl on the masthead of Rolling Stone magazine, The Only Girl chronicles the beginnings of Robin Green's career. In this voice-driven humorous careening adventure, Green spills stories of stalking the Grateful Dead with Annie Liebowitz, sparring with Dennis Hopper on a film set in the desert, scandalizing fans of David Cassidy and spending a legendary evening on a water bed in the dorm room of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. In the seventies, Green was there as Hunter S. Thompson crafted Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Now, she presents that tumultuous time in America, written with a distinctly gonzo female voice.
Before he turned white, and still had a nose, before scandalous kiddie sex charges and weird marriages, before money woes and widely televised humiliations, Michael Jackson was the world's most exciting show-biz legend. In this expose by celebrity biographer Darwin Porter, Blood Moon presents the first-ever complete saga of an incredible American life--the good times, the very bad times, the desperate attempt to stay on top, and the international aftermath of those lawsuits when everything, including Neverland, came crashing down. Even his loudest detractors admit that they love his music. This candid bio takes you behind closed doors to explore the star-studded, bizarre world of America's most maligned superstar. This title was nominated as a finalist by Foreword Magazine for Best Biography of 2007, and it was a Runner-Up for Book of the Year from the Hollywood Book Festival. As cited by London's Guardian & Observer, Don't Stop till you get enough. Darwin Porter's biography of Jacko isn't easy to put down. It's dangerously addictive.
"Writing about yourself is a funny business...But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind. In these pages, I've tried to do this." -Bruce Springsteen, from the pages of Born to Run In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl's halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That's how this extraordinary autobiography began. Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs. He describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger, and darkness that fueled his imagination, leading up to the moment he refers to as "The Big Bang": seeing Elvis Presley's debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work, and shows us why the song "Born to Run" reveals more than we previously realized. Born to Run will be revelatory for anyone who has ever enjoyed Bruce Springsteen, but this book is much more than a legendary rock star's memoir. This is a book for workers and dreamers, parents and children, lovers and loners, artists, freaks, or anyone who has ever wanted to be baptized in the holy river of rock and roll. Rarely has a performer told his own story with such force and sweep. Like many of his songs ("Thunder Road," "Badlands," "Darkness on the Edge of Town," "The River," "Born in the U.S.A.," "The Rising," and "The Ghost of Tom Joad," to name just a few), Bruce Springsteen's autobiography is written with the lyricism of a singular songwriter and the wisdom of a man who has thought deeply about his experiences.
For more than four decades, Leonard Cohen's mournful ballads of
desire, heartbreak and lost faith have captivated audiences the
world over. Now more popular than ever, the award-winning Canadian
songwriter, novelist and poet is revered as a cultural icon and
master of his craft.
Race and music seem fatally entwined in a way that involves both creative ethnic hybridity and ongoing problems of racism. This book presents a sociological analysis of this enduring relationship and asks: how are ideas of race critical to the understanding of music genres and preferences? What does the 'love of difference' via music contribute to contemporary perspectives of racism? Previous studies of world music have situated it within the dynamics of local/global musical production, the representation of nations and ethnic groups, theories of globalization, hybridization and cultural appropriation. Haynes adds a conceptual and textual shift to these debates by utilizing world music as a lens for examining cultural imaginaries of race and analytical nuances of racialization. The text offers a view of world music from 'within, ' building on original, qualitative, interview-based research with people from the British world music scene. These interviews provide unique insights into the discursive repertoires that underpin contemporary culture, and will make a significant contribution to the mainly theoretical debates about world music.
Religion and Hip Hop brings together the category of religion, Hip Hop cultural modalities and the demographic of youth. Bringing postmodern theory and critical approaches in the study of religion to bear on Hip Hop cultural practices, this book examines how scholars in religious and theological studies have deployed and approached religion when analyzing Hip Hop data. Using existing empirical studies on youth and religion to the cultural criticism of the Humanities, Religion and Hip Hop argues that common among existing scholarship is a thin interrogation of the category of religion. As such, Miller calls for a redescription of religion in popular cultural analysis - a challenge she further explores and advances through various materialist engagements. Going beyond the traditional and more common approach of analyzing rap lyrics, from film, dance, to virtual reality, Religion and Hip Hop takes a fresh approach to exploring the paranoid posture of the religious in popular cultural forms, by going beyond what "is" religious about Hip Hop culture. Rather, Miller explores what rhetorical uses of religion in Hip Hop culture accomplish for various and often competing social and cultural interests.
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