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100 Best Music Books

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Beastie Boys Book
by Michael Diamond (Oct 30, 2018)
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A panoramic experience that tells the story of Beastie Boys, a book as unique as the band itself--by band members ADROCK and Mike D, with contributions from Amy Poehler, Colson Whitehead, Spike Jonze, Wes Anderson, Luc Sante, and more.Formed as a New York City hardcore band in 1981, Beastie Boys struck an unlikely path to global hip hop superstardo...
Me
Elton John Official Autobiography
by Elton John (Oct 15, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
In his only official autobiography, music icon Elton John writes about his extraordinary life, which is also the subject of the film Rocketman.Christened Reginald Dwight, he was a shy boy with Buddy Holly glasses who grew up in the London suburb of Pinner and dreamed of becoming a pop star. By the age of twenty-three, he was on his first tour of Am...
The Beatles Anthology
by Beatles (Sep 01, 2002)
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This extraordinary project has been made possible because Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr have agreed to tell their combined story especially for this book. Together with Yoko Ono Lennon, they have also made available the full transcripts (including all the outtakes) of the television and video series The Beatles Anthology. Through ...
Lead
by Kylie Scott (Nov 25, 2014)
Goodreads Rating
Stay up all night with the sexy rockers in Stage Dive, the epic New Adult series from New York Times bestselling author Kylie Scott, author of Lick and Play.As the lead singer of Stage Dive, Jimmy is used to getting whatever he wants, whenever he wants it, whether it's booze, drugs, or women. However, when a PR disaster serves as a wake-up call abo...
Tune In
The Beatles
by Mark Lewisohn (Oct 11, 2016)
Goodreads Rating
Tune In is the first volume of All These Years—a highly-anticipated, groundbreaking biographical trilogy by the world's leading Beatles historian. Mark Lewisohn uses his unprecedented archival access and hundreds of new interviews to construct the full story of the lives and work of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. Ten...
Last Train to Memphis
The Rise of Elvis Presley
by Peter Guralnick (Sep 01, 1995)
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From the moment that he first shook up the world in the mid 1950s, Elvis Presley has been one of the most vivid and enduring myths of American culture.Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley is the first biography to go past that myth and present an Elvis beyond the legend. Based on hundreds of interviews and nearly a decade of research, i...
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Bob Dylan
Wicked Beat
by Olivia Cunning (Aug 06, 2013)
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From the moment he lays eyes on Sinners’ new front of house soundboard operator, drummer Eric Sticks knows he has to make Rebekah his. Unfortunately, she’s too busy trying to seduce guitarist Trey Mills to pay him much attention. Rebekah never planned to fall for the tall, goofy drummer with the weird sense of humor and a heart the size of the gala...
Born to Run
by Bruce Springsteen (Sep 27, 2016)
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“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 RunIn 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl’s halftime show. The experience was so exhilaratin...
Recommended by
Bob Iger
The guitarist for seminal female punk group The Slits recounts playing with Sid Vicious, touring with the Clash, dating Mick Jones, inspiring “Train in Vain,” and releasing her solo debut in 2012Viv Albertine is one of a handful of original punks who changed music, and the discourse around it, forever. Her memoir tells the story of how, through she...
My Own Devices
True Stories from the Road on Music, Science, and Senseless Love
by Dessa (Aug 27, 2019)
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"Dessa writes beautifully about a wide range of topics, including science, music, and the pain that comes with being in love; it's a surprising and generous memoir by a singular voice."--NPR, Best Books of 2018Dessa defies category--she is an intellectual with an international rap career and an inhaler in her backpack; a creative writer fascinated ...
Recommended by
Lin-Manuel Miranda
It's So Easy
and other lies
by Duff McKagan (Mar 20, 2012)
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A founding member of Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver shares the story of his rise to the pinnacle of fame and fortune, his struggles with alcoholism and drug addiction, his personal crash and burn, and his phoenix-like transformation via a unique path to sobriety. In 1984, at the age of twenty, Duff McKagan left his native Seattle—partly to pursu...
Petty
The Biography
by Warren Zanes (Oct 25, 2016)
Goodreads Rating
The New York Times Bestseller*One of Rolling Stone's 10 Best Music Books of 2015*An exhilarating and intimate account of the life of music legend Tom Petty, by an accomplished writer and musician who toured with PettyNo one other than Warren Zanes, rocker and writer and friend, could author a book about Tom Petty that is as honest and evocative of ...
Recommended by
Brian Koppelman
How Music Got Free
A Story of Obsession and Invention
by Stephen Witt (Jun 14, 2016)
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Finalist for the 2015 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year  Named one of Time magazines Best Books of 2015 So Far  A New York Times Editors Choice  [How Music Got Free] has the clear writing and brisk reportorial acumen of a Michael Lewis book.Dwight Garner, The New York TimesWhat happens when an entire generation commits the same...
Recommended by
Paolo Gregoletto
Just Kids
by Patti Smith (Nov 02, 2010)
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"Patti Smith has graced us with a poetic masterpiece, a rare and privileged invitation to unlatch a treasure chest never before breached." - Johnny DeppIt was the summer Coltrane died, the summer of love and riots, and the summer when a chance encounter in Brooklyn led two young people on a path of art, devotion, and initiation. Patti Smith would e...
Here, There and Everywhere
My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles
by Geoff Emerick (Feb 15, 2007)
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Geoff Emerick became an assistant engineer at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in 1962 at age fifteen, and was present as a new band called the Beatles recorded their first songs. He later worked with the Beatles as they recorded their singles “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” the songs that would propel them to international supersta...
Lady Gaga X Terry Richardson
by Lady Gaga (Nov 22, 2011)
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In this book of original, behind-the-scenes photographs, acclaimed photographer Terry Richardson follows superstar Lady Gaga during one year of her life, from Lollapalooza through the final show of her Monster Ball tour. During the time period he followed Gaga, Richardson took over 100,000 images and attended more than 30 Monster Ball dates around ...
Recommended by
Mindy Kaling
Look, I Made a Hat
Collected Lyrics (1981-2011) with Attendant Comments, Amplifications, Dogmas, Harangues, Digressions, Anecdotes and Miscellany
by Stephen Sondheim (Nov 22, 2011)
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Categories: NonfictionMusicArt
After his acclaimed and best-selling Finishing the Hat (named one of the New York Times 10 Best Books of 2010), Stephen Sondheim returns with the second volume of his collected lyrics, Look, I Made a Hat, giving us another remarkable glimpse into the brilliant mind of this living legend, and his lifes work.   Picking up where he left off in Finish...
Recommended by
Mindy Kaling
Our Band Could Be Your Life
Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991
by Michael Azerrad (Jul 02, 2002)
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Categories: MusicArtNonfiction
This is the never-before-told story of the musical revolution that happened right under the nose of the Reagan Eighties--when a small but sprawling network of bands, labels, fanzines, radio stations, and other subversives reenergized American rock with punk rock's do-it-yourself credo and created music that was deeply personal, often brilliant, alw...
Please Kill Me
The Uncensored Oral History of Punk
by Legs McNeil (Aug 09, 2016)
Goodreads Rating
A Time Out and Daily News Top Ten Book of the Year upon its initial release, Please Kill Me is the first oral history of the most nihilist of all pop movements. Iggy Pop, Danny Fields, Dee Dee and Joey Ramone, Malcom McLaren, Jim Carroll, and scores of other famous and infamous punk figures lend their voices to this definitive account of that outra...
Recommended by
Seth Mandel
Miles
The Autobiography
by Miles Davis (Sep 15, 1990)
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For more than forty years Miles Davis has been in the front rank of American music. Universally acclaimed as a musical genius, Miles is one of the most important and influential musicians in the world. The subject of several biographies, now Miles speaks out himself about his extraordinary life.Miles: The Autobiography, like Miles himself, holds no...
Careless Love
The Unmaking of Elvis Presley
by Peter Guralnick (Jan 01, 2000)
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Careless Love is the full, true, and mesmerizing story of Elvis Presley's last two decades, in the long-awaited second volume of Peter Guralnick's masterful two-part biography.Last Train to Memphis, the first part of Guralnick's two-volume life of Elvis Presley, was acclaimed by the New York Times as "a triumph of biographical art." This concluding...
The Dirt
Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band
by Tommy Lee (Jul 09, 2002)
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Whiskey and porn stars, hot reds and car crashes, black leather and high heels, overdoses and death. This is the life of Mötley Crüe, the heaviest drinking, hardest fighting, most oversexed and arrogant band in the world. Their unbelievable exploits are the stuff of rock 'n' roll legend. They nailed the hottest chicks, started the bloodiest fights,...
The Complete David Bowie
by Nicholas Pegg (Dec 06, 2016)
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The biggest edition yet expanded and updated with 35,000 words of new material Critically acclaimed in its previous editions, "The Complete David Bowie" is widely recognized as the foremost source of analysis and information on every facet of Bowie s career. The A-Z of songs and the day-by-day dateline are the most complete ever published. From th...
Recommended by
Harry Khachatrian
Sing Backwards and Weep
A Memoir
by Mark Lanegan (Apr 28, 2020)
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A gritty, gripping memoir by the singer Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age, Soulsavers), chronicling his years as a singer and drug addict in Seattle in the '80s and '90s "Mark Lanegan-primitive, brutal, and apocalyptic. What's not to love?" -Nick Cave, author of The Sick Bag Song and The Death of Bunny Munro When Mark Lanegan ...
Recommended by
Irvine Welsh
Hellfire
The Jerry Lee Lewis Story
by Nick Tosches (Apr 22, 1998)
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The life of Jerry Lee Lewis is one of the most dramatic and tormented in rock 'n' roll history. Hellfire is a wild, riveting, and beautifully written biography that received universal acclaim on its original publication and remains one of the most remarkable biographies ever written.Born in Louisiana to a family legacy of great courage and greater ...
Recommended by
Jason Leopold
Bound for Glory
The Hard-Driving, Truth-Telling, Autobiography of America's Great Poet-Folk Singer (Plume)
by Woody Guthrie (Sep 15, 1983)
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First published in 1943, this autobiography is also a superb portrait of America's Depression years, by the folk singer, activist, and man who saw it all.Woody Guthrie was born in Oklahoma and traveled this whole country overnot by jet or motorcycle, but by boxcar, thumb, and foot. During the journey of discovery that was his life, he composed and ...
Recommended by
Bob Dylan
Revolution in the Head
The Beatles' Records and the Sixties
by Ian MacDonald (Dec 01, 1994)
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Categories: MusicArtNonfiction
'No book has taken us closer to the music of the Beatles' Tony Parsons 'Consistently brilliant' SUNDAY TIMES 'Essential' Q The Beatles achievement was so dazzling, so extraordinary, that few have questioned it. Agreement that they were far and away the best pop group ever is all but universal. And nowhere is the spirit of the Sixties - both in its ...
Bass Culture
When Reggae Was King
by Lloyd Bradley (Sep 04, 2001)
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'Jamaican music at last has the book it deserves' Prince Buster, from his Foreword'The first comprehensive history of every aspect of reggae (and) it could be the last that talked to those who were there at stage one...Bradley leaves no stone unturned in a coruscating rollercoaster ride through murder, major label gripes, ganja paranoia and racism,...
Recommended by
Daniel Ek
Views
by Roger Dean (Mar 10, 2009)
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Categories: ArtNonfictionMusic
The first two volumes chronicling the unique art and design of Roger Dean met with huge critical and popular success. Views (1975) went straight to number one in the Sunday Times bestseller list and went on to sell over a million copies. Magnetic Storm (1984) sold over 650,000 copies. These new editions, reworked to accompany the publication of the...
Recommended by
Neil Gaiman
The Heroin Diaries
Ten Year Anniversary Edition
by Nikki Sixx (Oct 24, 2017)
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Set against the frenzied world of heavy metal superstardom, the co-founder of Motley Crue offers an unflinching and gripping look at his own descent into drug addiction. It follows him during the year he plunged to rock bottom and his courageous decision to pick himself up and start living again."...
Because
by Mo Willems (Mar 05, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Mo Willems, a number one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, composes a powerful symphony of chance, discovery, persistence, and magic in this moving tale of a young girl's journey to center stage. Illustrator Amber Ren brings Willems' music to life, conducting a stunning picture-book debut....
Jeff Buckley
His Own Voice
by Mary Guibert (Oct 15, 2019)
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Categories: MusicArtNonfiction
The journals and notebooks of Jeff Buckley, the late singer best-known for the definitive version of "Hallelujah" and his classic album Grace, including dozens of evocative photos of his personal effects and ephemera.In 1994, an artist named Jeff Buckley released Grace, his debut album. Hailed immediately by the likes of Bono, Jimmy Page, and Rober...
Recommended by
Jamie Lawson
TOTAL CHAOS
The Story of the Stooges
by Jeff Gold (Nov 29, 2016)
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"Iggy Pop is my total idol."Kurt Cobain"The Stooges also carry a strong element of sickness in their music, a crazed quaking uncertainty and errant foolishness that effectively mirrors the absurdity and desperation of the times, but I believe that they also carry a strong element of cure, of post-derangement sanity. And I also believe that their mu...
Recommended by
Anthony Bourdain
The Beatles
The Biography
by Bob Spitz (Oct 10, 2006)
Goodreads Rating
Even before the Beatles hit the big time, a myth was created. This version of the Beatles legend smoothed the rough edges and filled in the fault lines, and for more than forty years this manicured version of the Beatles story has sustained as truth - until now.The product of almost a decade of research, hundreds of unprecedented interviews, and th...
This Wheel's on Fire
Levon Helm and the Story of the Band
by Levon Helm (Sep 01, 2000)
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The Band, who backed Bob Dylan when he went electric in 1965 and then turned out a half-dozen albums of beautifully crafted, image-rich songs, is now regarded as one of the most influential rock groups of the '60s. But while their music evoked a Southern mythology, only their Arkansawyer drummer, Levon Helm, was the genuine article. From the cotton...
John Lennon
The Life
by Philip Norman (Sep 08, 2009)
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For more than a quarter century, biographer Philip Norman's internationally bestselling Shout! has been unchallenged as the definitive biography of the Beatles. Now, at last, Norman turns his formidable talent to the Beatle for whom being a Beatle was never enough. Drawing on previously untapped sources, and with unprecedented access to all the maj...
Acid for the Children
A Memoir
by Flea (Nov 05, 2019)
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The iconic bassist and co-founder of the Red Hot Chili Peppers tells his fascinating origin story, complete with all the dizzying highs and the gutter lows you'd want from an LA street rat turned world famous rock star.Michael Peter Balzary was born in Melbourne, Australia, on October 16, 1962. His more famous stage name, Flea, and his wild ride as...
Recommended by
Louis Virtel
The Music Lesson
A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music
by Victor L. Wooten (Apr 01, 2008)
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Categories: MusicArtNonfiction
From Grammy-winning musical icon and legendary bassist Victor L. Wooten comes The Music Lesson, the story of a struggling young musician who wanted music to be his life, and who wanted his life to be great. Then, from nowhere it seemed, a teacher arrived. Part musical genius, part philosopher, part eccentric wise man, the teacher would guide the yo...
Silence
Lectures and Writings, 50th Anniversary Edition
by John Cage (Oct 26, 2011)
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Categories: MusicArtNonfiction
Silence, A Year from Monday, M, Empty Words and X (in this order) form the five parts of a series of books in which Cage tries, as he says, to find a way of writing which comes from ideas, is not about them, but which produces them. Often these writings include mesostics and essays created by subjecting the work of other writers to chance procedure...
Meet Me in the Bathroom
Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011
by Lizzy Goodman (Nov 13, 2018)
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Categories: MusicArtNonfiction
Joining the ranks of the classics Please Kill Me, Our Band Could Be Your Life, and Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, an intriguing oral history of the post-9/11 decline of the old-guard music industry and rebirth of the New York rock scene, led by a group of iconoclastic rock bands.In the second half of the twentieth-century New York was the source of new sou...
Room Full of Mirrors
A Biography of Jimi Hendrix
by Charles R. Cross (Aug 08, 2006)
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Now in paperback, the national bestselling biography of American musical icon Jimi Hendrix It has been more than thirty-five years since Jimi Hendrix died, but his music and spirit are still very much alive for his fans everywhere. Charles R. Cross vividly recounts the life of Hendrix, from his difficult childhood and adolescence in Seattle through...
Everybody Loves Our Town
An Oral History of Grunge
by Mark Yarm (Mar 13, 2012)
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Categories: MusicArtNonfiction
Twenty years after the release of Nirvana’s landmark album Nevermind comes Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge, the definitive word on the grunge era, straight from the mouths of those at the center of it all. In 1986, fledgling Seattle label C/Z Records released Deep Six, a compilation featuring a half-dozen local bands: Soundgarde...
Thelonious Monk
The Life and Times of an American Original
by Robin Kelley (Nov 02, 2010)
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THELONIOUS MONK is the critically acclaimed, gripping saga of an artist’s struggle to “make it” without compromising his musical vision. It is a story that, like its subject, reflects the tidal ebbs and flows of American history in the twentieth century. To his fans, he was the ultimate hipster; to his detractors, he was temperamental, eccentric, t...
Heavier Than Heaven
A Biography of Kurt Cobain
by Charles R. Cross (Apr 02, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
The art of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain was all about his private life, but written in a code as obscure as T.S. Eliot's. Now Charles Cross has cracked the code in the definitive biography Heavier Than Heaven, an all-access pass to Cobain's heart and mind. It reveals many secrets, thanks to 400-plus interviews, and even quotes Cobain's diaries and suicide...
The Real Frank Zappa Book
by Frank Zappa (May 15, 1990)
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The legendary Frank Zappa, one of the most influential, innovative and controversial musical artists for the past 20 years, takes us on a wild, funny trip through his life and times. Along the way, Zappa offers his inimitable views on many things such as art, politics and beer....
Deep Blues
A Musical and Cultural History of the Mississippi Delta
by Robert Palmer (Jul 29, 1982)
Goodreads Rating
Music category type book. Paperback. Robert Palmer, Author. Lightly age toned pages. A Penquin Book. 1982 reprinted in 1988. Printed in USA. Total 310 pages. Approximate size, 5 x 7.75. Brown covers with pictorials of Blues singers, band on the front cover - one guy wearing a blue suit. Pages clean with no markings or tears. Spine is tight and stra...
Last Night a DJ Saved My Life
The History of the Disc Jockey
by Bill Brewster (May 20, 2014)
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From the first time a record was played over the airwaves in 1906, to a modern club economy that totals $3 billion annually in New York City alone, the DJ has been at the center of popular music. Starting as little more than a talking jukebox, the DJ is now a premier entertainer, producer, businessman, and musician in his own right. Superstar DJs, ...
The Lives of the Great Composers
by Harold C. Schonberg (Apr 17, 1997)
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In this new edition, Harold Schonberg offers music lovers a series of fascinating biographical chapters. Music, the author contends, is a continually evolving art, and all geniuses, unique as they are, were influenced by their predecessors. Schonberg discusses the lives and works of the foremost figures in classical music, among them Bach, Mozart, ...
Can't Stop Won't Stop
A History of the Hip-Hop Generation
by Jeff Chang (Dec 27, 2005)
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Can't Stop Won't Stop is a powerful cultural and social history of the end of the American century, and a provocative look into the new world that the hip-hop generation created.Forged in the fires of the Bronx and Kingston, Jamaica, hip-hop became the Esperanto of youth rebellion and a generation-defining movement. In a post-civil rights era defin...
One Way Out
The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band
by Alan Paul (Feb 24, 2015)
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A New York Times Best seller!One Way Out is the powerful biography of The Allman Brothers Band, an oral history written with the band's participation and filled with original, never-before-published interviews as well as personal letters and correspondence. This is the most in-depth look at a legendary American rock band that has meant so much to s...
The Classical Style
Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven (Expanded Edition)
by Charles Rosen (Jan 17, 1998)
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Categories: MusicArtNonfiction
This outstanding book treating the three most beloved composers of the Vienna School is basic to any study of Classical-era music. Drawing on his rich experience and intimate familiarity with the works of these giants, Charles Rosen presents his keen insights in clear and persuasive language. For this expanded edition, now available in paperback fo...
Scar Tissue
by Anthony Kiedis (Oct 19, 2005)
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Now in paperback, the New York Times bestseller by one of rock's most provocative figures Scar Tissue is Anthony Kiedis's searingly honest memoir of a life spent in the fast lane. In 1983, four self-described "knuckleheads" burst out of the mosh-pitted mosaic of the neo-punk rock scene in L.A. with their own unique brand of cosmic hardcore mayhem f...
The Joy of Music Leonard Bernstein
by Leonard Bernstein (Dec 01, 2004)
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Categories: MusicArtNonfiction
This classic work is perhaps Bernstein's finest collection of conversations on the meaning and wonder of music. This book is a must for all music fans who wish to experience music more fully and deeply through one of the most inspired, and inspiring, music intellects of our time. Employing the creative device of "Imaginary Conversations" in the fir...
I Put a Spell On You
by Nina Simone (Sep 04, 2003)
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The inimitable, gorgeously talented Nina Simone (1933-2003)--the "high priestess of soul"--sets the story of her tumultuous, passionate life straight in I Put a Spell on You.Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in small-town North Carolina, Nina Simone changed the face of both music and race relations in America. She struck a chord with bluesy jazz ballads ...
Recommended by
Nicholas McCarthy
Mo' Meta Blues
The World According to Questlove
by Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson (May 12, 2015)
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MO' META BLUESThe World According to QuestloveMo' Meta Blues is a punch-drunk memoir in which Everyone's Favorite Questlove tells his own story while tackling some of the lates, the greats, the fakes, the philosophers, the heavyweights, and the true originals of the music world. He digs deep into the album cuts of his life and unearths some pivotal...
Inside Out
A Personal History of Pink Floyd
by Nick Mason (Sep 01, 2004)
Goodreads Rating
Here, for the first time, is the story of Pink Floydfrom the inside out. With 116 million albums sold worldwide and 25 years on the pop charts to their credit, Pink Floyd is one of the most successful rock groups in history, yet their storyuntil nowis one of the least known. The only continuous member of the band through its entire 40-year history,...
Unknown Pleasures
by Peter Hook (Jul 14, 2016)
Goodreads Rating
Joy Division changed the face of music. Godfathers of alternative rock, they reinvented music in the post-punk era, creating a new sound—dark, hypnotic, and intense—that would influence U2, Morrissey, R.E.M., Radiohead, and numerous others. The story is now legendary: in 1980, on the heels of their groundbreaking debut, Unknown Pleasures, and on th...
The Show
by Lawrence H. Sola (Aug 03, 2016)
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He worked hard, played hard, and was referred to as the Peter Pan Man, set to be a star in the industry he adored. After his third promotion in four years, he was granted a rare bright future tag that only two executives, with very different agendas, were aware of. The company relocated him to run a new selling division and his seemingly scripted l...
Bach
Music in the Castle of Heaven
by John Eliot Gardiner (Mar 03, 2015)
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Johann Sebastian Bach is one of the most unfathomable composers in the history of music. How can such sublime work have been produced by a man who (when we can discern his personality at all) seems so ordinary, so opaque—and occasionally so intemperate? John Eliot Gardiner grew up passing one of the only two authentic portraits of Bach every mornin...
Ocean of Sound
by David Toop (Jun 01, 2001)
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Categories: MusicArtNonfiction
Sun Ra, Brian Eno, Lee Perry, Kate Bush, Kraftwerk, Aphex Twin, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Brian Wilson are interviewed in this extraordinary work of sonic history. It travels from the rainforests of Amazonas to virtual Las Vegas; from David Lynch's dream house high in the Hollywood Hills to the megalopolis of Tokyo.Ocean of Sound begins in 1889 at the P...
Blues People
Negro Music in White America
by Leroi Jones (Jan 20, 1999)
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"The path the slave took to 'citizenship' is what I want to look at. And I make my analogy through the slave citizen's music -- through the music that is most closely associated with him: blues and a later, but parallel development, jazz... [If] the Negro represents, or is symbolic of, something in and about the nature of American culture, this cer...
Audio-Vision
Sound on Screen
by Michel Chion (Apr 14, 1994)
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In "Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen," French critic and composer Michel Chion reassesses audiovisual media since the revolutionary 1927 debut of recorded sound in cinema, shedding crucial light on the mutual relationship between sound and image in audiovisual perception.Chion argues that sound film qualitatively produces a new form of perception: we ...
Let Me Clear My Throat
Essays
by Elena Passarello (Oct 09, 2012)
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From Farinelli, the eighteenth century castrato who brought down opera houses with his high C, to the recording of "Johnny B. Goode" affixed to the Voyager spacecraft, Let Me Clear My Throat dissects the whys and hows of popular voices, making them hum with significance and emotion. There are murders of punk rock crows, impressionists, and rebel ye...
Billy F Gibbons
Rock + Roll Gearhead
by Billy F Gibbons (Jun 02, 2020)
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Expanded on the occasion of ZZ Top’s 50th anniversary year, Billy F Gibbons: Rock + Roll Gearhead (first published in 2005) throws wide Gibbons’ garage and studio doors for an exclusive look at the exquisite vintage and way-out custom guitars and the influential hot rods and custom cars of the Grade-A Texas gearhead. From the near-mythical ’59 Les ...
I Am Ozzy
by Ozzy Osbourne (Jan 03, 2011)
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I Am Ozzy...
The Art of Practicing
A Guide to Making Music from the Heart
by Madeline Bruser (Feb 02, 1999)
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Categories: MusicArtNonfiction
This landmark book enlightens amateur and professional musicians about a way of practicing that transforms a sometimes frustrating, monotonous, and overly strenuous labor into an exhilarating and rewarding experience. Acclaimed pianist and teacher Madeline Bruser combines physiological and meditative principles to help musicians release physical an...
Generation Ecstasy
Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture
by Simon Reynolds (Jul 15, 1999)
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Categories: MusicArtNonfiction
In Generation Ecstasy, Simon Reynolds takes the reader on a guided tour of this end-of-the-millenium phenomenon, telling the story of rave culture and techno music as an insider who has dosed up and blissed out. A celebration of rave's quest for the perfect beat definitive chronicle of rave culture and electronic dance music....
Get in the Van
On the Road With Black Flag
by Henry Rollins (Oct 01, 1994)
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As a member of the seminal punk band Black Flag, Henry Rollins kept detailed tour diaries that form the basis of Get in the Van . Rollins's observations range from the wry to the raucous in this blistering account of a six-year career with the band - a time marked by crazed fans, vicious cops, near-starvation, substance abuse, and mind numbing all-...
Dino
Living High in the Dirty Business of Dreams
by Nick Tosches (Apr 13, 1999)
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From dealing blackjack in the small-time gangster  town of Steubenville, Ohio, to carousing with the  famous "Rat Pack" in a Hollywood he  called home, Dean Martin lived in a grandstand,  guttering life of booze, broads, and big money. He  rubbed shoulders with the mob, the Kennedys, and  Hollywood's biggest stars. He was one of America's  favorite...
Recommended by
Kirk Minihane
Cash
The Autobiography
by Johnny Cash (Oct 07, 2003)
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He was the "Man in Black," a country music legend, and the quintessential American troubadour. He was an icon of rugged individualism who had been to hell and back, telling the tale as never before. In his unforgettable autobiography, Johnny Cash tells the truth about the highs and lows, the struggles and hard-won triumphs, and the people who shape...
Shakey
Neil Young's Biography
by Jimmy McDonough (May 13, 2003)
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Neil Young is one of rock and roll’s most important and enigmatic figures, a legend from the sixties who is still hugely influential today. He has never granted a writer access to his inner life – until now. Based on six years of interviews with more than three hundred of Young’s associates, and on more than fifty hours of interviews with Young him...
The Rest Is Noise
Listening to the Twentieth Century
by Alex Ross (Oct 14, 2008)
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The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century is a voyage into the labyrinth of modern music, which remains an obscure world for most people. While paintings of Picasso and Jackson Pollock sell for a hundred million dollars or more, and lines from T. S. Eliot are quoted on the yearbook pages of alienated teenagers across the land, twentieth...
Sinners at the Altar
by Olivia Cunning (Mar 11, 2014)
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Even Sinners need love...Sinners at the Altar includes four complete wedding stories, each about a different member of the rock band Sinners. These novellas are intended to be read after the Sinners on Tour series as each story is an epilogue to a different book in the series and thus riddled with major spoilers for not only individual books, but i...
Idol
by Kristen Callihan (Jun 07, 2016)
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LibbyI found Killian drunk and sprawled out on my lawn like some lost prince. With the face of a god and the arrogance to match, the pest won’t leave. Sexy, charming, and just a little bit dirty, he’s slowly wearing me down, making me crave more.He could be mine if I dare to claim him. Problem is, the world thinks he’s theirs. How do you keep an id...
Deep
by Kylie Scott (Mar 31, 2015)
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Don't miss a beat with the fourth and final novel in the USA Today bestselling Stage Dive series from Kylie Scott.Positive. With two little lines on a pregnancy test, everything in Lizzy Rollins' ordinary life is about to change forever. And all because of one big mistake in Vegas with Ben Nicholson, the irresistibly sexy bass player for Stage Dive...
Rip It Up and Start Again
by Simon Reynolds (Mar 31, 2005)
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Categories: MusicArtNonfiction
Punk's raw power rejuvenated rock, but by the summer of 1977 the movement had become a parody of itself. RIP IT UP AND START AGAIN is a celebration of what happened next.Post-punk bands like PiL, Joy Division, Talking Heads, The Fall and The Human League dedicated themselves to fulfilling punk's unfinished musical revolution. The post-punk groups w...
I Me Mine
The Extended Edition
by George Harrison (Feb 21, 2017)
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Cherished by fans and collectors since its first publication in 1980, I, Me, Mine is now available in paperback. The closest we will come to George Harrison's autobiography, it features George in conversation with The Beatles' spokesperson Derek Taylor, discussing everything from early Beatlemania to his love of gardening. The lyrics to over 80 of ...
The History of Jazz
by Ted Gioia (Nov 20, 1997)
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Jazz is the most colorful and varied art form in the world and it was born in one of the most colorful and varied cities, New Orleans. From the seed first planted by slave dances held in Congo Square and nurtured by early ensembles led by Buddy Belden and Joe "King" Oliver, jazz began its long winding odyssey across America and around the world, gi...
Come As You Are
The Story of Nirvana
by Michael Azerrad (Sep 01, 1993)
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Nirvana came out of nowhere in 1991 to sell  nearly five million copies of their landmark album  Nevermind, whose thunderous sound  and indelible melodies embodied all the confusion,  frustration, and passion of the emerging  Generation X. Come As You Are is the  close-up, intimate story of Nirvana -- the  only book with exclusive in-depth  intervi...
Mystery train
Images of America in rock 'n' roll music
by Greil Marcus (Jan 01, 1975)
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Categories: MusicArtNonfiction
When it was first published, critic after critic called this brilliant study of rock 'n' roll and American culture the best book on the subject. Now, firmly established as a classic, the fourth edition features a completely new introduction as well as an entirely updated discography that includes CDs for the first time....
England's Dreaming, Revised Edition
Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, and Beyond
by Jon Savage (Jan 18, 2002)
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Categories: MusicArtNonfiction
England's Dreaming is the ultimate book on punk, its progenitors, the Sex Pistols, and the moment they defined for music fans in England and the United States. Savage brings to life the sensational story of the meteoric rise and rapid implosion of the Pistols through layers of rich detail, exclusive interviews, and rare photographs. This fully revi...
Hit Men
Power Brokers and Fast Money Inside the Music Business
by Fredric Dannen (Jul 02, 1991)
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Categories: MusicArtNonfiction
Copiously researched and documented, Hit Men is the highly controversial portrait of the pop music industry in all its wild, ruthless glory: the insatiable greed and ambition; the enormous egos; the fierce struggles for profits and power; the vendettas, rivalries, shakedowns, and payoffs. Chronicling the evolution of America's largest music labels ...
Recommended by
Daniel Ek
Shout!
The Beatles in Their Generation
by Philip Norman (Feb 15, 2005)
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Updated to include Paul McCartney’s knighting and the deaths of John Lennon and George Harrison.Philip Norman’s biography of the Beatles is the definitive work on the world's most influential band—a beautifully written account of their lives, their music, and their times. Now brought completely up to date, this epic tale charts the rise of four scr...
Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung
The Work of a Legendary Critic
by Lester Bangs (Sep 12, 1988)
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Categories: MusicArtNonfiction
Vintage presents the paperback edition of the wild and brilliant writings of Lester Bangs--the most outrageous and popular rock critic of the 1970s--edited and with an introduction by the reigning dean of rock critics, Greil Marcus. Advertising in Rolling Stone and other major publications....
Celine Dion's Let's Talk About Love
A Journey to the End of Taste (33 1/3)
by Carl Wilson (Dec 15, 2007)
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Categories: MusicArtNonfiction
Non-fans regard Céline Dion as ersatz and plastic, yet to those who love her, no one could be more real, with her impoverished childhood, her (creepy) manager-husband's struggle with cancer, her knack for howling out raw emotion. There's nothing cool about Céline Dion, and nothing clever. That's part of her appeal as an object of love or hatred — w...
How Music Works
The Science and Psychology of Beautiful Sounds, from Beethoven to the Beatles and Beyond
by John Powell (Dec 02, 2011)
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What makes a musical note different from any other sound? How can you tell if you have perfect pitch? Why do 10 violins sound only twice as loud as one? Do your Bob Dylan albums sound better on CD or vinyl? John Powell, a scientist and musician, answers these questions and many more in How Music Works, an intriguing and original guide to acoustics....
Music, The Brain, And Ecstasy
How Music Captures Our Imagination
by Robert Jourdain (Mar 01, 1998)
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What makes a distant oboe's wail beautiful? Why do some kinds of music lift us to ecstasy, but not others? How can music make sense to an ear and brain evolved for detecting the approaching lion or tracking the unsuspecting gazelle? Lyrically interweaving discoveries from science, psychology, music theory, paleontology, and philosophy, Robert Jourd...
The Cello Suites
J. S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the Search for a Baroque Masterpiece
by Eric Siblin (Jan 04, 2011)
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One autumn evening, shortly after ending a ten-year stint as a pop-music columnist for the Montreal Gazette, Eric Siblin attended a concert at Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music. There, something unlikely happened: he fell in love with a piece of classical music -- Bach's cello suites. Part biography, part music history, and part literary myster...
Set Your Voice Free
How to Get the Singing or Speaking Voice You Want
by Roger Love (Dec 27, 2016)
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The greatest vocal coach in the world will help you get the voice you want. Every time we open our mouths, we have an effect on ourselves and the way others perceive us. The ability to speak clearly and confidently can make or break a presentation, an important meeting, or even a first date. Now, with the advent of Skype, YouTube, podcasting, Vine...
Recommended by
Jim Kwik
Jessica Hopper's music criticism has earned her a reputation as a firebrand, a keen observer and fearless critic not just of music but the culture around it. With this volume spanning from her punk fanzine roots to her landmark piece on R. Kelly's past, The First Collection leaves no doubt why The New York Times has called Hopper's work "influentia...
Twilight of the Gods
A Journey to the End of Classic Rock
by Steven Hyden (May 08, 2018)
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Categories: MusicArtNonfiction
The author of the critically acclaimed Your Favorite Band is Killing Me offers an eye-opening and frank assessment of the state of classic rock, assessing its past and future, the impact it has had, and what its loss would mean to an industry, a culture, and a way of life.Since the late 1960s, a legendary cadre of artistsincluding the Rolling Stone...
Recommended by
Dave Ryan
How Music Works
by David Byrne (May 02, 2017)
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Categories: MusicArtNonfiction
*Updated with a new chapter on digital curation* How Music Works is David Byrne's incisive and enthusiastic look at the musical art form, from its very inceptions to the influences that shape it, whether acoustical, economic, social or technological. Utilizing his incomparable career and inspired collaborations with Talking Heads, Brian Eno, and ma...
Recommended by
Thomas Frank
Journals
by Kurt Cobain (Nov 04, 2003)
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The lyrics notebook and personal journals of Kurt Cobain, iconic singer of the band Nirvana.Kurt Cobain filled dozens of notebooks with lyrics, drawings, and writings about his plans for Nirvana and his thoughts about fame, the state of music, and the people who bought and sold him and his music. His journals reveal an artist who loved music, who k...
M Train
by Patti Smith (Aug 23, 2016)
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M Train begins in the tiny Greenwich Village café where Smith goes every morning for black coffee, ruminates on the world as it is and the world as it was, and writes in her notebook. Through prose that shifts fluidly between dreams and reality, past and present, we travel to Frida Kahlo's Casa Azul in Mexico; to the fertile moon terrain of Iceland...
Billie Holiday - Lady Sings the Blues
by Billie Holiday (Mar 01, 1985)
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With photosOriginally released by Doubleday in 1956, Harlem Moon Classics celebrates the publication with the fiftieth-anniversary edition of Billie Holiday’s unforgettable and timeless memoir. Updated with an insightful introduction and a revised discography, both written by celebrated music writer David Ritz.Lady Sings the Blues is the fiercely h...
White Line Fever
The Autobiography
by Lemmy Kilmister (Jan 01, 2004)
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After years of notorious excess, his blood would kill another human being. This is the story of the heaviest drinking, most oversexed speed freak in the music business.Ian Fraser Kilmister was born on Christmas Eve, 1945. Learning from an early age that chicks really do appreciate a guy with a guitar, and inspired by the music of Elvis and Buddy Ho...
Slash
by Slash (Oct 21, 2008)
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From one of the greatest rock guitarists of our era comes a memoir that redefines sex, drugs, and rock 'n' rollHe was born in England but reared in L.A., surrounded by the leading artists of the day amidst the vibrant hotbed of music and culture that was the early seventies. Slash spent his adolescence on the streets of Hollywood, discovering drugs...
Adios, Motherfucker
A Gentleman's Progress Through Rock and Roll
by Michael Ruffino (Aug 29, 2017)
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A blend of This Is Spinal Tap and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the cult classic confessions of a debauched rock 'n' roller and his adventures in excess on the '80s hair-metal nostalgia tour through Middle America-available again, and now revised and updated Once upon a time at the start of the new century, the unheard-of Unband got a chance to d...
Recommended by
Anthony Bourdain
Sound of the Beast
The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal
by Ian Christe (Feb 17, 2004)
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Categories: MusicArtNonfiction
The definitive history of the first 30 years of heavy metal, containing over 100 interviews with members of Black Sabbath, Metallica, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, Slipknot, Kiss, Megadeth, Public Enemy, Napalm Death, and more.More than 30 years after Black Sabbath released the first complete heavy metal album, its founder, Ozzy Osbourne, is the st...
Chronicles
Volume One
by Bob Dylan (Sep 13, 2005)
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"I'd come from a long ways off and had started a long ways down. But now destiny was about to manifest itself. I felt like it was looking right at me and nobody else." So writes Bob Dylan in Chronicles: Volume One, his remarkable book exploring critical junctures in his life and career. Through Dylan's eyes and open mind, we see Greenwich Village, ...