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Music

33 1/3: The Beatles' Let It Be

33 1/3: The Beatles' Let It Be

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The recording sessions for Let It Be actually began as rehearsals for a proposed return to live stage work for the Beatles, to be inaugurated in a concert at a Roman amphitheatre in Tunisia. In this thoroughly researched book, Steve Matteo delves deep into the complex history of these sessions. He talks to a number of people who were in the studio with the Beatles, recording the sights and sounds of the band at work bringing to life a period in the Beatles' career that was creative and chaotic in equal measure.
33 1/3: The Magnetic Field's 69 Love Songs

33 1/3: The Magnetic Field's 69 Love Songs

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A fully illustrated oral history of the Magnetic Fields' 1999 triple album, 69 Love Songs - an album that was afforded classic status by many almost as soon as it was released. LD Beghtol's book is chatty, incestuous, funny, dark, digressive, sexy, maddening, and delightful in equal measures. It documents a vital and influential scene from the inside, involving ukuleles and tears, citations and footnotes, analogue drum machines, and floods of cognac. Oh, and a crossword puzzle too.


The centre of the book is the secret history of these tuneful, acerbic, and sometimes heartbreaking songs of old love, new love, lost love, punk rock love, gay love, straight love, experimental music love, true love, blue love, and the utter lack of love that fill the album - as told by participants, fans, imitators, naysayers, and others.


Also included are a lexicon of words culled from the album's lyrics, recording details, performance notes from the full album shows in New York, Boston and London, plus rare and unpublished images, personal memorabilia, and much much more.

33 1/3: The Replacements' Let It Be

33 1/3: The Replacements' Let It Be

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One of the greatest moments of College Rock in the 1980s, Let It Be had a huge impact on the fans who fell under its spell. For Colin Meloy, growing up in Montana - a state that's strangely missing from the tour itineraries of almost every band - the album was a lifeline and an inspiration. In this disarming memoir, Meloy lovingly recreates those feverish first years when rock music grips you and never lets go.
33 1/3: The Smiths' Meat is Murder

33 1/3: The Smiths' Meat is Murder

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A Catholic high school near Boston in 1985. A time of suicides, gymnasium humiliations, smoking for beginners, asthma attacks, and incendiary teenage infatuations. Infatuations with a girl (Allison), with a band (The Smiths) and with an album, Meat is Murder, that was so raw, so vivid and so melodic that you could cling to it like a lifeboat in a storm.

In this brilliant novella Joe Pernice tells the story of an asthmatic kid's discovery of Meat is Murder.

Here is a short exceropt:

One morning as I was jogging my way past the bronze plaque commemorating the deaths of one student and one motorcyclist, my necktie flapping like a windsock, Ray floored the brake pedal of his Dodge as he closed in on me. Fifty mile an hour traffic came to a screeching, nearly murderous halt behind him. He leaned over and rolled down the passenger side window in one fluid motion. He dispensed with formalities while I marveled at the audacity of his driving and, tossing something at me, winked and said, Here. I'm going to kill myself. He pegged the gas, leaving a surprisingly good patch of rubber for such a shitty car. In the gutter, sugared with sand put down during the winter's last snow, I saw written in red felt ink on masking tape stuck to a smoky-clear cassette: Smiths: Meat.

33 1/3: The Velvet Underground's The Velvet Underground and Nico

33 1/3: The Velvet Underground's The Velvet Underground and Nico

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The Velvet Underground and Nico has influenced the sound of more bands than any other album. And remarkably, it still sounds as fresh and challenging today as it did upon its release in 1967. In this book, Joe Harvard covers everything from Lou Reed's lyrical genius to John Cale's groundbreaking instrumentation, and from the creative input of Andy Warhol to the fine details of the recording process. With input from co-producer Norman Dolph and Velvets fan Jonathan Richman, Harvard documents the creation of a record which - in the eyes of many - has never been matched.
33 1/3: The Who's The Who Sell Out

33 1/3: The Who's The Who Sell Out

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Released in the U.S. in January 1968, The Who Sell Out was, according to critic Dave Marsh, a complete backfire--the album sold well, but not spectacularly [and was] ultimately a nostalgic in-joke: Who but a pop intellectual could appreciate such a thing? Further rarifying its in-joke status was its unapologetic Englishness; 13 tracks stitched together in a mock pirate radio broadcast, without a DJ, with cool, anglocentric commercials to boot. In the 36 years since its release, Sell Out, though still not the best selling release in The Who's catalog, has been embraced by a growing number of fans who regard it as the band's best work, one of the few recordings of the late 1960s that best represents the ambitious aesthetic possibilities of the concept album without becoming mired in a bog of smug, self-aggrandizing, high art aspirations. Sell Out, powerfully and ecstatically, articulates the nexus of pop music and pop culture.

As much as it is an expression of the band's expanding sonic palette, Sell Out also functions as a critique of the rock and roll lifestyle. Not the clichéd mantra of sex, drugs, and rock and roll but in the ways that commercial advertising fabricates a youth-oriented cultural reality by hawking pimple cream, deodorant, food, musical equipment, etc., and linking it with rock and roll. In this sense Sell Out is a reflective work, one that struggles with rock and roll as a cultural expression that aspires to aesthetic permanence while marketed as ephemera. From this conflict emerges a pop art masterpiece.

33 Revolutions Per Minute

33 Revolutions Per Minute

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From one of the most prominent music critics writing today, a page-turning and wonderfully researched history of protest music in the twentieth century and beyond

Nowhere does pop music collide more dramatically with the wider world than in the protest song, which forces its way into the news and prompts conversations from Washington to Westminster. Rather than being merely a worthy adjunct to the business of pop, protest music is woven into its DNA. When you listen to Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Public Enemy, or the Clash, you are not sitting down to a dusty seminar; you are hearing pop music at its most thrillingly alive.

33 Revolutions Per Minute is the story of protest music told in 33 songs. An incisive history of a wide and shape-shifting genre, Dorian Lynskey's authoritative book takes us from the days of Billie Holliday crooning "Strange Fruit" before shocked audiences to Vietnam-era crowds voicing their resentment at the sounds of Bob Dylan to the fracas over the Dixie Chicks' comments against George W. Bush during the Iraq War.

For anyone who enjoyed Alex Ross's The Rest is Noise, Bob Dylan's Chronicles, or Simon Reynolds' Rip It Up and Start Again, 33 Revolutions Per Minute is an absorbing and moving portrait of a century when music was the people's truest voice.

33-1/3: Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA

33-1/3: Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA

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When Bruce Springsteen went back on the road in 1984, he opened every show by shouting out, one, two, one, two, three, four, followed by the droning synth chords of Born in the U.S.A. Max Weinberg hit his drums with a two-fisted physicality that cut through the swelling chords. With a rolled-up red kerchief around his head and heavy black boots under his faded jeans, Springsteen looked like the character of the song, and from the very first line (Born down in a dead man's town) he sang with the throat-scraping desperation of a man with his back against the wall.

When he reached the crucial lines, though, the guitars and bass dropped out and Weinberg switched to just the hi-hat. Springsteen's voice grew a bit more private and reluctant as he sang, Nowhere to run. Nowhere to go. It was as if he weren't sure if this were an admission of defeat or the drawing of a line in the sand. But when the band came crashing back at full strength-building a crescendo that fell apart in the cacophony of Springsteen's and Weinberg's wild soloing, paused and then came together again in the determined, marching riff-it was clear that the singer was ready to make a stand.

33-1/3: Byrds' The Notorious Byrd Brothers

33-1/3: Byrds' The Notorious Byrd Brothers

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By the time Roger McGuinn, David Crosby, Chris Hillman, and Michael Clarke entered the studio to begin work on this album, they were basically falling apart at the seams. Ladyfriend, a song written by Crosby, had just failed miserably as a chart single despite the fact that he lobbied hard to get it released. This - coupled with the fact that he made what the rest of the band considered an embarrassing political speech onstage during their set at the Monterey Pop Festival, and then sat in with rivals the Buffalo Springfield the following day - pushed McGuinn and Hillman in particular to the limits of their patience. Then, for the Notorious sessions, Crosby presented a song called Triad, written about a threesome, and although McGuinn and Hillman reluctantly agreed to record it, they later decided to place a less controversial Goffin & King pop number called Goin' Back on the album instead. Crosby declared the song banal and refused to sing on it. A few too many studio flare-ups later, McGuinn and Hillman finally screeched up into the Hollywood Hills in their Jaguars and fired Crosby on the spot. Also brooding during this period was drummer Michael Clarke, who had always borne the brunt of the other band members' rage while recording. He was by far the least accomplished member of the band musically, and when they suggested bringing in a studio drummer to embellish some tracks (Jim Gordon, later of Derek & the Dominos fame), he finally declared he'd had enough and moved to Hawaii to get away from the music scene altogether. So, McGuinn and Hillman were left to cobble together an album with the help of producer Gary Usher (known for his work with Brian Wilson, the Millenium, Sagittarius and many others). The fact that it turned out to be one of the defining albums of the 60s psychedelic pop experience was either a sheer stroke of luck, or a testament to McGuinn and Hillman's determination to prove that they didn't need Crosby's help to construct their masterpiece.
33-1/3: Tribe Called Quest's People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhyth

33-1/3: Tribe Called Quest's People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhyth

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One of the finest hip-hop albums ever made, A Tribe Called Quest's debut record (featuring stone-cold classics like Can I Kick It? and Bonita Applebum) took the idea of the boasting hip-hop male and turned it on its head. For many listeners, when this non-traditional, surprisingly feminine album was released, it was like hearing an entirely new form of music.


In this book, Shawn Taylor explores the creation of the album as well as the impact it had on him at the time - a 17-year-old high-school geek who was equally into hip-hop, punk, new wave, skateboarding, and Dungeons & Dragons: all of a sudden, with this one album, the world made more sense. He has spent many years investigating this album, from the packaging to the song placement to each and every sample - Shawn Taylor knows this record like he knows his tattoos, and he's finally been able to write a fascinating and highly entertaining book about it.

360 Sound: The Columbia Records Story

360 Sound: The Columbia Records Story

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For 125 years, Columbia Records has remained one of the most vibrant and storied names in prerecorded sound, nurturing the careers of legends such as Bessie Smith, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Beyoncé, and many more. Written by distinguished historian Sean Wilentz, 360 Sound tells the story of the label's rich history as it interweaves threads of technical and social change with the creation of some of the greatest albums ever made. Featuring over 300 rare and revealing images from the Columbia archives, this lavishly illustrated celebration is a must-have for any serious music fan.
40 Years of Queen

40 Years of Queen

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The first authorized, comprehensive history of one of the biggest rock bands ever, with never-before-seen photos and memorabilia, on their 40th anniversary

Years after the death of their larger-than-life frontman Freddie Mercury, the music of mega-selling Queen endures. We've heard their songs in Wayne's World and Glee, and they helped give Lady Gaga her name. Their musical We Will Rock You has been seen by five million theatergoers in seven countries. Queen's had chart-topping success, and sold hundreds of millions of CDs, DVDs, and videos. They've broken records (biggest ever paying crowd, longest number of weeks on the charts) and received awards and accolades including induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2002.

40 Years of Queen is the first authorized band book, and includes an introduction by Brian May and Roger Taylor. It tells the unique story of a fantastically talented and popular group of musicians whose sound and performances changed rock music. Featuring 200 photographs--some rare and never-before-published--and removable memorabilia, 40 Years of Queen is the book fans have been waiting decades for.

5 Seconds of Summer: She Looks So Perfect

5 Seconds of Summer: She Looks So Perfect

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Though 5 Seconds of Summer are opening for One Direction on their worldwide Take Me Home Tour, and though 1D's Louis Tomlinson has been a 5SOS fan for awhile, the pop-punk rockers from Sydney, Australia, aren't just another boy band. They write their own music, play their own instruments, and cite bands such as Blink-182, Green Day, and All Time Low as their influences. Comprised of Luke Hemmings, Michael Clifford, Calum Hood, and Ashton Irwin, 5SOS is leading the next wave of pop-punk sound--and people are taking notice. Their meteoric rise took them from posting YouTube videos on Hemmings' channel in December 2011 to performing on a major worldwide tour less than two years later. You won't want to miss 5 Seconds of Summer: She Looks So Perfect, so you can learn everything about rockers Luke, Michael, Calum, and Ashton now, before they're headlining their own worldwide tour!
50 Greatest Musical Places of the World

50 Greatest Musical Places of the World

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A trip around the world, played out to the most eclectic soundtrack, discovering hidden musical gems along the way. From mosh pits to cabarets, Berlin's beatnik band haunts to Korea's peppy k-pop clubs, from visiting the infamous Dollywood, to tracing Freddie Mercury's childhood in Zanzibar, The 50 Greatest Musical Places of the World has something for music fans of all genres. Discover the places where iconic songs were written, groups were formed, music legends were born and extraordinary talent is celebrated.
50 Licks

50 Licks

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Behold the Rolling Stones: run-ins with the law, chart-topping successes, and now the World's Greatest Continually Operating Rock and Roll Band. 50 Licks tells the story of the Stones, right from its very origins.

On July 12, 1962, London's Marquee Club debuted a new act, a blues-inflected rock band named after a Muddy Waters song-the Rolling Stones. They were a hard-edged band with a flair for the dramatic, styling themselves as the devil's answer to the sainted Beatles.

A young, inexperienced producer named Andrew Loog Oldham first heard the band at a session he remembers with four words: "I fell in love." Though unfamiliar with such basic industry practices as mixing a recording, he made a brilliant decision-he pitched the band to a studio that had passed on the Beatles. Afraid to make the same mistake twice, they signed the Stones, and began a history-making career.

This is just one of the fifty classic stories that make up 50 Licks, each named for a different Stones song. Many are never before told, some are from exclusive interviews-including with elusive bassist Bill Wyman-and all are told by the people who lived them. Part oral history, part memorabilia, this fiftieth anniversary book is the Stones album every collector will need to have.

50 Queer Music Icons Who Changed the World

50 Queer Music Icons Who Changed the World

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Featuring beautifully illustrated portraits and profiles, 50 Queer Musicians Who Changed the World is a tribute to queer ground breakers who changed the face of music and popular culture.

LGBTQ musicians have been pushing for change since the 1920s, with singers such as Bessie Smith crooning about same-sex liaisons almost 100 years ago - long before Frankie Goes to Hollywood were telling everyone to 'Relax'. This book is a celebration of artists who became icons, and broke new ground through song. From legendary figures such as Freddie Mercury, Little Richard, and George Michael, to bands like Bronski Beat, The Scissor Sisters, The XX, and The Petshop Boys, and more contemporary figures including Frank Ocean, Beth Ditto, and Rufus Wainright, these are the people who made an unforgettable impact. Elegantly illustrated and packaged, these stories make utterly inspirational reading.

50th Law

50th Law

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In The 50th Law, hip hop and pop culture icon 50 Cent (aka Curtis Jackson) joins forces with Robert Greene, bestselling author of The 48 Laws of Power, to write a "bible" for success in life and work based on a single principle: fear nothing. With stories from 50 Cent's life on the streets and in the boardroom as he rose to fame after the release of his album Get Rich or Die Tryin', as well as examples of others who have overcome adversity through understanding and practicing the 50th Law, this deeply inspirational book is perfect for entrepreneurs as well as anyone interested in the extraordinary life of Curtis Jackson.

52 Scottish Songs for All Harps

52 Scottish Songs for All Harps

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(Harp). Includes two arrangements each (one for beginning and one for advanced harp players) of 52 favorite Scottish songs, such as: Annie Laurie * Auld Lang Syne * The Blue Bells of Scotland * Loch Lomond * My Heart's in the Highlands * more. Features biographical and historical notes, a glossary of terms, and an index of first lines. Playable on lever harps and pedal harps.