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Music Books

Discussion in 'music' started by Fox, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. Fox

    Fox The sound of one hoof clopping

    I love music books, I also adore architecture books, they have given me more insights into composing than hard bastard music theory books ever have, like children's books have given me more insight about personal spirituality then any weighty Buddhist or Christian tome.

    TonyL really bloody messed me up this week, some expensive ECM book in a photo piqued me, I searched and well... Eeeeeee! Click! procured on a whim and I await these with the expectation I used to have of LPs in the mail.

    I am stalling on "Sleeves of Desire" the sleeve art of ECM BTW. But I don't think I will hold out long.

    so, what are your fave music books,tell me about them, and why you like them, any like architecture books, "because the pics are great" is completely fine by me. Books sometimes do have too many words.

    I just got the art of blue note and riverside sleeve (Coast to Coast) art books as well, that's fun and nice to flip through idly...
  2. moomaloo

    moomaloo pfm Member

    The Genesis Publications books are exquisite but very expensive. I only have one - the Ziggy Stardust book by Bowie and Mick Rock. It really should come with a pair of those white cotton gloves beloved of antiquarians. Sumptious is the only word I can use to describe it.

    Wish I could afford other titles. But I can't. I nearly signed up for the Syd Barratt book (signed by him as Roger Barratt) about 20 years ago but decided not to. That would have been a very worthwhile investment in hindsight...

    The other book I enjoy a lot is the 'Reasons To Be Cheerful' book about Barney Bubbles. I also have a nice slipcase and signed edition of Rolling With The Stones. I think I prefer my music books to have lots of pictures!

    One that doesn't is the biography of Miles Davis by Ian Carr. A brilliant read and both of those guys are hugely missed...
  3. Whaleblue

    Whaleblue Southbound

  4. Still

    Still he said his naim was ralph

  5. formbypc

    formbypc pfm Member

  6. madmike

    madmike I feel much better now, I really do...

    I have a few.....History of Electronic Music, by Andy Mackay (of Roxy Music), all the usual "fan" books like the Yes Story by Dan Hedges, the Deep Puple Story, by someone or other, Genesis Evolution of a Rock Band in various forms, some Pink Floyd ones, the Robert Fripp book by Eric Tamm, plus about 3 record sleeve books and the Roger Dean one.

    I like them all because I love music and I love to see and read about my favourite music...PROG !
  7. johnfromnorwich

    johnfromnorwich even my wife noticed the dif..

    I keep meaning to buy that one.

    I have loads. A few faves are:
    'Head On/Repossessed' by Julian Cope
    'The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction' by Jonathan Sterne
    'Japrocksampler' (Mr Cope again, signed by the author)
    'My Magpie Eyes Are Hungry For The Prize: The Creation Records Story' by David Cavanagh (Effectively a history of the whole 80s indie scene inclusing Postcard and Rough Trade).
    'Special Sound: The Creation and Legacy of The BBC Radiophonic Workshop' by Louis Neibur
    'The Music's All That Matters: a Cultural History of Progressive Rock' by Paul Stump.
  8. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Feelin' nearly faded as my jeans

    I was lucky to get this when it was new and only £40.

    In the same vein I bought the Factory Cover Art book which like the ECM one shows what a beautiful works of art their sleeves were too.

    Now, if they made one of Barney Bubbles' art and 4AD, I'd have them too.
  9. Simon Dawson

    Simon Dawson Angry, Ill & Ugly

    Yes they are rather nice aren't they! I bought Julie the recent Sukita / Bowie "Speed of Life" limited edition.

    If you like modernist Architecture then Taschen have some rather nice - not super expensive stuff Case study houses
  10. vince rocker

    vince rocker pfm Member

    A big +1 for Julian Cope "Head On" and "Repossessed".
    Ian MacDonald "Revolution In The Head" is the Beatles bible though I disagree with his cultural analysis.
    David Byrne "How Music Works".
    I can't think of many good music-based novels but I really like "The Bear Comes Home" by Rafi Zabor. It's wildly funny, but also a sad reflection on the outsider status of creative artists. If the descriptions on the Amazon page appeal then go for it, it's only 1p used!
  11. pfm Member

    Generally, I want music books that take me to interesting mental spaces rather than those that dutifully, lumpenly and academically record a band, genre or era.

    A book that certainly does not do that is Paul Morley's Words and Music which I like for its playful flights of imagination, wit, scope and creative approach to music writing.

    Morton Feldman's Give My Regards to Eighth Street for his concise, highly intelligent account of his times – for its insight into the composer himself and the artistic circles he lived in (Cage, Rauchenberg, Rothko and Guston).

    In Search of the Lost Record by Takumi Matsui for its superlative research, collection and unusual presentation of LP covers from Britain which spans much of the two eras closest to my heart (70-80s) and more.

    For a long time the only music book I thought much of at all was Chris Cutler's File Under Popular which provided an intelligent and highly original view of pop music and its mechanics.
  12. pfm Member

    Agreed but with MacDonald, what is it that you disagree with in his cultural analysis?
  13. RBrinsdon

    RBrinsdon pfm Member

    If I am interested in the artist he has written about, then I find Barney Hoskyns books to be very informative with new insights into tracks and oft-quoted rumours laid to waste. His books about The Band and the 60's / 70's Laurel Canyon scene are particularly interesting for those of us with a love of those styles.

    Although not books, collected editions of the classic rock magazines such as Zig Zag, Dark Star, Omaha Rainbow etc are still fine examples of interviewing and biography from the pre-net era.

  14. Fox

    Fox The sound of one hoof clopping

    This is proving to be a completely eye waveringly expensive thread,you chaps have outdone the moderator* well,done!

    (*This is a challenge BTW)
  15. formbypc

    formbypc pfm Member

  16. guey

    guey pfm Member

    Pretty much all I've read by Simon Reynolds have been really good; but I'd start with Rip It Up And Start Again (an overview of the post punk scene), and Energy Flash (same for the rave scene).
    Will Hermes' Love Goes To Building On Fire is a nice account of the 1970s New York music scene, covering rock, loft jazz, punk, latin and more.
    Brian Eno's A Diary With Swollen Appendices is an interesting read.
    I'll second the Barney Hoskyns recommendation, and add his Tom Waits biography to the list.
    As for architecture books, this one has been sat in my wish list for a while, waiting for me to weaken.
    Frankiesays likes this.
  17. Fox

    Fox The sound of one hoof clopping

    That was quick.
    I guess I need to start buying bookshelves soon


    Keep your suggestions coming, I really have not heard of many of these books.
    TheDecameron likes this.
  18. Tw99

    Tw99 source last

  19. tedmanzie

    tedmanzie pfm Member

    Miles Davis Autobiography (Miles) is excellent - honest, blunt, and makes you want to play jazz in NYC in the 50s and 60s. Essential if you are interested in jazz, Miles, or why heroin should be avoided.

    White Bicycles – Making Music in the 1960s - by Joe Boyd is an excellent, fascinating story of music in the 60s by the chap that produced and managed various bands. Highly recommended.
    vibemaster and clogman like this.
  20. Vinniemac

    Vinniemac pfm Member

    I think the best music book I have read is Susan Tomes' "Beyond the Notes", about her work as a pianist in Domus and the Florestan Trio. I found the chapter on the recording process particularly fascinating, but it's all engrossing stuff.
    Scampy4 likes this.

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