Home Read News Next Week in Music | Sept. 9-15 • New Books

Next Week in Music | Sept. 9-15 • New Books

Paging Neil Young, Bon Scott, Rush, the Stones, Jeff Buckley and plenty more.

Rock-star bios, graphic novels, scholarly tomes, coffee-table photo collections and more: It’s a big week for books about music. Read all about it:

To Feel the Music: A Songwriter’s Mission to Save High-Quality Audio
By Neil Young & Phil Baker

THE PRESS RELEASE:Neil Young is challenging the assault on audio quality—and working to free music lovers from the flat and lifeless status quo. To Feel the Music is the true story of Neil’s quest to bring high-quality audio back to music lovers — which he considers the most important undertaking of his career. Follow Neil as he discovers the step by step deterioration of recorded sound as analog is methodically replaced by digital CDs, MP3s, and low-price, low-quality streaming; gathers others committed to his goal of delivering music the way artists intend for it to sound; and eventually develops the Neil Young Archives, a high-res streaming site that gives users unprecedented access to all of Neil’s music — in the best quality their devices can handle — videos, photos, and more. An eye-opening read for all fans of Neil Young and all fans of great music, as well as readers interesting in going behind the scenes of product creation, To Feel the Music has an inspiring story at its heart: One determined artist with a groundbreaking vision and the absolute refusal to give up, despite setbacks, naysayers, and skeptics.”

Bon Scott Have a Drink On Me: The Inside Story of AC/DC’s Troubled Frontman
By Irene Thornton

THE PRESS RELEASE: “In 1971 Adelaide girl Irene Thornton meets Bon Scott, the singer for local band Fraternity. Between Bon and Irene, there is a unique spark; they marry in 1972. For the next few years, with Irene by his side, Bon Scott continues a driven but difficult journey towards AC/DC and rock ‘n’ roll fame. Irene gives us the scene without the airbrushing: the bitter winters in London with Fraternity, the drinking and drugs, the group living and frayed tempers, and the broken dreams and inner demons. But she also shares details of her incredible bond with this extraordinary man, watching Bon create and perform the music that put him and AC/DC on the world stage. This is a moving account of an artist at the height of his powers, and an intimate view of the lows that ended tragically in Bon’s early death.”

Dayglo!: The Poly Styrene Story
By Celeste Bell

THE PRESS RELEASE:Poly Styrene was a singer-songwriter, a free-thinker, a post-modern style pioneer, and a lifelong spiritual seeker: a true punk icon. But this rebel queen with the cheeky grin was also a latter-day pop artist with a wickedly perceptive gift for satirizing the world around her — her playful aesthetic sharply at odds with the stark monochrome style and nihilism of punk. Here, for the first time, the jigsaw of Poly’s inspiring and often moving story has been lovingly pieced together by her daughter, singer-songwriter Celeste Bell, and writer-artist Zoë Howe. From growing up mixed-race in Brixton in the 1960s to being at the forefront of the emerging punk scene with X-Ray Spex in the 1970s, from finding faith with the Hare Krishna movement to balancing single motherhood with a solo music career and often debilitating mental health issues, the book openly explores Poly’s exceptional life, up until her untimely passing in 2011. Based on interviews with those who knew and loved Poly whether personally or through music, this oral history book includes testimonies from Vivienne Westwood, Don Letts, Glen Matlock, Jonathan Ross, Neneh Cherry, The SlitsTessa Pollitt, Thurston Moore, Jon Savage, and many others.”

The Cambridge Companion to the Rolling Stones
By Victor Coelho, John Covach

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Rolling Stones are one of the most influential, prolific, and enduring Rock and Roll bands in the history of music. This groundbreaking, specifically commissioned collection of essays provides the first dedicated academic overview of the music, career, influences, history, and cultural impact of The Rolling Stones. Shining a light on the many communities and sources of knowledge about the group, this Companion brings together essays by musicologists, ethnomusicologists, players, film scholars, and filmmakers into a single volume intended to stimulate fresh thinking about the group as they vault well over the mid-century of their career. Threaded throughout these essays are album- and song-oriented discussions of the landmark recordings of the group and their influence. Exploring new issues about sound, culture, media representation, the influence of world music, fan communities, group personnel, and the importance of their revival post-1989, this collection greatly expands our understanding of their music.”

Rush: The Making of A Farewell to Kings: The Graphic Novel
By David Calcano, Lindsay Lee, Terry Brown, Juan Riera, Ittai Manero

THR PRESS RELEASE:Rush, the well-known Canadian power trio, is one of the most influential rock bands of all-time, with more than 40 million records sold worldwide. This epic, fully authorized graphic novel chronicles the birth of Rush’s classic album A Farewell to Kings. Relive the trials and triumphs alongside Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee, and Neil Peart as they create the masterpiece of progressive rock that gave birth to Closer to the Heart & the majestic Xanadu. The book features artwork and storytelling from Fantoons, with new input from Lifeson and Terry Brown (the producer of the album).”

Wichita Lineman: Searching in the Sun for the World’s Greatest Unfinished Song
By Dylan Jones

THE PRESS RELEASE:Dylan Jones’ luminous excavation of Jimmy Webb’s song Wichita Lineman offers a portal into a defining moment of American cultural history. The sound of Wichita Lineman was the sound of ecstatic solitude — but then its hero was the quintessential loner. What a great metaphor he was: a man who needed a woman more than he actually wanted her. Here, deep in American Arcadia, was a man in deep existential crisis. Written in 1968, Wichita Lineman is the first philosophical country song: a heartbreaking torch ballad still celebrated for its mercurial songwriting genius 50 years later. It was recorded by Glen Campbell in L.A. with the legendary Wrecking Crew, and something about the song’s enigmatic mood seemed to capture the tensions of America at a moment of unprecedented crisis. Fusing a dribble of bass, searing strings, tremolo guitar and Campbell’s plaintive vocals, Webb’s paean to the American West describes a telephone lineman’s longing for an absent lover who he hears ‘singing in the wire’ — and like all good love songs, it’s an SOS from the heart. Mixing close-listening, interviews and travelogue, Jones explores the legacy of a record that has entertained, perplexed and haunted millions for over half a century.”

25 Years of Grace: An Anniversary Tribute to Jeff Buckley’s Classic Album
By Merri Cyr

THE PRESS RELEASE:Jeff Buckley made only one album, but the one he made has proved to be seminal. Grace made clear a remarkably talented force had come upon the world, and it promised a wellspring of astonishing music for years to come. But Buckley’s untimely death in 1997 left his fans to wonder about all the sonic magic that could have been and to hold dear the few but brilliant songs he left behind. Photographer Merri Cyr was there along the way. She has documented Buckley’s career from his days at East Village coffee shop Sin-é to his iconic Grace cover shoot to his rigorous tour around the world as he promoted his unprecedented debut. In 25 Years of Grace, Cyr joins forces with Buckley biographer Jeff Apter to produce an illustrated tribute to this classic album in celebration of its 25th anniversary. Lavishly illustrated with many never-before-seen photographs, 25 Years of Grace takes a fresh look at the making and legacy of this classic album.”

Country Music: An Illustrated History
By Dayton Duncan & Ken Burns

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The rich and colorful story of America’s most popular music and the singers and songwriters who captivated, entertained, and consoled listeners throughout the twentieth century is based on the upcoming eight-part film series to air on PBS. This gorgeously illustrated and hugely entertaining history begins where country music itself emerged: the American South, where people sang to themselves and to their families at home and in church, and where they danced to fiddle tunes on Saturday nights. With the birth of radio in the 1920s, the songs moved from small towns, mountain hollers, and the wide-open West to become the music of an entire nation — a diverse range of sounds and styles from honky tonk to gospel to bluegrass to rockabilly, leading up through the decades to the music’s massive commercial success today. But above all, Country Music is the story of the musicians. Here is Hank Williams’ tragic honky-tonk life, Dolly Parton rising to fame from a dirt-poor childhood, and Loretta Lynn turning her experiences into songs that spoke to women everywhere. Here too are interviews with the genre’s biggest stars, including the likes of Merle Haggard to Garth Brooks to Rosanne Cash. Rife with rare photographs and endlessly fascinating anecdotes, the stories in this sweeping yet intimate history will captivate longtime country fans and introduce new listeners to an extraordinary body of music that lies at the very center of the American experience.”

Speed Bumps on a Dirt Road: When Old Time Music Met Bluegrass
By John Cohen

THE PRESS RELEASE:Speed Bumps on a Dirt Road is a living document of country music’s founding fathers and mothers. John Cohen photographed musicians, at home, backstage at public events, from the wings at fiddlers’ conventions, out in country music parks, and in the studio for live radio show performances and recording sessions. Back in 1961 it was still possible to know a few of America’s original country musicians from the ’20s and ’30s. Renowned and celebrated musician and artist Cohen came of age at the confluence of old time and early bluegrass music, the historic intersection of traditional and folk music. Cohen traveled the country playing music, recording, and documenting what was to be a generation of musicians who would influence American music and culture for decades to come. Traveling between the Union Grove fiddlers’ convention to the Grand Ole Opry to a coal celebration in Hazard, Kentucky, Cohen made historic photographs of performers like Bill Monroe and Doc Watson, the country’s very first all-bluegrass show, and a bluegrass bar in Baltimore, among much more. Speed Bumps on a Dirt Road presents old time music as the root of country music. Includes photographs of: Flatt & Scruggs, Doc Watson, the Stanley Brothers, Sara and Maybelle Carter, Alice & Hazel, and a dulcimer in a parking lot.”

I’d Fight the World: A Political History of Old-Time, Hillbilly, and Country Music
By Peter La Chapelle

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Long before the United States had presidents from the world of movies and reality TV, we had scores of politicians with connections to country music. In I’d Fight the World, Peter La Chapelle traces the deep bonds between country music and politics, from the nineteenth-century rise of fiddler-politicians to more recent figures like Pappy O’Daniel, Roy Acuff, and Rob Quist. These performers and politicians both rode and resisted cultural waves: some advocated for the poor and dispossessed, and others voiced religious and racial anger, but they all walked the line between exploiting their celebrity and righteously taking on the world. La Chapelle vividly shows how country music campaigners have profoundly influenced the American political landscape.”

Have A Cigar!: The Memoir of the Man Behind Pink Floyd, T. Rex, The Jam and George Michael
By Bryan Morrison

THE PRESS RELEASE: “When music impresario Bryan Morrison died aged 66 in 2008, after two years in a coma following a polo accident, he left behind his unpublished memoir. As a music publisher, manager and agent, Morrison had represented The Pretty Things, Pink Floyd, T. Rex, The Jam, Wham! and many others. In this candid and outspoken book, Morrison reveals the true stories behind why Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd once bit his finger to the bone, how The Pretty Things were banned for life from New Zealand, and why he became involved with the Kray Twins. He also tells how The Jam kissed goodbye to success in the U.S.A., how he received death threats when Robin Gibb left The Bee Gees, and signing a publishing deal with George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley as Wham! Spanning the golden age of British rock ’n’ roll from the ’60s to the ’80s, this is the extraordinary story of a cigar-chomping, East End entrepreneur, with a passion for art and design, fashion, music and polo.”

Compton Street Legend: Notorious Keffe D’s Street-Level Accounts of the Tupac and Biggie Murders, Death Row Origins, Suge Knight, Puffy Combs, and Crooked Cops
By Duane ‘Keffe D’ Davis

THE PRESS RELEASE: “More than twenty years after the premature deaths of Tupac and Biggie, there have been numerous TV specials, documentaries, books, magazine and newspaper, and social media dedicated to the subject. But at the end of the day, none of the private investigators, retired police officers, informants, hip-hop heads, actors, or academics that have weighed in on the topic truly know what happened and the reasons behind it, because none of them were there. Duane ‘Keffe D’ Davis, a native of Compton, admittedly lived most of his life as a gangster; a real gangster that did the shit that real gangsters do. He rose up the gang-banging ranks to become a shot-caller for the notorious Southside Compton Crips, while running a multi-million dollar, multi-state drug empire. Keffe D has been a central figure in both the Tupac and Biggie murders for the past 20 years. Compton Street Legend will add valuable information about two of the biggest “unsolved” crimes in American history. It will serve as the missing piece of the puzzle that hip-hop fans have been waiting for. On the surface Compton Street Legend will look like a story based on violence and hate, it is actually a story about Love, Family, Brotherhood, Loyalty, Trust, and Honor.”