Home Read News Next Week in Music | Oct. 5-11 • New Books

Next Week in Music | Oct. 5-11 • New Books

The latest crop of titles runs the gamut from Bruce to The Beatles to Beale Street.

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Lenny or Lennon? Bruce or Woody? Tina or Prince? Blues or Opera? Take your pick — this week, you can’t go wrong. See for yourself:

 


Let Love Rule
By Lenny Kravitz & David Ritz

THE PRESS RELEASE: “I see my story as a suite of songs that have a magical connection. I never understood that connection until I sat down to write. It was then that the magic started to flow.” Let Love Rule is a work of deep reflection. Lenny Kravitz looks back at his life with candor, self-scrutiny, and humor. “My life is all about opposites,” he writes. “Black and white. Jewish and Christian. The Jackson 5 and Led Zeppelin. I accepted my Gemini soul. I owned it. I adored it. Yins and yangs mingled in various parts of my heart and mind, giving me balance and fueling my curiosity and comfort.” Let Love Rule is the story of a wildly creative kid who, despite tough struggles at school and extreme tension at home, finds salvation in music. We see him grow as a musician and ultimately a master songwriter, producer, and performer. We also see Lenny’s spiritual growth ― and the powerful way in which spirit informs his music. “Whether recording, performing, or writing a book,” says Lenny, “my art is about listening to the inspiration inside and then sharing it with people. Art must bring the world closer together.”


This Thing Called Life: Prince’s Odyssey, On and Off the Record
By Neal Karlen

THE PRESS RELEASE:Neal Karlen was the only journalist Prince granted in-depth press interviews to for over a dozen years, from before Purple Rain to when the artist changed his name to an unpronounceable glyph. According to Prince’s former fiancée Susannah Melvoin, Karlen was “the only reporter who made Prince sound like what he really sounded like.” Going back to Prince Rogers Nelson’s roots, especially his contradictory, often tortured, and sometimes violent relationship with his father, This Thing Called Life profoundly changes what we know about Prince, and explains him as no biography has: a superstar who calls in the middle of the night to talk, who loved The Wire and could quote from every episode of The Office, who frequented libraries and jammed spontaneously for local crowds (and fed everyone pancakes afterward), who was lonely but craved being alone. Readers will drive around Minneapolis with Prince in a convertible, talk about movies and music and life, and watch as he tries not to curse, instead dishing a healthy dose of “mamma jammas.”


Tina Turner: That’s My Life
By Tina Turner

THE PRESS RELEASE:Tina Turner has always been a glorious force to be reckoned with; for more than 60 years, Tina has captivated audiences all over the world. For the first time, Tina has assembled an exceptional collection of images and ephemera to mark her eightieth birthday. Lavishly illustrated, Tina Turner: That’s My Life features the work of world-renowned photographers including Peter Lindbergh, Annie Leibovitz, Bruce Weber, Anton Corbijn, Herb Ritts, Andy Warhol, Lord Snowdon, and Paul Cox among others. Also showcased are illustrations by fashion designers who were inspired by Tina, including Christian Louboutin, Antonio, and Bob Mackie. Additionally, Tina delved into her personal archive, and That’s My Life showcases some of Tina’s most famous dresses, wigs, and shoes. Tina Turner: That’s My Life is a comprehensive window into the world of Turner, and is the perfect celebration of this storied performer that is sure to wow longtime and new fans alike.”


Understanding John Lennon
By Francis Kenny Ma

THE PRESS RELEASE:Understanding John Lennon takes us back to where it all began. While other writers have only touched on the cause of John’s genius, Francis Kenny reveals its roots in the post-war nature of Liverpool, John’s family with its complex history, and the pain and hurt John felt during his childhood, revealing how his early life experiences shaped his brilliance as a songwriter and musician. Of all the books on The Beatles, this is the only one by an author who was himself born and raised under the same influences as the band’s, in the heart of Liverpool. From the maritime nature of the city to its blue-collar background and the Irish heritage of its people, this book provides an insight into post-war Liverpool and John’s family life, which gave rise to his brilliant but conflicted nature and traces how this ultimately contributed to the fall of The Beatles. Covering Lennon’s life from Liverpool to New York, Kenny writes with sympathetic understanding of the confusion, pain, and corrosiveness that can, at times, accompany the demands and expectations of the creative process at its highest level.”


Love Her Madly: Jim Morrison, Mary, and Me
By Bill Cosgrave

THE PRESS RELEASE: “In the spring of 1965, Bill Cosgrave was smuggled across the border into the United States after receiving an irresistible invitation from his captivating friend Mary Werbelow. When he made it to her apartment in Los Angeles, Mary introduced Bill to her boyfriend, Jim Morrison. The two young men quickly bonded. When Jim and Mary’s relationship faltered, Jim headed for Venice beach with his notebook. Bill and Jim spent endless days together, enjoying the aimlessness of their youth and the freedom of the times, fuelled by Jim’s unlimited supply of dope. Jim’s writing would morph into iconic hit songs, rocketing him to international fame as the hypnotic lead singer of The Doors. Mary would set off on her own journey. After years of futile searching, Bill finally tracks down the woman he had secretly loved. He’s dying to know where her life has taken her and stunned by what he discovers.”


Woody Guthrie: An Intimate Life
By Gustavus Stadler

THE PRESS RELEASE:Woody Guthrie is often mythologized as the classic American “ramblin’ man,” a real-life Steinbeckian folk hero who fought for working-class interests and inspired Bob Dylan. Biographers and fans frame him as a foe of fascism and focus on his politically charged folk songs. What’s left unexamined is how the bulk of Guthrie’s work — most of which is unpublished or little known — delves into the importance of intimacy in his personal and political life. Featuring an insert with personal photos of Guthrie’s family and previously unknown paintings, Woody Guthrie: An Intimate Life is a fresh and contemporary analysis of the overlapping influences of sexuality, politics, and disability on the art and mind of an American folk icon. Part biography, part cultural history of the Left, An Intimate Life offers a stunning revelation about America’s quintessential folk legend, who serves as a guiding light for leftist movements today.”


Bruce Springsteen: All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track
By Philippe Margotin & Jean-Michel Guesdon

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The latest book in the bestselling All the Songs series, this is the most in-depth exploration of Bruce Springsteen’s songs ever written. Spanning nearly 50 years of albums, EPs, B-sides, and more, read the full story behind every single song that The Boss has ever released. Moving chronologically through Springsteen’s long career, expert authors Margotin and Guesdon explore everything there is to know about every single song. No stone is left unturned across 670 pages, from the inspiration behind the lyrics and melody to the recording process and even the musicians and producers who worked on each track. Uncover the stories behind the music in this truly definitive book — a must-have for every Springsteen fan.”


Memphis Mayhem: A Story of the Music That Shook Up the World
By David A. Less

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Memphis gave birth to music that changed the world ― Memphis Mayhem is a fascinating history of how music and culture collided to change the state of music forever. Memphis Mayhem weaves the tale of the racial collision that led to a cultural, sociological, and musical revolution. David Less constructs a fascinating narrative of the city that has produced a startling array of talent, including Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Al Green, Otis Redding, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Justin Timberlake, and so many more. Beginning with the 1870s yellow fever epidemics that created racial imbalance as wealthy whites fled the city, David Less moves from W.C. Handy’s codification of blues in 1909 to the mid-century advent of interracial musical acts like Booker T. & the M.G.’s, the birth of punk, and finally to the growth of a music tourism industry. Lively and comprehensive, this is a provocative story of finding common ground through music and creating a sound that would change the world.”


Deviant Opera: Sex, Power, and Perversion on Stage
By Axel Englund

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Imagine Armida, Handel’s Saracen sorceress, performing her breakneck coloraturas in a black figure-hugging rubber dress, beating her insubordinate furies into submission with a cane, suspending a captive Rinaldo in chains from the ceiling of her dungeon. Mozart’s peasant girl Zerlina, meanwhile, is tying up and blindfolding her fiancé to seduce him out of his jealousy of Don Giovanni. And how about Wagner’s wizard, Klingsor, ensnaring his choir of flower maidens in elaborate Japanese rope bondage? Opera, it would appear, has developed a taste for sadomasochism. For decades now, radical stage directors have repeatedly dressed canonical operas in whips, chains, leather, and other regalia of SM and fetishism. Deviant Opera seeks to understand this phenomenon, approaching the contemporary visual code of perversion as a lens through which opera focuses and scrutinizes its own configurations of sex, gender, power, and violence. The emerging image is that of an art form that habitually plays with an eroticization of cruelty and humiliation, inviting its devotees to take sensual pleasure in the suffering of others. Ultimately, Deviant Opera argues that this species of opera fantasizes about breaking the boundaries of its own role-playing, and pushing its erotic power exchanges from the enacted to the actual.”