Home Read News Next Week in Music | Jan. 11-17 • New Books

Next Week in Music | Jan. 11-17 • New Books

Revisit some of your favourite bands and albums with the help of this week's reads.

New books, like new albums, are in relatively short supply. So maybe it’s a good time to revisit some classic albums and artists — with the help of these new guides:


U2: Every Album, Every Song
By Eoghan Lyng

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:U2 were formed at a Dublin Secondary School by Adam Clayton, Bono, The Edge and Larry Mullen Jr. Like most bands, they wanted to be among the best in the world. By 1991, with Achtung Baby in the pipeline and War, The Unforgettable Fire and The Joshua Tree behind them, they were arguably deserving of that intention. Yet there was more to the band than the stadium records that made their fans deliriously happy and the music’s creators artistically and lucratively fulfilled. Their second album, October, opened the four piece into a spiritual journey that fed their later work. Their double album Rattle and Hum proved one of the greatest torchbearers of American music of its time. And then there were Zooropa and Pop — dance-oriented albums that showed the initially-punk oriented quartet exploring effects, sounds and territories that few of their contemporaries dared contemplate. That they should exist 40 years after their debut is testament to the will, fortitude and versatility U2 holds. Their most recent works Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience have proven their most reflective and perhaps their most autobiographical. What lies next for U2 only the band know, but this book delves into their past work, without leaving a passenger behind.”

Crosby, Still and Nash: Every Album, Every Song
By Andrew Wild

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The music of Crosby, Stills and Nash, and especially their 1969 self-titled debut album, exemplified the Woodstock generation — three men, three voices, one common view of freedom and justice. Their decision to recruit Neil Young before their first public performance fundamentally altered CSNY the band dynamic. Worldwide acclaim and success followed: their first three albums, released 1969-1971, have sold almost 30 million copies. In 1974 they embarked on the biggest stadium tour then attempted, playing baseball and football stadiums and racetracks across the US to thousands of fans. They were also pop stars, securing nine top 40 singles between 1969 and 1982. And yet, today, with Young regarded as a musical legend with a classic back catalogue, his colleagues Crosby, Stills and Nash remain far less acclaimed. They comprised Crosby: the drug-addled hippy with weird songs and golden voice, Stills: the bluesman and guitar genius and Nash: the hard-as-nails balladeer with a strong social conscience. Together, at their best, they were unbeatable. This book tells you why, aiming to set things straight, with an album by album analysis of CSN‘s five studio albums, as well as the three they made with Young.”

Barclay James Harvest: Every Album, Every Song
By Keith Domone & Monika Domone

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Feted in Germany and at times in other parts of Continental Europe, but largely unknown at home in the U.K. except to a fiercely loyal cognoscenti, Barclay James Harvest are long overdue for greater recognition. Formed in the Saddleworth area of north-west England in 1967, the band released a series of outstanding albums showcasing their pastoral, classically influenced brand of rock, before hitting the heights of their success, culminating in a massive open-air concert in Berlin in front of an estimated quarter of a million people. With only one line-up change, the departure of keyboard maestro and founder member Woolly Wolstenholme in 1979, they continued to record until 1998, when the band finally split into two separate groups, led by original members John Lees and Les Holroyd respectively. The core of this book covers Barclay James Harvest’s output from 1968 to 1997, with analysis and background information for every studio album and every song released from that period, but there is also room for an overview of their live albums and of the members’ activities after the break-up of the original group. The book is required reading for anyone with more than a passing interest in one of the rock world’s most underrated bands.”

33 1/3 | Shonen Knife’s Happy Hour: Food, Gender, Rock and Roll
By Brooke McCorkle Okazaki

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Shonen Knife — an all-female punk trio from Osaka, Japan —cultivated a global fan base that has included the likes of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore. Their 1998 album Happy Hour, filled with tunes about delicacies ranging from sushi to banana chips, encapsulates the band’s charming fusion of cuteness with punk rock cool. Tracing histories of food and josei rock in Japan, McCorkle Okazaki outlines the ways Shonen Knife has, over the last 40 years, consistently used seemingly straightforward songs about food to comment on gender stereotypes in popular culture.”

33 1/3 | Ivo Papazov’s Balkanology
By Carol Silverman

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “From countercultural resistance to world music craze, Balkan music captured the attention of global audiences. Balkanology, the 1991 quintessential album of Bulgarian music, highlights this moment of unbridled creativity. Seasoned musicians all over the world are still in awe of the technical abilities of the musicians in Ansambl Trakia —their complex additive rhythms, breakneck speeds, stunning improvisations, dense ornamentation, chromatic passages, and innovative modulations. Bridging folk, jazz, and rock sensibilities, Trakia’s music has set the standard for Bulgarian music until today, and its members, especially Ivo Papazov, are revered stars at home and abroad. The album reveals how Romani (Gypsy) artists resisted the state’s prohibition against Romani music and fashioned a genre that became a youth movement in Bulgaria, and then a world music phenomenon. Balkanology underscores the political, economic and social roles of music during socialism and postsocialism.”