Home Read News Next Week in Music | July 26-Aug. 1 • New Books

Next Week in Music | July 26-Aug. 1 • New Books

This week's music reads are brought to you by the letter D (and a little R).


Dio, Disco, Donna, Dead Man’s Curve and dirty rednecks — next week’s releases are in the key of D. Read all about ’em:


Rainbow in the Dark: The Autobiography
By Ronnie James Dio

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The long-awaited autobiography by one of heavy metal’s most revered icons, treasured vocalists, and front man for three legendary bands — Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio.
Prior to his tragic death in 2010, Ronnie James Dio had been writing his autobiography, looking back on the remarkable life that led him from his hometown in upstate New York to the biggest stages in the world, including the arena that represented the pinnacle of success to him — Madison Square Garden, where this book begins and ends. The bio looks at the close gang of friends that gave him his start in music, playing parties, bars, frats and clubs; the sudden transition that moved him to the microphone and changed his life forever; the luck that led to the birth of Rainbow and a productive but difficult collaboration with Ritchie Blackmore; the chance meeting that made him the second singer of Black Sabbath, taking them to new levels of success; the surprisingly tender story behind the birth of the Devil Horns, the lasting symbol of heavy metal; his marriage to Wendy, which stabilized his life, and the huge bet they placed together to launch the most successful endeavour of his career — his own band, Dio. It’s all laid out in great detail, from his fallout with Blackmore, to the drugs that derailed the resurrection of Black Sabbath, to the personality clashes that frayed each band. His friend of 30 years, music writer Mick Wall, completed the book after Ronnie died. It is a frank, startling, often hilarious, sometimes sad testament to dedication and ambition, filled with moving coming-of-age tales, glorious stories of excess, and candid recollections of what really happened backstage, at the hotel, in the studio, and back home behind closed doors far away from the road.”

Dead Man’s Curve: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Life of Jan Berry
By Mark A. Moore

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Jan Berry, leader of the music duo Jan & Dean from the late 1950s to mid-1960s, was an intense character who experienced more in his first 25 years than many do in a lifetime. As an architect of the West Coast sound, he was one of rock ’n’ roll’s original rebels — brilliant, charismatic, reckless, and flawed. As a songwriter, music arranger and record producer, Berry was one of the pioneering self-produced artists of his era in Hollywood. He lived a dual life, reaching the top of the charts with Jan & Dean while transitioning from college student to medical student, until an automobile accident in 1966 changed his trajectory forever. Suffering from brain damage and partial paralysis, Jan spent the rest of his life trying to come back from Dead Man’s Curve. His story is told here in-depth for the first time, based on extensive primary source documentation and supplemented by the stories and memories of Jan’s family members, friends, music industry colleagues and contemporaries. From the birth of rock to the bitter end, Berry’s life story is thrilling, humorous, unsettling and disturbing, yet ultimately uplifting.”

I Feel Love: Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder, and How They Reinvented Music
By Dave Thompson

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “When it comes to earthshaking songs — the ones that signal a tectonic shift in the musical landscape — there is Johnny B. Goode. There is Good Vibrations. And there is I Feel Love. A disco touchstone recorded by Donna Summer in 1976 and released on her fifth studio album, I Remember Yesterday, in 1977, I Feel Love topped charts around the world. This record, Brian Eno told David Bowie as they worked together in the recording studio, “is going to change the sound of club music for the next 15 years.” Which, said Bowie, “was more or less right.” More than 40 years after its release, I Feel Love is routinely featured on “greatest song” Top-100s lists, and remains a favourite by music fans and artists alike, with dozens of cover versions paying homage. The tale this book tells is not only the story of the song but also the story of its all-pervading impact upon the world of popular music. Firsthand experiences and original interviews with a host of musicians, disc jockeys, and dancers illustrate the record’s initial impact and its continuing influence. I Feel Love still sounds like the future.”

The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock
By Jan Reid

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “First published in 1974, The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock was a sensation in Texas. It portrayed an Austin-based live music explosion variously described as progressive country, cosmic cowboys and outlaw country. The book has been hailed as a model of how to write about popular music and the life of performing musicians. It focuses on predecessors of the 1960s and the swarm of newborn venues, the most enduring one the justly famed Armadillo World Headquarters; profiles of singer-songwriters including Jerry Jeff Walker, Michael Martin Murphey, Steven Fromholz, B.W. Stevenson, Willis Alan Ramsey, Bobby Bridger, Rusty Wier, Kinky Friedman and one who became an international star and one of America’s most treasured performers — Willie Nelson, and the rowdy heat-stricken debut of Willie’s Fourth of July Picnics.”