Home Read News Next Week in Music | May 16-22 • New Books

Next Week in Music | May 16-22 • New Books

You could learn a thing or two from next week's offerings. Read all about ’em.


Haggard and the Heads. The Stones and Strangers. RZA and reggae. The Beatles and Bob. Elvis and Edinburgh. Joan and Jesus. Along with a slew of scholarly tomes about videos, musical cops, classical music and more. You could learn a thing or two from next week’s books. Read all about ’em:

The Running Kind: Listening to Merle Haggard
By David Cantwell

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Merle Haggard enjoyed numerous artistic and professional triumphs, including more than 100 country hits (38 at No. 1), dozens of studio and live album releases, upwards of 10,000 concerts, induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and songs covered by artists as diverse as Lynryd Skynyrd, Elvis Costello, Tammy Wynette, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Willie Nelson, The Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan. In The Running Kind, a new edition that expands on his earlier analysis and covers Haggard’s death and afterlife as an icon of both old-school and modern country music, David Cantwell takes us on a revelatory journey through Haggard’s music and the life and times out of which it came. Covering the breadth of his career, Cantwell focuses especially on the 1960s and 1970s, when Haggard created some of his best-known and most influential music: songs that helped invent the America we live in today. Listening closely to a masterpiece-crowded catalogue (including Okie From Muskogee, Sing Me Back Home, Mama Tried and Working Man Blues, among many more), Cantwell explores the fascinating contradictions — most of all, the desire for freedom in the face of limits set by the world or self-imposed — that define not only Haggard’s music and public persona but the very heart of American culture.”

The Rolling Stones 1972: 50th Anniversary Edition
By Jim Marshall

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The year 1972 brought together two legends of rock ‘n’ roll at the peaks of their careers: Jim Marshall and The Rolling Stones. Selected by Life magazine to photograph the Stones’ Exile On Main St. tour, Marshall had a week of unlimited access. The results are his now-iconic images of the band, onstage in their full glory and backstage in moments of unguarded camaraderie. Marshall’s ability to capture the essential spirit of an artist and the transformative power of music is matched only by the Stones’ larger-than-life energy. Fifty years after these photographs were taken, they retain the power to thrill and inspire. This definitive edition presents the images as they were meant to be seen: at a larger size and in the rich, high-contrast tones Marshall favored. The original content is enhanced with never-before-seen proof sheets and two new essays by photographer and film director Anton Corbijn and Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe. This is the ultimate, immersive experience of one of the greatest moments in music history.”

Hard Rain: Bob Dylan, Oral Cultures, and the Meaning of History
By Alessandro Portelli

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Bob Dylan’s iconic 1962 song A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall stands at the crossroads of musical and literary traditions. A visionary warning of impending apocalypse, it sets symbolist imagery within a structure that recalls a centuries-old form. Written at the height of the 1960s folk music revival amid the ferment of political activism, the song strongly resembles — and at the same time reimagines — a traditional European ballad sung from Scotland to Italy, known in the English-speaking world as Lord Randal. Alessandro Portelli explores the power and resonance of A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, considering the meanings of history and memory in folk cultures and in Dylan’s work. He examines how the ballad tradition to which Lord Randal belongs shaped Dylan’s song and how Dylan drew on oral culture to depict the fears and crises of his own era. Portelli recasts the song as an encounter between Dylan’s despairing vision, which questions the meaning and direction of history, and the message of resilience and hope for survival despite history’s nightmares found in oral traditions. A wide-ranging work of oral history, Hard Rain weaves together interviews from places as varied as Italy, England, and India with Portelli’s autobiographical reflections and critical analysis, speaking to the enduring appeal of Dylan’s music. By exploring the motley traditions that shaped Dylan’s work, this book casts the distinctiveness and depth of his songwriting in a new light.”

Lennon, Dylan, Alice, and Jesus: The Spiritual Biography of Rock and Roll
By Greg Laurie

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “From the author of Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon and Steve McQueen: The Salvation of an American Icon comes Lennon, Dylan, Alice, and Jesus, which traces the journeys, rise, fall, and sometimes the redemption of famous entertainers who were brought to their knees — a great place to look up and finally meet their Maker. Lennon, Dylan, Alice, and Jesus examines wretched excess, self-absorption and miraculous redemption; the book is a raw, sensitive, and unforgettable journey of sex, drugs, rock ’n’ roll, and sweet salvation. Author Greg Laurie traces the lives of rock stars and entertainment figures and legends who wallowed in the decadence of both the high life and low life, as they alternately experienced Heaven and Hell on Earth. He travels with them into their demonic abysses and joyfully chronicles their ultimate ascension to their prodigal moments. Lennon, Dylan, Alice, and Jesus chronicles the birth of rock ’n’ roll in the mid-1950s to today, giving the book an all-encompassing study of pop music history. Through his personal memories, coupled with his carefully crafted observational research, Greg Laurie not only looks deeply into the hearts and souls of these unusual people but bids the reader to join him on a spiritual journey down the secluded halls of the music industry with the individuals who crafted modern-day masterpieces. Readers will enjoy never-before-published accounts of the biggest recording artists of our time and hear testimonies from rockers of the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and beyond. More importantly, every reader will find a deeper sense of God’s presence, even in times of loneliness and desolation.”

The Beatles, The Bible and Bodega Bay: A Long and Winding Road
By Ken Mansfield

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Beatles, The Bible and Bodega Bay presents two portraits: The young man in London on top of the Apple building (and on top of the world!) as he watches The Beatles perform for the last time, and the older man on a remote Sonoma beach on his knees looking out to sea and into the heart of his Creator. Because of Ken’s personal relationship, respect and loyalty to Apple and The Beatles he sought all necessary official and personal approvals from Capitol, Apple, and each of The Beatles including Yoko on John’s behalf. At the time of the original release of The Beatles, The Bible and Bodega Bay he was informed that outside of their own Anthology that this was the only book approved by them. Once again, out of that same respect there have been no changes or updates — the content before you is exactly the same as the original book. These are the thoughts and events exactly as they were happening then … a unique insider’s look at a time that will never exist again.”

Positive Vibrations: Politics, Politricks and the Story of Reggae
By Stuart Borthwick

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Positive Vibrations tells of how reggae was shaped by, and in turn helped to shape, the politics of Jamaica and beyond, from the rudies of Kingston to the sexual politics and narcotic allegiances of the dancehall. Insightful and full of incident, it explores how the music of a tiny Caribbean island has worked its way into the heart of global pop. From Marcus Garvey’s dreams of Zion, through ska and rocksteady, roots, riddims, and dub, the story closes with the reggae revival, a new generation of Rastas as comfortable riding rhythms in a dancehall style as they are singing sweet melodies from times gone by. Impeccably informed, vibrant, and heartfelt, Positive Vibrations is a passionate and exhaustive account of the politics in reggae, and the reggae in politics.”

The Beat Cop: Chicago’s Chief O’Neill and the Creation of Irish Music
By Michael O’Malley

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Irish music as we know it today was invented not just in the cobbled lanes of Dublin or the green fields of County Kerry, but also in the burgeoning metropolis of early 20th-century Chicago. The genre’s history combines a long folk tradition with the curatorial quirks of a single person: Francis O’Neill, a larger-than-life Chicago police chief and an Irish immigrant with a fervent interest in his home country’s music. Michael O’Malley’s The Beat Cop tells the story of this singular figure, from his birth in Ireland in 1865 to his rough-and-tumble early life in the United States. By 1901, O’Neill had worked his way up to become Chicago’s chief of police, where he developed new methods of tracking criminals and recording their identities. At the same time, he also obsessively tracked and recorded the music he heard from local Irish immigrants, enforcing a strict view of what he felt was and wasn’t authentic. Chief O’Neill’s police work and his musical work were flip sides of the same coin, and O’Malley delves deep into how this brash immigrant harnessed his connections and policing skills to become the foremost shaper of how Americans see, and hear, the music of Ireland.”

Edinburgh’s Greatest Hits: A Celebration of the Capital’s Music History
By Jim Byers, Jonathan Trew, Fiona Shepherd, Alison Stroak

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Explore Edinburgh’s hidden music heritage, plus a few of its more tuneful tall tales, with this eye-opening guide of the city’s music milestones, famous gigs, infamous incidents and colourful characters. From folk to funk, pop to punk and past to present, this collection of bite-sized stories traces the people, venues and gigs that made the city’s music scene. From David Bowie to The Bay City Rollers, Edinburgh’s Greatest Hits touches on the big names as well as lifting the lid on the city’s lesser known legends.”

The War on Music: Reclaiming the Twentieth Century
By John Mauceri

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “This book offers a major reassessment of classical music in the 20th century. John Mauceri argues that the history of music during this span was shaped by three major wars of that century: World War I, World War II, and the Cold War. Probing why so few works have been added to the canon since 1930, Mauceri examines the trajectories of great composers who, following World War I, created voices that were unique and versatile, but superficially simpler. He contends that the fate of composers during World War II is inextricably linked to the political goals of their respective governments, resulting in the silencing of experimental music in Germany, Italy, and Russia; the exodus of composers to America; and the sudden return of experimental music — what he calls “the institutional avant-garde” — as the lingua franca of classical music in the West during the Cold War.”

The World of Music Video
By Sonja Eismann

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Music videos are signs of our time, and a nucleus of the global entertainment industry. Bringing together 90 music videos from more than 30 countries, this volume charts the history of the medium, examining its formal qualities and its treatment of contemporary issues, such as climate change or AI. Examples in this book range from early forms of short music film to Queen’s 1975 Bohemian Rhapsody to empowerment scenes of the 2020s by Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and the Carters. Also included are works from musicians and artists such as Laurie Anderson, Roger Ballen, Joseph Beuys, David Bowie, Björk, Childish Gambino, Chris Cunningham, Daft Punk, Billie Eilish, Romain Gavras, Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze, Leningrad, Little Big, Massive Attack, Nuka, Yoko Ono, Pussy Riot, Rammstein, Stromae, Vaundy, Andy Warhol, Yello, Zoot Woman and many more.”

Pin-Ups 1972: Third Generation Rock ’n’ Roll
By Peter Stanfield

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Elvis, Eddie, Chuck, Gene, Buddy, and Little Richard were the original rockers. Dylan, The Beatles, the Stones, and The Who formed rock’s second coming. As the 1960s turned into the 1970s, the crucial question was who would lead rock ’n’ roll’s third generation? Pin-Ups 1972 tracks the London music scene during this pivotal year, all Soho sleaze, neon, grease, and leather. It begins with the dissolution of the underground and the chart success of Marc Bolan. T. Rextasy formed the backdrop to Lou Reed and Iggy Pop’s British exile and their collaborations with David Bowie. This was the year Bowie became a star and redefined the teenage wasteland. In his wake followed Roxy Music and The New York Dolls, future-tense rock ’n’ roll revivalists. Bowie, Bolan, Iggy, Lou, Roxy, and The New York Dolls — pin-ups for a new generation.”

Talking Heads Remain In Light: In-Depth
By Laura Shenton

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Released in 1980, bold and original, Remain In Light features a fascinating blend of African-inspired music and innovative use of recording technology. Hosting the hit single Once In A Lifetime, it was an album that commanded attention. As Talking HeadsJerry Harrison put it, “Remain In Light was the beginning of a new vision. It was a very creative period and really amazing.” In this book, Laura Shenton offers an in-depth perspective on Remain In Light from a range of angles including how the album came to be, how it was presented and received at the time (live as well as on record), and what it means in terms of Talking Heads’ legacy today.”

The Stranglers La Folie: In-Depth
By Laura Shenton

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “With riots, prison sentences and equipment stolen, 1980 and the earlier part of 1981 was an incredibly turbulent time for The Stranglers. Their misfortune provided the press with excellent stories but rarely was their music written about. Understandably, with its paranoid exploration of extraterrestrial themes, The Gospel According To The Meninblack hadn’t really caught on. With everything to play for when it came to making the next album, La Folie — and indeed the hit single Golden Brown — it would see The Stranglers back at the top of their game. In this book, Laura Shenton offers an in-depth perspective on La Folie from a range of angles including how the album came to be, how it was presented and received at the time (live as well as on record), and what it means in terms of The Stranglers’ legacy today.”

Elvis Presley
By Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara & Ana Albero

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Elvis Presley was born into poverty in North Mississippi, a place where opportunities were a rare thing to see. Still, he felt that someday, somehow, something amazing would happen. When he sang in a school talent show, he realized that singing was all he wanted to do with his life. He had just finished high school when he plucked up the courage and walked through the doors of Sun Studios, ready to record his first song. After this came hit after hit, and he popularized a new genre of music that mixed all kinds of different styles. That genre was rock ‘n’ roll, and it would take the world by storm! All the great artists that came after him still look up to little Elvis, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, the unique and irreplaceable artist who changed the course of music history. This inspiring book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the music legend’s life.”

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts 40×40: I Love Rock-n-Roll
By Jazzlyn Stone & Amanda Deibert

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Bad Reputation and I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll hit audiences like an atom bomb, defining a sound that became a soundtrack that would span generations. Now, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of these seminal albums, an unparalleled team of women creators bring these songs to life as 20 stories.”

Bobby Digital and the Pit of Snakes
By Ryan O’Sullivan & RZA

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Who are you, what is real? This is the question Bobby Digital is seeking to answer. Embracing his id, ego and superego he embarks on a quest to figure out the nature of his reality and himself. He will be ambushed by enemies unknown, he will be tried in ways most men can’t endure. Will he be victorious? Most of all will he survive the Pit of Snakes?! From the mind of the legendary RZA, Bobby Digital and The Pit of Snakes will coincide with the relaunch of the iconic character and be synced to music that will melt your mind.”