Home Read News Next Week in Music | Aug. 8-14 • New Books

Next Week in Music | Aug. 8-14 • New Books

CCR, Waits, Cohen, Purple, Bowie, Angel & more — read all about ’em.


A is for Angel. B is for Bowie. C is for Creedence. D is for Deep Purple. And E is for everyone else on your latest musical reading list. Let’s open the covers:


A Song For Everyone: The Story of Creedence Clearwater Revival
By John Lingan

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “From 1969 to 1971, as the United States convulsed with political upheaval and transformative social movements, no band was bigger than Creedence Clearwater Revival. They managed a two-year barrage of top-10 singles and LPs that doubled as an ubiquitous soundtrack to one of the most volatile periods in modern American history, and they remain a staple of classic rock radio and films about the era. Yet despite their enduring popularity, no book has ever sought to understand Creedence in conversation with their time. A Song for Everyone finally tells that story: The 13-year saga of an unassuming suburban quartet’s journey through the wilds of 1960s pop, and their slow accrual of a sound and ethos that were almost mystically aligned with the concerns of decade’s end. Starting in middle school, these Californian friends and brothers cut a working-class path through the most expansive decade in American music, playing R&B, country, and rock ‘n’ roll under a variety of names as each of those genres expanded and evolved. When they finally synthesized those styles under a new name in 1968, Creedence Clearwater Revival became instantly epochal, then fell apart under the weight of personal grievances that dated back to adolescence. As musicians and as men, they embodied the contradictions and difficulties of their time, and those dimensions of their career have never been explored until now. Drawing on wide-ranging research into the social and musical developments of 1959-1972, extensive original interviews with surviving Creedence members and associates, and unpublished memoirs from people who knew the group closely, A Song for Everyone is the definitive account of a legendary and still-beloved American band. At the same time, it is also a cultural history of those same years — from Elvis to Altamont, Eisenhower to Watergate — seen through the eyes of four men who encapsulated them in song for all time, told by one of the rising figures in contemporary music writing.”

Song Noir: Tom Waits and the Spirit of Los Angeles
By Alex Harvey

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Song Noir examines the formative first decade of Tom Waits’s career, when he lived, wrote, and recorded nine albums in Los Angeles: from his soft, folk-inflected debut Closing Time in 1973, to the abrasive, surreal Swordfishtrombones in 1983. Starting his songwriting career in the ’70s, Waits absorbed Los Angeles’s wealth of cultural influences. Combining the spoken idioms of writers like Kerouac and Bukowski with jazz-blues rhythms, he explored the city’s literary and film noir traditions to create hallucinatory dreamscapes. Waits mined a rich seam of the city’s low-life locations and characters, letting the place feed his dark imagination. Mixing the domestic with the mythic, Waits turned quotidian, autobiographical details into something more disturbing and emblematic, a vision of Los Angeles as the warped, narcotic heart of his nocturnal explorations.”

The Fortune: On the Rocks with Angel
By Martin Popoff

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “They were the envy of all the more “earthly” rock acts scrambling to make it in the world of ’70s hard rock, each and all aspiring to the success levels of Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, Blue Öyster Cult, Styx and label mates Kiss. But the story of Angel is of a band out of time, playing regal progressive heavy metal and then changing to try reach radio, in either guise, not quite clicking with enough Kiss fans ― Kiss were the devils in black and Angel were the good guys in white ― nor the fans of progressive rock or, later, those more inclined to Foreigner, Journey and Cheap Trick. Along the way, the band went first class, with the best gear, a killer stage show and tons of promotion from Neil Bogart and Casablanca — until they had racked up a million dollars of debt by the end of their blessed run, the guys often oblivious to what lesser bands had to go through. Indeed, this is a story of a band hailed as rock stars and indeed often headlining like rock stars, without the record sales to justify the crazy spending that a believing Bogart threw at the band. Then it was all over and we heard virtually nothing from any of them after 1981 until both Punky Meadows and Frank DiMino stormed back with solo albums. And then, appearing outta nowhere like they did in their famous stage show, Angel returned in 2019 with a blindingly white and quite sprightly new album called Risen. Come celebrate what it was like to live as the alter-ego to Kiss as we examine the band’s five studio albums of the original run, the crushing concert album Live Without A Net, as well as where it all went wrong and the inspiring return of Frank and Punky through the spirited hard rocker that is Risen.”

Bowie Odyssey: 72
By Simon Goddard

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A new year for David Bowie means new clothes, new boots, new hair and a new name: Ziggy Stardust. To the gloomy blacked-out Britain of powercuts and three-day weeks he may as well be from outer space — if that’s what it takes to make him famous, far be it from him to tell anyone he isn’t. Bowie’s success as the bisexual starman soon rubs off on his new friends Mott The Hoople and his hero Lou Reed as 1972 becomes Annus Glamrockus. Music, fashion and the old codes of gender will never be the same again. But as his runaway fame quickly blurs all lines between fantasy and reality, neither will David. The third volume of the Bowie Odyssey series offers a wild and revelatory snapshot of the year of Ziggy as Simon Goddard continues his vivid real-time journey through the decade Bowie changed pop forever.”

The Little Book of Leonard Cohen
By Orange Hippo!

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Leonard Cohen’s most famous song Hallelujah has been covered by such artists as John Cale, Rufus Wainwright and Jeff Buckley, and performed by almost 200 artists in various languages. Born Jewish and ordained as a Zen Buddhist monk, he was forced back on the road after his manager embezzled all his money, but this gave him a new lease of life and exposure to a new generation. He released three albums in the final four years of his life with another released posthumously to make 15 studio albums in all.”

Sculpting In Rock: Deep Purple 1968-70
By Adrian Jarvis

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Deep Purple In Rock is, as its iconic cover suggests, a landmark in rock music. From its opening moments of mayhem to its final crash into incoherent noise, it is a fuzzbox fuelled masterpiece with not a single wasted moment. Its release was also a watershed moment for the band, a defiant and irrevocable statement that they were going in a different direction from that followed on their first three albums. It would be wrong, however, to suggest that the album came from nowhere. Not only was it one side in a musical debate that had been raging within the band, but its antecedents can be traced through both Deep Purple’s earlier releases and those of some of the source bands from which the principal players were drawn. Sculpting In Rock takes up that challenge, exploring the roots of the album, placing it into its proper context to consider how it was produced as well as why it was produced. Part history, part essay, part memoir, the book is essential reading for any fan of Deep Purple, In Rock or the exciting, uncompromising, genre of which it is arguably the masterpiece.”

Pride, Pop and Politics
By Darryl W Bullock

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Fifty years on from Britain’s first Pride march, the long road to LGBT equality continues. Through protest songs and gay club nights, street theatre activism and fundraising concerts, the performing arts have played an influential role in each great stride made. With new interviews with musicians and DJs, performers and activists, including Andy Bell, Jayne County, John Grant, Horse McDonald and Peter Tachell, Pride, Pop and Politics hears from those whose art has been influenced by the campaign for LGBT rights — and helped push it forward. This informative, eye-opening book is the first to focus on the relationship between gay nightlife and political activism in Britain.”