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Next Week in Music | January 30 – February 5 • New Books

Alice Cooper, The Jam, Oscar Hammerstein II, post-punk and much more.


The Jam look back at 1982, Alice Cooper eyes 75, and everything from post-punk to Broadway musicals take a turn in the spotlight next week. Read all about ’em:


The Jam 1982
By Rick Buckler & Zoe Howe

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “This richly illustrated oral history account of The Jam’s rollercoaster final year, led principally by the voice of drummer Rick Buckler, contains a number of previously unseen images and takes in everything from the recording and release of final studio album The Gift and the rigours of the road to the announcement of the split, the final tours and more. In addition to Buckler’s memories of this final year, The Jam 1982 also brings together testimonies from Gary Crowley, producer Peter Wilson, A&R manager Dennis Munday, photographer Neil ‘Twink’ Tinning, Eddie Piller, Paolo Hewitt, Mat Osman, Belle Stars singer Jennie Matthias (The Bitterest Pill), touring musicians Jamie Telford and Steve Nichol and others, to tell the tale of a single, fateful year: The year The Jam, for better or worse, went out at the very top of their game.”

Alice Cooper at 75
By Gary Graff

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Pythons, guillotines, stage blood … Alice Cooper is widely considered the godfather of shock rock thanks to his inventive concoction of vaudeville, horror film conceits, and three-chord rock ’n’ roll. In Alice Cooper At 75, veteran rock journalist Gary Graff shows you this rock icon through the lens of 75 career accomplishments, events, and partnerships. Through seven-and-a-half decades, Graff covers it all: Cooper’s childhood in Detroit and Arizona and early garage bands The Earwigs and The Spiders; all 28 studio albums, including those as front person of Alice Cooper the band; a selection of his greatest singles, like the classic-rock standards I’m Eighteen, School’s Out and Welcome to My Nightmare; collaborations with artists including Slash, Dave Grohl, Johnny Depp, Wayne Kramer and more; associations with notable guitarists, including Glen Buxton, Nita Strauss, Orianthi and others; nonmusical passions like classic cars and, of course, golf; his relationship with wife and entertainment accomplice Sheryl; and his tireless charity work. Beginning with his 1969 debut LP Pretties For You and continuing through his latest release, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Alice Cooper is regarded as one of the most influential performers and musicians in hard rock and heavy metal, influencing countless acts both visually and musically. This book is your unprecedented retrospective of Cooper’s career from teenage garage rocker to international star and celebrity.”

Bang Bang Crash
By Nic Brown

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In the mid-1990s, fresh out of high school, Nic Brown was living his childhood dream as a rock ’n’ roll drummer. Signing a major label record deal, playing big shows, hitting the charts, giving interviews in Rolling Stone, appearing on The Tonight Show — what could be better for a young artist? But contrary to expectations, getting a shot at his artistic dream early in life was a destabilizing shock. The more he achieved, the more accolades that came his way, the less sure Brown became about his path. Only a few years into a promising musical career, he discovered the crux of his discontent: he was never meant to remain behind the drums. In fact, his true artistic path lay in a radically different direction entirely: He decided to become a writer, embarking on a journey leading him to attend the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, publish novels and short stories, and teach literature to college students across the country. Bang Bang Crash tells the story of Brown’s unusual journey to gain new strength, presence of mind, and sense of perspective, enabling him to discover an even greater life of artistic fulfilment.”

Reggae My Life Is
By Copeland Forbes

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Copeland Forbes is one of the most consequential figures in the history of modern Jamaican music. Through his roles as personal and tour manager for some of the most iconic personalities in music, Forbes has been a witness to and a participant in some of the most intriguing dramas in the annals of modern popular music.”


The Tastemaker: My Life with the Legends and Geniuses of Rock
By Tony Kin

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Leaving school at 16 to start his career in the music industry at Decca Records, Tony King would soon find himself becoming a close friend and confidante to some of the world’s biggest artists — a far cry from his childhood days in Eastbourne. Living in an era of seismic social, technological and cultural transformation, King experienced these defining moments as an influential figure in London and New York’s gay scenes. Despite his heady life in show business, however, he would soon learn that a glittering career couldn’t shield him from heartbreak — witness to the AIDS crisis and the devastating consequences, his personal life was intermittently marked by tumult and turmoil. This included spending time with with his friend Freddie Mercury in the Queen frontman’s final days. Suffused with King’s disarming warmth and unparalleled charisma — and at times profoundly moving — The Tastemaker paints an intimate portrait of a music legend and captures the unpredictable world he stamped his indelible mark upon.”

Oscar Hammerstein II and the Invention of the Musical
By Laurie Winer

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “You know his work — Show Boat, Oklahoma!, Carousel, The King And I. But you don’t really know Oscar Hammerstein II, the man who, more than anyone else, invented the American musical. Among the most commercially successful artists of his time, he was a fighter for social justice who constantly prodded his audiences to be better than they were. Diving deep into Hammerstein’s life, examining his papers and his lyrics, critic Laurie Winer shows how he orchestrated a collective reimagining of America, urging it forward with a subtly progressive vision of the relationship between country and city, rich and poor, America and the rest of the world. His rejection of bitterness, his openness to strangers, and his optimistic humour shaped not only the musical but the American dream itself. His vision can continue to be a touchstone to this day.”

What Is Post-Punk? Genre and Identity in Avant-Garde Popular Music, 1977-82
By Mimi Haddon

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Popular music in the U.S. and U.K. during the late 1970s and early 1980s was wildly eclectic and experimental. Post-Punk, as it was retroactively labeled, could include electro-pop melodies, distorted guitars, avant-garde industrial sounds, and reggae beats, and thus is not an easily definable musical category. What Is Post-Punk? combines a close reading of the late-1970s music press discourse with musical analyses and theories of identity to unpack post-punk’s status as a genre. Mimi Haddon traces the discursive foundations of post-punk across publications such as Sounds, ZigZag, Melody Maker, The Village Voice and NME, and presents case studies of bands including Wire, PiL, Joy Division, The Raincoats and Pere Ubu. By positioning post-punk in relation to genres such as punk, new wave, dub, and disco, Haddon explores the boundaries of post-punk, and reveals it as a community of tastes and predilections rather than a stylistically unified whole. Haddon diversifies the discourse around post-punk, exploring both its gender and racial dynamics and its proto-industrial aesthetics to restore the historical complexity surrounding the genre’s terms and origins.”