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

Next Week in Music | May 8-14 • New Books

Ramsey, Ramones, Bee Gees, Alice, Green Day and more bands to read about:

Ramsey‘s jazzy life, the meaning of Sinead, The Ramones in their own words, The Bee Gees and Alice Cooper’s glory days, Green Day‘s catalog, Metal Blade memories and more are all headed for a bookshelf or a device near you. Read all about ’em:


Gentleman of Jazz: A Life in Music
By Ramsey Lewis & Aaron Cohen

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “This immersive new autobiography provides insight into the early life and illustrious career of the late great Ramsey Lewis, one of the most popular jazz pianists of all time. Beginning with his childhood growing up in Chicago’s Cabrini Green neighborhood, Ramsey Lewis recounts his memories of the music in his parents’ church and his early piano lessons. As he learned classical technique, Lewis also absorbed countless jazz records and heard gospel music weekly, finally becoming a performer himself in his teenage years. With his coauthor and collaborator, Aaron Cohen, Lewis describes his early steps in jazz from joining The Clefs in the ’50s, to eventually establishing the Ramsey Lewis Trio. This memoir provides an evocative tour of Lewis’s life from the club circuit of the early 1960s and recording with Chess Records to working with producer Maurice White and musicians such as Stevie Wonder. In this deep dive into an exceptional life and expansive career, Lewis takes us through his artistic challenges, offers insight and perspective on his own musical growth and the creative process, and describes his eventual foray into symphonic composition and performance. Gentleman of Jazz: A Life in Music is an inspiration to young musicians eager to follow in his footsteps and a tribute to the legacy of Ramsey Lewis and is sure to appeal to longtime fans as well as those new to the jazz scene.”

Gabba Gabba Hey: A Conversation With The Ramones
By Carl Cafarelli

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Ramones were arguably the single most influential rock ‘n’ roll act to emerge from that curious muddle of magic and mediocrity called the 1970s. But none of the group’s founding members — singer Joey Ramone, bassist Dee Dee Ramone, guitarist Johnny Ramone and drummer Tommy Ramone — lived to see how long and far their legend would endure. In 1994, as The Ramones celebrated their 20th anniversary, then-current members Joey, Johnny, drummer Marky and bassist C.J. knew the group’s Road To Ruin Tour would soon approach its end. Given an opportunity to assess where they’d been and what was left to do, they agreed to a series of interviews discussing the entirety of The Ramones‘ story. This is that story: a career-spanning discussion of the band’s career, an intimate glimpse at how they viewed their work, their experiences, their impact, their legacy, their fans, and each other. It’s a unique and fascinating peek into what it was like to be one of the few, the proud, The Ramones. For the first time, you can read The Ramones’ published comments about their own history, and much, much more than ever could have fit into a single magazine issue.”

Why Sinéad O’Connor Matters
By Allyson McCabe

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In 1990, Sinéad O’Connor’s video for Nothing Compares 2 U turned her into a superstar. Two years later, an appearance on Saturday Night Live turned her into a scandal. For many people — including, for years, the author — what they knew of O’Connor stopped there. Allyson McCabe believes it’s time to reassess our old judgments about Sinéad O’Connor and to expose the machinery that built her up and knocked her down. Addressing triumph and struggle, sound and story, Why Sinéad O’Connor Matters argues that its subject has been repeatedly manipulated and misunderstood by a culture that is often hostile to women who speak their minds (in O’Connor’s case, by shaving her head, championing rappers, and tearing up a picture of the pope on live television). McCabe details O’Connor’s childhood abuse, her initial success, and the backlash against her radical politics without shying away from the difficult issues her career raises. She compares O’Connor to Madonna, another superstar who challenged the Catholic Church, and Prince, who wrote her biggest hit and allegedly assaulted her. A journalist herself, McCabe exposes how the media distorts not only how we see O’Connor but how we see ourselves, and she weighs the risks of telling a story that hits close to home. In an era when popular understanding of mental health has improved and the public eagerly celebrates feminist struggles of the past, it can be easy to forget how O’Connor suffered for being herself. This is the book her admirers and defenders have been waiting for.”

Decades: The Bee Gees In The 1970s
By Andrew Mon Hughes, Mark Croham & Grant Walters

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “For better or worse, The Bee Gees’ music and image has long been synonymous with the 1970s, and the career trajectory of brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb in that 10-year span meanders between dizzying highs and devastating lows. The Bee Gees began 1970 as non-existent — bitterly split after succumbing to the pressures and excesses of their first wave of international fame in the latter part of the 1960s. By 1979, they were one of the most successful music acts on the planet. In between, the brothers crafted timeless works that defied genre, transcended societal boundaries, and permeated generations of listeners. The Bee Gees would go on to sell over 200 million records, making them among the best-selling music artists of all time; they would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Australian Recording Industry’s Hall of Fame, and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and receive lifetime achievement awards from the British Phonographic Industry, the American Music Awards, World Music Awards and the Grammys. According to Billboard magazine The Bee Gees are one of top three most successful bands in their charts’ history. In the 1970s, The Bee Gees established themselves as innovative and versatile artists, and their songs scored a turbulent decade of global cultural change and discovery.”

Decades: Alice Cooper In The 1980s
By Chris Sutton

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The 1980s saw Alice Cooper release arguably his most diverse collection of albums, ranging from new wave to metal to full-on radio-friendly rock. They weren’t all commercially successful, but all are worth listening to and some are excellent.This book (which follows on from the author’s acclaimed Alice Cooper In The ’70s) features all new interview material by the author with 45 musicians and performers who worked with Alice over the decade. Many have never been interviewed before and they offer fascinating insight into working with Alice and each other. Key interviewees include Mike Pinera, Jan Uvena, John Nitzinger, Graham Shaw, Ken Mary, Kip Winger, Kane Roberts, John McCurry and Al Pitrelli. Consequently, the book includes a lot of new facts and information that should please fans. The author adds commentary and opinions on all of the songs from the era, Alice’s film work and the five live tours. There is also an appendix on the album that could have been but never was. Alice ‘contributes’ from the contemporary press of the time are referenced, which became more loquacious as the decade goes on. Alice in the ‘80s, what a thrill ride that was!”

Green Day: Every Album, Every Song
By William E. Spevack

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Green Day are one of rock history’s greatest and most successful bands. Singer/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tré Cool have been together creating rock music with a punk heart for over three decades. The trio have reigned supreme, shattering previously conceived notions of how commercially successful a punk rock band can be. They helped extend the boundaries of the genre by adding excellent pop/rock songwriting. Green Day harnessed alternative music’s creativity with a passion and fire that ignited two of rock’s best albums, the influential Dookie, which sold 20 million, and the culturally important rock opera American Idiot, which sold 16 million and went on to become a Broadway show. In their 30-plus years, Green Day revolutionized rock musically and lyrically, inspiring countless bands. During the 1990s, they lead the pop-punk charge, and in the 2000s, they inspired a second generation of fans and bands through a lyrically intelligent and musically complex style of hard rock. Green Day: Every Album, Every Song takes a journey through the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame band’s career, analyzing every album and song in their storied catalogue.”

Swing of the Blade: More Stories from Metal Blade Records
By Brian Slagel & Mark Eglinton

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Swing of the Blade follows Brian Slagel’s critically acclaimed 2017 book, For the Sake of Heaviness, which delivered a compelling inside look at how a metal-obsessed California teen built Metal Blade Records into the pre-eminent international home of heavy music. Rabid readers demanded more anecdotes, more bands, and more of Slagel’s musical wisdom. With Swing of the Blade, he delivers. Featuring a foreword by Slayer’s Kerry King, the new book is part memoir, part music-business primer, and all metal — delving deep into scenes and bands that fans worldwide obsess about. Slagel serves up more of his favorite memories about iconic musicians and events, and delves into even greater detail about his long and ongoing relationships with Metallica, Armored Saint, King Diamond and other heavyweights. Swing of the Blade is told in Slagel’s humble but authoritative voice. His view for the last 40 years — from the studio, side-stage and boardroom — offers an unprecedented look into the music, business, and passion that has made both Slagel and Metal Blade champions of discovering and nurturing the best heavy music on the planet.”

Into the Groove: The Story of Sound From Tin Foil to Vinyl
By Jonathan Scott

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In Into the Groove, vinyl collector and music buff Jonathan Scott dissects a mind-blowing feat that we all take for granted today — the domestication of sound. Thomas Edison’s phonograph, the first device that could both record and reproduce sound, represented an important turning point in the story of recorded sound, but it was only the tip of the iceberg, and came after decades of invention, tinkering and experimentation. Scott traces the birth of sound back to the earliest serious attempts in the 1850s, celebrating the ingenuity, rivalries and science of the modulated groove. He examines the first attempts to record and reproduce sounds, the origins of the phonograph, and the development of commercial shellac discs. Then he divulges the fascinating story of the LP record, from the rise of electric recording to the fall of 7″ vinyl, the competing speed and format wars, and an epilogue that takes the story up to the present-day return of vinyl to vogue. Into the Groove uncovers tales of intrigue and betrayal, court battles and lesser-known names who are often left out of most histories. Discover a new appreciation of the not-so-simple black disc that holds a special place in the history of music and sound.”

Queen and Philosophy: Guaranteed to Blow Your Mind
Edited by Jared Kemling & Randall E. Auxier

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Queen and Philosophy: Guaranteed to Blow Your Mind is a collection of cutting-edge philosophical essays on the rock group Queen, founded in 1970 and originally featuring lead vocalist Freddie Mercury. Queen’s reputation and fan following continue to grow in the twenty-first century. These insightful and provocative chapters uncover the origins of Queen’s unique style in prog rock, vulgarity, and lower versus higher Romanticism; examine Queen’s view of love and friendship; draw upon three timeless Queen songs, We Will Rock You, We Are the Champions and Don’t Stop Me Now and Socrates’ behavior in the Apology, to understand the “rocking” nature of philosophy; identify the connections between ancient matriarchal religion and Queen’s love for strong female imagery; explore how Brian May’s astrophysics brings to bear the issues of absolute versus relative spacetime and how the philosophies of Newton, Mach and Einstein contribute to Queen’s creative output; analyze the structure of Queen’s sound; expose what Queen’s songs tell us about the contemporary theory of mental illness and therapy; scrutinize Roger Taylor’s stark impressions of ordinary life and death, and their alignment to the cynical musings of Diogenes of Sinope and Seneca’s blunt observations on the shortness of life; and look at the movie Highlander through the music of Queen and reveal how both song and cinema convey the philosophy of bushido, the soul of the samurai.”

Female Force: Women of Country Music – Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood, Loretta Lynn, and Reba McEntire
By Michael Frizell & Ramon Salas

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “What do a coal miner’s daughter, an American Idol winner, the Queen of Country, and a woman who once proclaimed, “It costs a lot of money to look this cheap,” have in common? Find out in this dynamic volume of Female Force featuring the women whose voices define country music. Featuring the comic book biographies of Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood, Loretta Lynn, and Reba McEntire. Special cover by Marvel Comics artist Yonami.”

Fame: Harry Styles
By Darren G Davis

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Harry Styles is arguably the most beloved male pop star in the world right now. No matter what medium he’s occupying, his fame continues to grow. For the first time, you can now ead about his life story in comic book form. TidalWave Comics shares the story of Harry growing up in England, to his rise to fame in One Direction as well as his Grammy-winning solo career.”