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Next Week in Music | May 27 – June 2 • 16 New Books

The Boss, Hootie, Van Halen, AC/DC, INXS and more artists for your reading list.

People have been telling me for years that I should write a book. And when a publisher recently offered me a deal, I seriously considered it. Then I decided I didn’t want to do a year’s work for the princely sum of $2,000. Guess I’m just lazy. Unlike these authors (who hopefully got a better offer than I did):


Life’s Too Short: A Memoir
By Darius Rucker

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In 1986 Darius Rucker cofounded Hootie & The Blowfish at the University of South Carolina. What began as a party band playing frat houses and dive bars quickly became a global pop rock phenomenon through their multiplatinum-selling debut album, cracked rear view, which featured era-defining hit songs like Only Wanna Be With You, Let Her Cry and Hold My Hand. Later, Darius would chart a pioneering path as a solo country music artist, with classic anthems like Wagon Wheel and Alright. Nearly 40 years after the band’s formation, Darius tells his remarkable story through the lens of the songs that shaped him — from Al Green, Stevie Wonder and KISS to Lou Reed, Billy Joel, Nanci Griffith, and so many more. Set against the soundtrack of his life, Darius recounts his childhood as the son of a single mother in Charleston, S.C. He traces the unlikely ascent of his band and shares wild tales of life on the road — but he also faces his missteps, defeats, and demons. As moving as it is entertaining, Life’s Too Short is a timeless book about a man and his music.”

There Was Nothing You Could Do: Bruce Springsteen’s Born In The U.S.A. And The End Of The Heartland
By Steven Hyden

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A thought-provoking exploration of Bruce Springsteen’s iconic album, Born In The U.S.A. — a record that both chronicled and foreshadowed the changing tides of modern America. On June 4, 1984, Columbia Records issued what would become one of the best-selling and most impactful rock albums of all time. An instant classic, Born In The U.S.A. would prove itself to be a landmark not only for the man who made it, but rock music in general and even the larger American culture over the next 40 years. In There Was Nothing You Could Do, veteran rock critic Steven Hyden shows exactly how this record became such a pivotal part of the American tapestry. But the book doesn’t stop there. Beyond Springsteen’s career, Hyden explores the role the album played in a greater historical context, documenting not just where the country was in the tumultuous aftermath of Vietnam and Watergate, but offering a dream of what it might become — and a perceptive forecast of what it turned into decades later.”

Van Halen At 50
By Martin Popoff

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Formed in Southern California in 1974, Van Halen became one of the best-selling bands in rock history and one of the highest-grossing tour acts with their rock-solid rhythm section, the histrionics of outrageous frontman David Lee Roth, and the wildly inventive and until-then unimaginable guitar heroics of Eddie Van Halen. In Van Halen At 50, prolific rock journalist Martin Popoff pays tribute to the band on the occasion of their 50th anniversary by curating 50 significant milestones, from their formation in 1974 to the passing of Eddie in 2020. Across five decades, Popoff covers it all: The band’s formation in Pasadena and early years as a SoCal party band; 13 best-selling studio albums and the tours undertaken in support of the LPs; the departure of Roth and his replacement by Red Rocker Sammy Hagar; notable appearances like Texxas Jam, Farm Aid and Monsters of Rock; a selection of their greatest singles, like the classic-rock standards Runnin’ With The Devil, Hot For Teacher, Jump and Why Can’t This Be Love?; awards such as MTV Music Video Awards, platinum and diamond album certifications, and induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame; Eddie’s battle with cancer; bassist Michael Anthony’s replacement by Eddie’s son Wolfgang and more. The result is an apt tribute to one of the most popular bands in rock history.”

AC/DC: Every Album, Every Song
By Chris Sutton

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:AC/DC are a global rock institution and a brand name. The secret to their success has always been they are a rock ’n’ roll band, pure and simple, undiluted by trends. They have a solid authenticity with no frills or pretentiousness. Chris Sutton examines the recorded output of the band in detail, helped by new interview material with former members, collaborators and friends. They have one of the world’s biggest-selling albums in Back In Black, but is it their best album, and which are their best songs? As well as commentary and analysis of every track on every studio album, space is also given to B-sides and out-takes. The live albums and box sets are also featured. The background to each album is also covered as the band navigate tragedy and setbacks with a determination to keep going — rock or bust! The book’s aim is to send you back to the albums and listen again, or catch up with the ones you have missed.”

INXS: Every Album, Every Song
By Manny Grillo

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Between 1977 and 2012, INXS went from touring the Australian pub scene to conquering the world with their unique hybrid of rock, pop and funk. Despite soaking up a vast number of influences along the way, INXS transcended all music scenes, retaining their individuality which helped them sell 95 million albums across the world. Two things came to define INXS globally; the hit singles from Kick that have seeped into popular culture and the life and loves of their electric frontman, Michael Hutchence. Books, documentaries and even a TV biopic have all been written and produced about the band and Michael’s life but one thing seems to be missing from these, a true deep dive into the most important aspect of INXS’s career, the music. This is the first book that looks at every INXS track and the stories and facts behind them. From their early demos to international breakthrough albums Shabooh Shoobah and The Swing via the phenomenal Kick and the creative rebirth of Welcome To Wherever You Are, all the way through to the post-Hutchence celebration Original Sin, every album track and B-side is covered here.”

The Police: Every Album, Every Song
By Peter Braidis

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In 1976, with punk rock all the rage, a trio called The Police hopped on board, but bassist/vocalist Sting and drummer Stewart Copeland had an ulterior motive. They posed as punks in hopes of getting signed and would then make the sophisticated music they truly wanted to. With Stewart’s brother Miles as manager, the gambit paid off and the debut single Fall Out was issued in 1977. When seasoned guitarist Andy Summers saw the band, he forced his way in which led to Henry Padovani departing and the classic lineup was now in place. From 1978-1983 The Police released five brilliant albums that took in rock, reggae, world music and more. By 1983 they’d become the biggest band in the world, but egos and arguments took their toll and Sting left to become a massive solo success and the group split in 1986. A reunion tour in 2007-’08 broke box office records and happily closed the door on the band. This book details every song and album from the first single to the last, making it a comprehensive guide to the music of one of the greatest bands in music history with sales of over 100 million worldwide.”

Magnum: Every Album, Every Song
By Matthew Taylor

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Celebrating 50 years as a band in 2022, Magnum remain a musical enigma, much loved by legions of fans despite never fitting easily into the sub-genres favoured by rock music critics. Formed in the West Midlands of England around a nucleus of guitarist and songwriter Tony Clarkin and vocalist Bob Catley, the band dabbled with pomp rock and progressive sounds in the late 1970s before achieving success in the 1980s with records like Chase The Dragon, On A Storyteller’s Night and their commercial highpoint, Wings Of Heaven. They even had two Top 30 singles in the U.K., with Start Talking Love and Rockin’ Chair. The changing musical landscape of the 1990s led to a split, but the band returned in 2001 and continue to release records of remarkable consistency while entertaining live audiences across Europe. This is the first book on the history and music of Magnum. It covers each of the band’s 22 studio albums, as well as live recordings, compilations and the late 1990s Hard Rain project. Charting the ups and downs in commercial and artistic achievement, it is an essential guide to one of Britain’s most underappreciated rock bands.”

Bob Dylan: Bringing It All Back Home
By Opher Goodwin

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “One of the the most pivotal albums in the evolution of rock music, no other recording has had more impact than the 1965 classic Bob Dylan, Bringing It All Back Home. In the mid-’60s, rock was about to explode into psychedelia, prog and jazz fusion. Meanwhile, Dylan had made an enormous impact on songwriting with his first four acoustic albums. He had created a different way of writing songs with themes such as civil rights, anti-war protests and social issues that lifted rock music from teenage love songs to serious poetic works of art full of symbolism. But with Bringing It All Back Home, Dylan shot his lyrics through with surreal hard-edged Beat poetry and charged the music from acoustic to blues-based loud electric rock. It alienated him from many of his peers in the folk community but contains classic cuts like Mr. Tambourine Man, Maggie’s Farm and Subterranean Homesick Blues. Dylan had opened the door on experimentation. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and Cream all listened and responded. Songwriting rose to new heights with few boundaries. In the wake of Bringing It All Back Home, music was forever changed.”

Paul Weller & Popular Music: Identity, Idiolect & Image
By Andrew Westerms

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Using research, analysis and a range of historical sources, Paul Weller and Popular Music immerses the reader in the excitement of Paul Weller’s unique creative journey, covering topics such as the artist’s position within his field; his creative processes; the contexts in which the music was made; the artist as collaborator; signifiers that mark the trajectory of the music; and formative influences. Focusing on over 40 years of recorded work from In The City to Fat Pop (Volume One), this study explores why Weller’s music is widely considered both timeless and of its time, and with reference to a wide range of interviews, reviews and texts, it offers an in-depth critical analysis of Weller’s music. It will be of particular interest to scholars and researchers of popular music, popular culture, performance studies and music production.”

That’ll Be The Day: The Birth of Rock ’n’ Roll
By Carolyn McHugh

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:That’ll Be The Day: The Birth of Rock ’n’ Roll takes you on a musical journey through the first decade of this extraordinary genre that has influenced popular music to the present day. The book features the stories of the biggest rock ’n’ roll artists such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry through to The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, and how they influenced fashion film and art to the present day. While Presley is the genre’s undisputed King, other seminal figures in the rock ’n’ roll movement were key in bringing the new music to the mainstream mass market. Step forward Fats Domino, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly — all exceptional talents whose hit songs soundtracked the major rock ’n’ roll years, ensuring, as the 1958 Danny And The Juniors song put it; “Rock ’n’ roll is here to stay!” Add to the roll call artists including Bill Haley, Ritchie Valens, the Big Bopper and Eddie Cochran. The ground-breaking talents of Elvis and his contemporaries made an incalculable contribution to music, which has inspired generations ever since.”

Music In The Horror Films of Val Lewton
By Michael Lee

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Val Lewton’s horror films revolutionized a popular genre through a much-studied and still widely emulated visual style emphasizing shadows and absences. By denying audiences visual confirmation of horror, his reforms placed a fresh burden on the soundtrack of his films. This book offers a fine-grained study of the Lewton unit’s transformational sonic style which introduced the first “jump scare,” liberal use of pre-musique concrète, and an original orchestral score for every film in the series in violation of “B” movie norms. Their orchestral scores often exceed the conventions of film music as we hear the RKO Music Department ignoring instructions thus freeing their contributions to signpost the path toward each films’ essential themes.”

Dreamsville: Henry Mancini, Peter Gunn, And Music For TV Noir
By Jon Burlingame

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Henry Mancini (1924-1994) is renowned as the Oscar– and Grammy-winning composer of such timeless standards as Moon River and Days Of Wine And Roses, as well as such memorable instrumental themes as The Pink Panther and Baby Elephant Walk. But preceding all of them was the wildly popular theme from Peter Gunn, a television series whose soundtrack won the very first Grammy for Album of the Year. Award-winning author and journalist Jon Burlingame chronicles the backstory of Peter Gunn and how its music propelled Mancini to fame and fortune, launching a decades-long collaboration with filmmaker Blake Edwards that encompassed nearly 30 movies, from Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Victor / Victoria and beyond. Burlingame relates the untold story of Peter Gunn and its companion series Mr. Lucky; examines the music Mancini wrote for both series and their chart-topping success as modern jazz albums; and tells how this 1958-61 period in TV history set the stage for one of the most remarkable careers of any American composer in the 20th century.”

Jammin’ Through the South: Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas
By Daniel Seddiqui

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Many genres of music — including the blues, bluegrass, country, rock ’n’ roll, and gospel — have roots in the American South, and the region has nurtured some of the worldʼs most famous and talented musicians, from Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn to Elvis Presley and B.B. King. Daniel Seddiqui — dubbed “the Most Traveled Person in America” — leads readers on an experience-based travel journey through the music of the South. The curated itinerary features stops in Lexington, the hollers of eastern Kentucky, Bristol, Pigeon Forge, Nashville, Memphis, the Mississippi Delta, New Orleans, Lafayette, Houston, and Austin; fun, hands-on learning opportunities — from taking a line-dancing class to hand-crafting an instrument — that allow travelers to experience firsthand the music that flows through the region; interviews with noted makers and musicians who provide insight into the region’s craft and music traditions; and information on lodging and other attractions that travelers should be sure not to miss as they jam their way through the South.”

Moving Mountains: The Little Guide To P!nk
By Orange Hippo

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Petite but powerful — just like P!nk! The ultimate greatest hits package of all-things P!nk, this little guide is just like the artist herself — petite but powerful! From inspiring facts to stunning stats, candid quips to classic (and controversial!) quotes, historic dates to tasty bitesize trivia, this compact compendium of wit and wisdom will tickle P!nk fans of all persuasions. And, last time we looked, there were millions of them! With more than 135 million records sold worldwide, across 25 epic years, P!nk’s passion for acrobatic and high-energy performance has yet to yield, wowing crowds young and old with an enviable and iconic back catalogue of pop-punk and R&B music that always gets the party started. Comes in pink, as standard.”

Metal Cocktails: 42 Recipes Inspired by the World’s Biggest Bands
By Marc Aumont & Fabien Labbé

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Get loud and get mixing! Metal Cocktails features a world tour’s worth of delicious hardcore drinks inspired by your favorite metal and hard rock bands. Guarantee that your drinks rock as hard as your playlist with Metal Cocktails! This cocktail book has drinks inspired by 50 years of bass-bursting, headbanging rock bands. From Black Sabbath to Guns N’ Roses, Metallica to KISS, all the legends of rock are toasted in these pages. You can mix their drinks straight from the book — or improvise a riff of your own! So, get out your cocktail shaker, crank up the volume, and mix those drinks ’til the neighbors call the cops!”

Amon Amarth: The Great Heathen Army Invasion
By Amon Amarth

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Sweden’s Amon Amarth represent one of the driving forces in modern metalhead culture. In the ninth century, a coalition of Viking warriors from Scandinavia invaded England, reaving unprecedented chaos throughout Great Britain. Death metal pioneers Amon Amarth and Z2 Comics will now present that tale in all of its carnage and mayhem in The Great Heathen Army Invasion, coinciding with the band’s 2022 album. Written by Dan Watters (Lucifer, Arkham City) and illustrated by Ario Murti, this epic graphic novel captures the devastating human cost to both sides of this brutal clash.”