Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Music: What Happened?” as Want to Read:
Music: What Happened?
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Music: What Happened?

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  109 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Scott Miller has released more than a dozen albums with his bands Game Theory and the Loud Family, and his music has been described as "a cross between Alex Chilton, James Joyce, and the Electric Prunes" (Stereo Review) and "smart, funny, and instantly memorable" (Rolling Stone). In this book, Miller writes about each of the past 53 years in popular music-1957-2009- via co ...more
Kindle Edition, 264 pages
Published (first published November 27th 2010)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Music, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Music

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 222)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Apr 21, 2012 Chris rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: i-own
I'll keep piecing my way slowly through this for years, and it's something I'll read and re-read in perpetuity. Music writers that can form their opinions concisely and precisely are always going to be textbooks to be studied for me -- I can do neither. Miller stands out from the Christgaus, the Shaar Murrays, the Ira Robbinses of the world by being able to talk not just about songcraft or emotional impact, but also the secrets of recording and production wizardry and the creation of pop classic ...more
I knew Scott Miller when he attended UC Davis in the mid-70's. I really liked his bands Alternate Learning and Game Theory. He used to shop at a record store I managed and we bonded over Big Star and Chris Stamey records.
Basically, he reviews his favorite songs by year from 1957-2009. Almost all of the songs are on YouTube.
Most of the reviews are great, but I especially like his viewpoint from 1977 forward. He relates to the newer bands as musical peers and brings a fresh perspective to what m
This is one man's journey through the past few decades of music, presenting his top dozen or so tracks that he feels are some of the best of that year. Miller knows his stuff and writes about it with gusto, although some of the entries are much better than others. For one third of his picks I said right on, for another third I was bewildered, and for the final third I said who? But that was the best part of this book – finding great music that was new to me from the likes of Arthur Alexander to ...more
Mar 11, 2012 Grant rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
Miller has a great ear and casts a wide net to find his favorite pop songs from every year since 1957. My tastes overlap with Millers (particularly in the 60s and 90s/00s), and where they don't, it's typically because I simply haven't heard the songs he's writing about. In that way, it's a great wishlist for me as I venture into the musical past with my album purchases.
If you love music criticism like I do, this book is an absolute quotable must. R.I.P. Scott Miller; I'm sorry to have made your acquaintance posthumously.
Smart, incisive, and often funny musical commentary, arranged year by year. Cover art is worth the price of admission.
Scott Miller was the creative force behind Game Theory, a smart, literate 1980s indie-pop band in the vein of The dB's, early R.E.M., and The Go-Betweens that was criminally undervalued, and The Loud Family, a 1990s powerpop band I'm less familiar with. He died suddenly and unexpectedly a few months ago at the age of 53, and I was surprised to learn from his obituaries that he'd written a book of music criticism. It's not your ordinary rock crit book. Miller picks a group of his favorite songs ( ...more
I learned a lot, especially about alternative 1980s-2000s music. Author had very particular tastes in music - but that's OK. This is an interesting look into one (very talented) music-lover's mind.
Harriet M.
Scott Miller's favorite songs through history. Fun if you're a Miller fan and share his musical taste.
Dirk Heinz
I enjoyed the picks each year and the reasons for the choices. He mentions re-edits of some of the songs that would be cool to hear. I wonder if anyone has put together youtube playlists of his picks. The picks already forced me to look up a dozen songs at least that I had never know about from artists I like.
Micah Joel
This is a must-read book for anyone who listens to music. Scott's perspective on things is just perfect, and I've discovered all kinds of great music I was only dimly aware of before. My only regret, and it's a doozy, is that I didn't read this (or even know about it) while Scott was still around.
I found myself disagreeing with, or being disappointed by, a fair amount of what Miller had to say in here -- but that's part of what a book like this is about; it's just one guy's opinion, and whether or not you share it, Miller presents his eloquently and with clear passion.
Miller proves that we'll written capsule reviews are still a viable art form if you have the skills. The first couple decades especially helped reinvigorate some of my own views on music writing in extreme short form.
An addictive read, and I'm definitely going to use it to make some Spotify playlists, but man, Miller had some blind spots as big as Texas.
Great witty & smart book of music lists by the Game Theory/Loud Family Scott Miller.
Some of the best music writing I've ever read, by a gone-too-soon brilliant man.
Erin marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2015
Dale Simms
Dale Simms is currently reading it
Sep 03, 2015
Brooks marked it as to-read
Aug 29, 2015
Gherghescu Valentin
Gherghescu Valentin marked it as to-read
Aug 16, 2015
Eric marked it as to-read
Jul 28, 2015
Michael Broadhurst
Michael Broadhurst marked it as to-read
Jun 23, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Devil Sent the Rain: Music and Writing in Desperate America
  • Words and Music: A History of Pop in the Shape of a City
  • When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison
  • Flowers in the Dustbin: The Rise of Rock and Roll, 1947-1977
  • How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll: An Alternative History of American Popular Music
  • 33 Revolutions Per Minute: A History of Protest Songs, from Billie Holiday to Green Day
  • Torment Saint: The Life of Elliott Smith
  • It Came From Memphis
  • Here Comes Everybody
  • The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic
  • Do Not Sell at Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World's Rarest 78rpm Records
  • Punk Rock: An Oral History
  • Goodbye 20th Century: A Biography of Sonic Youth
  • The Death of Rhythm and Blues
  • Steel Drivin' Man: John Henry, the Untold Story of an American Legend
  • Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke
  • The Big Rewind: A Memoir Brought to You by Pop Culture
  • Bowie
There is more than one author with this name
More about Scott Miller...
The Book of a Mormon: The Real Life and Strange Times of an LDS Missionary From Assassins to West Side Story: The Director's Guide to Musical Theatre Deconstructing Harold Hill: An Insider's Guide to Musical Theatre Strike Up the Band Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, and Musicals

Share This Book

“Most great artists define a new and unique region of hell.” 2 likes
“I'm just a little bit afraid of you, 'cause love won't make you cry.” 0 likes
More quotes…