Terrible disappointing and somewhat trivial compilation. Definitely written in mind for the musically clueless. I mean, if you need an introduction to...moreTerrible disappointing and somewhat trivial compilation. Definitely written in mind for the musically clueless. I mean, if you need an introduction to the Beatles or Miles Davis, then this book is written specifically for you. For serious, dedicated music lovers, Music Lust isn't lusty whatsoever.
Skip it, you probably already know the syllabus by now. Assuming you do know who Fela Kuti and Serge Gainsbourg are. Right?(less)
Okay, so it's not The Autobiography of Malcolm X or The Long Walk to Freedom, but who's to say Ozzy's not worthy of a memoir? The good thing about I A...moreOkay, so it's not The Autobiography of Malcolm X or The Long Walk to Freedom, but who's to say Ozzy's not worthy of a memoir? The good thing about I Am Ozzy is that it's exactly what you'd come to expect from the great Mr. Osbourne: foul-mouthed and brutally honest talk about his life, his excesses, his fears and the extraordinary things he's done and experienced. For someone who spent much of his adult celebrity life choked under a haze of booze and illicit drugs, Ozzy's memory for many of his antics and life events remains crystal clear. Inevitably, all the stories just seem to sound the same: Ozzy gets drunk, gets more loaded, does something stupid, Sharon bails him out, lather, rinse, repeat. Eventually, what seems compelling at first turns out to be crushingly boring. Still, this is one of the better rock star memoirs you'll read.
A refreshingly funny read. You can just about hear Ozzy tell you these stories as you're reading this.(less)
Having already established himself as an outstanding biographer and researcher with the stunning Keith Moon bio, Tony Fletcher outdoes himself in this...moreHaving already established himself as an outstanding biographer and researcher with the stunning Keith Moon bio, Tony Fletcher outdoes himself in this exhaustive yet endlessly fascinating look at how the cultures, politics and social trends of New York City between 1927 to 1977 created some of the most enduring and well-loved music ever.
Beginning with Mario Bauza and the birth of Cuban-flavored jazz, All Hopped Up and Ready to Go breathlessly and deeply explores the various musical trends that New York City gave to the world - bebop urban blues and protest songs, doo wop, the girl bands of the '60s', glitter, punk, disco and hip-hop. We're also introduced to the legends that have come out of the NYC music scene - Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Pete Seeger, George Gershwin, Bob Dylan, the Velvet Underground, the Ramones, Blondie, Grandmaster Flash, just to name a few - along with the unsung heroes - Tito Rodriguez, the Fugs, Kool DJ Herc. No detail is left out - Fletcher wisely and correctly spends a good amount of time focusing on the social and political trends of the day; for example, an analysis of the development of the Cross-Bronx Expressway isolated the South Bronx from the rest of NYC, which, in turn, sowed the seeds for hip hop as we know it.
I was enthralled by this book, having been born and raised in NYC, and very familiar with the musical greats that have come from this city. This book is greatly recommended for music fans everywhere.(less)
While I can certainly appreciate each author taking the time to write an essay on one album that has influenced or impacted their lives, I can't say I...moreWhile I can certainly appreciate each author taking the time to write an essay on one album that has influenced or impacted their lives, I can't say I'm impressed with the albums they've chosen. Still, regardless of how one feels about yet another essay on how a Smiths album totally rocked their teenaged world back when, the essays themselves are well-written, a naked glimpse into thought processes and emotional battlefields that only these albums could help with in coping with these scenarios.
Frankly, it seemed a head-scratcher to me how one essayist chose the soundtrack to the film version of Annie as the one album that changed her life, considering how dismissive and embarrassed she became regarding this fact later in her life. On the other hand, I completely appreciated the connection one essayist made with Quadrophenia, an album that, for me, best describes the angst every teenage feels at one point or another in their lives. (less)
Greg Kot examines the role of the Internet in bringing the consumer, i.e., the music listener, back into the picture in the music industry over the pa...moreGreg Kot examines the role of the Internet in bringing the consumer, i.e., the music listener, back into the picture in the music industry over the past decade. As broadband Internet has become more prevalent, access to music, either via download or streaming media, has become easier, but not without a price; the RIAA's reluctance - outright hostility, really - towards embracing the Internet forced fans to seek alternate routes towards acquiring music that was already too expensive in traditional format; the meteoric rise of Napster bore fruit to hundreds of other file-sharing browsers. The RIAA's ridiculous, archaic stance also forced artists from their own labels to seek alternate routes in distributing their own music. The most eye-popping example was Radiohead releasing In Rainbows, via the Internet, without the help or funding from a record label, and allowing fans to name their download price.
While Kot admirably paints the struggles of both the artists and the fans to regain control of music, he fails to document the downside to this so-called "revolution". As brilliant a strategy as Radiohead's In Rainbows distribution was, it could have easily blown up in their face; it took a tremendous leap of faith for the band to commit an entire album in this fashion, but the consequences did exist, and should have been more clearly noted. Kot also fails to document how every revolution in music bears unintended fruit - the DIY status of music, and making it readily available for immediate consumption doesn't guarantee success; for every struggling artists carving their niche on various social networking sites, you've got other artists like Lady Gaga and Soulja Boy who, while orginating online, have become yet another disposable product of the RIAA's Public Relations Machine.
Overall, it's an interesting read, but it would have served both the subjects and the book's readers a more thorough analysis and prognosis regarding the future of wired music.(less)
An excellent reference for those of us who love making lists of our favorite things/best of/etc. Not only are albums greatly represented, but single r...moreAn excellent reference for those of us who love making lists of our favorite things/best of/etc. Not only are albums greatly represented, but single recordings are included in the conversation. Songs like Planet Rock, I Feel Love and I Heard It Through the Grapevine are listed as must-hears.
There's also a very healthy dosage of classical music; while I'm not much of a classical music enthusiast, I did appreciate the inclusion of composers like Samuel Barber and Edward Elgar into the discussion.
This book has compelled me to seek out a few gems I would have never listened to before. (less)