Anatomy of A Song

Anatomy of A Song

The Oral History of 45 Iconic Hits That Changed Rock, R & B and Pop

Book - 2016
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Every great song has a fascinating backstory. In Anatomy of a Song , based on the ongoing Wall Street Journal column, writer and music historian Marc Myers brings to life five decades of music through oral histories of forty-five transformative songs woven from interviews with the artists who created them.

Bringing readers inside the making of a hit, Anatomy of a Song includes the Isley Brothers' memorable song "Shout," Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love," Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz," and R.E.M's "Losing My Religion." After receiving his discharge from the army in 1968, John Fogerty does a handstand and reworks Beethoven's Fifth Symphony to come up with "Proud Mary." Joni Mitchell remembers living in a cave on Crete with the "mean old daddy" who inspired her 1971 hit "Carey." Elvis Costello talks about writing "(The Angels Wanna War My) Red Shoes" in ten minutes on the train to Liverpool. And Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Rod Stewart, the Clash, Jimmy Cliff, Roger Waters, Stevie Wonder, Keith Richards, Cyndi Lauper, and many other leading artists reveal the emotions, inspirations, and techniques behind their influential works. Anatomy of a Song is a love letter to the songs that have defined generations of listeners.
Publisher: New York : Grove Press, c2016
ISBN: 9780802125590
Branch Call Number: 784 Myer
Characteristics: xii, 323 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm


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The Oral History of 45 Iconic Hits That Changed Rock, R&B and Pop. Fantastic stories and details of many songs you love to hear.

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Jul 17, 2017

A good book for lovers of pop music and its history. The one complaint I have is that its selection seems to be as much based on who would agree to be interviewed as their importance to the genres they represent. There's no Bowie, Beatles or even McCartney or Lennon solo material -- a history of pop songs hardly seems complete without them. Still I admit I learned a lot.

this meaty big bouncy book ranges from cindy lauper to elvis Costello to the allman brothers to rem to blondie to stevie wonder to Otis redding to led zep to Lloyd price to jimmy cliff to roger waters to grace slick......don't forget bonnie raitt. all telling the creation of one of their songs, or albums. and it's pithy, too, which is nice, for a change. there is no bowie here, but there are the stones, there is no Dylan here, but there is steely dan, telling of the creation of Deacon Blues..there's a lot of extrapolation to the career arc, also, like a good novel, film, or play. the clash, dion, the isleys, the kinks(yes, it's you really got me). some artists, like the doors, recall only the specific song, as in light my fire, but mr. Costello covers the beginnings of his music career. this is fantastic material, and yet not too musically technical. what a book!! p.s. there's a lot of Motown, too.

KateHillier May 10, 2017

I made reading this an experience. By that I mean I listened to each song as I read the chapter it. It proved for some really fun listening and reading in the evenings. There are some fun insights here and they're in a very readable and accessible format with the short chapters. I sort of wished for a bit more depth to it but I still enjoyed myself over all.


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