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Books

XA special selection of disc guides and discographies, music history, record art books, graphic novels, and some nicely-priced remainders!

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Exact matches: 12
Exact matches1
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Kurt E ArmbrusterBefore Seattle Rocked – A City & Its Music ... Book
University Of Washington, 2011. New Copy ... $5.99 26.95
After the big grunge years, we had a habit of never touching any music book with Seattle in the title – but this one's different, and really does an amazing job of getting at the city's lost musical legacy! The book goes back – way way back – and looks at the musical communities in Seattle right from the start, and all the interesting hybrids that were created during the depression and war years, and which really blossomed at mid-century! There's a surprising amount of jazz in the pages – plus country and other styles too – and the well researched book is also balanced with sections from countless interviews the author did for the project. 374 pages, softcover, with some black and white images. Book

Exact matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Cisco BradleyUniversal Tonality – The Life & Music Of William Parker ... Book
Duke University Press, New Copy ... About February 1, 2021
... Book

Exact matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Aaron CohenMove On Up – Chicago Soul Music & Black Cultural Power ... Book
University Of Chicago, 2019. New Copy ... $16.99 20.00
A tremendous achievement from music writer Aaron Cohen – a book that finally gets at the deeper, richer story of Chicago soul – the spirit of empowerment and pride that have always made us so honored to be part of the Windy City legacy! Cohen picks up where other soul writers have left off on Chicago – really looking at the shifts into the 70s, which included greater ties to the means of production, and an increased role in the social agenda as well – all part of an evolution in songwriting styles, production techniques, and the growing power of the full length album over the 7" single! Cohen looks at many key figures of the time – Earth Wind & Fire, Chaka Khan & Rufus, Curtis Mayfield, Phil Cohran & The Artistic Heritage Ensemble – and the very well-researched book is a delight to read throughout – easily the deepest work that Cohen's ever given us. 234 pages, softcover, with some black and white images – and a selected discography too. Book

Exact matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ John CorbettPick Up The Pieces – Excursions In 70s Music (hardcover) ... Book
University Of Chicago, 2019. New Copy ... $22.99 30.00
Writer John Corbett has given us words on a huge variety of musical styles over the years – a fair bit of them left field and avant – but this time around, he's tackling the full range of 70s rock, pop, and soul music – in a huge book that's unlike anything he's ever written before! First off, the large volume is very personal – part listening autobiography, part paean to the musical giants who shaped the decade, and part hindsight record review of all the amazing sounds that were created during the 70s! The book follows the decade with year-by-year chapters – yet it's hardly a history at all – as Corbett picks key songs and albums as touchstones for each year – partly because of their impact, but more because of the power they had for him as a listener. The albums run the gamut – from Nursery Cryme by Genesis, to Les Stances A Sophie by The Art Ensemble Of Chicago, to Pink Moon by Nick Drake – and songs include "Sex Machine" by James Brown, "School's Out" by Alice Cooper, and "Long Time" by Boston. 496 pages, hardcover. Book

Exact matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Chuck EddyTerminated For Reasons Of Taste – Other Ways To Hear Essential & Inessential Music ... Book
Duke University Press, 2016. New Copy ... $4.99 26.59
A collection of essays on a great range of musical topics from Chuck Eddy – a writer whose work you might know from Creem or The Village Voice – and who covered a surprising amount of music in his decades in publication! The book brings together columns from a four decade stretch that begins in the late 70s – as Eddy pens tight, short pieces on subjects that include the Beastie Boys, Aerosmith, TLC, Public Enemy, country Music, The Urinals, Kanye West, Mayer Hawthorne, Pet Shop Boys, John Hiatt, Motorhead, The Cure, Voivod, and many others – plus side trips on various formats, styles, and subcultures too. 326 pages, softcover, and with dozens of entries! Book

Exact matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Robert GordonMemphis Rent Party – The Blues, Rock & Soul In Music's Hometown (hardcover) ... Book
Bloomsbury, 2018. New Copy ... $6.99 28.00
One of the best writers on Memphis gives us a journey through his musical hometown – portrayed through chapters that focus on some of the city's most legendary figures – including James Carr, Sam Phillips, Jim Dickenson, Robert Johnson, Charlie Feathers, Jeff Buckley, Tav Falco, Bobby Blue Bland, Alex Chilton, Jerry Lee Lewis, and even Cat Power! The chapters are a mixture of history, narrative, and interview material – all done with that great sense of prose that makes Robert Gordon such an important musical chronicler of the south – and the book is 252 pages, hardcover, with some black and white images. Book
(Spine has a small remainder mark.)

Exact matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Farzaneh HemmasiTehrangeles Dreaming – Intimacy & Imagination In Southern California's Iranian Pop Music ... Book
Duke University Press, 2020. New Copy ... $18.99 25.95
A fascinating look at a very unique musical scene – Iranian music created in Los Angeles, a city that's home to the largest Iranian population outside of the homeland! Author Farzaneh Hemmasi spent years doing ethnographic fieldwork in the city – and presents a richly detailed portrait of a scene we knew nothing about – partly made up of artists who fled Iran's stricter cultural controls, but also featuring others touched by their presence, continuing to transform the music in the city of angels. 245 pages, softcover, with black and white images. Book

Exact matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Tsunao KadowakiNew Age Music Disc Guide ... Book
Du Books (Japan), New Copy ... About December 1, 2020 (delayed)
... Book

Exact matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Oliver LomaxMood Modern – The Story Of Two Of The World's Greatest Recorded Music Libraries – KPM & Bruton Music ... Book
Vocalion (UK), 2018. New Copy ... $34.99
Maybe the best book we've ever seen on the secret world of sound library music – those non-commercial recordings that are made away from the public, then lent out for later use in radio, film, and TV! Over the years, crate-diggers have brought a new sort of appreciation to sound library albums – and two of the best labels of the genre are the important KPM and Bruton labels in the UK – both home to fantastic sounds from artists who include Keith Mansfield, Syd Dale, David Lindup, Johnny Pearson, and many others! Records by these artists have achieved great fame in recent years – but because these guys weren't rock stars, or jazz musicians, their stories – and the stories of their studios and labels – have really been overlooked. Writer Oliver Lomax – who's also reissued many sound library gems via the Vocalion label – really does a great job of looking at KPM and Bruton – with a huge amount of historical detail, countless interviews with key figures, and even helpful details on the larger recording scene in the UK. The book features two sections of images – one color, one black and white – but it's very different than sound library album cover books, as the main focus here is on text, which spans 465 pages in great detail. Book

Exact matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Gilles Peterson & Stuart BakerCuba – Music & Revolution – Original Album Cover Art Of Cuban Music ... Book
Soul Jazz (UK), 2020. New Copy ... $40.99 49.99
A beautiful book of ultra-rare album cover art – Cuban records from the 50s through the 90s – a fair bit of which were never available here in the US market! The book follows similar projects by Stuart Baker under the Soul Jazz imprint – but this one is maybe even more essential, as so many of the albums are so unfamiliar – picked by Baker and DJ Gilles Peterson, who's had close ties with the Cuban scene for decades, and has managed to grab records that none of us would ever be able to get our hands on! The book is super-heavy – full color glossy pages, most with 12" reproductions of album art, mixed with occasional notes that track the change in styles, scene, and politics over the decades in Cuba – penned by Baker with the depth of his notes for Soul Jazz compilation releases. The book is 255 pages, and features way more album covers than that – all with dates of release and other details – and wrapped up in a super-heavy hardcover. Book

Exact matches11
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Mike Reed, edCity Was Yellow – Chicago Jazz & Improvised Music 1980-2010 ... Book
Mike Reed, 2019. New Copy ... $28.99 35.00
A beautiful book on the Chicago jazz scene, and the things that make it really special – not the Windy City world of years back – when Ramsey Lewis and other big names were dominating things – but Chicago in more recent years, when the city has been a non-stop hotbed of continuous creative activity! Musician Mike Reed is the guiding force here – himself a key part of the growth of the past decade or two – and the presentation is very unique, with a short essay on a key musician, accompanied by a photo, then also a piece of music by the artist – transcribed on full sheet music, scoring a key contribution – in a way that makes the large volume both a history book and a book of sheet music as well. Entries are by key critical forces on the Chicago scene – John Corbett, Peter Margasak, John Litweiler, Neil Tesser, and others – and the presentation is as beautiful as the sounds it seeks to document. Entries include sections on Nicole Mitchell, Jason Adasiewicz, Ken Vandermark, Jeff Parker, Von Freeman, Mantana Roberts, Willie Pickens, and many others – and the book is oversize, 154 pages, softcover, and in two-tone color throughout. Book

Exact matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Graeme ThomsonComplicated Shadows – The Life & Music Of Elvis Costello ... Book
Canongate, 2004. New Copy ... $5.99 16.00
Elvis Costello has given us his own detailed account of his life and music – but before that well-circulated volume was released, Grame Thomson did a pretty great job with this one – using his years of experience as a music journalist to plumb the depths of the man and his recordings! The book is as hefty as Costello's own – and goes into great detail on both his personal and musical life, but all with a care that gets far past any gossipy or salacious tone. If you've read Elvis' own book on these years, this one provides a fascinating counterpart – and the book is 440 pages, softcover, with some black and white images. Book
 
Partial matches: 8
Partial matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Peter BenjaminsonMary Wells – The Tumultuous Life Of Motown's First Superstar (hardcover) ... Book
Chicago Review Press, 2012. New Copy ... $4.99 29.95
A stunning look at the great Mary Wells – one of Motown's first female acts of the 60s, and one of the decade's most important early soul figures as well! Mary's work on record is very well-known, but the story behind the music is completely different, and surprisingly dark at times – a tale of a talented artist often caught between larger corporate forces, and personal antagonists as well – not to mention her own personal demons. Peter Benjaminson does a great job of getting at all these details without being overly sensational – and he works in lots of wonderful personal recollections from friends and colleagues who really help illuminate the more private moments. The book is over 300 pages, hardcover, with some black and white photos. Book

Partial matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Steven BlushNew York Rock – From The Rise Of The Velvet Underground To The Fall Of CBGB ... Book
St Martins, 2016. New Copy ... $6.99 34.99
That's quite a cover photo on the book – and the interweaving of key talents in the image really gets at the style of the narrative within! Author Steven Blush delivers a decidedly one-sided document of the New York scene from the late 60s onward – a picture of countless creative musicians, working alongside each other to create sounds that would go onto transform a generation – often in ways that were strongly inspired by the city itself. The book is less of a long story, than a history that encapsulates moments, focuses on figures – and even lays out groups in some index-styled passages – showing their strengths and weaknesses, and often augmenting the text with countless comments from singers and musicians who were part of the scene. In a manner similar to other rock books in recent years, Blush allows plenty of space for other folks' voices – sometimes almost making the whole thing feel like an oral history of the New York scene, but one that's directed by his own choices and sense of structure. The softcover book is almost 500 pages long, and has a fair bit of black and white photos too. Book
(Spine has a small remainder mark.)

Partial matches15
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Steven Blush with Paul Rachman & Tony MannLost Rockers – Broken Dreams & Crashed Careers (hardcover) ... Book
Powerhouse Books, 2016. New Copy ... $5.99 27.50
A pretty great book about folks who almost made it in the music business, but who never quite hit the stardom they were destined for – even though a few of these figures have become legendary over the years! The book looks at rock and soul artists from the 60s and 70s, almost all of them with pretty amazing stories – and continued moments of "almost" in their careers – points where their paths seemed about to hit the big time, but life turned the other way. These aren't one-hit wonders, or failures – but really interesting people whose stories are great, and often illuminated with really striking photos and images from their past. The book features chapters on Cherry Vanilla, Evie Sands, Brett Smiley, Betty Davis, Bobby Jameson, Gloria Jones, Chris Darrow, Jake Holmes, and others – hardcover, 159 pages, with images throughout. Book

Partial matches16
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Rob ChapmanPsychedelia & Other Colours (hardcover) ... Book
Faber & Faber (UK), 2015. New Copy ... $4.99 36.00
An incredibly dense book on the psychedelic scene of the 60s – a huge volume that not only looks at an impressive array of music, but also the wider trippy culture, too – but all with a level of text that goes far beyond most of the thinner volumes on the period! Many of the chapter titles refer to key musical texts, but then quickly extrapolate from those moments – soaring out from "I Am The Blackgold Of The Sun", "The Greta Garbo Home For Wayward Boys & Girls", and "Painting With Light" – and looking at psychedelia on both sides of the Atlantic in the 60s, with lots of surprising insights along the way. Despite a very vivid cover, the book itself is all text, no images – a hefty 638 pages, hardcover, and a very deep read! Book

Partial matches17
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Chris ConnellyHeart Has To Ache Before It Learns To Beat – The Lyrics & Poems Of Chris Connely ... Book
Shipwrecked, 2020. New Copy ... $20.99 29.99
Chris Connelly is a hell of a singer – a man with a god-like voice that we'd rank right up there next to David Bowie and Scott Walker – and we're sometimes so entranced by the sound of his voice that we actually forget to listen to the lyrics of his songs, which are equally great! This book more than corrects that bad habit of ours, and brings a special focus to the talents of Connelly with the pen – collecting over forty years of lyrics and other writing in one really massive book – 450 pages worth of words that Chris penned for every one of his solo albums, plus his work in other groups, and even collaborations with other artists and some unused lyrics too! We could stuff the description by mentioning Connelly's ties to groups like Ministry or Fini Tribe, or talking about the collaborations with Meshell N'Degeocello or KMFDM – but the man himself is the core of the book, and the wealth of his writings in one place is really stunning. The songs read like poems, maybe even coming across more so in the space of silence without music – and the huge book is a wonderful tribute to the dedication and craft that Connelly has brought to his long career. Softcover, 451 pages. Book
(Initial copies signed by Chris Connelly himself!)

Partial matches18
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
John CorbettBullets For Dead Hoods – An Encyclopedia Of Chicago Mobsters Circa 1933 ... Book
Soberscove, 2020. New Copy ... $31.99 38.99
One of the most unique books we've ever gotten from John Corbett – an author who's given us some fantastic music writing over the years! This book is completely different – not written, but "salvaged" – as the contents are a lost manuscript from the early 30s – one that offers up a rundown of 140 different figures in the Chicago mob – some famous, some obscure – all written in this sharp style that's very to the point! The anonymous author offers no judgement in most cases, but provides a surprising amount of detail on each figure – from territory covered, to methods, to some of their important crimes – and their fates, if they ended up dead or in jail. The original manuscript is reproduced here exactly as it was found in a Chicago junk shop by Corbett – yellowed, brittle pages, each given a large page reproduction, with original typeface and typos – which makes it feel like you're handling the whole thing yourself. Corbett provides an introduction to the material – and then at the end, the book has some very cool features – a collection of all the locations referenced in the pages, 400 in all, most of which are presented on a pull-out map of Chicago that comes with the book! 232 pages, softcover, in full color. Book

Partial matches19
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
John CorbettVinyl Freak – Love Letters To A Dying Medium ... Book
Duke University Press, 2017. New Copy ... $18.99 24.95
An incredible look at the format of vinyl – put together by a guy who's got one of the hippest record collections we've ever seen! John Corbett's been writing about music, art, and other formats for decades – but his real labor of love is vinyl records – a format he continued to embrace even at the height of the CD era – so much so that he talked Downbeat magazine into letting him write a special column on musical delights that had never made it to the digital format! Corbett helped plenty of music get reissued on CD himself – thanks to countless label projects – but he also always held a special place in his heart for the kinds of records that never got reissued – and those are the sorts of titles featured here – a massive run of music that runs from jazz to funk, American and European, totally obscure to completely common – presented beautifully together in this massive book! The volume doesn't just bring together Corbett's columns, but also offers up full color reproductions of all the record covers, along with a few other details too – to support efforts on dozens of artists – a huge list that includes Melvin Jackson, Bill Leslie, Black Grass, Night Blooming Jazzmen, Phil Seamen, Khan Jamal, Klaus Doldinger, The Mad-Hatters, Tommy Jones, Guy Warren, The Three Souls, United Front, Johnny Lytle, London Experimental Jazz Quartet, Paul Smoker, AK Salim, Noah Howard, Jack Wilson, and many others – a good number of whom have yet to be reissued. The book is wonderful – and Corbett's longtime declaration of being a vinyl freak is more important than ever, given the rebirth of the medium! Book is 250 pages, softcover, with color images. Book

Partial matches20
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Stanley CrouchKansas City Lightning – The Rise & Times Of Charlie Parker ... Book
Harper Perennial, 2013. New Copy ... $4.99 16.99
The story of Charlie Parker is often draped in hyperbole and exaggeration – which is why it's extra great that this biography is handled by Stanley Crouch – one of the few writers we could trust to get past the hype and really find a way to link Parker's life and music! As you might guess from the title, the book spends a lot of time looking at Bird's early years in Kansas City – and draws a great portrait of that vivid environment in the years between the wars, which is almost as enthralling as the information on Parker himself. Crouch writes with a great sense of story, as well – and he holds us rapt throughout, going way past any of the over-told tales from later years. 365 pages, softcover, with some black and white images. Book
(Spine has a remainder mark.)
 
 
 



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