By Philip Norman
The first biography written with Paul McCartney's approval and with access to family members and friends closest to him.Superbly evoking half a century of popular music and culture, Paul McCartney is the definitive life of a long-misunderstood genius.In this masterly biography, history's most successful songwriter, a man of seemingly effortless talent, beauty and charm, is revealed as a complex, insecure workaholic who still feels as great a need to prove himself in his seventies as when he was a teenager.We learn how his boyhood was blighted by the death of his mother, Mary - later the inspiration for 'Let It Be' - but redeemed by his remarkable father, Jim, a Liverpool cotton-salesman who was his only music-teacher and whose influence has permeated his career.We understand as never before the creative symbiosis between John Lennon and himself that unlocked the extraordinary treasury of their songs for the Beatles when they were barely into their twenties, and the fierce rivalry which lasted beyond the band's break-up to the end of John's life - and still haunts and inspires Paul to this day.Here for the first time is the full story of Paul post-Beatles: his trauma after being brutally sidelined by John, George and Ringo over the appointment of their last manager, Allen Klein; his near-breakdown on his remote Scottish farm and dogged determination to build a new band, Wings, into as big a name in the 1970s as the Beatles had been in the 1960s.Here too is the first inside story of his marriage to Linda Eastman, much criticised at the outset but destined to become the longest and strongest in rock until her death from cancer. Here are the traumatic post-Linda years when his charmed life seemed temporarily to crack up: his whirlwind romance with Heather Mills ending after four years' marriage in one of the most expensive and rancorous divorces in British legal history. As richly fascinating and dramatic as its subject, Paul McCartney: The Biography is the last word on a man whose music has lit up the world.
By Nick Mason
The definitive history of Pink Floyd, one of the world's great bands, by founder member Nick Mason.One of the most fascinating rock bands ever, Pink Floyd was formed in 1965. After a year in the London 'underground' experimenting with revolutionary techniques such as lights that matched their music, they released their first single in 1966. Their breakthrough album, The Dark Side of the Moon, was released in 1973 and stayed in the charts until 1982, the longest a record has ever been continuously in the charts, becoming one of the best-selling albums of all time.In 1975 they released Wish You Were Here, which reached iconic status, then in 1979 The Wall went to number 1 in almost every country in the world. The movie version of The Wall starring Bob Geldof was released in 1982, becoming a cult favorite. In the 1980s a rift developed between the band members which culminated in law suits. Only recently have there been reconciliations which have allowed founder member Nick Mason to write his personal take on the band's history.
By Mick Wall
Everyone from Sir Paul McCartney and Jimmy Page to Queens of the Stone Age now relishes the chance to share a stage with Dave Grohl and his legendary Foo Fighters. The question is: why? Musical depth? Not really. Major success? Well, yes. Despite no longer shifting albums in the same quantity as they did twenty years ago, this band can still fill stadiums the world over (when Dave's not breaking his leg, of course).Long before Kurt Cobain blew his brains out in 1994, Dave Grohl was planning for a life after Nirvana. The unflinching bright sunlight to Cobain's permanent midnight darkness, Grohl had come from a similar broken home to his erstwhile band leader, but came out of the experience differently - brimming with positivity and a shrewd grasp of opportunities in the music industry.Did Grohl merely take the sonic blueprint of Nirvana and embellish it with a more life-affirming pop sheen? Of course he did. Every band in America that sold over a million records in the post-grunge 90s did the same. The difference was that Grohl had real credibility. And he knew it.With exclusive testimony from true insiders (including Krist Novoselic, Grohl's bass-playing partner in Nirvana, ex-girlfirends, record company executives, tour photographers and confidantes), this book is an exploration of the real story behind Grohl and the Foo Fighters - the only serious literary biography of the group and its leader, one of the most famous and critically bulletproof rock figures of the 21st century.
The Rivered Earth
By Vikram Seth
The Rivered Earth contains four libretti written by Vikram Seth to be set to music by Alec Roth - together with an account of the pleasures and pains of working with a composer.Entitled 'Songs in Time of War', 'Shared Ground', 'The Traveller' and 'Seven Elements', they take us all over the world - from Chinese and Indian poetry to the beauty and quietness of the Salisbury house where the poet George Herbert lived and died.Spanning centuries of creativity and humanity, these poems pulse with life, energy and inspired brilliance.They are accompanied by four pieces of calligraphy by the author.
By Peter Guralnick
Rock 'n' roll was born in rural Alabama, 1923, in the form of Sam Phillips, the youngest son of a large family living in a remote colony called the Lovelace Community. His father had a gift for farming, which was brought to an end by the Depression. His mother picked guitar and showed the kind of forbearance that allowed her to name her son after the doctor who delivered him drunk and then had to be put to bed himself. And yet from these unprepossessing origins, in 1951 Phillips made what is widely considered to be the first rock 'n' roll record, Ike Turner and Jackie Brenston's 'Rocket 88'. Just two years later a shy eighteen-year-old kid with sideburns, fresh out of high school, wandered into his recording studio to make a record 'for his mother', secretly hoping that it might somehow get him noticed. His name was Elvis Presley. Elvis's success, and the subsequent triumph of rock 'n' roll, was initially propelled to an almost astonishing degree by a limited number of releases by Carl 'Blue Suede Shoes' Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis - all from this tiny, one-man label. An engaging mix of biography and anecdote, Peter Guralnick's book brilliantly recreates one shining moment in the history of popular culture. And Sam Phillips was the man who brought it all about.
On Some Faraway Beach
By David Sheppard
Authorised biography of Brian Eno - the 'Father of Ambient Music'A sonic alchemist to the stars, Brian Eno's address book is a veritable who's who of rock and pop. Tellingly, his involvement with Roxy Music, David Bowie, Talking Heads and U2 has coincided with these artists producing their most challenging and critically revered work.ON SOME FARAWAY BEACH is the first serious, critical examination of the life and times of Brian Eno, from an idiosyncratic childhood to 1960s art school and the sharp end of pop charts around the world.
Judi: Behind the Scenes
By Judi Dench
An illustrated memoir of one of Britain's greatest and best-loved actors.'National treasure? I hate that. Too dusty, too in a cupboard, too behind glass, too staid ... What I love is being part of a company. On stage I am not trying to be myself, I'm trying to be someone else, the more unlike me the better.'From her first theatrical roles as a teenager in York to her commanding performances as 'M' in the James Bond films, Dame Judi Dench's professional life has consisted of non-stop acting, leading to numerous accolades, including an Academy Award.BEHIND THE SCENES is a fully updated and expanded edition of Dame Judi's first photograph album SCENES FROM MY LIFE, published in 2005. It is a uniquely personal take on her life and brilliant career, showing her off stage as well as on: in the wings, off sets, in dressing rooms and happily larking about. Beautifully illustrated with photographs from her own collections, here are reflections and reminiscences on those who have mattered to her most - her family, fellow actors, directors and writers - communicated with the truth and insight of her acting.
On Board Flight 666
By Iron Maiden, John McMurtrie
The first and only official book from Britain's biggest heavy-metal band.IRON MAIDEN are a global phenomenon. On board their customised Boeing 757 plane named Ed Force One, and piloted by lead singer and airline captain Bruce Dickinson, the band, crew and 12 tonnes of equipment traversed the planet and broke the mould of traditional touring forever by playing concerts in every continent except Antarctica! Setting off in early 2008 on the Somewhere Back In Time world tour, through to the epic Final Frontier tour, Maiden finally played two sold-out shows in their native London. The Final Frontier tour celebrated their 15th and most successful studio album to date, hitting the No.1 spot in at least 28 countries. The band's official photographer John McMurtrie accompanied them on the tours and his unrestricted access allowed him to capture exclusive images and moments both onstage and off, in over 600 spectacular photographs annotated with individual insights and anecdotes.ON BOARD FLIGHT 666 provides an unprecedented insight into one of the most adventurous rock tours ever undertaken; and into what makes this band so special.
By Robert Hilburn
By Mick Wall
The final word on the only name synonymous with heavy metal - Black Sabbath.Way back in the mists of time, in the days when rock giants walked the earth, the name Ozzy Osbourne was synonymous with the subversive and dark. Back then, Ozzy was the singer in Black Sabbath, and they meant business. A four-piece formed from the ashes of two locally well-known groups called The Rare Breed (Ozzy and bassist Geezer Butler) and Mythology (guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Bill Ward), all four founding members of the original Black Sabbath grew up within half-a-mile of each other.This biography tells the story of how they made that dream come true - and how it then turned into a nightmare for all of them. How at the height of their fame, Sabbath discovered they had been so badly ripped off by their managers they did not even own their own songs. How they looked for salvation from Don Arden - an even more notorious gangster figure, who resurrected their career but still left them indebted to him, financially and personally. And how it finally came to a head when in 1979 they sacked Ozzy: 'For being too out of control - even for us,' as Bill Ward put it.The next 15 years would see a war break out between the two camps: the post-Ozzy Sabbath and Ozzy himself, whose solo career overshadowed Sabbath to the point where, when he offered them the chance to reform around him again, it was entirely on his terms. Or rather, that of his wife and manager, daughter of Don Arden - Sharon Osbourne.
The Beatles Lyrics
By Hunter Davies, Beatles
The first-ever collection of the original handwritten Beatles' lyrics.Never before has anyone attempted to track down and publish the original versions of the classic songs, many of which have never yet been published. These documents have ended up in the hands of collectors and friends of the Beatles, scattered across the world at museums and universities. Hunter Davies knew and worked with the Beatles during their heyday, and wrote their first and only authorized biography. In this collection, he has tracked down and reproduced over 100 original handwritten manuscripts of their songs, reproduced here - and, in almost every case, for the very first time.For the Beatles, writing songs was a process that could happen anytime and anywhere - songs might begin as a scribble on the back of an envelope, a napkin or on hotel stationery. From them we gain a unique insight into the remarkable creative process of the greatest songwriters of all time; what they were thinking, how they changed their minds, and then came up with the words which are now known the world over - complete with all the scribbles and crossings out.Each song is given its context: what the Beatles were doing at the time, how and when they came to write and record it, how the original version differs from the final one. Almost every Beatles song has a great story behind it, whether it is 'Yesterday', 'Eleanor Rigby' or 'Yellow Submarine'.Many books have appeared about the Beatles, but in the end what really matters - and will always matter most - is their music. Their music comes out of their lives, just as their lives and emotions are reflected in their music. The Beatles Lyrics is the definitive story of their lives, as uniquely told through their music.
By Rob Young
A colourful collection of pieces on the enigmatic genius of Scott Walker from THE WIRE.Scott Walker has travelled from teen idol to the outer limits of music. From 'The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Any More' reaching No.1, through to recordings of meat being punched on his last album, THE DRIFT, he somehow seems to have reached a passionate and committed fan base. Throughout his career, his impeccable critical reputation as a serious and uncompromising musician has never been questioned. The recent film, 30TH CENTURY MAN, had a litany of stars queuing up to praise Walker: the likes of David Bowie, Damon Albarn, Jarvis Cocker, Radiohead, Johnny Marr and Sting. But despite this, in 40 years of music, there has yet to be a serious book on Scott Walker. This collection, put together by Rob Young of THE WIRE magazine, features a handful of previously published articles and newly commissioned pieces, largely drawn from the orbit of THE WIRE's writers including Ian Penman, Chris Bohn and Rob Young.
Metallica: Enter Night
By Mick Wall
Mick Wall moves on from Led Zeppelin to produce a definitive doorstop on Metallica.Alongside contemporaries Slayer, Megadeath and Anthrax, Metallica came to prominence in the eighties as one of the 'big four' of thrash metal. Metallica were to thrash, though, what the Sex Pistols were to punk. Nearly thirty years on, their tale is one of alcohol, rule breaking and tragically early death. But allied to that are colossal sales figures for their records -- they are the fifth-highest selling recording artists of all time - and members with backgrounds that touch on jazz and classical music. Metallica, in fact, have garnered more critical acclaim than any heavy rock band since Led Zeppelin. Fresh from the critical and commercial success of WHEN GIANTS WALKED THE EARTH, Mick Wall takes a similar informed look at the band, a group he has known on and off since their formation in 1981.