By Philip Norman
Eric Clapton is acknowledged to be rock's greatest virtuoso, the unrivalled master of its most essential tool, the solid-body electric guitar. Clapton transfigured three of the 1960s' most iconic bands, the Yardbirds, Cream and Blind Faith, walking away from each when it failed to measure up to his exacting standards. He was the only outsider be an honorary member of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and the studio musician of choice for solo superstars from Bob Dylan to Aretha Franklin.Yet even as a rock god in excelsis, his true passion was always the blues. Even his own blues heroes, the likes of Muddy Waters, B. B. King and Buddy Guy, would recognise the supremacy of this wispy white boy from the English county of Surrey.No life has been more rock 'n' roll than Clapton's in his epic consumption of drugs and alcohol, his insatiable appetite for expensive cars, clothes, and women - most famously revealed when he fell in love with Pattie Boyd, the wife of his best friend, George Harrison, and the inspiration for 'Layla'.With the benefit of unrestricted access to family members, close friends and fellow musicians, and his encyclopedic knowledge of sixties music and culture, Philip Norman has written the definitive portrait of the insecure, often pain-racked man.
When Giants Walked the Earth
By Mick Wall
The definitive final word on the world's greatest rock band, Led Zeppelin. Over ten years after WHEN GIANTS WALKED THE EARTH, Mick's seminal biography of the band, comes this major and extensively researched revision, which will provide an unflinching look at life inside one of the biggest-selling rock bands of all time, and present the definitive, final word on Led Zeppelin.They were 'the last great band of the sixties; the first great band of the seventies'; they rose, somewhat unpromisingly, from the ashes of the Yardbirds to become one of the biggest-selling rock bands of all time. Mick Wall, respected rock writer and former confidant of both Page and Plant, unflinchingly tells the story of the band that wrote the rulebook for on-the-road excess - and eventually paid the price for it, with disaster, drug addiction and death. WHEN GIANTS WALKED THE EARTH reveals for the first time the true extent of band leader Jimmy Page's longstanding interest in the occult, and goes behind the scenes to expose the truth behind their much-hyped yet spectacularly contrived comeback at London's O2 arena in 2007, and how Jimmy Page plans to bring the band back permanently - if only his former protégé, now part-time nemesis, Robert Plant will allow him to. Wall also recounts, in a series of flashbacks, the life stories of the five individuals that made the dream of Led Zeppelin into an even more incredible and hard-to-swallow reality: Page, Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham, and their infamous manager, Peter Grant.
The Story of NOW That's What I Call Music in 100 Artists
By Michael Mulligan
Everyone remembers their first NOW album. Since NOW That's What I Call Music Volume 1 was released in 1983 on double vinyl and double cassette, NOW has become synonymous with pop music and has featured some of the most iconic artists of the last three decades. To celebrate the release of the 100th NOW album, The Story of NOW That's What I Call Music in 100 Artists looks back at some of the most memorable - and occasionally regrettable - hits of the last 35 years! Jam packed with amazing facts and 'Well I never!' moments about the 4,000+ artists to have graced the NOW track listings - from Phil Collins to Pharrell, Bananarama to Lady Gaga and Peter Andre to Pet Shop Boys - The Story of NOW is a celebration of pop music through the decades. So plug in your earphones and pump up the volume, because this party is just getting started!
Being John Lennon
By Ray Connolly
John Lennon was a rock star, a school clown, a writer, a wit, an iconoclast, a sometime peace activist and finally an eccentric millionaire. He was also a Beatle - his plain-speaking and impudent rejection of authority catching, and eloquently articulating, the group's moment in history.Chronicling a troubled life, from that of the cast-aside child of a broken wartime marriage to his murder by a deranged fan, Being John Lennon analyses the contradictions in the singer-songwriter's creative and destructive personality. A leader who could be easily led, he was often generous and often funny, but sometimes scathingly cruel.As a journalist, author Ray Connolly had a close working relationship with Lennon, and the entire Beatles coterie. In this biography he unsparingly reassesses the chameleon nature of the perpetually dissatisfied star who just couldn't stop reinventing himself. Drawing on many interviews and conversations with Lennon, his first wife Cynthia and second Yoko Ono, as well as his girlfriend May Pang and song-writing partner Paul McCartney, this complex portrait is a revealing insight into a restless man whose emotional turbulence governed his life and talent.
How Does It Feel?
By Mark Kermode
'A rattling tornado of a tale' DANNY BAKER'Wonderful and wry . . . it will increase your zest for life' RICHARD AYOADEFollowing a formative encounter with the British pop movie Slade in Flame in 1975, Mark Kermode decided that musical superstardom was totally attainable. And so, armed with a homemade electric guitar and very little talent, he embarked on an alternative career - a chaotic journey which would take him from the halls and youth clubs of North London to the stages of Glastonbury, the London Palladium and The Royal Albert Hall.HOW DOES IT FEEL? follows a lifetime of musical misadventures which have seen Mark striking rockstar poses in the Sixth Form Common Room, striding around a string of TV shows dressed from head to foot in black leather, getting heckled off stage by a bunch of angry septuagenarians on a boat on the Mersey, showing Timmy Mallet how to build a tea-chest bass - and winning the International Street Entertainers of the Year award as part of a new wave of skiffle. Really. Hilarious, self-deprecating and blissfully nostalgic, this is a riotous account of a bedroom dreamer's attempts to conquer the world armed with nothing more than a chancer's enthusiasm and a simple philosophy: how hard can it be?
Some Fantastic Place
By Chris Difford
Longlisted for the Penderyn Music Book PrizeOver the course of a thirteen-album and multi-award-winning career with Squeeze, it was clear from the very beginning that Chris Difford has few peers when it comes to smart, pithy lyricism. In Some Fantastic Place, he charts his life from his childhood in south London to becoming a member of one of Britain's greatest bands and beyond. Along the way Chris reveals the inspiration and stories behind Squeeze's best-known songs, and his greatest highs and lows from over four decades of making music.
By DJ Target
An explosive insider account of grime, from subculture to international phenomenon. *****A group of kids in the 2000s had a dream to make their voice heard - and this book documents their seminal impact on today's pop culture.DJ Target grew up in Bow under the shadow of Canary Wharf, with money looming close on the skyline. The 'Godfather of Grime' Wiley and Dizzee Rascal first met each other in his bedroom. They were all just grime kids on the block back then, and didn't realise they were to become pioneers of an international music revolution. A movement that permeates deep into British culture and beyond. Household names were borne out of those housing estates, and the music industry now jumps to the beat of their gritty reality rather than the tune of glossy aspiration. Grime has shaken the world and Target is revealing its explosive and expansive journey in full, using his own unique insight and drawing on the input of grime's greatest names.
The Most Beautiful
By Mayte Garcia
In The Most Beautiful, a title inspired by the hit song Prince wrote about their legendary love story, Mayte Garcia for the first time shares the deeply personal story of their relationship and offers a singular perspective on the music icon and their world together: from their unconventional meeting backstage at a concert (and the long-distance romance that followed), to their fairy-tale wedding (and their groundbreaking artistic partnership), to the devastating losses that ultimately dissolved their romantic relationship for good. Throughout it all, they shared a bond more intimate than any other in Prince's life. No one else can tell this story or can provide a deeper, more nuanced portrait of Prince--both the famously private man and the pioneering, beloved artist--than Mayte, his partner during some of the most pivotal personal and professional years of his career. The Most Beautiful is a book that will be returned to for decades, as Prince's music lives on with generations to come.
By Nick Mason
UPDATED FOR 2017 WITH A NEW CHAPTERThe definitive history of Pink Floyd, one of the world's great bands, by founder member Nick Mason.Pink Floyd is one of the most creative, successful and enduring bands of all time. As the only member to have been part of the band throughout the 50 years of its existence, and the first to write a personal take on their history, Nick Mason gives unique insights into Pink Floyd's highs and lows: from their emergence in the late 1960s underground, to the huge worldwide success of The Dark Side of the Moon and the rifts and pressures that developed within the group.In a new chapter Nick Mason looks back at the years following the band's final performance at Live 8 in July 2005 and reflects on the huge changes that have occurred since: the irreplaceable losses, the new releases and the impact on the Floyd's continued success of both digital technology and social media. Intelligent, original and self-deprecating, Inside Out is the first-hand story of a band that has become a legend, as celebrated by the Victoria & Albert Museum's landmark Pink Floyd exhibition in 2017.
Like a Bat Out of Hell
By Mick Wall
"I never wanted to be a big star. I just wanted to be the biggest at what I do! Powerful, unstoppable, heavy - when that word still meant something good!" - Meat Loaf, as told to Mick Wall Everything in the story of Meat Loaf is big. From the place he was born (Texas); to the family he was born into (his father weighed 22 stone, his uncle weighed over 40 stone, while Meat Loaf himself weighed 17 stone before he was even in his teens); to the sound he made (a colossal collision between Richard Wagner, Phil Spector and Bruce Springsteen); and of course the records he sold - nearly 50 million in Britain and America alone. Now, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Bat Out of Hell, the album that gave rise to Meat Loaf's astonishing career, the premiere of Bat Out Of Hell: The Musical, and the launch of a mammoth two-year farewell tour, Mick Wall, who has interviewed Meat Loaf on numerous occasions throughout his career, pulls back the curtains to reveal the soft-hearted soul behind the larger-than-life character he created for himself. From a tumultuous childhood with an alcoholic father to the relentless abusive bullying from classmates and their parents alike, nobody could have predicted Meat Loaf's meteoric rise to fame. But when the messianic rock opera Bat Out of Hell was released in 1977, it became one of the biggest albums of all time, selling over 45 million copies worldwide to date. Its release marked the start of a rollercoaster ride of incredible highs and seemingly career-ending lows. By the 80s, Meat Loaf was battling with drug and alcohol addiction and escalating money problems that would eventually lead to a nervous breakdown. But just when it seemed like it was all over, the astonishing success of Bat Out of Hell II and the mega-hit 'I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)' marked an extraordinary new wave of success. Now, Mick Wall will bring this extraordinary story up to date, drawing on the hours he spent with Meat Loaf, both in interviews and on tour, as well as offering up a unique insight from those who have known him best.
The Universal Tone
By Carlos Santana, Ashley Kahn, Hal Miller
The intimate and long-awaited memoir of guitar legend Carlos Santana.In 1967 at San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium, a young guitarist played a blistering solo that announced a prodigious talent. Two years later he played a historic set at Woodstock, and the world came to know Carlos Santana by name.THE UNIVERSAL TONE is a tale of musical self-determination and self-discovery. It traces his journey from his teen days playing in Tijuana, and the establishment of his signature guitar sound; his roles as husband, father and rock star; and his recording of some of the most influential rock albums of all time, up to and beyond the sensational SUPERNATURAL, which garnered nine Grammy awards. The book abounds with a fearlessness that finds humour in the world of high-flying fame, speaks plainly of personal revelations, and celebrates the divine and infinite possibility Santana sees in each person he meets.
By Thomas Voigt
'The most sought-after tenor in the world', the greatest tenor of today', 'the new king of tenors' - for years Jonas Kaufmann has occupied a unique status among the world's greatest opera singers.Thomas Voigt's revealing biography, written in collaboration with Kaufmann, reflects on the singer's artistic development in recent years; his work in the recording studio; his relationship to Verdi and Wagner; and much more. The book includes contributions from Plácido Domingo, Anja Harteros, Antonio Pappano, Helmut Deutsch and Jürgen Kesting, as well as many striking photographs.Kaufmann was born in Munich in 1969. Soon after training at the University of Music and Performing Arts he was invited to make his debut in theatres such as the Stuttgart Opera and Hamburg State Opera, as well as international appearances at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Paris Opera and La Scala in Milan. He made his Salzburg Festival debut in 1999 in a new production of Busoni's Doktor Faust. He performed the role of Don José in Bizet's Carmen at Covent Garden in 2006 and made his acclaimed debut as Alfredo in Verdi's La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera alongside Angela Gheorghiu. He has sung leading tenor roles in the operas of Richard Wagner with success in Germany and abroad, and is also a highly accomplished Lieder singer. In 2015 Kaufmann became the first German to perform the British seafaring anthem 'Rule, Britannia!' at the Last Night of the Proms.No wonder that the New York Times has described Jonas Kaufmann as 'a box-office draw, and ... the most important versatile tenor of his generation'.
The Beatles Lyrics
By Hunter Davies, Beatles
Over 100 handwritten manuscripts of the Beatles' original lyrics, tracked down from friends of the band, museums, universities and collectors.Hunter Davies, author of the only authorised biography of the Beatles, worked with the band in their heyday. Here he reveals each song's context with vivid behind-the-scenes stories and gives a unique insight into the creative process of the world's greatest songwriters. From 'Yesterday' and 'Eleanor Rigby' to 'Yellow Submarine', The Beatles Lyrics is the definitive story of the band, uniquely told through their music.