New and forthcoming
From Spandau Ballet and Kajagoogoo to Half Man Half Biscuit and Guns and Roses, the 1980s music scene is here in all its glory. The Official Ultimate 80s Pop Quiz will spark arguments at dinner tables and pub quizzes up and down the country. Questions include:
1) Who had a top five hit in October 1982 with 'Starmaker'?
b) The Kids from Fame
c) Modern Romance
2) What was U2's debut number one single, a 1988 chart-topper?
a) The Fly
b) With or Without You
3) Who had a No. 1 hit in 1980 with 'Working My Way Back to You - Forgive Me Girl'?
a) The Four Tops
b) The Temptations
c) The Detroit Spinners
'If I lose the light of the sun, I will write by candlelight, moonlight, no light, If I lose paper and ink, I will write in blood on forgotten walls. I will write always. I will capture nights all over the world and bring them to you.'
Henry Rollins, renowned spoken-word performer, musician, actor and author of several books, has a unique, hard-edged view of the world. This collection of writings from 1989 - 1991 is the classic Rollins book.
From dramatic fiction shorts detailing stark, disturbing realities to gut-wrenching tour journals destroying all misconceptions of the glamour of fame and the music industry; from the challenging poetry to revealing dream sequences, Rollins' writing is unflinching in its honesty, uncompromising in its truth and irresistibly addictive.
In November 1955, Nasser Ali Khan, one of Iran's most celebrated tar players, is in search of a new instrument. His beloved tar has been broken. But no matter what tar he tries, none of them sound right. Brokenhearted, Nasser Ali Khan decides that life is no longer worth living. He takes to his bed, renouncing the world and all of its pleasures. This is the story of the eight days he spends preparing to surrender his soul.
As the days pass and Nasser Ali Khan grows weaker, those who love him - his wife, his children, his siblings - gather round, incredulous, to try to comfort him. Every visitor stirs up a memory, and in the course of this week Nasser Ali Khan revisits his entire life, a life defined by three relationships in particular. He remembers his late mother, who sacrificed everything for his revolutionary brother, but who also, in the last week of her life, found solace only in smoking and listening to him play his tar; his angry wife, who can't forgive him his melancholy and irresponsibility; and Irane, his first love, whose father forbade her to marry a poor musician and inflicted the wound that fuelled his music. The pieces of Nasser Ali Khan's story slowly fall into place, and as they do, we begin to understand him. By the time the eighth day dawns, having witnessed Nasser Ali Khan communing with Sufi mystics, Sophia Loren, the spirit of his late mother, his own demons and, bravely, with Azrael, the angel of death - we feel privileged to have known him.
Brilliantly weaving together the past, present and future to explore the successes and joys, failures and disappointments of Nasser Ali Khan's life and through his story, the meaning of any of our lives - Marjane Satrapi has also once again presented us with a complex and deeply human portrait of the men and women of her country, and of pre-revolution Iran itself. She delivers this tremendous story about life and death, and the fear and courage both require, with her trademark humour and insight. Chicken With Plums is Marjane Satrapi's finest achievement to date.
The publication of Feel: Robbie Williams by Chris Heath in September 2004 caused shockwaves of controversy and delight. Not only was its publication trumpeted in tabloids, on TV and the radio, but it was also critically lauded by the broadsheets. Finally, a book had been written on the subject of celebrity and the modern world which had intelligence, honesty and humour.
Written by Chris Heath, who spent nearly two years working with Robbie on this book, every word is imbued with Robbie's humour, charisma, talent, memories and complexity. But more than ever before, this book tells the truth about his extraordinary life. You may have seen his face a million times, heard his music every day, followed him from the beginning of Take That, but this is a man with some serious surprises in store.
After years of rumour and lies, the complete, intimate story of Robert P. Williams had been written.
This is a groundbreaking book.
No one can deny the impact that X Factor judge Simon Cowell has made. His acerbic put-downs and witty one-liners have sparked international debate whilst at the same time earning him a legion of admirers. Cowell's own story has all the brutal honesty you'd expect. I Don't Mean to be Rude, But... is as compulsive, entertaining and hard-hitting as his trademark insults.
With tips and advice on becoming a star from the man who knows how to make it happen, this book is the ultimate through-the-keyhole view inside the music industry. But it wouldn't be complete without setting the record straight about those trousers, and the truth about the women in his life. In the fully updated paperback edition of I Don't Mean to be Rude, But... Simon predicts the future for the X Factor winners and dishes the dirt on American Idol.
It's a complusive read and as compelling as the man himself.
Half a century ago a youth appeared from the American hinterland and began a cultural revolution. The world is still coming to terms with what he did. How he did it - and why - has never been fully explored.
In Once Upon a Time, award-winning writer Ian Bell draws together the tangled strands of the many lives of Bob Dylan in all their contradictory brilliance. For the first time, the laureate of modern America is set in his entire context: musical, historical, literary, political and personal.
In this acclaimed book, full of new insights into the legendary singer, his songs, his life and his era, the artist who invented himself in order to reinvent America is uncovered. Once Upon a Time is a biographical study of a personality that has splintered and reformed, time after time, in a country forever struggling to understand itself. Dylan has become the puzzle that illuminates. Here, in the first part of a major two-volume work, the puzzle is explained.
For the kings and queens of England, a trumpet fanfare or crash of cymbals could be as vital a weapon as a cannon. Showcasing a monarch’s power, prestige and taste, music has been the lifeblood of many a royal dynasty.
From sacred choral works to soaring symphonies, Music and Monarchy looks at how England’s character was shaped by its music. To David Starkey and Katie Greening, works like Handel’s Water Music and Tallis’s Mass for Four Voices were more than entertainment – they were pieces signalling political intent,
wealth and ambition.
Starkey and Greening examine England’s most iconic musical works to demonstrate how political power has been a part of musical composition for centuries. Many of our current musical motifs of nationhood, whether it’s the Last Night of the Proms or football terraces erupting in song, have their origins in the way the crown has shaped the national soundtrack.
Published to coincide with a major BBC series, Music and Monarchy is not a book about music. It is a history of England written in music, from our leading royal historian.
As heard on Radio 4 Book of the Week
Lina Prokofiev was alone in her Moscow apartment one night when the telephone rang. The caller insisted that she come downstairs to collect a parcel, but when she reached the courtyard she was arrested for treason.
First enraptured by the young pianist and rising star, Serge Prokofiev, during a courtship in Brooklyn, then abandoned by him in Moscow, Lina survived one of the darkest periods in Soviet history – enduring eight years in the Gulag after she received that fateful telephone call.
Unfolding with the intrigue of a spy novel, The Love and Wars of Lina Prokofiev traces the largely untold story of a remarkable woman who gave up her career, her country and her freedom for the brilliant man she married.
What happens when getting played on Radio 1 isn't the goal anymore? What if music is really just about music?
A few years ago, Little Fish were signed to a major label and recorded an album in LA. They've toured with some big names (last year Debbie Harry saw them supporting Courtney Love and asked them to join Blondie for a UK tour, for instance) and played all over the world.
But earlier this year, they did the opposite of what the traditional rock n' roll myth says you should do: they came home again. They left their label, set up a recording studio in an Oxford bungalow, and started doing the things that made them happy, instead of the things they thought they should do to get played on Radio 1. They sent hand-letter-pressed cards to their fans, held raffles in the middle of their gigs, and played acoustic sets at local open mic nights.
Independence has raised a lot of questions for Little Fish. Why do we make music? What do people want from bands? How do you create a community? How can we make a living? What is a living? Joined by friend and writer Miranda Ward, who quit her job to follow them on their adventure, they plan to explore these questions, even if they never find answers, and to tell the stories about being in a band that you don't get to hear in NME.
F**k the Radio is a book about Little Fish, but it's also a book about making it work, making your own way, and making stuff - music, comics, t-shirts, fishy paper squares, stickers, badges, vinyl, stop-motion animations, even books. And fresh apple juice. It's about declaring your independence and rewriting the myths you live by.