Growing up in Greenwich Village in the 1960s Sean Wilentz discovered the music of Bob Dylan as a young teenager. Almost half a century later, now a distinguished professor of American history, he revisits Dylan's work with the critical skills of a scholar and the passion of a fan. Drawing partly on his work as the current historian-in-residence on Dylan's official website, Sean Wilentz provides a unique blend of biography, memoir and anlysis in a book which, much like its subject, shifts gears and changes shape as the occasion demands.
Beginning with Dylan's explosion onto the scene in 1961, this book charts his career and the evolution of his astonishing output and places it firmly within a vivid musical and cultural context. It examines the influence of the Popular Front ideology and of Beat aesthetics, as well as the debt and sometimes surprising connections to other composers and performers - as diverse as Aaron Copland and Blind Willie McTell. The result is a broad and brilliantly illuminating appreciation of Dylan as both performer and songwriter up to the present day.
Sean Wilentz has had unprecedented access to studio tapes, recording notes and rare photographs - many of which are reproduced here. This remarkable material allows him to tell Dylan's story - and that of such masterpieces as Blonde on Blonde - with unrivalled authenticity and richness.
A marvellously funny and sharply observed account of a journey to Russia by one of Britain's most talented young writers. Moscow - a labyrinth where the humans try to keep one step ahead of the roaches. Everyone on the move, some in search of the quick buck, and others just trying to survive. All dazzled by the neon glare of the western dream. The soviet monolith has broken down in tribalism, tribes who go to war not just on the streets but in overheated rooms, with drugs, vodka and Cindy Crawford carrier bags. James Young gives an unparalleled account of today's Moscow from the bottom side up. He takes us on a odyssey through this strange no man's land where East meets West, where the old certainties have gone, the KGB men wear Italian suits, the Mafia tycoonskis style themselves on the Godfather flicks and the rest are queuing to change dollars.
Neil Young is one of rock and roll's most important, influential and enigmatic figures, an intensely reticent artist who has granted no writer access to his inner sanctum - until now. Shakey is the whole story of Young's incredible life and career: from his childhood in Canada to the founding of folk-rock pioneers Buffalo Springfield; the bleary conglomeration of Crazy Horse and the monstrous success of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; to the depths of the Tonight's the Night depravity and the Geffen years; and Young's unprecedented nineties 'comeback'.
Shakey (the title refers to one of Young's many aliases) is also the compelling human story of a lonely kid for whom music was the only outlet, a driven yet tortured figure who controlled his epilepsy via 'mind over matter', an oddly passionate model train mogul who, inspired by his own son's struggle with cerebral palsy, became a major activist in the quest to help those with the condition.
This long-awaited, unprecedented story of a rock 'n' roll legend is uniquely told through the interwoven voices of McDonough - biographer, critic, historian, obsessive fan - and the ever-cantankerous (but slyly funny) Young himself.
An illuminating look at the most tumultuous decade in the life of a rock icon--the only McCartney biography in decades based on firsthand interviews with the ex-Beatle himself.
As the 1970s began, the Beatles ended, leaving Paul McCartney to face the new decade with only his wife Linda by his side. Holed up at his farmhouse in Scotland, he sank into a deep depression. To outsiders, McCartney seemed like a man adrift--intimidated by his own fame, paralyzed by the choices that lay before him, cut loose from his musical moorings. But what appeared to be the sad finale of a glorious career was just the start of a remarkable second act.
The product of a long series of one-on-one interviews between McCartney and Scottish rock journalist Tom Doyle, Man on the Run chronicles Paul McCartneys decadelong effort to escape the shadow of his past, outrace his critics, and defy the expectations of his fans. From the bitter and painful breakup of the Beatles to the sobering wake-up call of John Lennons murder, this is a deeply revealing look at a sometimes frightening, often exhilarating period in the life of the worlds most famous rock star.
Sensing that he had nowhere to go but up, Paul McCartney started over from scratch. With emotional--and musical--backing from Linda, he released eccentric solo albums and embarked on a nomadic hippie lifestyle. He formed a new band, Wings, which first took flight on a ramshackle tour of British university towns and eventually returned Paul to the summit of arena rock superstardom.
In Man on the Run, Doyle follows McCartney inside the recording sessions for Wings classic album Band on the Run--and provides context for some of the baffling misfires in his discography. Doyle tracks the dizzying highs and exasperating lows of a life lived in the public spotlight: the richly excessive world tours, the Japanese drug bust that nearly ended McCartneys career, his bitter public feuds with his erstwhile Beatle bandmates, and the aftermath of an infamous drug-and-alcohol-fueled jam session where McCartney helped reconcile the estranged John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
For Paul McCartney, the 1970s were a wild ride with some dark turns. Set against the backdrop of a turbulent decade, Man on the Run casts the sunny Beatle in an entirely new light.
Advance praise for Man on the Run Tom Doyles Man on the Run is a riveting dispatch from the seventies. Paul McCartneys story is told with clever pacing, unflinching honesty, and a gripping narrative drive that benefits from his intimate participation via interviews and support. This is simply one of the best rock biographies anyone has written.--Stephen Davis, bestselling author of Hammer of the Gods and Watch You Bleed Man on the Run is simply brimming with enough fascinating facts and expertly rendered anecdotes to make even the most ardent McCartney follower do an abrupt about-face. Maybe Im amazed? You better believe it.--Kent Hartman, music industry executive and bestselling author of The Wrecking Crew What happens when you can do anything you like but nothing will ever be good enough? Doyle makes sense of a stoned shaggy dog story that has none of the narrative neatness of the Beatles rise and fall.--The Guardian (U.K.), Music Books of the Year [Doyle] offers a level-headed and admirably nonjudgmental portrait of a turbulent ten years, punctuated by great music, creative misfires and frequent run-ins with the law.--Sunday Express (U.K.) From the Hardcover edition.
* No artist offered a more incisive and accurate portrait of the troubled landscape of the 1970s than David Bowie. Through his multi-faceted and inventive work, he encapsulated many of the social, political and cultural themes that ran through this most fascinating of decades, from the elusive promise of scientific progress to the persistent fear of apocalypse that stalked the globe.
* In The Man Who Sold The World: David Bowie and the 1970s, cultural historian Peter Doggett explores the rich heritage of the artist's most productive and inspired decade, and traces the way in which his music reflected and influenced the world around him.
* The book follows his career from 'Space Oddity', his dark vision of mankind's voyage into the unknown terrain of space, to the Scary Monsters album. It examines in detail his audacious creation of an 'alien' rock star, Ziggy Stardust, and his own increasingly perilous explorations of the nature of identity and the meaning of fame, against the backdrop of his family heritage of mental instability.
* Among the book's wider themes are the West's growing sense of insecurity in the age of oil shortages and terrorism; the changing nature of sexual roles, as represented by Bowie's pioneering adoption of a bisexual persona; the emergence of a new experimental form of rock music that would leave an indelible mark on the decades to come; and the changing naure of many of the world's great cities, including London, New York, Los Angeles and Berlin, each of which played host to Bowie during particularly creative periods of his career.
* Mixing brilliant musical critique with biographical insight and acute cultural analysis, The Man Who Sold The World is a unique study of a major artist and his times.