2011 Music Books for 2012
Our site editor offers these reading tips for the new year…
Okay, so it’s New Year’s Resolution time and your pledge for the coming year is to read a few more books than you did in 2011. Here are six suggestions in the music category (and no, Ticket Masters is not on the list but feel free to give it a go…). All of these were published in hardcover or paperback over the past 12 months…
1. I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution by Craig Marks,Rob Tannenbaum
It’s all in the title (and much more fun than the similalrly-themed ESPN oral history).
2. The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop by Dan Charnas
A fascinating look at a parallel universe (for me).
3. The Last Sultan: The Life and Times of Ahmet Ertegun by Robert Greenfield
This account of Ertegun, the founder and head of Atlantic Records, spans genres, generations and business models.
4. Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny by Nile Rodgers
For Chic Freaks and beyond (and there is much more to the tale- btw, yes he produced the last album by the original Strangefolk quartet but alas, it escapes mention).
5. Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY, and the Lost Story of 1970 by David Browne
What surprised me was how much of this story had indeed been lost. Quite enjoyable.
6. Big in China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising a Family, Playing the Blues, and Becoming a Star in Beijing by Alan Paul
A wonderful book about life as a stay-at-home-expat-rock-star-dad in China.
Bonus pick: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
More about music than you might think (and riveting, regardless).