MrMagpie's Music Book Reviews

Other music and recommendations.

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Re: MrMagpie's Music Book Reviews

Post by MrMagpie » 25 Apr 2016, 12:44

Newest review: Complicated Game: Inside the Songs of XTC --> http://rnrchemist.blogspot.com/2016/04/ ... nside.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Great book! Andy is interviewed about 30 of XTC's songs and goes in depth into the writing process, his inspirations and methods, and how they were recorded and realized in the studio. I only wish the book were longer.

Anyone here read it? What did you think?
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Re: MrMagpie's Music Book Reviews

Post by MsMagicAmerica » 26 Apr 2016, 03:14

MrMagpie wrote:Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography --> http://rnrchemist.blogspot.com/2016/04/ ... itive.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This was originally his memoir before he quashed it, so author Fred Schruers, who was ghostwriting the memoir, used the copious interviews and research with Billy to write this defining book on his life and career. Highly recommended for any fan, Billy is as open and honest about his life as he is with his lyrics and he sets the record straight once and for all on what his songs mean and why he wrote them.
So far I'm liking the book. I'm up to how he hated his first album. The only thing that is annoying me is that it seems to jump around a bit. For example, when talking about his teenage years (I believe) the author mentions Elizabeth then goes into bits about Billy's relationship with Katie Lee then back to his teen years then later on. I actually didn't know that Billy was married to a woman named Elizabeth so I was wondering who in the hell she was. Also, the author tells how Billy loved Rubber Soul b/c it was a concept album then goes on about Frank Sinatra & classical albums & then Billy's back in Madison Square Garden in the 2000s.

I will say one thing about the audio book, the narrator is from New York and when reading quotes, he seems to put on this Godfather like accent. It's rather hysterical. I'm just waiting for Billy to say that he was gonna make someone an offer they couldn't refuse.

Maybe I'm just being picky, but I hate when books jump all around.
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Re: MrMagpie's Music Book Reviews

Post by MrMagpie » 26 Apr 2016, 13:25

^yeah, the book does jump a bit. It makes the small assumption that the reader is at least somewhat already familiar with Billy (FYI, Elizabeth was his first wife who also happened to be the wife of his former bandmate in the Hassles and Atilla before she left him for Billy. Her life and career with Billy was...interesting, as you'll see).

The New York accent you mention cracks me up just imagining it! :lol:
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Re: MrMagpie's Music Book Reviews

Post by MsMagicAmerica » 26 Apr 2016, 18:46

MrMagpie wrote:^yeah, the book does jump a bit. It makes the small assumption that the reader is at least somewhat already familiar with Billy (FYI, Elizabeth was his first wife who also happened to be the wife of his former bandmate in the Hassles and Atilla before she left him for Billy. Her life and career with Billy was...interesting, as you'll see).

The New York accent you mention cracks me up just imagining it! :lol:
Yeah I finally got up to the bit where he's in California and hooked up with Elizabeth again so I finally know who she is. There's an audio sample at audible http://www.audible.com/pd/Bios-Memoirs/ ... 020&sr=1-1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

About a minute in you call hear the author's "Billy" voice. Funny thing is though, online it doesn't sound much like the New York accent on the actual audio book
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Re: MrMagpie's Music Book Reviews

Post by MrMagpie » 26 Apr 2016, 20:46

Maybe they just use it to lure you in... :?: :D :lol:
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Re: MrMagpie's Music Book Reviews

Post by MrMagpie » 03 May 2016, 12:41

The book is released today here in the US...here's my hot of the press (so to speak) review of Paul McCartney: The Life by Philip Norman

http://rnrchemist.blogspot.com/2016/05/ ... -life.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Very good book...fulfills the same space his Lennon book did...probably the definitive book on his overall life and career. He finally seems to have buried the hatchet with Paul and come to respect and admire him.
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Re: MrMagpie's Music Book Reviews

Post by Mallard No. 22 » 06 May 2016, 06:27

Another good review Mr. Magpie - it has also reminded me of other essential Beatles books by Mark Lewisohn & Peter Doggett that I have to get around to as well. :)
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Re: MrMagpie's Music Book Reviews

Post by MrMagpie » 06 May 2016, 12:42

Mallard No. 22 wrote:Another good review Mr. Magpie - it has also reminded me of other essential Beatles books by Mark Lewisohn & Peter Doggett that I have to get around to as well. :)
Yes, definitely! Just make sure you read them (all of them) and make up your own mind (as I'm sure you will). I've noticed a troubling pattern lately on forums (not here, but elsewhere) where people pass judgments on things they've never even read/heard/seen just because of what everyone else says. It's SOOOOOOOOOO frustrating! :evil:
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Re: MrMagpie's Music Book Reviews

Post by Mallard No. 22 » 11 May 2016, 05:48

I am tempted not to agree with you Mr. Magpie.... :lol:
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Re: MrMagpie's Music Book Reviews

Post by MrMagpie » 12 May 2016, 14:25

Mallard No. 22 wrote:I am tempted not to agree with you Mr. Magpie.... :lol:
Being contrarian, are you? Cheeky bastard! :P :lol: :lol:

Honestly I'm surprised at how polarizing the book has been amongst fans...I don't care either way what people think of it, I just want them to make up their own minds and not dismiss it just because of what Norman may have written before or their preconceived biases against him. That's all...is that too much to ask? 8-) :ugeek:
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Re: MrMagpie's Music Book Reviews

Post by MrMagpie » 13 May 2016, 12:27

Newest review:

Suede: The Biography

http://rnrchemist.blogspot.com/2016/05/ ... raphy.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Ah, Suede, one of the great British bands of the 1990s, still going strong today and releasing quality albums. This is their official biography, originally published in 2003 as Love and Poison, but revised and updated in 2013 (this review is of the new edition). Great book, made even better with the enlightening and humorous by the unique was in which the author updated it.

Any Suede fans here? Anyone read this (or the earlier edition?). What did you think?
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Re: MrMagpie's Music Book Reviews

Post by Mallard No. 22 » 19 May 2016, 06:01

Bernard Butler always did seem deep and introspective. I remember the original split within Suede, at around the time that Oasis were emerging. And Oasis gained territory that many thought should have been Suede's.

I never quite took to Suede as much as I did to Blur and Oasis. Possibly because of the negative press around the Anderson-Butler split. In the period just prior to Britpop, Suede and e.g. the Manic Street Preachers were popular but mainly with the student crowd. They only got secondary airplay on daytime Radio 1. We forget it now, but as Britpop gained popularity, problems emerged within Suede (Bernard Butler), the Manics (Richie Edwards), Elastica and The Verve (excess touring & consumption).

I did buy the albums at the time and I was impressed with McAlmont & Butler's epic single 'Yes' (though I don't remember the rest of the album :| ).

I saw Suede live at the town hall during the time of 'Coming Up' and it was a great gig. Brett Anderson was leaping around the stage, one of the most energetic frontmen I have seen. Which surprised me because he previously came across as 'deep' compared to Liam or Damon.
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Re: MrMagpie's Music Book Reviews

Post by MrMagpie » 19 May 2016, 13:29

^interesting perspective, especially since you're in the UK where they were and are obviously quite famous and popular...as an American fan, I don't think I've ever met another Suede fan, at least in person! :lol:

For me, they're up there with Blur and Pulp as the best from that first flush of the movement in the early 1990s. The Brett-Bernard partnership was absolutely brilliant and literally didn't produce a single bad song between the two of them. I think after Bernard left they found a fantastic guitarist in Richard Oakes and while their output can never compare to those first two albums and all of their singles/B-sides, they've been damn good and are still releasing fantastic albums (their last 2 have been brilliant!). Brett is still one of the best and most distinctive voices in British rock and an absolutely captivating frontman...combines the sinewy movements and dancing of vintage Jagger and Bowie with Damon's manic approach to leaping all about.

Bernard Butler has and always will be one of the biggest influences on my guitar playing...he's absolutely brilliant and along with Graham, the best British guitarist of that generation. I love the McAlmont and Butler albums (just listened to the second one yesterday...brilliant) and his other band with Brett, the Tears, was also fantastic (and too short-lived).

So yeah...I'm a fan! :lol: 8-)
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Re: MrMagpie's Music Book Reviews

Post by MrMagpie » 25 May 2016, 15:16

Newest review:

Robert Plant: The Voice That Sailed the Zeppelin --> http://rnrchemist.blogspot.com/2016/05/ ... -that.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The second bio on Plant published in the last three years. The earlier one focused more on his personal life while this one stuck more to his music. Neither is definitive but together they present an almost complete picture.

Anyone here read this? What did you think? Let's discuss!
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Re: MrMagpie's Music Book Reviews

Post by Mallard No. 22 » 26 May 2016, 06:18

MrMagpie wrote: Brett is still one of the best and most distinctive voices in British rock and an absolutely captivating frontman...combines the sinewy movements and dancing of vintage Jagger and Bowie with Damon's manic approach to leaping all about.
Yes, that is my memory of him, when I saw him live. Funny enough, I have looked for the album and ticket stub for the gig (which will have been 1996 or 97) and I can't find it.... :geek: :cry:
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