Tim De Lisle Lives of the Great Songs

ISBN 13: 9781857933741

Lives of the Great Songs

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9781857933741: Lives of the Great Songs

This is a celebration of some of the classic songs of all time. The book includes forty essays, each focusing on a particular song. All of the chosen songs have had an interesting life, and have been recorded by several different artists in at least three different ways. Together they span the whole history of popular music, from the Gershwins to the Stones, Cole Porter to Stevie Wonder - they include such classics as "My Funny Valentine" (Rodgers & Hart), "Blowin' in the Wind" (Bob Dylan), "You Send Me" (Sam Cooke) and "Satisfaction" (Mick Jagger and Keith Richards). The essays are written by an impressive line-up of contributors, each of whom has a particular affection for and knowledge of the song he or she has written about. Many of the pieces are the result of extensive research - interviewing those writers still alive, and talking to the artists who have interpreted them (which in the case of 'Yesterday', recorded by over 1,500 artists, proved a major task!).

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From Booklist:

Most books on popular music are devoted to the singers, not the songs. This exception celebrates 35 exceptional popular songs, and although its contents represent a series from the British newspaper, the Independent, its orientation is distinctly American. The songs covered range from mainstream standards like "My Funny Valentine" and "How Long Has This Been Going On?" ; through country ("I Fall to Pieces" ), rock ("Satisfaction" ), and AOR ("Bridge over Troubled Waters" ) hits; right up to recent favorites (Nirvana's "Smells like Teen Spirit" ). Some contributors focus on a song's genesis (as when Tom Jobim first set eyes on the beautiful "Girl from Ipanema" ), others on technical analysis (particularly of the well-crafted efforts of the likes of Gershwin and Porter). Some detail a song's various interpretations, while others concentrate on a particular rendition, such as John Coltrane's transcendent instrumental version of "My Favorite Things." Often, they make insightful observations on particular singers and the various permutations of pop over the decades. A collection bound to appeal to music lovers who appreciate the entire spectrum of popular music. Gordon Flagg

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Tim De Lisle
Published by Trafalgar Square Publishing (1995)
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Tim De Lisle
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