2021 was an amazing, record-breaking year for music books. A break from touring prompted some of our favorite musicians to pull out a manuscript that had been collecting dust.
Numerous publications for musicians, audiophiles, and fans were published in 2021. Some of the greatest of them, as well as some classics, are included in this list. Whether you’re looking for a last-minute stocking stuffer or if your 2022 resolution is to read or learn something new.
With this list, you may get your music fix this summer. Whether you want to learn how to read music, write music, learn about artists, or read about music in general.
Dave Grohl “The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music”
There is more to Dave Grohl’s mostly innocuous biography about how a bored child from the suburbs of Virginia wound up in Nirvana. He eventually established Foo Fighters; he writes in the book. It’s a unique perspective on how he came to play in some of the world’s biggest bands. “When a Beatle comes to visit, you’ll never know how much memorabilia you have until he says so,” this particular line caught my attention.
Paul McCartney’s “The Lyrics”
One of the best-known lyricists of all time, Paul McCartney, shares the fascinating stories behind some of his most well-known songs. This includes the Beatles‘ “Hey Jude” and “Eleanor Rigby.” Irish poet Paul Muldoon edited the book. Additionally, it’s chock-full of fascinating snippets of knowledge on different aspects of music. Hence, it is a fascinating autobiography delivered through the medium of song. One of the killer lines in the book is that writing lyrics and playing an instrument is like having a conversation with a therapist.
Kelefa Sanneh’s “Major Labels: A History of Popular Music in Seven Genres”
It’s gotten increasingly difficult to distinguish between “dance music,” “punk music,” and “hip-hop music.” Especially since the internet’s arrival. This is an ode to a time the streaming era is swiftly eclipsing. The book is written passionately by Kelefa Sanneh, who offers an unusual viewpoint on the whole issue.
Bobby Gillespie’s “Tenement Kid”
Born and raised in Glasgow’s Springburn neighborhood. The Primal Scream leader narrates the narrative of his early aspirations to be an astronaut. He ended up being “cosmonauts in the inner space” via the prism of his music, which has come to be known as “psychedelic dance-rock.” He concluded his debut with ‘Screamadelica,’ which came out in 1991. He urges the reader not to be a spectator but a creator.
Questlove’s “Music is History”
With a sixth book that spans the last half-century of modern music, The Roots’ founding member Questlove has covered a lot of ground. He traces the influences of everyone from Dr. Dre to Prince. Moreover, investigating why certain artists‘ work gets woven into history while others are lost to time.
Dan Ozzi’s “Sellout: The Major-Label Feeding Frenzy That Swept Punk, Emo, and Hardcore”
These days, people rarely blink an eyebrow when an artist publishes a sponsored #ad on the ‘gram. However, in the early ’90s the thought of an alternative act signing with a major label came connected with a huge stigma. Although “selling out” came with a price for some bands like Green Day, Blink-182, and Jimmy Eat World, it also led to the collapse of others like Jawbreaker. It’s a fascinating look at a critical time in the music industry, written by American music writer Dan Ozzi, who also co-wrote Laura Jane Grace’s book. He explains that no band ever thinks they’re ever going to sell out. Once in a while, however, they do.
Sinéad O’Connor’s “Rememberings”
On Saturday Night Live in 1992, Irish singer-songwriter Sinéad O’Connor made headlines. She was caught on camera ripping up an image of the pope and nearly ruining her career. Writing and voicing her mind have always been more important to her than being famous. She explains this in her memoir, Rememberings. O’Connor disguised herself and joined a protest against herself. She did so with a sense of humor that shines through in her memoir, Rememberings, which is both heartbreaking and hilarious. “I never signed anything that indicated I would be a good girl,” says the killer line.
Thom Yorke and Stanley Donwood’s “Fear Stalks the Land! A Commonplace”
Artist Stanley Donwood has designed all of Radiohead’s artwork since 1994. On the other hand, Thom Yorke and the band work on music; their go-to artist frequently works on the visual side in tandem. According to Donwood, “Thom’s ability to screw up anything I’m painting” is a crucial part of the process. By teaming up for this “commonplace” book, Yorke and Donwood reveal an inside look at their creative collaborations for the first time. One of my favorite lines: “It seems that the local paper has run a story on a gentleman who does have this enviable gift, but they put my portrait above the article.”
Warren Ellis’ “Nina Simone’s Gum”
During a performance at Nick Cave’s Meltdown festival in 1999, Nina Simone threw a piece of chewing gum at the audience. Author Warren Ellis, a member of the punk band Bad Seeds, held on to his manuscripts for more than two decades. To begin, Ellis’ book is predicated on an odd premise. But it ends up being a tribute to the minor moments that turn into magnificent treasures for music fans. It encapsulates the essence of what it means to be a music lover.
John Lurie’s “The History of Bones: A Memoir”
Luri is an accomplished film composer, actor, visual artist, and writer. He was one of the founding members of the jazz-punk band Lounge Lizards in 1970s New York City. A novel that didn’t seek retribution was what he aspired to put out there. Hmm. But kudos for being honest about it! This clever, compellingly sleazy autobiography of music is full of wonderful characters.
Rebecca Lucy Taylor’s “Self Esteem”
Would you dare to reveal the contents of your phone’s notes to the world? Whether they’re disorganized grocery lists or first drafts of big paragraph texts. Rebecca Lucy Taylor is up for the challenge. In her debut book, “Self Esteem,” she uses the content to chronicle the narrative of how the former Slow Club member turned solo. Intelligently, she contextualizes her solo project’s concept in the process.
There are so many music books, but so little time. Although we failed miserably to keep up with the avalanche of music books that flooded the market in 2021, we managed to read quite a few! With no malice meant toward those we didn’t complete, our summaries of the best ones are featured above.
by Grace Hug of GarageBandDownload.com