Author:Gary Steel – Peter Kearns – Geoffrey Feakes
Delighted to have a look at the next three titles in this consistently good series, which looks at the recordings of an artist song by song, album by album, throwing in along the way a generous amount of background information on the band’s activities at the time. Of course, the books all follow the same format, so how interesting a specific title is depends on your affection for that artist, as they are mostly aimed at fans rather than the casual reader.
Looking at these three individually then:
Gentle Giant – I have to confess that other than Octopus and The Power and The Glory I find a lot of their work quite hard going. I always find these books are better if you listen alongside reading them, but I must admit I only dipped my toes into some of their later albums. It was a pleasure though to rediscover the Steven Wilson put together Three Piece Suite from a couple of years back.
10cc/Godley & Crème – as I said in my review of the Worst Band In The World book last year, they are a band that has somehow almost totally dropped off the musical radar, despite producing some excellent innovative music in the early/mid part of their career, the albums from their debut up to Deceptive Bends. After the departure of Godley and Crème and Eric Stewart’s serious motor accident, the band were never quite at the same level, and their latter albums didn’t add much to their overall body of work as they gradually ran out of inspiration and rather petered out. There’s also good coverage of Godley and Crème’s solo albums – hands up who bought their triple album Consequences, showcasing their Gizmo device alongside contributions from Peter Cook.
The Who – I enjoyed this one the most of these three titles overall, and fittingly we’ll celebrate the 49th anniversary of Who’s Next at the end of this month. I’m not a huge fan of their early stuff other than the obvious classic singles, but listening to their canon from Tommy onwards shows what a great incendiary rock band they became. There were, of course, troughs to go along with the peaks – By Numbers and Face Dances were uneven efforts and It’s Hard was one album too many for Townshend, who was seemingly devoid of inspiration and enthusiasm by that point. However, last year’s self titled set showed in flashes that there was still a bit of gas left in the tank, which for a pair of guys now in their mid seventies is something to be applauded.
Length of Read:Short
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
The careers and music of these artists, other books in the series
One thing you’ve learned
Pleased to see that there are more of these titles in the pipeline in the coming months after something of a pandemic caused hiatus – Burning Shed’s store is the best place to get hold of them.