Author:Stephen Lambe & others
The concept behind this newly published series of paperback books is to take the works of the chosen artist, and go through each album, song by song, as well as providing some interesting background information on each release. They have been put together by a number of different authors (a couple with connections to the Classic Rock Society), but each one is very obviously a fan of the band involved, and these books seem to be something of a labour of love, written by fans for fans. I don’t see that much here that would particularly interest a casual reader or someone with just a passing interest in the featured music,but there’s plenty on offer for the dedicated devotee.
The Queen book is perhaps the most detailed, especially on the early part of their long career, even analysing a number of key songs on a minute by minute basis! That’s the exception, but all the books are extremely thorough, including information on songs that were recorded but ultimately left off albums. I would particularly single out the Yes one as it gives an in depth coverage to the various and numerous comings and goings in the band’s line up as well as giving some useful insights into their huge back catalogue of recordings. Almost on a par is the ELP one (but then I’m a huge fan). The Deep Purple/ Rainbow one is very readable too, although it ends at the Come Taste The Band ( a very underrated album by the way) and Long Live Rock n Roll albums respectively. These books are essential reading for fans of the bands.
Length of Read:Short
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
I must say I did really enjoy reading these – and because they aren’t too long (about 120 -140 pages) you can read them in one binge sitting, which is precisely what I did. I found them very hard to put down, the temptation being to carry on and read about just one more album. Maybe you need to be a certain type of person to be absorbed by the minutiae of each track – if so, then I am that person!
One thing you’ve learned
One thing these books have achieved is to make me go back and listen again to the original albums, some of which I’ve not played for many a long year.
Three more titles are coming soon on Tull, Crimson and Genesis – I’ll be waiting!