Block of Books
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  • THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON MUSIC : Understanding a Human Obession
    THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON MUSIC : Understanding a Human Obession
    LEVITIN DANIEL
    ISBN: 9780241987353
    Title: THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON MUSIC : Understanding a Human Obession
    Author: LEVITIN DANIEL
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    This is the first book to offer a comprehensive explanation of how humans experience music and to unravel the mystery of our perennial love affair with it. Using musical examples from Bach to the Beatles, Levitin reveals the role of music in human evolution, shows how our musical preferences begin to form even before we are born and explains why music can offer such an emotional experience.

    Music is an obsession at the heart of human nature, even more fundamental to our species than language.

    Imprint: Penguin Books
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • THIS SEARING LIGHT THE SUN AND EVERYTHING ELSE : Joy Division : The Oral History
    THIS SEARING LIGHT THE SUN AND EVERYTHING ELSE : Joy Division : The Oral History
    SAVAGE JON
    ISBN: 9780571350636
    Title: THIS SEARING LIGHT THE SUN AND EVERYTHING ELSE : Joy Division : The Oral History
    Author: SAVAGE JON
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    In This searing light, the sun and everything else, Jon Savage has assembled three decades worth of interviews with the principle players in the Joy Division story: Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, Deborah Curtis, Peter Saville, Tony Wilson, Paul Morley, Alan Hempsall, Lesley Gilbert, Terry Mason, Anik Honore, and many more. It is the story of how a band resurrected a city, how they came together in circumstances that are both accidental and extraordinary, and how their music galvanised a generation of fans, artists and musicians. It is a classic story of how young men armed with electric guitars and good taste in literature can change the world with four chords and three-and-a-half minutes of music. And it is the story of how illness and demons can rob the world of a shamanic lead singer and visionary lyricist.

    Imprint: Faber and Faber
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • THREE SONGS THREE SINGERS THREE NATIONS
    THREE SONGS THREE SINGERS THREE NATIONS
    MARCUS GREIL
    ISBN: 9780674187085
    Title: THREE SONGS THREE SINGERS THREE NATIONS
    Author: MARCUS GREIL
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    Greil Marcus delves into three distinct episodes in the history of American commonplace song and shows how each one manages to convey the uncanny sense that it was written by no one. In these seemingly anonymous productions, we discover three different ways of talking about the United States, and three separate nations within its borders.

    Imprint: HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
    RRP: $39.99

    Price: $39.99
  • TO FEEL THE MUSIC : A Songwriter's Mission to Save High-Quality Audio
    TO FEEL THE MUSIC : A Songwriter's Mission to Save High-Quality Audio
    YOUNG NEIL / BAKER PHIL
    ISBN: 9781948836388
    Title: TO FEEL THE MUSIC : A Songwriter's Mission to Save High-Quality Audio
    Author: YOUNG NEIL / BAKER PHIL
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Neil Young took on the music industry so that fans could hear his music — all music — the way it was meant to be heard. Today, most of the music fans listen to is streamed via online services and highly compressed. It’s convenient, but, frustratingly, this comes at the cost of quality. Gone are the days when it was technologically necessary to compress music into the smallest possible file size, yet this remains the industry standard. The result is music that is robbed of its original quality — muddy and flat in sound compared to the rich, warm sound artists hear in the studio. It doesn’t have to be this way, but the record and technology companies have incorrectly assumed that most listeners are satisfied with these low-quality tracks. Neil Young is challenging the assault on audio quality — and working to free music lovers from the flat and lifeless status quo. To Feel the Music is the true story of Neil’s quest to bring high-quality audio back to music lovers — which he considers the most important undertaking of his career. Inside, follow Neil as he discovers the step by step deterioration of recorded sound as analog is methodically replaced by digital CDs, MP3s, and low-price, low-quality streaming: gathers others committed to his goal of delivering music the way artists intend for it to sound; and eventually develops the Neil Young Archives, a high-res streaming site that gives users unprecedented access to all of Neil’s music — in the best quality their devices can handle — videos, photos, and more.

    Imprint: BENBELLA BOOKS
    RRP: $39.99

    Price: $39.99
  • TOTAL RECORDS : Photography and the Art of the Album Cover
    TOTAL RECORDS : Photography and the Art of the Album Cover
    DENIS JACQUES
    ISBN: 9781597113847
    Title: TOTAL RECORDS : Photography and the Art of the Album Cover
    Author: DENIS JACQUES
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    The history of photography is teeming with portraits of musicians made iconic by their album covers. The history of album cover art also includes collaborations between prominent figures, such as Mick Rock and David Bowie, Annie Leibovitz and John Lennon. This compendium presents these electrifying images and the albums they grace.

    Imprint: APERTURE
    RRP: $45.00

    Price: $45.00
  • TRAGEDY : THE SAD BALLAD OF THE GIBB BROTHERS
    TRAGEDY : THE SAD BALLAD OF THE GIBB BROTHERS
    APTER JEFF
    ISBN: 9781760060183
    Title: TRAGEDY : THE SAD BALLAD OF THE GIBB BROTHERS
    Author: APTER JEFF
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    The rise and fall of the brothers Gibb is perhaps the greatest saga in Australian, even world, music history. As ubiquitous as the falsetto harmonies, flares and multi-platinum record sales were the tragedies: the highs, the lows, the highs again. And then the brothers fell, one by one.

    Not long before his death, Robin made it clear that he believed the Gibbs had been forced to pay the highest possible cost for their success. 'All the tragedies my family has suffered . . . is a kind of karmic price we are paying for all the fame and fortune we've had.'

    This is the story of all four brothers' incredible careers, lives and influence. A beautifully drawn examination of the Gibb 'curse' and an all-too-human look at the rollercoaster ride of fame. Captures the incredible highs, and the terrible lows: divorce, drunkenness and death. For Bee Gees fans, and for everyone, because we've all been touched by the music.

    Imprint: ECHO PUBLISHING
    RRP: $32.99

    Price: $32.99
  • TRY WHISTLING THIS : WRITINGS ABOUT MUSIC
    TRY WHISTLING THIS : WRITINGS ABOUT MUSIC
    FORD ANDREW
    ISBN: 9781863955713
    Title: TRY WHISTLING THIS : WRITINGS ABOUT MUSIC
    Author: FORD ANDREW
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    In Try Whistling This, join a perceptive critic on a pleasurable journey through music and musicians, ideas and history.

    Andrew Ford traces the concept of dirty dancing back to 1610, marvels at the weirdness of Percy Grainger and considers the decision of Wilhelm Furtwängler to keep conducting under the Nazis. He explores the intersection of words and music, the bugbear of Australian musical identity, and the fundamental importance, in music and in life, of listening.

    There are essays based on Ford's acclaimed radio series Music and Fashion, as well as a set of illuminating examinations of music-makers from Mozart to Shostakovich, Cole Porter to Bob Dylan. Try Whistling This offers another take on history, told through music, and shows a brilliant communicator in action.



    Imprint: Black Inc.
    RRP: $32.99
    Price: $32.99
  • TURN THE BEAT AROUND : The Secret History of Disco
    TURN THE BEAT AROUND : The Secret History of Disco
    SHAPIRO PETER
    ISBN: 9780571359820
    Title: TURN THE BEAT AROUND : The Secret History of Disco
    Author: SHAPIRO PETER
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: May 2020 New Release

    A new edition as part of the Faber Greatest Hits - books that have taken writing about music in new and exciting directions for the twenty-first century.

    Disco emerged from the fall-out of the Black Power Movement and an almost exclusively gay scene in a blaze of poppers, strobe lights, tight trousers, hysterical diva vocals and synthesized beats in the late sixties. As a genre, disco radically re-defined the sensibility of the seventies to the extent where reactionary rockers felt the need to launch a paranoid 'Disco Sucks' campaign at the end of the decade.

    Featuring artists such as Chic, Sylvester, Donna Summer and Frank Grasso, Turn the Beat Around illustrates why and how disco changed the face of popular culture forever.

    Imprint: Faber and Faber
    RRP: $22.99
    Price: $22.99
  • UNCOMMON PEOPLE : The Rise and Fall of the Rock Stars 1955-1994
    UNCOMMON PEOPLE : The Rise and Fall of the Rock Stars 1955-1994
    HEPWORTH DAVID
    ISBN: 9781784162078
    Title: UNCOMMON PEOPLE : The Rise and Fall of the Rock Stars 1955-1994
    Author: HEPWORTH DAVID
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The age of the rock star, like the age of the cowboy, has passed. Like the cowboy, the idea of the rock star lives on in our imaginations.

    What did we see in them? Swagger. Recklessness. Sexual charisma. Damn-the-torpedoes self-belief. A certain way of carrying themselves. Good hair. Interesting shoes. Talent we wished we had.

    What did we want of them? To be larger than life but also like us. To live out their songs. To stay young forever. No wonder many didn't stay the course.

    In Uncommon People, David Hepworth zeroes in on defining moments and turning points in the lives of forty rock stars from 1955 to 1995, taking us on a journey to burst a hundred myths and create a hundred more.

    As this tribe of uniquely motivated nobodies went about turning themselves into the ultimate somebodies, they also shaped us, our real lives and our fantasies. Uncommon People isn't just their story. It's ours as well.

    Imprint: Black Swan
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • UNDER THE IVY : The Life and Music of Kate Bush
    UNDER THE IVY : The Life and Music of Kate Bush
    THOMSON GRAEME
    ISBN: 9781783056996
    Title: UNDER THE IVY : The Life and Music of Kate Bush
    Author: THOMSON GRAEME
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    This latest edition of Under The Ivy is fully updated to include analysis of Bush's stunning return to live performance in August 2014. Her run of London concerts was the most unexpected and eagerly awaited pop event of the 21st Century.

    An acclaimed study of one of the world's most enigmatic artists, Under The Ivy combines a wealth of new research with rigorous critical scrutiny. Featuring over 70 new interviews with those who have viewed from close quarters both the public artist and the private woman, this compelling biography offers numerous fresh perspectives on a unique and elusive talent.

    Under The Ivy examines Bush's unconventional upbringing in south London, the youthful blossoming of her talent and her evolution into one of the most visually and sonically creative artists of the past 35 years. It focuses on her unique working methods and pioneering use of the studio on landmark albums such as The Dreaming and Hounds Of Love, her core influences and key relationships, her profound influence on successive generations of musicians, and her most recent releases: Director's Cut, on which Bush reworked 11 songs from her back catalogue, and 50 Words For Snow, her first album of new material for six years.

    Imprint: OMNIBUS MUSIC SALES
    RRP: $34.99

    Price: $34.99
  • UP JUMPED THE DEVIL : The Real Life of Robert Johnson
    UP JUMPED THE DEVIL : The Real Life of Robert Johnson
    CONFORTH BRUCE / WARDLOW GAYLE DEAN
    ISBN: 9781787602441
    Title: UP JUMPED THE DEVIL : The Real Life of Robert Johnson
    Author: CONFORTH BRUCE / WARDLOW GAYLE DEAN
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Robert Johnson is the subject of the most famous myth about the blues: he allegedly sold his soul at the crossroads in exchange for his incredible talent, and this deal led to his death at age 27. But the actual story of his life remains unknown save for a few inaccurate anecdotes. Up Jumped the Devil is the result of over 50 years of research. Gayle Dean Wardlow has been interviewing people who knew Robert Johnson since the early 1960s, and he was the person who discovered Johnson's death certificate in 1967. Bruce Conforth began his study of Johnson's life and music in 1970 and made it his mission to fill in what was still unknown about him. In this definitive biography, the two authors relied on every interview, resource and document, most of it material no one has seen before. As a result, this book not only destroys every myth that ever surrounded Johnson, but also tells a human story of a real person. It is the first book about Johnson that documents his years in Memphis, details his trip to New York, uncovers where and when his wife Virginia died and the impact this had on him, fully portrays the other women Johnson was involved with, and tells exactly how and why he died and who gave him the poison that killed him. Up Jumped the Devil will astonish blues fans who thought they knew something about Johnson.

    Imprint: OMNIBUS MUSIC SALES
    RRP: $44.99

    Price: $44.99
  • VINYL : The Art of Making Records
    VINYL : The Art of Making Records
    EVANS MIKE
    ISBN: 9781742457420
    Title: VINYL : The Art of Making Records
    Author: EVANS MIKE
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    In our increasingly digital world, audiophiles know that the real recording is on vinyl. That s why sales of vinyl continue to soar. Mike Evans offers a sumptuous visual celebration of this medium s fascinating history and triumphant rebirth.

    From weighty 78s to feisty 45s, from eccentric EPs to legendary LPs, he brings vinyl recordings off the shelves and out of the crates, spotlighting:
    . The development of discs from shellac to vinyl
    . Run-out groove messages, picture discs, limited editions, colored vinyl, and deluxe 180g reissues that make fans and collectors rejoice
    . The records iconic packaging and art, including the work of Reid Miles, Roger Dean, Peter Saville, and Hipgnosis
    . The history and development of various leading labels, such as Atlantic, Audio Fidelity, Casablanca, Decca, Def Jam, Motown, Verve, and more


    Groundbreaking artists and their game-changing releases, from the first 45, Eddy Arnold's Texarkana Baby, to the vinyl revival as led by Jack White's Lazaretto.

    No collection is complete without it.

    Imprint: STERLING PRESS
    RRP: $39.99

    Price: $39.99
  • WAGING HEAVY PEACE
    WAGING HEAVY PEACE
    YOUNG NEIL
    ISBN: 9780241962169
    Title: WAGING HEAVY PEACE
    Author: YOUNG NEIL
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE


    Imprint: Viking Books
    RRP: $22.99
    Price: $22.99
  • WAGNERS PARSIFAL : The Music of Redemption
    WAGNERS PARSIFAL : The Music of Redemption
    SCRUTON ROGER
    ISBN: 9780241419694
    Title: WAGNERS PARSIFAL : The Music of Redemption
    Author: SCRUTON ROGER
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: PUBLICATION DELAYED

    Richard Wagner's final creation is also his most mysterious. The story of Parsifal, the 'pure fool, knowing through compassion', who has been called to rescue the Kingdom of the Grail from the sins that have polluted it, appears familiar enough, but the redemption sought by Wagner's characters is far from the Christian archetype. Wagner's Parsifal is an exploration of the drama, music and philosophy of this extraordinary musical icon by a writer whose knowledge and understanding of the Western musical tradition are the equal of his capacities as a philosopher. It shows how, through musical connections and brilliant dramatic strokes, Parsifal expresses in music a depth of feeling for which we do not have words, a deep longing for wholeness and relief from suffering which, Scruton argues, contains within itself the image of salvation.

    Imprint: Allen Lane
    RRP: $39.99
    Price: $39.99
  • WHEN GIANTS WALKED THE EARTH
    WHEN GIANTS WALKED THE EARTH
    WALL MICK
    ISBN: 9781409180616
    Title: WHEN GIANTS WALKED THE EARTH
    Author: WALL MICK
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: November 2019 New Release

    Over ten years after WHEN GIANTS WALKED THE EARTH, Mick Wall's seminal biography of the band, comes this major and extensively researched revision, which provides an unflinching look at life inside one of the biggest-selling rock bands of all time, and presents the definitive, final word on Led Zeppelin.

    They were 'the last great band of the sixties; the first great band of the seventies'; they rose, somewhat unpromisingly, from the ashes of the Yardbirds to become one of the biggest-selling rock bands of all time. Mick Wall, respected rock writer and former confidant of both Page and Plant, unflinchingly tells the story of the band that wrote the rulebook for on-the-road excess - and eventually paid the price for it, with disaster, drug addiction and death.

    WHEN GIANTS WALKED THE EARTH reveals for the first time the true extent of band leader Jimmy Page's longstanding interest in the occult, and goes behind the scenes to expose the truth behind their much-hyped yet spectacularly contrived comeback at London's O2 arena in 2007, and how Jimmy Page plans to bring the band back permanently - if only his former protege, now part-time nemesis, Robert Plant will allow him to. Wall also recounts, in a series of flashbacks, the life stories of the five individuals that made the dream of Led Zeppelin into an even more incredible and hard-to-swallow reality: Page, Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham, and their infamous manager, Peter Grant.

    Imprint: HACHETTE
    RRP: $22.99
    Price: $22.99
  • WHITE BICYCLES : Making Music in the 1960s
    WHITE BICYCLES : Making Music in the 1960s
    BOYD JOE
    ISBN: 9781781257944
    Title: WHITE BICYCLES : Making Music in the 1960s
    Author: BOYD JOE
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    When Muddy Waters came to London at the start of the '60s, a kid from Boston called Joe Boyd was his tour manager; when Dylan went electric at the Newport Festival, Joe Boyd was plugging in his guitar; when the summer of love got going, Joe Boyd was running the coolest club in London, the UFO; when a bunch of club regulars called Pink Floyd recorded their first single, Joe Boyd was the producer; when a young songwriter named Nick Drake wanted to give his demo tape to someone, he chose Joe Boyd.
    More than any previous '60s music autobiography, Joe Boyd's White Bicycles offers the real story of what it was like to be there at the time. His greatest coup is bringing to life the famously elusive figure of Nick Drake - the first time he's been written about by anyone who knew him well. As well as the '60s heavy-hitters, this book also offers wonderfully vivid portraits of a whole host of other musicians: everyone from the great jazzman Coleman Hawkins to the folk diva Sandy Denny, Lonnie Johnson to Eric Clapton, The Incredible String Band to Fairport Convention.

    Imprint: Serpent's Tail
    RRP: $22.99
    Price: $22.99
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