Nothing "goes viral". If you think a popular movie, song, or app came out of nowhere to become a word-of-mouth success in today's crowded media environment, you're missing the real story. Each blockbuster has a secret history - of power, influence, dark broadcasters, and passionate cults that turn some new products into cultural phenomena. In his groundbreaking investigation, Atlantic senior editor Derek Thompson uncovers the hidden psychology of why we like what we like.
"Excellent content narrative and performance"
Lin-Manuel Miranda's groundbreaking musical, Hamilton, is as revolutionary as its subject: the poor kid from the Caribbean who fought the British, defended the Constitution, and helped to found the United States. Fusing hip-hop, pop, R&B, and the best traditions of theater, this once-in-a-generation show broadens the sound of Broadway, reveals the storytelling power of rap, and claims our country's origins for a diverse new generation.
"Love the idea of the book, get it in print."
Great music is a language unto its own, a means of communication of unmatched beauty and genius. And it has an undeniable power to move us in ways that enrich our lives-provided it is understood.If you have ever longed to appreciate great concert music, to learn its glorious language and share in its sublime pleasures, the way is now open to you, through this series of 48 wonderful lectures designed to make music accessible to everyone who yearns to know it, regardless of prior training or knowledge.
"Wonderful, I've wanted this for so long...but..."
Have you ever been put off by music theory or thought that is too hard to learn? If the answer is yes, then this book is the answer for you. It covers everything that anyone who plays (or wants to play) music, and wishes to become better as a musician, should know. This is the most comprehensive book on music theory that you can find today. Not only that, but this book is written in a way that is really easy to follow, understand and internalize all the concepts explained.
"Title is misleading & no audio examples"
In the last decade, no industry has been through as much upheaval and turmoil as the music industry. If you're looking for quick fame and instant success, you're in the wrong field. It's now a democratic DIY business, and any guide to success in these new waters must be told by someone who's already survived them.
"Amazing Book For Any Musician"
In 1975, five young employees of a sclerotic William Morris agency left to start their own strikingly innovative talent agency. In the years to come, Creative Artists Agency would vault from its origins in a tiny office on the last block of Beverly Hills to become the largest and most imperial, groundbreaking, and star-studded agency Hollywood has ever seen - a company whose tentacles now spread throughout the world of movies, music, television, technology, advertising, sports, and investment banking far more than previously imagined.
"A terrific look behind the curtain"
Over the centuries, orchestral music has given us a category of works that stand apart as transcendent expressions of the human spirit. What are these "greatest of the greats"? Find out in these 32 richly detailed lectures that take you on a sumptuous grand tour of the symphonic pieces that continue to live at the center of our musical culture.These 30 masterworks form an essential foundation for any music collection and a focal point for understanding the orchestral medium and deepening your insight into the communicative power of music.
"If they cut off both hands, I will compose music.."
In her current reign at Power 105.1 and for nearly two decades at New York's Hot 97, Angie Martinez has had one of the highest rated radio shows in the country. After working her way up as an intern, she burst on the scene as a young female jock whose on-air "Battle of the Beats" segment broke records and became a platform for emerging artists like a young Jay Z. Angie quickly became known for intimate, high-profile interviews, mediating feuds between artists, and taking on the most controversial issues in hip-hop.
"I absolutely loved this book! It was sweet!"
In Music as a Mirror of History, Great Courses favorite Professor Greenberg of San Francisco Performances returns with a fascinating and provocative premise: Despite the abstractness and the universality of music - and our habit of listening to it divorced from any historical context - music is a mirror of the historical setting in which it was created. Music carries a rich spectrum of social, cultural, historical, and philosophical information, all grounded in the life and experience of the composer.
"Unique interdisciplinary music-history treatment"
Best known as a founding member and principal songwriter of the iconic band Talking Heads, David Byrne has received Grammy, Oscar, and Golden Globe awards and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In the insightful How Music Works, Byrne offers his unique perspective on music - including how music is shaped by time, how recording technologies transform the listening experience, the evolution of the industry, and much more.
""David Byrne is a Human" by a Talking Heads fan"
In this groundbreaking union of art and science, rocker-turned-neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin explores the connection between music - its performance, its composition, how we listen to it, why we enjoy it - and the human brain. Levitin draws on the latest research and on musical examples ranging from Mozart to Duke Ellington to Van Halen.
"Neuroscience for the right brain"
The focus of this book is music practice, but these techniques and mindsets can be applied to any skill you want to improve. The Practice of Practice covers essential practice strategies and mindsets you won't find in any other book. You'll learn what research tells us about practice, but more importantly, you'll learn how great musicians in many genres of music think about practice, and you'll learn the strategies and techniques they use to improve.
"'Boy, do I have a lot to learn!'" Anyone who's ever picked up a musical instrument of any kind - from the first caveman banging rocks to that little kid at the guitar shop - has thought that. I know I did. I'd been trying for years to break in to the music scene, to show everyone my chops, to make my mark. And I was good. But I wasn't great. I knew that there was something wrong. Then the teacher showed up...."
"Surprise like no other!"
To watch any opera lover listen to a favorite work, eyes clenched tight in concentration and passion, often betraying a tear, is to be almost envious. What must it be like, you might think, to love a piece of music so much?And now one of music's most gifted teachers is offering you the opportunity to answer that very question, in a spellbinding series of 32 lectures that will introduce you to the transcendentally beautiful performing art that has enthralled audiences for more than 400 years.
"Professor Robert Greenberg does it again!"
Under the Big Black Sun explores the nascent Los Angeles punk rock movement and its evolution to hardcore punk as it's never been told before. Authors John Doe and Tom DeSavia have woven together an enthralling story of the legendary West Coast scene from 1977 to 1982 by enlisting the voices of people who were there. The book shares chapter-length tales from the authors along with personal essays from famous (and infamous) players in the scene.
"A love song to the early punk days in LA."
Chuck Klosterman's 10th book (aka Chuck Klosterman X) collects his most intriguing of those pieces, accompanied by fresh introductions and new footnotes throughout. Klosterman presents many of the articles in their original form, featuring previously unpublished passages and digressions. Subjects include Breaking Bad, Lou Reed, zombies, KISS, Jimmy Page, Stephen Malkmus, steroids, and many more cultural figures and pop phenomena. This is a tour of the past decade from one of the sharpest and most prolific observers of our unusual times.
In this breathtaking cultural history filled with exclusive, never-before-revealed details, celebrated rock journalist Joel Selvin tells the definitive story of the Rolling Stones' infamous Altamont concert in San Francisco, the disastrous historic event that marked the end of the idealistic 1960s.
Have you ever thought about the creative process that boiled inside geniuses like Mozart, Beethoven, Dvorák, Strauss, Brahms, Mendelssohn, or Liszt-or any composer, for that matter?What goes through a composer's mind when a musical composition is being set to paper? Are those magical weeks or months spent in an agonizing creative blur of ideas first tried and then discarded, or it a matter of pure inspiration?
"A great way to add to your concertgoing experience"
Mick Jagger, Jimmy Cliff, Roger Waters, Jimmy Page, Stevie Wonder, Bonnie Raitt, and many other leading artists reveal for the first time the emotions, inspirations, and techniques behind their influential works. Covering the history of rock, R&B, country, disco, soul, reggae, and pop, Anatomy of a Song is a love letter to the songs that have defined generations of listeners.
"Why Listen when you can read?"
Traveling from New York to Los Angeles, Stockholm to Korea, John Seabrook visits specialized teams composing songs in digital labs with novel techniques, and he traces the growth of these contagious hits from their origins in early '90s Sweden to their ubiquity on today's charts. Featuring the stories of artists like Katy Perry, Britney Spears, and Rihanna as well as expert songsmiths like Max Martin, Ester Dean, and Dr. Luke, The Song Machine will change the way you listen to music.
"Want your music canned or in a box?"
Derided for its conformity and consumerism, 1950s America paid a price in anxiety. Prosperity existed under the shadow of a mushroom cloud. Optimism wore a Bucky Beaver smile that masked worry over threats at home and abroad. But even dread could not quell the revolutionary changes taking place in virtually every form of mainstream music. Music historian James Wierzbicki sheds light on how the Fifties' pervasive moods affected its sounds.
Never be confused about music marketing again! This is the foundation upon which all your music marketing activities should be built.
Think about your career as a writer...How would you want to put out great songs out there, without having to hire a writer and still remain satisfied with the results? How would you help them recognize bad decisions so they could prevent the same choices in the future? What would you do if your songs didn't have this unique touch? This book can provide you with the tools to change all of that and give you a positive outlook on writing good songs in a short delay.
Many people aspire to be great songwriters, but they don't know where to begin or how to get the ball rolling. They dabble in it here and there, but they don't ever fully express themselves as they should, and music becomes a frustration. In this book, I am going to help you take your skills to the next level. You have your foot in the door, you've started your skill, and you have the basics, but I'm going to take you to the next step. I'm going to launch you from beginner to intermediate, and show you how to truly write a song.
From 1934 to 1951, The Andrews Sisters recorded more than 400 songs, including hits such as "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and "Rum and Coca Cola", and sold almost 100 million records. Wink Martindale sat down with sisters Patty and Maxine to discuss how they got started and why breaking up was the best thing to happen to them. In this interview from 1972, the sisters share captivating stories about what it was like traveling as a trio, working with Bing Crosby, and what they would have done differently.
In February 1964, The Beatles made their TV debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, catching the attention of Bob Eubanks. Wink Martindale catches up with Eubanks in an interview from 1977 about The Beatles playing the Hollywood Bowl. He discusses having second thoughts about booking them for the concert and then selling out in three and a half hours.
From Joe DiMaggio to Humphrey Bogart and from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan, Frank Sinatra was close to legends. He inspired and worked with the greats of popular music for well over 50 years. The first installment of our four-part Hall of Fame spotlight on Frank Sinatra's legendary career takes a look at the early years as he began to make a name for himself and presents a fascinating look at the development of Frank Sinatra as an artist.
Jerry Vale always knew that he wanted to sing. His tremendous vocal talent and charismatic personality allowed the crooner to impress both in recording and in live performances, as he toured all over the country and regularly topped the pop charts throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In this conversation with Wink Martindale, Vale discusses his career as a performer, some of his most popular recordings, and the people that helped him in his professional journey. He provides a personal look at his fantastic rise to success.
Natalie Cole, the second of five children, said her parents raised her to work hard for what she wanted. The award-winning artist sat down with Wink Martindale to discuss what it was like growing up in a house filled with music. In this intimate conversation from the 1970s, she also reflects on her good friend Stevie Wonder, the similarities between her and her famous father's voices, and being compared to Aretha Franklin.
In 1973, Captain & Tennille wrote and cut a record completely at their own expense. The product of that recording session, "The Way I Want to Touch You", proved to be a regional hit and was the first step in their fascinating journey to major label success. The couple sat down with host Wink Martindale just as their first hit was climbing the charts. In this captivating interview, they discuss how they got started in music, the creation of their first album, and their love of performing.
Ella Fitzgerald's career began at various amateur nights around New York City, most famously at the Apollo Theater in 1934. From those early days, Fitzgerald grew to be an iconic jazz singer and the First Lady of Song. In the spring of 1983, Fitzgerald sat down for a conversation with Wink Martindale. She discusses how her career began and some of her first hits.
Cast lists and plots of 100 famous, not-so-famous, and infamous operas are presented by Felix Mendelsohn (not the composer), with some insightful comments sprinkled in along the way. This book is an interesting curiosity for opera lovers, as well as a handy introduction for those who are just getting their operatic toes wet. A complete list of the operas included can be found on our website, audiobookcontractors.com.
Bobby Goldsboro describes the first song he ever wrote with a laugh as "one of the worst you've ever heard". Though those first attempts at songwriting weren't exactly successful, he went on to enjoy a wildly successful career, including the chart-topping hit "Honey", which sold more than a million copies in the United States. At the height of his popularity in 1973, Goldsboro sat down with Wink Martindale to discuss his wildly successful career, that included 16 top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Patti Page's music provided a soothing counterpoint to the revolutionary sound of rock n' roll in the 1950s, incorporating elements of country music into traditional pop songs. From 1948 through 1970 she had nearly 100 records on the Billboard Singles chart, including "(How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window", "Old Cape Cod", "Allegheny Moon", and "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte". Page sat down with host Wink Martindale to discuss her personal life, the early days of her career, and her astounding popular success.
Bobby Vinton says he never wanted to be a musician; he wanted to be a football player instead. In fact, his parents would bribe him 25 cents an hour just to get him to practice his clarinet. Vinton sat down with Wink Martindale in 1973 to discuss his success with "Blue on Blue" and the story behind "Roses are Red". He says writing songs is difficult, and he isn't sure who is buying his albums. Vinton also discusses putting together a pop music band in high school and how he began his acting career.
Lawrence Welk left home at the age of 21 and spent two years trying to get a job with bands with little success. Though his career got off to a rocky start, Welk would go on to become a renowned musician, bandleader, and television personality. In part one, we hear about Welk's earliest days of his life and career. In a conversation with Wink Martindale in 1973, he reflects on the beginning of his career and journey to success, while sharing intimate details about his personal life and experiences.
Despite her phenomenal success as a singer, Joni James initially had dreams of dancing. While she continued to receive scholarships and praise for her vocal performances, dancing was what she wanted to pursue and she continued to pay for lessons. When faced with the decision of going to school or pursuing her career, on the advice of a producer that "youth was the most urgent thing in show business", she dove headfirst into singing.
Though his work was often classified as just "arrangements", Percy Faith's work went well beyond that and could be more accurately described as "recompositions". He got his start as a child studying piano and eventually made his mark as an instrumental stylist, importing elements of jazz and rock into mood music. In a conversation with host Wink Martindale, Faith discusses the work it takes to find and keep fans, his lengthy music career, and his focus on creating music that makes him happy versus music that might sell well.
While some would contend that Carly Simon's wealthy background gave her a leg up, her talent and skill as a musician make it clear that she earned every bit of her current and future success on her own. Her first break came while she was on vacation. She and her sister, Lucy, took a trip to Cape Cod and tried to get a job performing in a summer resort. As luck would have it, the previous performer had left, so they started singing there with a repertoire of three songs.
Brenda Lee's astoundingly successful career began at the early age of three, when she won a singing contest. At the age of 15, her career was well underway, drawing comparisons to the legendary Judy Garland and accumulating fans all over the world. She is perhaps best known for her 1960s single, "I'm Sorry", which she recorded at the age of just 14. Lee sat down with host Wink Martindale to discuss her captivating musical career. She speaks about her roots in gospel music, her many hit singles, and her deep love of music.
Ted Gioia's History of Jazz has been universally hailed as a classic - acclaimed by jazz critics and fans around the world. Now Gioia brings his magnificent work completely up-to-date, drawing on the latest research and revisiting virtually every aspect of the music, past and present. Gioia tells the story of jazz as it had never been told before, in a book that brilliantly portrays the legendary jazz players, the breakthrough styles, and the world in which it evolved. Here are the giants of jazz and the great moments of jazz history.
"Not perfect, but the best available"
As Glenn Altschuler reveals in All Shook Up, the rise of rock 'n roll--and the outraged reception to it--in fact can tell us a lot about the values of the United States in the 1950s, a decade that saw a great struggle for the control of popular culture. Altschuler shows, in particular, how rock's "switchblade beat" opened up wide fissures in American society along the fault-lines of family, sexuality, and race.
"50's Rock&Roll was more of a force than I thought"
Alice in Chains was the first of grunge's big four - ahead of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden - to get a gold record and achieve national recognition. With the charismatic Layne Staley behind the microphone, they became one of the most influential and successful bands to come out of the Seattle music scene. But as the band got bigger, so did its problems.
"Pa-dum-pum-pa-dum-pum - PUM!" Super Mario Bros. for the NES contains some of the most recognizable tunes in popular culture, and yet it’s safe to say that only a handful of people have thought beyond the music’s entertaining surface. After all, what could possibly be art-worthy about an early Mario score? Or any early game sound for that matter? In search of answers to these questions, Andrew Schartmann takes us on a journey from the primitive "pongs" of arcade machines to the complex musical fabrics woven by composers of the NES era.
"This book is a missed opportunity"
In Catch a Wave, Peter Ames Carlin pulls back the curtain on Brian Wilson, one of popular music's most revered luminaries, as well as its biggest mystery. Drawing on hundreds of interviews and never-before heard studio recordings, Carlin follows the Beach Boys from their earliest days through Brian's deepening emotional problems to his triumphant re-emergence with the release of Smile, the legendarily unreleased album he had originally shelved.
Why is it that Leonard Cohen receives the sort of reverence we reserve for a precious few living artists? Why are his songs, three or four decades after their original release, suddenly gracing the charts, blockbuster movie sound tracks, and television singing competitions? And why is it that while most of his contemporaries are either long dead or engaged in uninspired nostalgia tours, Cohen is at the peak of his powers and popularity? These are the questions at the heart of A Broken Hallelujah.
"A beautiful story about a beautiful man"
Purple Rain is a song, an album, and a film - each one a commercial success and cultural milestone. How did this semiautobiographical musical masterpiece that blurred R&B, pop, dance, and rock sounds come to alter the recording landscape and become an enduring touchstone for successive generations of fans?
"Never too much info"
Written by award-winning jazz historian Ted Gioia, this comprehensive guide offers an illuminating look at more than 250 seminal jazz compositions. In this comprehensive and unique survey, here are the songs that sit at the heart of the jazz repertoire, ranging from "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "Autumn in New York" to "God Bless the Child," "How High the Moon," and "I Can't Give You Anything But Love." Gioia includes Broadway show tunes written by such greats as George Gershwin and Irving Berlin, and classics by such famed jazz musicians as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, and John Coltrane.
"Great info, but not ideal in audio format"
Fleetwood Mac's classic 1977 Rumours album topped the Billboard 200 for 31 weeks and won the Album of the Year Grammy. More recently, Rolling Stone named it the 25th greatest album of all time and the hit TV series Glee devoted an entire episode to songs from Rumours, introducing it to a new generation. Now, for the first time, Ken Caillat, the album's co-producer, tells the full story of what really went into making Rumours.
"Caillat Cursed With Perfect Memory"
Unlike all previous versions of rock 'n' roll history, this book omits almost every iconic performer and ignores the storied events and turning points everyone knows. Instead, in a daring stroke, Greil Marcus selects 10 songs recorded between 1956 and 2008 and then proceeds to dramatize how each embodies rock 'n' roll as a thing in itself in the story it tells, inhabits, and acts out - a new language, something new under the sun.
"An ecstatic, inspiring read"
Music managers and artists will learn the secrets of successful management with scenarios from a manager’s work life, along with the legal and business skills to master them. The book teaches future music managers and artists how to acquire clients, negotiate contracts, develop image, administer taxes and finances, and deal with promoters, media, attorneys, and unions. Packed with industry guidelines and sure-fire career tips from industry icons, this book is a professional springboard for music managers, recording artists, singers, and rock bands alike.
"Good insight into the pop music business"
From the Stooges and MC to Grand Funk Railroad and Ted Nugent, to the White Stripes, Eminem, and Kid Rock, and whole casts of other great bands and performers, Detroit has always produced louder, more rumbling, more subversive rock music than any city in the world. In Detroit Rock City, listeners get to hear the stories straight from the participants themselves: the singers, the guitar slingers, the fans, the reporters, the promoters, even the guys who hand-made amps to be louder and crunchier than the competition’s.
"Could not get through it, no story here"
The American pianist Jonathan Biss is known to audiences throughout the world for his artistry, musical intelligence and deeply felt interpretations. What is less known until now is that Jonathan Biss writes about music in a most compelling and engaging way. For anyone who has ever enjoyed a Beethoven concert or a Beethoven recording or one of the many films about Beethoven, this audiobook is an inspiring listening experience. For those of you who have heard Beethoven in concert or listened to a Beethoven recording, Jonathan Biss takes you behind the scenes of those performances.
"A must for piano and Beethoven enthusiasts"
In this Very Short Introduction, D. Kern Holoman considers the structure, roots, and day-to-day functioning of the modern philharmonic society. He explores topics ranging from the life of a musician in a modern orchestra, the recent wave of new hall construction from Berlin to Birmingham, threats of bankruptcies and strikes, and the eyebrow-raising salaries of conductors and general managers.
From Gregorian chant to Bach's Brandenburg Concerti, the music of the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods is both beautiful and intriguing, expanding our horizons as it nourishes our souls. In this Very Short Introduction, Thomas Forrest Kelly provides not only a compact overview of the music itself, but also a lively look at the many attempts over the last two centuries to revive it.
"Not Bad At All, Probably Better in Print"
How did a pair of little Dutch boys trained in classical music grow up to become the nucleus of the most popular heavy metal band of all time? What's the secret behind Eddie Van Halen's incredible fast and furious guitar solos? What makes David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar so wacky? And, are all those stories about groupies, booze bashes, and contract riders true? The naked truth is laid bare in Everybody Wants Some - the real-life story of a rock 'n' roll fantasy come true.
Elijah Wald is one of the leading popular music critics of his generation. In The Blues, Wald surveys a genre at the heart of American culture. It is not an easy thing to pin down. As Howlin' Wolf once described it, "When you ain't got no money and can't pay your house rent and can't buy you no food, you've damn sure got the blues." It has been defined by lyrical structure, or as a progression of chords, or as a set of practices reflecting West African "tonal and rhythmic approaches", using a five-note "blues scale". Wald sees blues less as a style than as a broad musical tradition within a constantly evolving pop culture.
Despite dogged attempts by musicologists worldwide to find its source, the violin’s origins remain maddeningly elusive. The instrument surfaced from nowhere in particular, in a world that Columbus had only recently left behind and Shakespeare had yet to put on paper. By the end of the violin’s first century, people were just discovering its possibilities. But it was already the instrument of choice for some of the greatest music ever composed by the end of its second. By the dawn of its fifth, it was established on five continents as an icon of globalization, modernization, and social mobility, an A-list trophy, and a potential capital gain.
Yngwie Malmsteen's revolutionary guitar style - combining elements of classical music with the speed and volume of heavy metal - made him a staple of the 80s rock scene. Decades later, he's still a legend among guitarists, having sold 11 million albums and influenced generations of rockers since. In Relentless, Malmsteen shares his personal story, from the moment he burst onto the scene seemingly out of nowhere in the early 80s to become a household name in the annals of heavy metal.
"Autobiography of Yngwie J. Malmsteen."
The music of Frank Sinatra, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, and many other artists provides the score to the reflections of a musician on the road in this memoir of Neil Peart's travels from Los Angeles to Big Bend National Park. The emotional associations and stories behind each album Peart plays guide his recollections of his childhood on Lake Ontario, the first bands that he performed with, and his travels with the band Rush. The evocative and resonant writing vividly captures the meanderings of a musical mind, leading rock enthusiasts to discover inside information about Rush and the musical inspirations of a rock legend.
"'Bout time you let us in a bit further!"