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."
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"
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..."
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"
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 finished this book in one day!"
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.
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"
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.."
When Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in 1791 at the age of just 35, he nonetheless left behind the defining composition in every available musical genre of his time: symphony, chamber music, masses, and above all - opera. Opera was the prestige genre of the era, and the thought of it, Mozart wrote, made him, "beside myself at once." It was a form he loved dearly, depending on it heavily for personal, professional, artistic, and financial reasons of the greatest weight.
"One of the best values on Audible!"
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."
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!"
Amid rising gang violence, the crack epidemic, and police brutality, a group of unlikely voices cut through the chaos of late 1980s Los Angeles: N.W.A. Led by a drug dealer, a glammed-up producer, and a high school kid, N.W.A. gave voice to disenfranchised African Americans across the country. And they quickly redefined pop culture across the world. Their names remain as popular as ever: Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, and Ice Cube. Dre soon joined forces with Suge Knight to create the combustible Death Row Records.
"Very Informative and well told"
After years of gigging everywhere from suburban backyards to dive bars, Van Halen - led by frontman extraordinaire David Lee Roth and guitar virtuoso Edward Van Halen - had the songs, the swagger, and the talent to turn the rock world on its ear. The quartet's classic 1978 debut, Van Halen, sold more than a million copies within months of release and rocketed the band to the stratosphere of rock success.
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"
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"
Though unappreciated in his own time, Johann Sebastian Bach has ascended to Olympian heights, the verdict of contemporary audiences long since overruled by succeeding generations of music lovers. But what makes his music great? In this series of 32 lectures, a working composer and musicologist brings his exceptional teaching skills to the task of helping you hear the extraordinary sweep of Bach's music. You'll understand the compositional language that enabled him to compose such extravagant, unbridled music while still maintaining precise control of every aspect - beat, melody, melodic repetition, interaction, and harmony.
"Bach Treasure Box Opened by a True Enthusiast"
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"
The creator of the dancing bear logo and designer of the Wall of Sound for the Grateful Dead, Augustus Owsley Stanley III, better known by his nickname, Bear, was one of the most iconic figures in the cultural revolution that changed both America and the world during the 1960s. Owsley's high octane rocket fuel enabled Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters to put on the Acid Tests. It also powered much of what happened on stage at Monterey Pop.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For his fifth birthday, Ray Anthony's father bought him a trumpet. It wasn't until the age of 12, when his trumpet was hidden as a punishment, that he realized he couldn't live without it. Anthony opened up to Wink Martindale in this interview from 1978 about joining the Al Donahue Orchestra at the age of 17, getting fired from the Glenn Miller Band, and the popularity of the Bunny Hop. He also talks about the sound of Glenn Miller and what makes it so special. Anthony goes on to discuss what it was like starting his own orchestra and having his brother join him.
In part two, we hear about Welk from his manager Sam Lutz and others that played an important part in his career. We also hear from Lawrence Welk in a conversation he had with Wink Martindale in 1973. Welk shares stories of numerous performances across the country, his time on tour, and interactions with his fans. He also discusses his television career and his eventual return to recording music with Dot Records.
Billy Eckstine didn't consider singing a potential profession until he earned $5 as second prize in an amateur competition. He was bitten by the showbiz bug after working as an MC and singer in his hometown of Pittsburgh while on summer break from college. He decided not to return to college and eventually began working in clubs throughout Buffalo, Detroit, and Chicago. Eckstine sat down with Wink Martindale for an interview in May of 1973.
For Alan and Marilyn Bergman, being married and working together as songwriters had many perks. The two found that their relationship allowed them to be uninhibited in sharing ideas while crafting a song. In this interview recorded with Wink Martindale in the 1980s, they discussed their lives, lyrics, and careers as songwriters. The couple provides an intimate and detailed look at the songwriting process, along with sharing interesting stories about some of the songs they've written.
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.
"An Exciting Opportunity Missed"
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"
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"
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.
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"
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 journalists Dean Budnick and Josh Baron chronicle the behind-the-scenes history of the modern concert industry. Filled with entertaining rock-and-roll anecdotes about The Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Pearl Jam, and more - and charting the emergence of players like Ticketmaster, StubHub, Live Nation, and Outbox - Ticket Masters will transfix every concertgoer who wonders just where the price of admission really goes. This edition has an updated epilogue that covers recent industry developments.
"A great history turned to stodge"
Derided as one-hit wonders, estranged from their original producer and record label, and in self-imposed exile in Los Angeles, the Beastie Boys were written off by most observers before even beginning to record their second album – an embarrassing commercial flop that should have ruined the group's career. But not only did Paul's Boutique eventually transform the Beasties from a fratboy novelty to hip-hop giants, its sample-happy, retro aesthetic changed popular culture forever.
"if you really dig music and want to know more..."
One of the greatest double albums of the vinyl era, Sign o' the Times shows Prince at his peak. Here, Michaelangelo Matos tells the story of how it emerged from an extraordinary period of creativity to become one of the landmark recordings of the 1980s. He also illustrates beautifully how - if a record is great enough and lucky enough to hit you at the right time - it can change your way of looking at the world.
"Outstanding Audio Book"
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.
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"
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"
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."
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"
Paul McCartney and John Lennon described him as the Beatles' "favorite group," he won Grammy awards, wrote and recorded hit songs, and yet no figure in popular music is as much of a paradox, or as underrated, as Harry Nilsson. In this first ever full-length biography, Alyn Shipton traces Nilsson's life from his Brooklyn childhood to his Los Angeles adolescence and his gradual emergence as a uniquely talented singer-songwriter.
The story of Stax Records unfolds like a Greek tragedy. A white brother and sister build a record company that becomes a monument to racial harmony in 1960’s segregated south Memphis. Their success is startling, and Stax soon defines an international sound. Then, after losses both business and personal, the siblings part, and the brother allies with a visionary African-American partner. Under integrated leadership, Stax explodes as a national player until, Icarus-like, they fall from great heights to a tragic demise.
"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 this remarkable book, Douglas Wolk brings to life an October evening in 1962, at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem - an evening at the height of Cold War tensions. In great detail, Wolk pieces together what took place (and what was recorded) that night, and illustrates beautifully the enduring power of one of James Brown’s - and popular music’s - defining moments: Live at the Apollo.
The Pixies have had a career unlike any other in alternative rock, disappearing as a not-quite-next-big-thing only to become gods in absentia. Doolittle is the embodiment of their abrasive, exuberant, enigmatic pop. While traveling around Oregon with Charles Thompson, chatting about surrealism and llamas, and interviewing other members of the Pixies, Ben Sisario reveals the inner workings of this knotty masterpiece.
"Excellent, well done all around"
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"