Music on my mind

Music is a wonderful thing. We all like music at some level, and most of us have a favorite performer or style.  Currently at the library we have a bevy of new books focusing in on music that will make for delightful reads during this time of year when the weather keeps us inside for longer periods of time.  Let’s talk about three of them today.

The first book is “British Invasion: the crosscurrents of musical influence” by Simon Philo. Prior to the Beatles coming to America in February of 1964 there had only been two British acts to top the pop charts. Within the span of a couple of months the Beatles were accounting for more than half of all album sales in the United States. As with other musical genres that seemingly spring up overnight, once the Beatles had made it, the hunt was on for the next big thing in music. From 1964 to 1965, British acts accounted for half of all hit songs. The British Music Invasion was on. Thanks to the music of the Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks, and the Hollies the musical landscape of Rock and Roll was changed forever. This book is a wonderful read for those who enjoy the music from this era and for those who want to learn more about the history of the bands and the songs put into the historical context of the day, both politically and in regards to the music of other musicians of the time.

The second book on my nightstand this past month was “Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s” by Tom Doyle. As the 70s were beginning the Beatles were ending. As one half of the successful songwriting team of Lennon and McCartney and a founding member of the Beatles, everyone was paying attention to what McCartney would do once the Beatles were over. Through many interviews with the author, the up and down times of McCartney throughout the 70s is told. We hear of McCartney’s feuds with former band mates, the history of the band Wings, and most interestingly the struggles of an artist to reinvent himself after being in one of the biggest musical groups of all time. A must read for anyone who loves the music of the Beatles, Wings, or Paul McCartney.

The third book I finished up this past month was “The Universal Tone: bringing my story to light” by Carlos Santana. Santana spent his entire childhood making music and playing in bands with his family and friends before his breakout performance at Woodstock brought him fully into the spotlight. This book is packed full of details about the artist and traces his career from his earliest beginnings playing in his father’s band, to Woodstock, and more recently the recording and release of the 8 time Grammy winning album “Supernatural”. For me the best parts are when he talks about meeting other famous guitarist and the photos of him playing with Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan. If you are a fan of Santana this is a must read.

There you have it. Lots of fun new music stuff to read about this winter. Not only do we have quite a few new biographies, but we also have a slew of new movies and audio-cassettes to help pass the time this winter. See you at the library.

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