Picture of author.

Tietoja tekijästä

Barney Hoskyns is a music historian, editorial director of the online music-journalism library Rock's Backpages, and author of Hotel California, Lowside of the Road: A Life of Tom Waits, and an oral history of Led Zeppelin. He lives in London.

Sisältää nimet: Barney Hoskyns, Barney Hoskins

Image credit: Courtesy of Serpent's Tail Press

Tekijän teokset

Trampled Under Foot (2012) 27 kappaletta
Montgomery Clift: Beautiful Loser (1992) 26 kappaletta
Led Zeppelin IV (Rock of Ages) (2006) 25 kappaletta

Associated Works

NME 13 June 1987 (1987) — Avustaja, eräät painokset1 kappale

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Impeachable sources do not make for a credible oral history of Led Zeppelin. The author's decision to include claims from fringe individuals and known fabulists simply sullied an already overlong book and served to perpetuate the misinformation and myth surrounding Led Zeppelin. Enough of that sort of book is already in existence.
 
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44Henry | 1 muu arvostelu | Jun 5, 2022 |
Steely Dan are easily one of my favourite bands (up there with the Beatles, Pink Floyd, the Eagles, Tom Petty, and Bowie). I love each of their original run of albums deeply. I do, however, feel they lost some of the magic after 1980 and, while I enjoy their solo albums, and the two Dan albums after they came back together, nothing matches those initial seven albums between 1972-1980.

That being said, I kind of got exactly what I was looking for out of this book, but also...not.

I know that Becker and Fagan (also known as "Manson and Starkweather"...so named by Jay of Jay and the Americans) were notoriously hard to interview and never forthcoming on much of anything. They dodged and weaved and tossed out obscurities in interviews with the same gleeful abandon they applied to their lyrics. So, while they were frustratingly obtuse all the time, they were also hilarious, and it's quite enjoyable to watch the interviewers tie themselves in knots just to try and get something coherent enough to print.

Unfortunately, what they printed was often the same rehash of Fagan's and Becker's backgrounds, how they met at Bard, and their subsequent attempts—and mostly failures—at songwriting prior to the first Steely Dan album release.

I say unfortunately, because that history of the two is repeated in almost every single interview reprinted in this book. It becomes annoying after a while.

Still, for all that, Becker and Fagan are intelligent enough and amusing enough to elevate any interview well above your standard dick-waving, guitar-slinging, drug-taking, hotel-wrecking rock star.

One more reason to love them.
… (lisätietoja)
 
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TobinElliott | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Sep 3, 2021 |
I loved this book by British journalist Barney Hoskyns. Published in 2006 in hardcover, it is an oral history of the Southern California scene from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, which I read while listening mostly to music on You Tube from the very same artists quoted in the book. It describes in vivid detail the artists, their music, the movers and shakers, the cash, drugs, and sex that defined and ultimately destroyed the idealism and optimism of the time as the Sixties rolled into the Seventies. A fascinating roller coaster ride.… (lisätietoja)
 
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Jimbookbuff1963 | 6 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jun 5, 2021 |
This fairly slim unassuming-looking volume is an important book, even if it's rather disappointingly short and sometimes sketchy. There have been plenty of attempts to chronicle great pop singers, either in biographical broth or in the patchwork histories of rock and soul which every pop scholar takes a shot at sooner or later. Yet here we are pressed into higher considerations: the very grain of human voices, their textures and pulses, as they have been sec to work a t the rhymes and melodies of pop over the past half-century. It starts with Sinatra and Holiday, ends with Vandross and Baker, and in between is a wondrous congregation of voices, more than any but the most dedicated fan might have imagined You must know the singing of Sam Cooke: but what about 0.V. Wright, Tommy Hunt , Linda Jones?

Hoskyns doesn't set out to rescue these names from obscurity; nor does he try and make sense of them. His book is rather like a vocal line itself, straining after release, twisting itself into shapes that will try and evoke the sound of these voices and what they do to him . His introduction somewhat ominously picks up a lead from Roland Barthes and his complaint about "the way we say only 'what can be said' about music". To which one might answer, what the hell else can you do? Except: "In great singers there is something instinctive, something almost innocent, as if their voices were really only ciphers for something altogether more powerful than the representation of what a song 'says' ". Any jazz follower will know what Hoskyns means. It is much the same as an instrumentalist shaping some standard with their differing 'voice'. Yet for singers to do that, to break out of their own signifying skins, is something else, and to annotate such efforts by the vocal giants is a formidable task.

To do it absolutely comprehensively is probably impossible, which is why From A Whisper To A Scream is more like an eloquent notebook on the pop voice's progress than a clear narrative he author codifies his voices into categories of delivery rather than any geosocial structure: 'Earth Mamas', 'Holy Fools' and 'Freaks And Angels' are some of the chapter headings. After Frank and Billie, he explores gospel traditions, the soul of every stripe, and just a few white voices. There are many evaluations which are startling. I wish I could make every misled 'soul fan' read Hopkins's elegant critique of Otis Redding, and it takes a courageous writer to call Marvin Gaye's "1 Heard It Through The Grapevine" "surely the most overrated of soul records". Longer portraits of Etta James, Bobby Bland and George Jones especially will make you annoyed that you haven't dug deeper in to their music before; there are surprising hosannas for Michael McDonald and im Buckley; and there is a piece on Luther Vandross which catches the drift of this elusive contemporary master better than anything I've read.

Hoskyns casts his net wide enough to catch Horace Andy and Burning Spear, too, but on some of the areas less defined by rocking soul he's weaker. He mentions Dick Haynes and Mel Tore, for instance, but you don't get the feeling he's really listened to them; or to Chris Connors, Chet Baker, Sue Raney and other voices in the swirl between jazz and pop. In that sense, the book is a pendant to Will Friedwald's superb Jazz Singing which, however it may share Hopkins's efforts to get into the grain, is fundamentally shy of post-50s pop. Hoskyns seems to get through the thesaurus twice (and Barthes wouldn't have approved). Bur he can be amazingly sharp and vivid. On Holiday: "a Little Mother Time prematurely old with suffering" On Smokey: "an angelfairy, serenading or lamenting with a courtly, ethereal tenderness". It is this colloquial juice chat makes the book compelling.
… (lisätietoja)
 
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djjazzyd | Mar 13, 2020 |

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