Sunday, May 19, 2013

Hey Kids, Do Ya Like the Rock and Roll?

At different times, U2 and Led Zeppelin were the biggest bands in the world. Here are two books that tell their stories.

U2 By U2

At the suggestion of his father, a kid in 1970s Dublin puts up a notice on a school bulletin board looking others who were interested in starting a band. So starts The Larry Mullen Band. Never heard of them? Well, maybe you’ve heard of U2? After several name changes and very humble beginnings, U2 rose to the rank of biggest band in the world and have defended that position ever since. Their last tour, dubbed U2 360, was the highest grossing and best attended tour of all time. U2 By U2 tells the complete story of the band through the Vertigo tour in support of their eleventh studio album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.

Written with friend of the band and music journalist Neil McCormick, this book packs a one-two punch with insightful interviews and copious amounts of pictures and memorabilia. All quotes come directly from band members and their manager, Paul McGuinness. The interviews give the reader a sense of the inner workings of the band and how the members relate to each other as friends and colleagues. This book is a must read for anyone interested in U2, the workings of the music industry, or how the creative process works for one of the biggest bands in the world.

Led Zeppelin
The Oral History of the World’s Greatest Rock Band
By Barney Hoskyns

Despite being one of the of the most sought after session musicians of London’s music scene in the 1960s, Jimmy Page became bored with playing other people’s music. He set out to form his ideal band, and Led Zeppelin was born. They quickly became the biggest band in the world at the time breaking The Beatles' concert attendance record in May 1973. Zeppelin went on to create a blueprint for future bands navigating the music business.

Journalist Hoskyns creates this narrative of the band using quotes from interviews with band members and close associates including friends, family, and employees. There are a lot of players in this story, so a directory is provided at the beginning. Also included are many previously unpublished photographs of the band and their associates. Zeppelin had a reputation for being the bad boys of rock and roll, but this book puts a more human spin on the guys and their experiences. This book is a must read for fans and anyone wanting a behind the scenes look at the wild ride that was 70s rock and roll.

To request either of these books click on the title or cover above.

Review by Erin from Collins Hill

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