Anatomy of a Song: The Oral History of 45 Iconic Hits That Changed Rock, R&B and Pop (Hardcover)
Marc Myers entertains on both a large and small scale, selecting 45 time-tested songs to illustrate the trajectory of American music through R&B, rock, and pop, beginning with the 1950s “jump blues” and ending in 1991 at the doorstep of grunge rock. For each song, he interviews those involved, creating an intimate portrait of the piece. With so much to discover, this is a treasure trove of American music or, as Myers prefers to think of it, an oral history jukebox. —Melinda— Melinda
Every great song has a fascinating backstory. In Anatomy of a Song, based on the ongoing Wall Street Journal column, writer and music historian Marc Myers brings to life five decades of music through oral histories of forty-five transformative songs woven from interviews with the artists who created them.
Bringing readers inside the making of a hit, Anatomy of a Song includes the Isley Brothers' memorable song "Shout," Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love," Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz," and R.E.M's "Losing My Religion." After receiving his discharge from the army in 1968, John Fogerty does a handstand and reworks Beethoven's Fifth Symphony to come up with "Proud Mary." Joni Mitchell remembers living in a cave on Crete with the "mean old daddy" who inspired her 1971 hit "Carey." Elvis Costello talks about writing "(The Angels Wanna War My) Red Shoes" in ten minutes on the train to Liverpool. And Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Rod Stewart, the Clash, Jimmy Cliff, Roger Waters, Stevie Wonder, Keith Richards, Cyndi Lauper, and many other leading artists reveal the emotions, inspirations, and techniques behind their influential works. Anatomy of a Song is a love letter to the songs that have defined generations of listeners.
About the Author
Marc Myers is a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal, where he writes about rock, soul, and jazz, as well as the arts. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book Why Jazz Happened, and posts daily at JazzWax.com, two-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association s award for Blog of the Year."