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Comment: STATED FIRST EDITION 2003, no printing information stated so assume first. APPEARS UNREAD, but there is a tiny bit of wear to the tip of the bottom exterior corner on the front, one scratch on the back, and a smallish tan stain to the side edge of the page block, please see photos. The boards are bound in the same artwork as shown on the product page but without the title -- it's not clear to me whether the cover art is different or there was originally a dust jacket which is no longer present, but none of the other sellers describe a dust jacket so I think maybe there wasn't one, perhaps just a small title sleeve. Inside the Amazon packaging your book is plastic-wrapped with protected corners and edges, and the label is on the plastic wrap, not on the book. Great value for an almost-perfect copy of this wonderful volume! :)
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Annie Leibovitz: American Music Hardcover – October 28, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1 edition (October 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375505075
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375505072
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 9.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It looks like a gorgeous nostalgia trip to judge by the cover image alone. The photo is of an old school record player that lies unplugged, a white label test-pressing waiting on the turntable, while a band of paper wrapped around the cover announces the title in ye olde woodblock-looking type, American Music. A reading of the small type on the back cover reveals the image to be the very record and turntable left in Elvis Presley’s bedroom the day he died, and the mind reels, thinking about whether the King listened to this record on that day or not, and who are the Stamps, anyway? An excellent selection of musician portraits interspersed with crumbly wooden jook joints and wide open fields in the South, American Music covers a wide gamut of jazz, blues, punk, country, hip-hop, rock and roll, folk and gospel musicians. And while most of the pictures were shot between 1999 and 2002, some go back to the early 1970s, when Leibovitz first became Rolling Stone magazine's chief photographer. Some of the artists are very well-known (Michael Stipe, Dolly Parton, Bob Dylan) and some of them are not (Jessie Mae Hemphill, Other Turner, Carlos Coy). Leibovitz really has a way of relaxing her performers, and this is a great part of her gift. Even when the pictures are so posed as to be ridiculous (like, what's Michael Stipe doing on that bedbug-ridden mattress—-the guy's a billionaire?), she catches her subjects at their most "real." They are lost in their music, or just doing some "real person" thing (look, there is Beck in his car—does Beck really drive his own car?). The presentation may be a little hokey, but this book is sure to please most any music fan. --Mike McGonigal

Review

Praise for American Music

“[Leibovitz] explores more deeply than ever the landscape of America’s sound, from a New Orleans funeral to a Baptist church to an empty juke joint.”
Vanity Fair

“Leibovitz’s approach to both celebrity and non-celebrity musicians is remarkably consistent . . . [Her] conception of glamour is anything but aloof. She situates her subjects right there in front of you.”
The New York Times


From the Trade Paperback edition.

More About the Author

ANNIE LEIBOVITZ is one of the most celebrated and admired photographers of our time. She began her work photographing for Rolling Stone magazine and quickly established a reputation as a chronicler of popular culture, eventually becoming a contributing photographer at Vanity Fair and Vogue. Her first book, Annie Leibovitz: Photographs, was published in 1983. In 1999 she published the bestselling Women, with a Preface by Susan Sontag, for which the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington exhibited a selection of portraits in conjunction with the hardcover publication.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Mary MacDonald on December 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Gee. I've never heard that poor aesthetic quality is an essential element of art. I'm not even sure what "poor aesthetic quality" means. But if it describes the heartbreaking, iconic portrait of Johnny Cash and June Carter, then I surely want more of it. These are beautiful, sometimes funny and often emotionally moving pictures in which the subjects collaborate with the artist to present a certain face to the world. Maybe not all the faces are completely honest ones, but they're interesting and beautifully photographed.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. Rasco on August 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just saw this exhibit at our MoMA, and the work is outstanding. Some of the images are color, some black and white. There are a number of styles and artists, ranging from the very famous to those unknown outside of their small communities. The point is that these are images of musicians--it's that simple.

Sometimes, Liebovitz's work is witty, sometimes it is unflinching in its honest portrayal. There is vulnerability in the subjects of her black and whites because they are so close, often just the face of the subject. To term them "ugly" is simply wrong. It is rare to see behind the artifice of celebrity images and see performers without makeup and with their skin texture and pores visible. Some of the photos are taken in people's homes, or backstage rather than on a set. This lends considerably to the intimacy and honesty that she is trying to convey.

If you want shots of your favorite singer looking oh so pretty, go to their PR person. This is a serious body of work from a renowned photographer. It blends both her celebrity work with her own private interests in portrait photography for non-commercial audiences.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Casey A. Prout on January 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you love the blues, or love photography this is a great book. While not specific to just Blues musicians this book just makes me think of good old delta blues. The prints in this book shine like they were hand printed by Annie herself. Theres a heart and soul driving this book from begining to end.

This is a more personal project for Annie Leibovitz and so doenst allway have her studio style inside.

That does not mean that each photograph is not amazing for they are, but some are a smaller more

candid world that Annie Leibotiz is capturing.
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Format: Hardcover
The title of this volume can mislead people who don't remember that Annie Leibovitz started out as the lead photographer for Rolling Stone. The result of her life's photographic work with these subjects is portrayed here along with some very fine notes at the end that explain who the subjects are for those you don't know. I liked the notes as much as the photographs. You will, too, unless you have an encyclopedic knowledge of American popular musicians. Those offerings are boosted in value by the essays authored by Patti Smith, Steve Earle, Rosanne Cash, Mos Def, Beck, Ryan Adams, and Annie Leibovitz.

The work cries for a companion CD tucked into the back of the book so you could match the music to the images and words. Perhaps it was just too much work to put the permissions together for such a project . . . or the publishers just assumed that we know all the music (I certainly don't).

The photography is often breathtaking in capturing musicians who have had a lasting effect on tens of millions of lives. In many cases, you are treated to large, two-page spreads where the center line doesn't interrupt your ability to focus on the image. The printing is very fine in the copy I read, and I hope it is also on yours.

Here are a few of my many favorites:

Pete Seeger, Clearwater Revival, Croton-on-Hudson, New York, 2001 (color)
Fisk Jubilee Singers, New York City, 2003
Eddie Cotton, Jr. with Jan Hobson, Jackson, Mississippi, 2000
Po' Monkey's Lounge, Merigold, Mississippi, 2000
B.B.
Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. C. Troia on August 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
The catalog is gorgeous, the photographs are indeed spectacular. While the written entries were wonderful, they were too few and left me wanting more. I guess that's a good thing!
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By sper on November 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In response to another review on this site, clearly if you think the book has "poor aesthetic quality" You know nothing of photography or art for that matter.

The people in this book are beautifully portrayed in silver and in color. Clearly the photographs were taken over a number of years, which shows the scope of the project.

The only thing that I find wrong with this project is that it may be unfinished. The book is called American Music. Cleary that is why there are mainly blues, rock and roll and hip, country/folk and hip hop artists. Obviosly everyone would like to see their favorite artists in the book and have the ones they dislike removed. I however feel that this is the artists choice, and we have to live with it. If Leibovits decides to put out a 'Part II' it would do all of us a favor.

The only reason why I don't give this a 5 out of 5 stars is that most of the photographs don't grab you by the face and demand your attention. The ones that grab me the most are the artists I folllow, so perhaps there is something in that. Some measure of knowlegde that must accompany the photographs. Buy the book anyways...and listen to more blues albums. I didn't check this review for spelling, HA!
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