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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't know what these other folks are talking about.
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...
Published on December 19, 2003 by Mary MacDonald

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22 of 58 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What is Missing, Speaks Volumes!
This is more of an observation rather than a review... There isn't a single classical musician shown in this book.. I find that very depressing yet not totally unexpected. The title of this complication should really be Popular American Music. So many great classical American musicians such as Leonard Bernstein, to use one example who covered the entire musical spectrum,...
Published on November 14, 2003


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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't know what these other folks are talking about., December 19, 2003
By 
Mary MacDonald (Baltimore, MD United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Annie Leibovitz: American Music (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
5.0 out of 5 stars An intimate collection, August 7, 2005
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This review is from: Annie Leibovitz: American Music (Hardcover)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for fans of Photography and Music, January 28, 2007
By 
Casey A. Prout (Anchorage Alaska, Alaska United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Annie Leibovitz: American Music (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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Annie Leibovitz's Images of and Notes about American Popular Musicians, December 11, 2008
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Annie Leibovitz: American Music (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. King, New York City, 2000

Emmylou Harris, Franklin, Tennessee, 2001
Johnny Cash with his grandchildren and daughter, Rosanne Cash, Hiltons, Virginia, 2001
Dolly Parton, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, 2002
Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Odetta, New York City, 2000
Willie Nelson, Spicewood, Texas, 2001

Jungle Room, Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee, 2001
Duane Eddy and Les Paul, Mahwah, New Jersey, 2000
Aretha Franklin, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, 1993
John Lee Hooker, Los Altos, California, 2000
Willie Foster, Greenville, Mississippi, 2000

Rakim, Eminem, and Dr. Dre, Los Angeles, 2002
Sean "P. Diddy" Combs with sons, Bridgehampton, New York, 1998
Nelly, New York City, 2002
Mary J. Blige, New York City, 1999
Bonnie Raitt, New York City, 2003

Jon Bon Jovi, Rumson, New Jersey, 2000
The White Stripes, New York City, 2003
Iggy Pop, Miami, Florida, 2000
Mike Ness and family, Santa Ana, California, 2003
Ardoin Family, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, 2002

Preservation Hall, New Orleans, 2002
Neville Family, New Orleans, 2002
New Birth Brass Band, New Orleans, 2003
Jazz Funeral for Placide Adams, New Orleans, 2003
Miles Davis, New York City, 1989

Dave Brubeck, Wilton, Connecticut, 2002
Etta James, Riverside, California, 2003
Tony Bennett and Ralph Sharon, San Francisco, 2001
Anita O'Day, Los Angeles, 2001
Louis Armstrong, Queens, New York, 1971

Joan Baez, Big Sur, California, 1971
Bob Dylan, Los Angeles, 1977
Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, San Francisco, 1972
Tina Turner, San Francisco, 1971
Ray Charles, Los Angeles, 1972

James Taylor, Lenox, Massachusetts, 2002
Joni Mitchell, Bel Air, California, 1999
Bruce Springsteen, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1999
Patti Smith, St. Clair Shores, Michigan, 1996

May these marvelous images strum your heart strings for lovely moments of old!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular Photos!, August 2, 2005
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Photographs from a master, however unfinished, November 16, 2004
By 
sper "sper" (Goooo Minnesota!) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Annie Leibovitz: American Music (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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4.0 out of 5 stars Photography is art...., May 20, 2014
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This review is from: Annie Leibovitz: American Music (Hardcover)
Annie Leibovitz is brilliant with a special vision. This photo survey captures the essence of the Rock 'n' Roll persona. I will enjoy having this as a reference and hope to browse in it for years.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not Leibovitz's best compilation, August 28, 2013
This review is from: Annie Leibovitz: American Music (Hardcover)
American Music is not her best. Pilgrimage or Annie Leibovitz: Photographs are much better books, much better photography.

American Music's photography is messy and confusing. Leibovitz captures in each photograph, not just the musician, but the whole setting. And it makes the photo interesting. But some editing would have made it better. Because there is so much busyness and setting detail in every photo, my mind and eye longed for a simple shot of the musician to break up the seeming chaos.

I was very glad for the summation of each photo at the back of the book detailing the artist, the time, the place. Without it, I would have lost the detail of the moment captured.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Coffee table book, December 29, 2012
By 
Wendy A "Wendy A" (CAVE CREEK, ARIZONA, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Annie Leibovitz: American Music (Hardcover)
This looks like it will be fun to browse through. The photographer s one of the best so there is bound to be plenty to admire.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, December 14, 2012
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This review is from: Annie Leibovitz: American Music (Hardcover)
Love the picture, because they're not staged per say. I've been wanting this book for my coffee table and that's where it is.
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Annie Leibovitz: American Music
Annie Leibovitz: American Music by Annie Leibovitz (Hardcover - October 28, 2003)
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