Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Brothers Neville Hardcover – September 19, 2000


Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$11.00 $0.01

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (September 19, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316730092
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316730099
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,287,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

After decades as cult musicians, New Orleans's Neville Brothers spent the '90s solidifying their position as a minor American institution. Torchbearers for both tight, lean funk (Art and Cyril were key players in the profoundly influential '70s combo the Meters) and soul-gripping balladry (Aaron scored a 1966 No. 2 hit with "Tell It Like It Is" before resurfacing as a solo and group star in the late '80s), the Neville Brothers band has found a diverse audience with open ears for its message of rhythm and community.

Before that happened, though, the brothers lived thug life as hard as Tupac Shakur ever did. Open the first two-thirds of this oral history to any random page, and you'll find rhapsodies about musicians as far afield as Professor Longhair, Ellis Marsalis, and Billy Stewart--or something quite a bit darker, like Cyril's remembrance of a near deadly razor fight: "I'm bleeding like a hog.... [T]hey needed 180 stitches to sew my neck together... [and] some Demerol to get me even higher and let me go back to the gig--the same night--where I carried on, singing 'Cold Sweat' and 'Heard It Through the Grapevine' as though the shit had never happened." Vividly told by the Nevilles and smartly organized by Ray Charles and Marvin Gaye biographer David Ritz, this is a resounding look at how these musicians put drugs, violence, and industry troubles behind them to become a veteran touring act and Grammy machine. If not quite the equal of drummer (and fellow New Orleanian) Earl Palmer's Backbeat, this is a fine, often chilling look both back and forward. --Rickey Wright

From Publishers Weekly

This oral history by the members of the Neville Brothers, currently New Orleans's most popular and well-known funk/R&B/rock band, is a must-read for fans and hardcore students of New Orleans music. Coauthor David Ritz, whose critically acclaimed biographies of Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin have established him as an insightful chronicler of difficult musical personalities, here lets each of the four Neville Brothers display "his voice, his musical personality, and his own story." While the brothers' lives and experiences often overlapAespecially when discussing the New Orleans of their youth, their various drug addictions and their run-ins with women, the law and all types of unscrupulous characters from the fringes of the music businessAthe book achieves Ritz's goal of capturing each brother's cadences and "distinct grooves." Art, the oldest, is a natural archivist of New Orleans musical culture. Charles, who spent some time in Mississippi's infamous Angola jail, captures the impact of "the hierarchy of skin color" in New Orleans, New York and Los Angeles. Aaron, whose recording of "Tell It Like It Is" immediately placed him in the pantheon of classic New Orleans singers, is the most sensitive to how their music has changed as the brothers pursued individual, then combined, careers. Cyril, the youngest, is the most articulate about newer political and musical influences on New Orleans. "In Their Own Words"-style biographies have been a staple of music books, usually quickly churned out to meet demands of current fans of disposable pop music, but, while it suffers from some repetition, this volume captures the fascinating lives of crucial players in the New Orleans tradition with candor and style. 16 pages of photos. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
9
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 9 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Julia Norwich on October 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The Brothers is a coherent and compelling series of autobiographical narratives, alternating among Art, Charles, Aaron, and Cyril. These perspectives are a valuable record of collective memory, as well as moving individual journeys. American culture from the late 1930s to the close of century informs and drives these voices: here is camaraderie and racism, love and alienation, spirituality and hedonism, cruelty and tenderness, peace and rage, cocky determination and chilling fear, triumph and despair--all related with a palpable frankness. Those of us born in the 30s and 40s will find parts of ourselves here; those born later will see how true it is that "past is present." Lovers of jazz, blues, early rock'roll, funk and r&b, and New Orleans rhythms will revel in the stories of contacts with the "greats." The street language may put off some readers. With all respect to those readers, I suggest their tolerance. It is no small thing that those who struggle with personal demons may find a light to their paths between the covers of this book. Over 300 pages, family photos, discographies, and an index.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on September 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This autobiography is actually a quartet of autobiographies as the essence of each of the four Neville brothers come alive in this book. The non-fiction focuses on the individual personalities, their personal take on music including their solo careers and group performances and recordings. It also Includes their evaluation of the last four decades of music especially in New Orleans and their personal trials and tribulations.
All this marks this non-fiction, as several cuts above the typical wave of rock and roll biographies that seem like perfect flavors of the month. Instead this tome provides a "Tell It Like It Is" feel that fans of the New Orleans sound will enjoy. Anyone who reads THE BROTHERS NEVILLE will seek other works by master music biographer David Ritz (see his works on Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, and Aretha Franklin, etc.) as this reviewer plans to do.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Fred Decker on October 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
David Ritz has helped many rhythm and blues musicians write their autobiographies, including Ray Charles, B. B. King, Marvin Gaye, Etta James, and Aretha Franklin. The characteristics that these books share is the sense that the subject is writing directly to you as you read, and that the bad times as well as the good times are revealed. If you are a fan of the musician, you feel like you have a better understanding of them once you've read the book Ritz helped them write.
The Neville Brothers' story must have been complicated to organize because there are 4 Neville Brothers, Art, Charles, Aaron and Cyrille. They tell their stories simultaneously, a paragraph or two by one brother and then a paragraph or two by another and so on. The story they tell is fascinating and often horrific! Violence, drug abuse, crazy characters, prison terms and danger fill virtually every page. These are fascinating lives to read about, but I wouldn't want to live them! Aaron and Charles seem to be the most forthcoming and the most sympathetic of the brothers. If you love Neville Brothers' music, you'll want to own this book!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By mistermaxxx08 HALL OF FAME on November 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
THe Neville Brothers are a very solid unit.Great talents.this book takes them not only as a Group but also as People with feelings&outlooks.David Ritz does a Great job of doing books.always Interesting reads.this is a very complete book.long overdue on these greats.but better late than never.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bonedaddy144 on March 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anyone who loves the music of the Nevilles and New Orleans music in general will enjoy this book recounting the trials and struggles of the four brothers on their journey to become a united "band of brothers".
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?