- File Size: 2406 KB
- Print Length: 192 pages
- Publisher: Nicholas Brealey (November 7, 2017)
- Publication Date: November 7, 2017
- Sold by: Hachette Book Group
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0769ZTK75
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,327,738 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$19.95|
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Hachette Book Group
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Life of a Song: The fascinating stories behind 50 of the worlds best-loved songs Kindle Edition
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Top international reviews
A friend who is something of a musicologist loved it.
Myself less so.
I especially liked to hear if the public had been totally mistaken about songs, such as Sting's "Every Move You Make" (not a love song but a chronicle of a stalker) or Dido's revealing that one of her songs which people had thought was about getting back into the dating game was really about someone fighting addiction and drugs. Which is really what has spurred my interest in this book.
The style and pace of narrative is very good, it does not become dull or dip, it would be something I would think is fair to expect from any book which is a sort of anthology that chapters would be uneven and Cheal has ably avoided this. Everyone will have their favourites, I liked reading about "Yesterday" for instance, but if you are anything like me you will find the descriptions and narrative about the other songs, which you may not even know about to be honest, Cheal does a great job in that respect.
Reading the book was great as a fan of desert island discs too, it made me think and rethink what books I would take with me to a desert island now that I understood them and could think or feel differently about them, there are also songs which I mean to check out to see if they are actually good tunes besides because its all very well knowing what they mean sometimes it does not make them any the more easy on the ears/pleasant a listening experience.
If you are fan of music you may know some of the background to tunes already but I think this book would work for either fans who know their stuff or a complete musical novice. Recommended.
The sections of narrative are quite short - 50 songs described in less than 250 pages with 1 or 2 pages of photograph for most songs.
The actual songs chosen jump around all over the place with a mixture of genres in no comprehensible order
Some of the songs had no interest to me so I found myself skipping through them although found the occasional nugget of information. Those I was more curious about hooked me in with stories that I mostly didn't know and a few reminders of charming tales.
For me, this felt like a strange collection with many of the songs not being particularly well known, most were firmly set in the 60s and 70s with an occasional anomaly such as Britney's Toxic.
I appreciate that the columns were written by different people but I think that they would be better presented in some sort of chronological order as that would hold the pieces together.
Considering that these pieces were all written for a UK audience I was surprised at the mainly US content - that doesn't reduce their interest but I thought that more UK based sings would have engaged me all the way through the book.
I knew most of the songs, but it's not a necessity to do so (and in any case the songs are but a click of spotify or you tube away) and in fact some of the more interesting pieces may well turn out to be about the songs you are less than familiar with.
It's an easy, informative read that thanks to it's bite size chapters is good to pick up for 5-10 minutes at a time for a nice quick read.
I found that good to do and it added to my enjoyment...
The book was good to dip into..I read about the songs I liked first and then went for the others..
Each chapter is about a song..lots of different artists and genres are included...,
Good for a gift...
The selection is very varied; as well as the obvious choices - Stairway To Heaven, My Way, Like A Rolling Stone, Yesterday, Hallelujah, House of the Rising Sun, Smells Like Teen Spirit - there are some surprises: Shipbuilding, I Believe in Father Christmas, Auld Lang Syne - which makes it an intriguing read. Some of the information is surprising too ;I have to admit I didn't know Red Red Wine was written by Neil Diamond or that Jimmy Page played on Petula Clark's Downtown.
All in all, not a book of great depth or insight but an excellent Christmas present for a music lover.