Terminated for Reasons of Taste: Other Ways to Hear Essential and Inessential Music

Duke University Press
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In Terminated for Reasons of Taste, veteran rock critic Chuck Eddy writes that "rock'n'roll history is written by the winners. Which stinks, because the losers have always played a big role in keeping rock interesting." Rock's losers share top billing with its winners in this new collection of Eddy's writing. In pieces culled from outlets as varied as the Village Voice, Creem magazine, the streaming site Rhapsody, music message boards, and his high school newspaper, Eddy covers everything from the Beastie Boys to 1920s country music, Taylor Swift to German new wave, Bruce Springsteen to occult metal. With an encyclopedic knowledge, unabashed irreverence, and a captivating style, Eddy rips up popular music histories and stitches them back together using his appreciation of the lost, ignored, and maligned. In so doing, he shows how pop music is bigger, and more multidimensional and compelling than most people can imagine.
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About the author

Chuck Eddy is an independent music journalist living in Austin, Texas. Formerly the music editor at the Village Voice and a senior editor at Billboard, he is author of Rock and Roll Always Forgets: A Quarter Century of Music Criticism, also published by Duke University Press; The Accidental Evolution of Rock 'n' Roll: A Misguided Tour Through Popular Music; and Stairway to Hell: The 500 Best Heavy Metal Albums in the Universe.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Duke University Press
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Published on
Aug 25, 2016
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Pages
344
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ISBN
9780822373896
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Language
English
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Genres
Music / Genres & Styles / Pop Vocal
Music / Genres & Styles / Rock
Music / Genres & Styles / Soul & R 'n B
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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'It's Number One... it's Top Of The Pops', for every generation from 1964, until the show ended in 2006, that was the sentence every young television viewer sat down to hear. At its peak, a quarter of the UKs entire population was watching. 'Top Of The Pops' was the pivotal pop television programme over its 2,000 weekly episodes, the programme gave peak airtime to every act, from The Beatles to Beyonce... from Cream to Coldplay... from Pink Floyd to Pink! From its humble beginnings in 1964 from a disused church through to the programme's pan-global appeal in the 1990s, 'Top Of The Pops' became synonymous with the best in pop television. This book tells the incredible story of 'Top of the Pops'. It is not just the story of a long-running television programme. The story of 'Top of the Pops' is the story of British popular music. It is a shadow history of British rock & roll, and beyond. It is the story of how a 6-week show turned into a pan-global phenomenon and how for 40 years, 'Top of the Pops' was a British institution. With a span of nearly half a century, there are so many highlights: The Beatles only live appearance, in 1966, promoting Paperback Writer... the Who getting banned... the first colour edition in 1969... David Bowie's breakthrough performance of Starman in 1972... Nirvana's chaotic 1991 appearance promoting Smells Like Teen Spirit... the Blur versus Oasis battle... Justin Timberlake playing bass with the Flaming Lips in 2003... 'Top Of The Pops II' was launched in 1994, bringing the programme to a whole new audience. Around the same time, the BBC licensed the 'Top Of The Pops' brand to over 90 countries, with an estimated audience of 100 million. Though it ceased broadcasting in 2006, thanks to the internet, compilation CDs; and repeated viewing on BBC4... 'Top Of The Pops' lives on.
"In Albin J. Zak III's highly original study, phonograph records are not just the medium for disseminating songs but musical works unto themselves. Fashioned from a mix of copyright law, recording studios and techniques, the talent of musicians and disc jockeys, the ingenuity and avarice of producers, and the appetites of record buyers, the all-powerful marketplace Zak describes is an unruly zone where music of, by, and for the people is made and anointed."
---Richard Crawford, author of America's Musical Life: A History



"Wrestling clarity from the exuberant chaos of early rock 'n' roll, Albin Zak's I Don't Sound Like Nobody redefines our understanding of the record in the shaping of the post– World War II soundscape. Zak tracks the story which extends from Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra through Elvis and Buddy Holly to the Beatles and Bob Dylan with excursions into dozens of lesser known, but crucial, players in a game with few established rules. A crucial addition to the bookshelf."
---Craig Werner, author of A Change Is Gonna Come: Music, Race & the Soul of America



"I Don't Sound Like Nobody is a superb account of the transformation of American popular music in the 1950s. Albin Zak insightfully explores what recording actually means in terms of the process of making and consuming music. His discussion of the legal, aesthetic, and industrial ramifications of changes in the recording process over the course of the 1950s will make popular music scholars and record collectors reconsider what they think they know about the period."
---Rob Bowman, author of Soulsville, U.S.A.: The Story of Stax Records



"Informative, original, and entertaining. Through a narrative that is not only enlightening but also compelling, I Don't Sound Like Nobody probes the sources and mechanisms of change within post-war American popular music, shedding a cultural and historical light on the convergence of musical idioms that created '50s rock and roll."
---Stan Hawkins, author of Settling the Pop Score



"From the birth of the record industry through the legacy of Presley, the development of rock and roll, and the Beatles 'stunning arrival on the world's stage,' Albin Zak takes us on a journey of exceptional scholarship. The breadth of coverage and deep examination of recordings and repertoire reveal the author's reverence and sensitivity to the many dimensions and origins of this complex musical soundscape."
---William Moylan, author of Understanding and Crafting the Mix: The Art of Recording



The 1950s marked a radical transformation in American popular music as the nation drifted away from its love affair with big band swing to embrace the unschooled and unruly new sounds of rock 'n' roll.



The sudden flood of records from the margins of the music industry left impressions on the pop soundscape that would eventually reshape long-established listening habits and expectations, as well as conventions of songwriting, performance, and recording. When Elvis Presley claimed, "I don't sound like nobody," a year before he made his first commercial record, he unwittingly articulated the era's musical Zeitgeist.



The central story line of I Don't Sound Like Nobody is change itself. The book's characters include not just performers but engineers, producers, songwriters, label owners, radio personalities, and fans---all of them key players in the decade's musical transformation.



Written in engaging, accessible prose, Albin Zak's I Don't Sound Like Nobody approaches musical and historical issues of the 1950s through the lens of recordings and fashions a compelling story of the birth of a new musical language. The book belongs on the shelf of every modern music aficionado and every scholar of rock 'n' roll.





Albin J. Zak III is Professor of Music at the University at Albany, State University of New York. He is the editor of The Velvet Underground Companion and the author of The Poetics of Rock: Cutting Tracks, Making Records, a groundbreaking study of rock music production. Zak is also a record producer, songwriter, singer, and guitarist.



Jacket design by Paula Newcomb



Jacket photograph © Eve Arnold/Magnum Photos

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In Every Little Step, Brown will for the first time tell the full story of his life and set the record straight, particularly about his relationship with Whitney Houston.

Bobby Brown has been one of the most compelling American artists of the past thirty years, a magnetic and talented figure who successfully crossed over many musical genres, including R&B and hip hop, as well as the mainstream. In the late 1980s, the former front man of New Edition had a wildly successful solo career—especially with the launch of Don't Be Cruel—garnering multiple hits on the Billboard top ten list, as well as several Grammy, American Music, and Soul Train awards. But Brown put his career on hold to be with the woman he loved—American music royalty Whitney Houston. The marriage between Brown and Houston was perhaps the most closely watched and talked about marriage of the 1990s—a pairing that obsessed the public and the gossip industry. Now, for the first time, the world will be able to hear the truth from the mouth of America’s “bad boy” himself. Raw and powerful, Every Little Step is the story of a man who has been on the top of the mountain and in the depths of the valley and who is now finally ready to talk about his career and family life, from the passion and the excess to his creative inspirations and massive musical success.

On the process of writing this book, Bobby says, “Right after I signed on to write my story, I went through one of the most agonizing traumas I had ever experienced with the death of my daughter. But I was surprised by how therapeutic it was to work on this project, to look at the entire arc of my life and to realize that although there has been considerable pain, I have also been incredibly blessed. I hope my fans and other readers of this book will be entertained by this trip into the crazy, exciting, fascinating world of Bobby Brown. And I hope they will feel that I have been as honest and open with them in these pages as I have tried to be my entire life.”

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