The book's organization is primarily chronological, covering Taylor Swift's album and single releases in order of release date while also documenting the elements of her music and personality that have made her popular with fans of country music and pop music across a surprisingly diverse age range of listeners. The chapters address how Swift's songs have been viewed by some fans as anthems of empowerment or messages of encouragement, particularly by members of the LGBTQ community, those who have been bullied or been seen as outsiders, and emerging artists. The final chapter places Swift's work and her public persona in the context of her times with respect to her use of and relationship with technology—for example, her use of social media and songwriting technology—and her expressions of a new type of feminism that is unlike the feminism of the 1970s.
James E. Perone, PhD, is associate dean of the faculty and the Margaret Morgan Ramsey professor in music at the University of Mount Union, Alliance, OH.
Born David Jones in a London suburb in 1947, David Bowie changed his name in the late '60s to avoid confusion with the singer David Jones of The Monkees. This name change would turn out to be a highly prescient act: for in incorporating an exceptionally wide variety of styles, Bowie would become the most notorious chameleon of the rock era. Due in large part to his early success in the glam rock subgenre and his claims of homosexuality (dismissed by many writers as a ploy to generate public interest and record sales), Bowie raised serious issues about sexual orientation in rock music, regardless of whether or not his claimed homosexuality was genuine or part of his on-stage character. His regular use of theatrical personae also raises interesting issues concerning authenticity and the perception of authenticity in rock music.
Although Bowie has been primarily an album artist, his recordings of Fame, Golden Years, Let's Dance, China Girl, Blue Jean, and Dancing in the Streets, all made it into the Billboard top 10 singles charts. Of these, all but one was written or co-written by Bowie. Even more notable are the songs he wrote and recorded that have made an impact far in excess of their chart standing. These include Space Oddity, Rebel, Rebel, Changes, Modern Love, and Young Americans. From his early 1970s albums like Hunky Dory and The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars-in both of which he assumed the character of the fictional, androgynous Stardust-to Diamond Dogs, Heroes, Tin Machine, and Black Tie White Noise, Bowie's albums generated both significant word-of-mouth interest and some of the most contentious critical reactions of any artist of the rock era.
This long overdue investigation lets Bowie's artistry speak for itself. After a biographical introduction, chronologically arranged chapters discuss the singer's fascinating--and iconoclastic--body of work. A discography and annotated bibliography conclude the book.
After revealing the social, cultural, and political context of Wonder's work, the book provides detailed analysis of his compositions and recordings, with a focus on both his well-known songs and those known only to his hardcore fans. The volume also contains discussions of cover versions of Wonder's compositions, a discography of his recordings, a song title index, an annotated bibliography, and a general index.
While Braxton appears to be living a gilded life—selling 60 million records, appearing in sold-out Las Vegas performances and hit shows like Dancing with the Stars, and starring in her own reality series—hers is in fact a tumultuous story, a tale of triumph over a life filled with obstacles, including two bankruptcy filings. The mother of an autistic child, Braxton long feared that her son’s condition might be karmic retribution for earlier life choices, some of which will shock fans. But when heart ailments began plaguing her at the age of 41 and she was diagnosed with Lupus, Braxton knew she had to move beyond the self-recrimination and take charge of her own healing. Intensely honest and deeply inspirational, Unbreak My Heart is the never-before-told story of the measures Braxton took to make herself and her family whole again.
May 1964 saw major gang-style battles break out in British resort communities between the Mods and the Rockers. The tensions between the two groups had been developing for several years, with each group claiming their own sense of culture and style. The Mods wore designer clothing, rode Vespa motor scooters, and shared an affinity for black American soul music, while the Rockers favored powerful motorcycles, greased-back hair, and 1950s American rock and roll. It was within this context that the sounds of the British Invasion developed.
Mods, Rockers, and the Music of the British Invasion chronicles the development of British rock through the iconic artists who inspired the movement, as well as through the bands who later found incredible success overseas. In addition to analyzing the music in the context of the British youth culture of the early 1960s, Perone analyzes the reasons that the British bands came to so thoroughly dominate the record charts and airwaves in the United States.
The contributions of Cliff Richard, Billy Fury, Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, Tommy Steele, the Tornados, Tony Sheridan, Blues Incorporated, and others to the development of British rock and roll are examined, as are the contributions and commercial and artistic impact of major British Invasion artists such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Dave Clark Five, the Yardbirds, Manfred Mann, the Who, the Kinks, and others. After investigating these groups and their influences upon one another, Perone concludes by examining the commercial and stylistic impact British rock musicians had on the American music of the time.