The Words and Music of Taylor Swift

ABC-CLIO
3
Free sample

By the age of 13, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift had already inked a development deal with a major record label. This early milestone was an appropriate predictor of what accomplishments were to come. Now a superstar artist with an international fanbase of millions and several critically acclaimed and commercially successful albums, Swift has established herself as one of the most important musicians of the 21st century. This accessible book serves Taylor Swift fans as well as students of contemporary popular music and popular culture, critically examining all of this young artist's work to date.

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.

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About the author

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.

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Additional Information

Publisher
ABC-CLIO
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Published on
Jul 14, 2017
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Pages
119
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ISBN
9781440852954
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Composers & Musicians
Music / Genres & Styles / Pop Vocal
Music / Individual Composer & Musician
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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All Music Guide's Stephen Thomas Erlewine has written, Even when he was out of fashion in the '80s and '90s, it was clear that Bowie was one of the most influential musicians in rock, for better or worse. In this comprehensive analysis of David Bowie's career, author James Perone examines the many identities and styles Bowie has developed over the years, and in so doing provides a stunning chronicle of creativity at work.

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.

An intimate memoir of the flamboyant Queen singer by the man who knew him best.

Peter Freestone was Freddie Mercury’s Personal Assistant for the last 12 years of his life. He lived with Mercury in London, Munich and New York, and he was with him when he died.
In this book, the most intimate account of Mercury’s life ever written, he reveals the truth behind the scandalous rumours, the outrageous lifestyle and Mercury’s relationships with men, women and the other members of Queen.
From the famous names – including Elton John, Kenny Everett, Elizabeth Taylor and Rod Stewart – to the shadowy army of lovers, fixers and hangers-on, Peter Freestone saw them all play their part in the tragi-comedy that was Freddie Mercury’s life.
Freestone lived with Mercury in Europe and America for over a decade. From the East 50s apartment in New York to Kensington Lodge, the house in London where Mercury died – not to mention innumerable international hotel rooms and apartments in between – Freestone was always on hand to serve and protect the man he had first met in the Biba department store in the early 1970s. Then Queen was a largely unknown band. Soon it would be the most glitzy of glam rock bands. Freestone saw the fame arrive and with it the generosity, the excess, and the celebrity friends who came and went.
“I was chief cook and bottle washer, waiter, butler, valet, secretary, amanuensis, cleaner, baby-sitter… and agony aunt,” he writes. “I shopped for him both at supermarkets and art markets, I travelled the world with him, I was with him at the highs and came through the lows with him. I saw the creative juices flow and I also saw the frustration when life wasn’t going well. I acted as his bodyguard when needed and in the end, of course, I was one of his nurses.”
Freestone’s bet-selling account of a talented and extravagant star’s life and death is compelling, entertaining and ultimately, very touching.
Illustrated with many photos from personal and Freestone’s own archives.
Press Reviews“An entertaining and thought provoking read” – PRS for Music Sales
“This collection of Freddie’s own words is the closest thing there is to an autobiography of a man with no regrets. The foreword is written by his mother” – reFRESH magazine, Leading Gay mag in the UK


Musical floodgates were opened after the Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964. Suddenly, the U.S. record charts, radio, and television were overrun with British rock and pop musicians. Although this British Invasion was the first exposure many Americans had to popular music from the United Kingdom, British pop -- and more specifically British rock and roll -- had been developing since the middle of the 1950s. Author James Perone here chronicles the development of British rock, from the 1950s imitators of Elvis Presley and other American rockabilly artists, to the new blends of rockabilly, R&B, Motown, and electric blues that defined the British Invasion as we recognize it today. Die-hard fans of the Beatles, the Who, and the Kinks will all want a copy, as will anyone interested in the 1960s more generally.

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.

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