Showing posts with label Book Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Book Reviews. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Book Review: Emerson, Lake and Palmer-ELP

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Rocket88 (November 12, 2021
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 272 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1910978647
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1910978641
Reading age ‏ : ‎ 14 years and up
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 9.69 x 1.18 x 11.26 inches

ELP and I go way back to the '70s. I recall being introduced to the band by an excellent friend. I also remember making sure we watched the California Jam and the now legendary footage of Emerson spinning in the air playing his piano. Things like that you can never forget. What it was like being a music fan so long ago is what shaped the listening tastes that I have arrived at later in life.

Keith Emerson (keyboards), Greg Lake (vocals, bass, guitar), and Carl Palmer (drums and percussion) were three extraordinary musicians that came together to create some of the most groundbreaking music in the progressive genre. While leading entirely separate lives with no friendships conceived outside the studios or stages, they could make magic happen where it counted the most.

I have had a great interest in the music of ELP and found all of the remastered catalog to be excellent. I did not know all the details about the men of this band or what made them so successful. This book, titled Emerson, Lake and Palmer - ELP, tells the tails of a run of success for several years that led them to exhaustion and the end of the band for many years.

The book is hardbound and quite beautiful, serving as a detailed remembrance of what it was like being a rock star in the 70s that produced unique music in rock. Today the only surviving member is Carl Palmer, who continues to bring the legacy of ELP to fans around the world. There are great pictures to enjoy while taking in this very personal account of a famous band. Nothing is sugar-coated. It is all based on reality and the words of each member of the band. I found that refreshing and intimate without any needed embellishments or cover-ups of good or bad feelings about the members.

The book is extensive and a tell-it-like-it-is account of an eight-year continuous recording and touring run. Brain Salad Surgery was the high watermark of their career, and they never reached those heights again. What I found interesting was reading about how they got that point of creativity. The music contained in their recordings and subsequent tours and adding an orchestra and going on tour changed the face of music forever. Progressive music took a giant leap forward thanks to ELP, and this fantastic account of that story is in this book's pages.

Of course, this is a highly recommended resource for any prog rock or ELP fan, and music fans in general, I believe would find a lot of enjoyment from reading the text and flipping through all the photos. Books about bands do not get much better than this! The 70s was a great time for rock music, and if you were there to experience it all, that says it all. If you were not there, this will give you a glimpse of what it was like and never will be again. It serves as either a remarkable memory or a lot of newfound facts and realizations that are well worth your time to experience.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Progressive Music Reviews Founder

April 24, 2022

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Book Review: A Genesis In My Bed – Steve Hackett The Autobiography

Hardcover: 210 pages
Publisher: Wymer UK (July 24, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1912782383
ISBN-13: 978-1912782383
Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches

After many years Steve Hackett has released his autobiography. This version was the hardcover. A Genesis In My Bed – Steve Hackett The Autobiography was an easy rather quick read in large print and small pages.

I was glad to receive the copy for review and waited in anticipation for it to arrive. The one thing that surprised me as it will many other fans, was the brevity of it all. It seemed like he skimmed over things and quickly moved on to another subject. Even so, it was still an enjoyable read and appreciated the opportunity.

I found it an interesting read and felt he handled his relationships with the other Genesis members very diplomatically and lovingly actually. Most people were probably waiting for some juicy infighting stories, not in this book. Maybe another member will release an entirely different kind of viewpoint but don’t hold your breath these are proper English gentleman and they handle things differently than we do here in America.

So, I have to give Steve credit for keeping a lid on all the details of his relationships and how he tried to focus more on his childhood and development as an artist. You learn how he truly felt going through all the changes and taking the big step of leaving the band after Peter Gabriel’s exit to start his solo career (remember ...And Then There Were Three...).

An artist needs to fully express themselves with no boundaries, influence, or control from outside forces. This is the one fact that I think drives every creative individual, music or otherwise. It certainly seems to be a commonality amongst the arts community and the individuals that take chances, find their way and reap all the benefits of having the courage get past all the what if’s and naysayers. This is what typified Steve Hackett’s path to success.

Steve Hackett is a very busy man and a successful one at that and he has stood tall amongst his peers as one of the best guitar players in the world with a loyal following. When and if he ever hangs up his six-string, maybe then he will sit down and write a more detailed offering of his life in and out of music.

Until then fans have to take what they can get with A Genesis In My Bed – Steve Hackett The Autobiography which gives readers a lot more to know about the man and his music. So, look at it as a nice overview of an amazing career and be grateful he was willing to share what he did. I would have never had this kind of insight about Steve and his music without reading this book and I have gained more appreciation and respect for his accomplishments and what it took to get there.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
August 6, 2020

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Book Review: The Ballad of Jethro Tull

Product Details
Title: The Ballad of Jethro Tull (Hardcover)
Release Date: November 15, 2019
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Rocket 88
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1910978426
ISBN-13: 978-1910978429
Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 1 x 11.3 inches

The iconic prog-rock band Jethro Tull is immortalized through their music. There are other ways to achieve that status if you have been around for over 50 years. One way is to provide your fan base with a lavishly bounded hardcover book covering the history of the band. 

We now have The Ballad of Jethro Tull. It is quite an overview from Ian Anderson the band’s originator and leader, and other members of the band over the years.

I had the opportunity to speak to Ian about the book but unfortunately, the audio for my podcast did not transfer over. It was a sad day for this music fan and lifetime JT fan. But such is life and I did retain what was said. What I garnered from our conversation was that Ian was approached by the folks at Rocket 88. It was not his idea nor was he thinking of such a project. 

It all turned out wonderfully as the book is a beautiful documentation of the band with some colorful commentary from Ian and the band members that were involved with the albums that were covered to the point when Ian cut his ties with band and went solo then subsequently got a lineup capable of covering all of the JT catalog and his solo projects. I was amongst the many that saw him and that band on the 2018 50th anniversary tour.

I have to say I have never received anything quite like this book covering a band. The quality of the cover and all the pages and photos are superb! And it is definitely worth the price of $50 on the book’s website. It is going for $70 on Amazon so the choice is yours depending on what shipping costs add up to. Now that is for the classic version. If you want to go with signature version at $350 and claim one of the 500 limited edition copies, Ian’s autograph, a 7” single created by Ian for the book’s title b/w “Marmion,” original art prints by cover illustrator Peter Klucik, all in a clamshell box, then go for it. But you better make your move now as I am sure it will sell out quite quickly. That is quite the gift to put under the tree for your Jethro Tull superfan. 

I had a lot of fun reading all the stories and viewing all the pictures. If you are a fan you will go through this book quickly compared to others you may have hanging around in a box somewhere collecting dust. I admit I am one of those people. If I find a book I have a great interest in like this one, then it is a complete joy taking in every visual and every word and varying viewpoints of all the different band members.

The Ballad of Jethro Tull is an up-close look inside one of the most successful band’s in the world. I think what is so incredible was how it all started and where it all went. It is an amazing story of determination, wit, and persistence getting to the top of the heap in the world of prog-rock and music in general. From the humblest beginnings to superstardom and multi-millionaires is always a great story!

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
December 3, 2019

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Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk