Your Song Changed My Life: From Jimmy Page to St. Vincent, Smokey Robinson to Hozier, Thirty-Five Beloved Artists on Their Journey and the Music That Inspired It

Bob Boilen. Morrow, $25.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-234444-1
Boilen, longtime host of NPR’s All Songs Considered and Tiny Desk Concerts, pits musical artists against one another, asking the readers—and himself—which is better: Oasis or Blur? White Stripes or Black Keys? Taylor Swift or Kanye West? Along the way, Boilen interweaves themes from his own life with intriguing stories of musicians such Jimmy Page, Smokey Robinson, Jeff Tweedy, and the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, among others. For Page, one inspiration was Lonnie Donegan’s cover of “Rock Island Line”; for Philip Glass, it was Spike Jones and Yiddish comedy records; and for Jenny Lewis, Run-DMC “completely changed my life forever.” Boilen brings in a wide range of musicians from several countries, but hip-hop and heavy metal artists are noticeably absent. Boilen at times stumbles into platitude and cliché. Nevertheless, the book provides kaleidoscopic insights into the unlikely ways that music can seize and transform the young, including the remarkable story of Xavier Dphrepaulezz (aka Fantastic Negrito), who dropped out of the music business for 15 years after a car accident put him a coma and mangled his right arm. The strongest sections include the opening memoir and those places where Boilen has a personal connection to the music. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/04/2016
Release date: 04/01/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-242129-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-5046-9726-2
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-06-234446-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-5047-3052-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-5046-9727-9
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-06-234445-8
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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