Want to learn more about other 33 1/3's latest titles? Here's a smattering of bestsellers from Bloomsbury's line of short books about popular music.
To her detractors, she's ersatz and plastic, perpetually uncool, and never clever. But to her legions of fans, Céline Dion is the embodiment of authenticity, with her impoverished childhood and her knack for howling out raw emotion.
Fascinated by the opposing passions Dion awakened, Slate music critic Carl Wilson went on a year-long quest to find his inner Céline Dion fan. In the process, he explores how, and why, we define ourselves (and others) by taste, seeing deeper meaning in what we call good and bad, what we love and what we hate.
"Rock & Roll chaos" is how scholar and author Kimberly Mack describes this 1990 album which features the iconic Black rock band Living Colour collaborating with everyone from Little Richard to Queen Latifah to Mick Jagger.
More a collision of sounds than a melding of them--there's a thrash metal track, as well as one dominated by beat boxing from Doug E. Fresh--Mack argues that this sophomore effort holds great relevance in light of its forward-thinking politics and lyrical engagement with racism, classism, police brutality, and other social and political issues.
Before they were cemented as the iconic tracks on this 1970 album, the songs on Let It Be were part of a series of recording sessions for a live concert the Beatles planned to do in Tunisia. On the back of thorough and deep research, biographer and music writer Steve Matteo details the complex history of these sessions, bringing to light the sights and sounds of the band at work, and putting a spotlight on a period of the Beatles' career that was creative and chaotic in equal measure.
From a Los Angeles hospital bed, equipped with little more than a laptop and a stack of records, James “J Dilla” Yancey crafted a set of tracks that would forever change the way beatmakers viewed their artform. The genre-defying songs on his 2006 album don't really qualify as hip-hop; they careen and crash into each other, in one moment noisy and abrasive, gorgeous and heartbreaking the next.
In culture reporter Jordan Ferguson's take, Donuts is as much a result of an artist's declining health as it is an example of what scholars call “late style,” placing the album in a musical tradition that stretches back centuries.