When you still have people fingering the chords to “Stairway to Heaven” at your local guitar shop or while playing (insert either Rock Band or Guitar Hero), that’s how you know the meaning of transcendence. Enter Led Zeppelin. Now, rare and never before released photos of the band from their early years as the New Yardbirds to their last performance in London 2007 have been compiled in Led Zeppelin: Good Times, Bad Times. With a foreword by Anthony DeCurtis, Led Zeppelin: Good Times, Bad Times provides a photographic history of the band as ultimate decadent figures of ‘70s culture. Die hard fans and newbies to Led Zeppelin would appreciate this visual lesson in rock and roll glory.
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Renowned concert photographer Jim Marshall comes out with a legendary archive of musicians since the late 1950s entitled Trust: Photographs of Jim Marshall (October 2009). Totally relentless in his approach by demanding complete access to his subjects, Marshall documented the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and John Coltrane with candid poignancy that few could ever really emulate. Marshall’s emphasis on ‘trust’ between both himself and these artists makes these images all the more relevant—a body of work that continues to grow into this century with portraits of artists that matter taken when it mattered. Give this gift to anyone who loves photography or music history.
Cross’s history of Kurt Cobain’s life uses the standard words and pictures to tell its story, but then throws a curveball by including pull-out documents of Cobain drawings, writings, photos and bits of Nirvana memorabilia. It’s the compelling “museum in a box” concept that worked so well for Marvel Comics last year and DC Comics last year. One of these “objects in a book” includes a CD of the Nirvana frontman’s unreleased spoken word material. It’s a compelling way to tell this enigmatic figure’s life story in a fresh fashion.
A two-page spread shows photos of zeppelin’s floating in grayscale skies. Magical. Turn the page: a massive explosion and the fast disintegrating Hindenburg (1937). Ideas aloft, then burning guitars. That’s frickin’ perfect rock, man. Interviews, quotes and concert coverage by notable journalists and music insiders. Concert photos. Album covers. The entire discography. Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin is a whole lotta coverage of the genre-busting band from ‘A’ to ‘Zed’, 1968-1980 and 2007’s reunion concert. Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba doom, doom / Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba doom, doom. Give this and stand back to make room for air guitar freak-out.
After a dearth of written history for so long about the “only band that matters”, the Clash’s spot in the music book section of the local Border’s has grown a lot more crowded in recent years. There is Pat Gilbert’s Passion Is a Fashion: The Real Story of the Clash and Chris Salewicz’s Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer leading the pack. But this is the first time we’ve gotten the seminal band’s story in their own words, married to a rich photographic history, with many photos published for the first time. Even if you’ve read the other volumes, you’ll want this one to hear the artists tell their own story as well as possess the most complete photographic history of the Clash yet printed. Here’s a proud addition to the coffee table of a serious rock music fan.
"To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the hit franchise, PopMatters seeks submissions about Star Trek, including: the TV series, from The Original Series (TOS) to the highly anticipated 2017 new installment; the films, both the originals and the J.J. Abrams reboot; and ancillary materials such as novelizations, comic books, videogames, etc.READ the article