Considered the third volume in a roots music trilogy that began with Feels Like Going Home (1971) and Lost Highway (1979), Peter Guralnick's Sweet Soul Music stands quite sufficiently and proudly on its own. Like soul music itself (which developed somewhat independently in pockets like Memphis, Muscle Souls, and Macon), the book is episodic. Guralnick tells individual stories, patiently allowing the big picture to form as the timeline progresses. He starts with the 50's artists (Ray Charles, Sam Cooke) who fused gospel, pop, and rhythm & blues into a unique new sound, then he dwells lovingly on soul's 60's heyday (Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Stax Records). Concluding in the 70's (with Al Green) when soul gave way to funk, disco, and other synthesized forms of rhythm and blues, we are presented with as cogent a history of this essential art form as has yet been
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Sweet Soul Music
Rhythm and blues and the Southern dream of freedom.
"[Among] my all-time top favourite books."
Rob Fleming in High Fidelity
In a narrative that captures all the tumult and liberating energy of a country in division and transition, Sweet Soul Music tells the engrossing story of the birth of modern rhythm and blues. Guralnick records the rise and fall of Stax
Records - the Memphis powerhouse label that produced a string of classics from the likes of Otis Redding and Booker T. and the MGs - and the colourful lives and times of such artists as Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke, James
Brown, Solomon Burke and Al Green.
Sweet Soul Music is a fascinating account of the decade that produced some of the finest music ever by a writer who is widely regarded as the greatest contemporary chronicler of American vernacular music. It makes for essential reading.
"The best history of '60s soul music anyone has written or is likely to write, but it is much more than that." Robert Palmer, New York Times
"Buy this book! In years to come it will seem like a bargain compared with all the wonderful records which you will have to buy after reading the vivid accounts of Sweet Soul Music." Elvis Costello
"Stunning . . . panoramic . . . a heartfelt history - one of the best books ever written on American popular music." Newsweek
"No one I've read writes as well about musicians and their music as Peter Guralnick, and Sweet Soul Music is my favourite Guralnick book." Roddy Doyle
"Guralnick has written a vastly important book." Charles Shaar Murray, NMEAbout the Author:
Peter Guralnick has written extensively on American music and musicians. His books include the prize-winning two-volume Elvis Presley biography, Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love; the acclaimed trilogy on American roots music, Sweet Soul Music, Lost Highway and Feel Like Going Home; the biographical inquiry Searching for Robert Johnson; and the novel Nighthawk Blues.
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Book Description Harper & Row, 1986. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 60155140