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performing arts

Blues & Chaos: The Music Writing of Robert Palmer

 
 
Author
Robert Palmer. Anthony DeCurtis, ed.
Publisher Scribner  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 8.75 x 5.7 x 1.1 inches
ISBN 9781416599753
Pages/Publication Date 452/2009
Daedalus Item Code 53959
This item is not available.
Description
This anthology surveys the finest work of a writer who "set the standard for newspaper pop-music criticism" (Philadelphia Inquirer). Robert Palmer was the New York Times' first chief pop music critic as well as a regular Rolling Stone contributor. He was an authority on rock and roll, blues, jazz, punk, avant-garde, and world music—often discovering new artists and trends years or decades before they hit the mainstream—and his extraordinary knowledge and boundless love of music were evident in all of his writing. "It's almost as if, if you read Bob, you didn't need to read anyone else," notes editor Anthony DeCurtis. This book features some of Palmer's most memorable pieces about John Lennon, Led Zeppelin, Moroccan trance music, Miles Davis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Philip Glass, and Muddy Waters.

"Throughout his career as a critic and journalist for the New York Times, Rolling Stone and other publications (as well as books like Deep Blues), Palmer (1945–1997) strove for a unifying perspective that could cover all strains of American music, a set of procedures that will allow us to evaluate Charles Ives and James Brown as he wrote in a seminal 1979 essay. The breadth of his journalism is outstanding: he was one of the first writers to interview Sam Phillips, the head of Elvis Presley's first music label; soon after, he was alerting Times readers to the developing world music movement, and the year after that he was hanging out in the recording studio with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. He could write reviews of comprehensive box sets or write the liner notes for them, and either way the result would be an engaging, insightful essay crammed with historical details. One key test of any retrospective anthology of this sort is whether the reviews and essays are as relevant today as when they were first published, and on that front, Palmer scores an absolute success—his work, like that of Greil Marcus and Peter Guralnick, sets a standard for a critical appreciation of American culture."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 
 
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