Part artist confessional, part musical analysis, Anatomy of a Song ranges from the Isley Brothers' "Shout" to Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz" to R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion." After being discharged from the army in 1968, John Fogerty does a handstand and revises Beethoven's Fifth Symphony to come up with "Proud Mary." Joni Mitchell remembers living in a cave on Crete with the "mean old daddy" who inspired her 1971 hit "Carey." Elvis Costello talks about writing "(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes" in ten minutes on the train to Liverpool. Mick Jagger, Jimmy Cliff, Roger Waters, Jimmy Page, Stevie Wonder, Bonnie Raitt, and many other leading artists reveal for the first time the emotions, inspirations, and techniques behind their influential works. Covering the history of rock, R&B, country, disco, soul, reggae, and pop, Anatomy of a Song is a love letter to the songs that have defined generations of listeners.
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"Oral histories are ideal audiobook material. Jonathan Yen energetically takes the listener on a journey into Myers's list of 45 popular songs released between 1952 and 1991 that changed musical history. Yen has a verve and approachability that is reminiscent of Kasey Kasem counting down the hits. Radio play was everything! Each song is placed in its cultural and historical context, followed by interviews of key players. Yen makes it easy to make the transition from context to oral history, and he, thankfully, does not try to take on hundreds of accents. There are lots of fascinating factoids--Gladys Knight's classic began as "Midnight Train to Houston"; Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz" was a poem. It's the nature of the thing to wonder at the omissions of the Beatles, Springsteen, Queen, Dylan, and countless others. A.B. © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine"
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