2010 has been an impressive year for music fans. Well, certainly for ones with tastes similar to mine. Over the next few days I’ll be taking a look back at some of the year’s highlights in seven categories: books about music; reissue CDs; music-related DVDs; new CD releases; notable interviews; concerts; and a catch-all category that covers compilations, archival releases and previously-unissued recordings from the vaults. As with any list of this kind, these are completely subjective and reflect my personal tastes and biases.
Best of 2010: Books
Five books deserve special mention this year. Two are wistful looks at the age of the record store. James Goss’ Vinyl Lives and Record Store Days by Gary Calamar and Phil Gallo explore the rise and fall (and survival?) of the neighborhood record store from different angles. Goss’ book centers on lengthy essays with store owners, and the beautifully-designed Calamar/Gallo book includes history, interviews and more.
Chicago-based music experts Jim DeRogatis and Gary Kot wade into the debate of the ages with their coffee-table-book-with-actual-content, The Beatles vs. the Rolling Stones. Paul Myers takes a detailed and fascinating look at several elpees worth of tunes in A Wizard A True Star: Todd Rundgren in the Studio. It’s exhaustive and essential all at once, whether one is a Todd fan or (inexplicably) not. Finally, Daniel Durchholz and Gary Graff present Long May You Run: The Illustrated History. It surveys the irascible, inscrutable and iconoclastic career of Neil Young.
In my next blog post I’ll take a look at my favorite interviews of 2010.