2022 has been a stellar year for music-related books. For much of the pandemic era( and a good chunk of this year) it looked as if the well had, if not run dry, failed to yield as it had in the past. But as the year wound toward a close, a whole bunch of books started landing on my desk. And while they’re all quite good, a few stood out.
- The first in a planned multi-volume set of books chronicling the inscrutable avant garde collective The Residents, A Sight for Sore Eyes Vol. 1 will be indispensable for aficionados of North Louisiana’s #1 Pop Combo (sic). It’s a visually stunning, deeply engaging coffee table-type book.
- I’m on record as being, let’s just say, not the world’s biggest Grateful Dead fan. But even I will bow to the herculean task that author Mark Rodriguez took on with After All is Said and Done: Taping the Grateful Dead. It’s a massive task, and he was clearly the right man for the job.
- Edoardo Genzolini emailed me many months ago to tell of a book he was writing. Was I interested in a tome focusing on The Who’s live work, from the point of view of fans? Indeed I was. And then I promptly forgot about it. I was of course reminded when a heavy package landed on my doorstep in November. The Who: Concert Memories from the Classic Years, 1964 to 1976 is is among the best books of its kind, and is recommended in the strongest terms possible.
By the way… I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you, dear reader, of my own book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave. I interviewed nearly 100 people for the book, and it’s jam-packed with history, humor and color photos. It truly does, I am told, make a great holiday gift for someone you love. As do these other titles.
Postscript: Oddly enough, in the final weeks of this year, even more books landed on my desk. There simply weren’t enough hours in the days (or days in the remaining weeks) to read them all and review them in time for review and consideration in this end-of-year roundup. But suffice to say that I very much look forward to covering Marty Perez’s book pf photography, Kill a Punk for Rock & Roll as well as the aforementioned Michael Goldberg’s latest (busy guy!) Addicted to Noise.