Book Reviews

by Max Ink Staff Writers


Defenders Of The Faith: The Story of Judas Priest

Defenders Of The Faith: The Story of Judas Priest

The Story of Judas Priest: Defenders Of The Faith
Author: Neil Daniels
Review By Jeff Muendel
Publisher: Omnibus Press
Posted: Nov 2008
(10514) Page Views

This is a rather epic biography of the epic heavy metal band, Judas Priest. The book includes multiple interviews with people who surrounded the band over the years, beginning with blues-oriented beginnings through the height of their success in the eighties, past their eventual split, and onto their 2003 reunion. It’s thick not only with text, but also great picture sections. Each album is examined in detail for both artistic merit and recording details. At 320 pages, few stones are left unturned.

Author Neil Daniels Online
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Crossroads: The Life and Afterlife of Blues Legend Robert Johnson

Crossroads: The Life and Afterlife of Blues Legend Robert Johnson

Crossroads: The Life and Afterlife of Blues Legend Robert Johnson
Author: Tom Graves
Review By Jeff Muendel
Publisher: Demers Books
Posted: Nov 2008
(13534) Page Views

This is a small book as music biographies go, but its 124 pages are researched well. Blues musician Robert Johnson has influenced not only many blues artists to follow him, but also many rock musicians. The book tries to separate fact from legend without being clinical. Robert Johnson, legend has it, gained his guitar talent by trading his soul away to Satan at a crossroads somewhere deep in rural Mississippi. When he died at age 27 of a mysterious poisoning, many thought it was the devil returning for payment. This study of Johnson’s life debunks these myths, while emphasizing the affect he has had on modern musicians. Led Zeppelin probably owes his estate some serious cash.

Author Tom Graves Online
Website


Real Moments - Bob Dylan

Real Moments - Bob Dylan

Real Moments - Bob Dylan 1966 - 1974
Author: Barry Feinstein
Review By Jeff Muendel
Publisher: Omnibus Press
Posted: Oct 2008
(6358) Page Views

Barry Feinstein is an award winning photographer who has shot over 500 album covers for artists including Dylan, George Harrison, Gram Parsons, Eric Clapton and Janis Joplin. He has also photographed many Hollywood and political figures. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Q,  Esquire, Life, Time and Newsweek magazines. His photos of Bob Dylan, though, may be his most famous.

Dylan is a musical icon; some would say he’s overrated, others claim him is a deity. Regardless, Dylan’s image was as integral to his success as his music, and it is likely that no photographer has had greater access to Bob Dylan than Barry Feinstein. Having taken the iconic photograph that appeared on Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A-Changin’ album in 1963, Feinstein was invited to be the exclusive photographer on Dylan’s European tour of 1966 and a tour of the United States in 1974. The black-and-white photographs from these sessions and concerts, many previously unseen, are included in this oversized book. This is truly a tome, and though it is priced around $35, if you’re into Dylan, you’re going to want this. Many of the images show Dylan in private moments seemingly unaware that the camera is there at all.

Author Barry Feinstein Online


Rap-Up: The Ultimate Guide to Hip-Hop and R&B

Rap-Up: The Ultimate Guide to Hip-Hop and R&B

Ultimate Guide to Hip-Hop and R&B
Author: Devin & Cameron Lazerine
Review By Anthony Sims
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Posted: May 2008
(5505) Page Views

The founders of Rap-Up magazine, brothers Devin and Cameron Lazerine, recently held an event in NYC to celebrate their 3 year anniversary and book release. The book titled “Rap-Up: The Ultimate Guide to Hip-Hop and R&B” hit bookstores February and the brothers are considered hip-hop gods when it comes to knowing everything from A to Jay-Z. In 2006 the magazine was nominated for “Best New Consumer Publication” at the Maggie Awards and has featured artist’s such as Pharrell, T.I., Mary J. Blige and Ludacris to name a few.

The event held on April 17 featured a performance by Teyana Taylor(Star Trak/Interscope) and Keri Hilson played the MC for the event which was held at the Adidas Originals store in NYC’s trendy SOHO neighborhood. Artist’s such as Nina Sky and Kwame came out to show love and support for the two brothers who have paid there dues and managed to build a nice niche in the world of hip-hop.

Author Devin & Cameron Lazerine Online
Website


Pretty Vacant: A History of U.K. Punk -  book review by Jeff Muendel

Pretty Vacant: A History of U.K. Punk - book review by Jeff Muendel

Pretty Vacant: A History of UK Punk
Author: Phil Strongman
Review By Jeff Muendel
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Posted: Feb 2008
(5541) Page Views

Though the book’s title suggests a dedicated concentration on the British punk rock explosion, the author begins well before that detonation in 1976 and deals, quite properly, with punk’s beginnings in the United States. All roads lead to the Sex Pistols, however, as the group is quite uncontested as being the pinnacle of the U.K. punk movement, ands therefore the central focus of the book.

But “Pretty Vacant” is more than just another Sex Pistols biography. Divided into two sections, “Going Underground” and “Going Overground,” author Phil Strongman contrasts punk rock during its subversive phase with its period of world fame that came to be as The Sex Pistols became a household name. In both sections, the anti-establishment debauchery that went on around the Sex Pistols and other British punk bands is recorded in great detail. While none of the stories are shocking (it’s hard to be shocked by rock’n'roll anymore as drug-and-vomit stories have become rote in our culture), there are many fascinating, insider details of the period revealed. Strongman doesn’t rely on the shock value alone, though, and does a good job as both a legitimate storyteller and punk rock historian.

Author Phil Strongman Online

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