Book Reviews

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Michael Fremer  |  Apr 14, 2022  |  21 comments
Larry Jaffee, Making Vinyl co-founder has written "Record Store Day" the authorized history of Record Store Day, better known as RSD. The book's subtitle is "The Most improbable Comeback of the 21st Century".

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 19, 2022  |  7 comments
Pushkin co-founder Malcolm Gladwell and his friend Bruce Headlam, co-founder of music podcast Broken Record (under the Pushkin umbrella, in which they share hosting with Rick Rubin), team up to converse with and attempt to “explain” Paul Simon’s genius in “Miracle and Wonder”, a lengthy, impeccably produced multi-chapter audio biography they rightly call a “book”.

Nathan Zeller  |  Dec 22, 2021  |  9 comments
“Imagine building or improving your home stereo system in a way that makes your music come alive—like the performers are right in front of you—even on a budget. It’s easier than you think.” - PS Audio

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 03, 2020  |  6 comments
While others tossed, self-described music executive, historian, collector, archivist and memorabilia dealer Jeff Gold (an accurate though woefully incomplete description, by the way) was one of those prescient individuals who, as a young man, saw the intrinsic value in most everything physical related to the wondrous post World War II growth of music both as culture and as business.

Michael Fremer  |  May 27, 2020  |  6 comments
French Record Company founder and musicologist Jean-Marc Harari, (who is also a conductor and alumnus of the Paris National Conservatory and whose initial all-analog release, the "ERC exquisite" Marcelle Meyer Plays Debussy was recently reviewed on this website), has compiled this multi-language illustrated discography covering the "golden age" of the French classical music record industry.

Malachi Lui  |  Apr 16, 2020  |  5 comments
Staffers stealing beer crates every night. £5000 in cash misplaced and incinerated by New Years’ Eve pyrotechnics. A lighting engineer stealing equipment for his own rental business. Seemingly endless tax problems.

Starting with their solicitor’s £5000 company registration fee (compared to the £175 DIY cost), Factory Records’ Manchester, England nightclub, the Haçienda, quickly became a financial black hole and later a cultural icon. Established between Factory and New Order at manager Rob Gretton’s insistence, it opened in 1982 at the corner of Whitworth Street West and Albion Street, in a former yacht warehouse. Assigned the Factory catalogue number FAC 51, it established an amalgamation of the era’s Manchester and New York’s clubs, always being too far ahead of its time. In The Hacienda: How Not To Run A Club, former Joy Division/New Order bassist (and Haçienda co-owner) Peter Hook (aka Hooky) recounts the club’s inner workings, with Andrew Holmes providing additional context blurbs between Hook’s stories.

Malachi Lui  |  Feb 26, 2020  |  21 comments
As anyone reading this likely knows, over the past 40 years, commercial audio quality tanked. Beginning with the CD’s often sterile blurriness to today’s lossy 64kbps free Spotify streams, the masses’ sacrifice of quality for convenience also coincides with the decline of deep, concentrated listening. Although the two may have nothing to do with one another (after all, work commutes lengthened and other forms of media gained prominence), it’s certainly a possibility.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 22, 2019  |  10 comments
Gideon Schwartz's "Hi-Fi" is a sumptuously produced "Coffee Table" style book published by Phaidon, a self-described publisher of "creative arts" books including art, photography architecture, food, travel and fashion.
Michael Fremer  |  Jul 09, 2017  |  4 comments
Anyone who thinks "The Summer of Love" was a media creation simply wasn't there. Like many baby boomers, Kubernik was there. Unlike many of us though, he was there with photographers Henry Diltz and Guy Webster among others, both of whom gave the rock culture chronicler access to their photos for this highly entertaining, image filled and recollection rich book.

Michael Fremer  |  May 17, 2017  |  1 comments
Wavy Gravy (A/K/A) Hugh Romney was reputed to have said “If you remember the ‘60s you weren’t there.” The same was true really of the first half of the 1970s, which played out as if it was the late ‘60s. After all, Woodstock was 1969 and one could argue that that was the year that as a cultural phenomenon “the ‘60s” both began and ended.

Well Harold Bronson, co-founder of Rhino Records was definitely there in the 1970s and he seems to remember just about everything, including date, time, place and more.

Michael Fremer  |  May 03, 2016  |  4 comments
Glyn Johns’ sprawling memoir “Sound Man” is not aimed at the general public but it surely is a must read for music lovers who care about and appreciate sound quality.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 19, 2014  |  8 comments
There’s still time to give or get for yourself one or more of these provocative and/or visually opulent books.
Michael Fremer  |  May 28, 2014  |  3 comments
The big problem with "Turn Up The Radio!" Harvey Kubernik's latest book about the L.A. music scene's "golden age" is that as you turn the pages it's almost impossible to not just want to look at the pictures.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 20, 2013  |  1 comments
While it's probably too late to order this book as a Christmas present for your vinyl and classical music loving significant other or friend, (or for yourself) since the book must be ordered from Greece, you could put an IOU in a box, wrap it nicely and your giftee will be happy to receive it.

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 29, 2013  |  23 comments
Can a recording engineer's memoir be a "real page turner" as the book trade likes to characterize a suspenseful novel? Yes, if the engineer is Ken Scott and yes if you're a true fan of the art and science of recorded music and you revel in minutiae and historical perspective that adds depth to your appreciation of your favorite records.