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Blues & Chaos

The Music Writing of Robert Palmer

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Now in paperback, the definitive anthology from a writer who “set the standard for newspaper pop-music criticism” (The Philadelphia Inquirer), the New York Times’ first chief pop music critic and Rolling Stone contributor Robert Palmer.

Robert Palmer’s extraordinary knowledge and boundless love of music were evident in all his writing. He was an authority on rock & roll, blues, jazz, punk, avant-garde, and world music—often discovering new artists and trends years (even decades) before they hit the mainstream. Noted music writer Anthony DeCurtis has compiled the best pieces from Palmer’s oeuvre and presents them here, in one compelling volume.

A member of the elite group of the defining rock critics who emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, Palmer possessed a vision so complete that, as DeCurtis writes, “it’s almost as if, if you read Bob, you didn’t need to read anyone else.” Blues & Chaos features some of his most memorable pieces about John Lennon, Led Zeppelin, Moroccan trance music, Miles Davis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Philip Glass, and Muddy Waters. Wonderfully entertaining, infused with passion, and deeply inspiring, Blues & Chaos is a must for music fans everywhere.

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 21, 2009 – Throughout his career as a critic and journalist for the New York Times, Rolling Stone and other publications (as well as books like Deep Blues), Palmer (1945 1997) strove for a unifying perspective that could cover all strains of American music, a set of procedures that will allow us to evaluate Charles Ives and James Brown as he wrote in a seminal 1979 essay. The breadth of his journalism is outstanding: he was one of the first writers to interview Sam Phillips, the head of Elvis Presley's first music label; soon after, he was alerting Times readers to the developing world music movement, and the year after that he was hanging out in the recording studio with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. He could write reviews of comprehensive box sets or write the liner notes for them, and either way the result would be an engaging, insightful essay crammed with historical details. One key test of any retrospective anthology of this sort is whether the reviews and essays are as relevant today as when they were first published, and on that front, Palmer scores an absolute success his work, like that of Greil Marcus and Peter Guralnick, sets a standard for a critical appreciation of American culture.
Blues & Chaos
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Music
  • Published: Nov 10, 2009
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Seller: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
  • Print Length: 480 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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