Monday, January 30, 2012

BC2012: Classic Rock Stories by Tim Morse

I was going to write that it is coincidental that I was reading two music-oriented books at the same time (this and Hell Bent for Leather). Then I realized there are two other music-oriented books I'm reading now, so perhaps it isn't so coincidental. Anyway, I started reading this, subtitled "The Stories Behind the Greatest Songs of All Time", to my wife the night we took Ginger to the emergency vet. I suppose classic rock is a comfortable "safe place" to withdraw to in times of stress or anxiety, and she appreciated the distraction.

Classic Rock Stories contains long quotes from songwriters, performers, producers, et al, about the songs you've heard on the radio hundreds of times. The book is fairly interesting, but it's all compiled from other sources (Morse includes a list in the back). The subjective list of the top 25 classic rock albums included at the end is rather pointless, I think, and doesn't provide any insights -- as an editor I would have cut it out. The "where are they now" section has the negative effect of showing the book's age (1998) when it also could have been left out (after all, the songs are "timeless" classics). There is quite a bit of white space throughout the book, too -- it could have been fifty pages shorter or included 75 more songs. Despite all that criticism, I didn't dislike Classic Rock Stories. I just thought there could have been more to it.

Incredibly, this is the second book I've read in January 2012 to use a cassette case motif in the cover design! (Sean and David's Long Drive was the first.)

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