Perfect Summer Reads, the stories behind the music. A selection of first class books that take you closer to the music, critically acclaimed, independently published and great value. Includes signed copies.
Thro’ My Eyes: A Memoir
Iain Matthews with Ian Clayton
Spanning a career of over 50 years of making music, this is a compelling memoir of a life on the road, in the studio and at home through the eyes of one of our most enduring singer-songwriters.
‘I value the times Iain has been my fellow traveller in music. He is one of the great folk/rock/pop singers and writers, and his life and music trajectory have both been extraordinary … and he keeps getting better.’ – Richard Thompson
First Edition Hardback and Deluxe Edition with accompanying double CD
What We Did Instead of Holidays: A History of Fairport Convention and Its Extended Folk Rock Family
In June 1968, Fairport Convention made their official album. In the next fifteen years, those founding Fairportees would form a veritable dynasty of English folk-rock. Drawing on interviews with all the musicians and key figures. Clinton Heylin has produced the definitive history of a folk-rock family in its golden era.
‘Candid, clear and cogent, presented with insight and chronologically, Clinton Heylin ties the loose threads of Fairport and its offshoots together in their own words. Diving deep beneath the surface of the music into the lives of the principals, he answers many un-asked questions.’ — Simon Nicol, Fairport Convention co-founder & longest serving member
Leave The Capital: A History of Manchester Music in 13 Recordings
A brilliant refashioning of the story of Manchester music, paying proper tribute to the pioneers of the 1960s who not only had worldwide smash hits in their own right, but built the first world-class recording facilities outside of London that later empowered a whole new generation of punk and post-punk bands to take on the world free of intervention from the capital.
‘An ambitious, engaging history of Manchester music… Hanley really gets to grips with the entire tale, and relates it to the reader with clarity, skill, wisdom and wit. All told, it might just be the definitive book on the subject.’ — Northern Soul
‘‘One of the best books on rock’n’roll I’ve ever read.’ — Mike Sweeney, BBC Radio Manchester
Trouble In Mind: Bob Dylan’s Gospel Years – What Really Happened
A Rolling Stone Book of the Year 2017. A Mojo Book of the Year 2017
In 1979 Bob Dylan shocked his fanbase when he weas baptised a Christian and took an evangelical message of armageddon and the second-coming on the road with a full gospel show and a trio gospel-tinged albums. With access to a wealth of new material, Dylan expert Clinton Heylin brings a wholesale reevaluation of this period and reminds us why this may just be the greatest creative period of Dylan’s long and eventful career.
‘For flourish, facts and transcriptions of Dylan’s religious speeches from his stages, and a fine complement to the just released recordings of Dylan’s official bootleg series, Heylin’s your man.’ – Spectator
‘Fantastically informative, detailed and readable book.’ – International Times
King of Clubs
The only insider’s account of what really went on at the world-famous Batley Variety Club, an audacious and outrageous venture by the great James Corrgian and his wife Betty. This is a story full of love, lust, voodoo, glamour and gossip, with the A-Z of the showbiz stars of the day waltzing through the doors of this enormous club in the most unlikley settings.
‘What was special about Batley was James Corrigan. He made the whole thing happen. He was special.’ – Shirley Bassey
‘Corrigan did more for night life in Great Britain than anyone. I would put him with the great showmen.’ – Danny La Rue
JUDAS!: From Forest Hills to the Free Trade Hall
In 1966 Bob Dylan and The Hawks found themselves at the epicentre of a storm of controversy. Their response? To unleash a cavalcade of ferocity from Melbourne to Manchester, from Forest Hills to the Free Trade Hall.
‘The definitive written account of Dylan’s historic and pivotal 1965-66 world tours.’ – Bobdylan.com
‘British writer-historian Heylin is perhaps the world’s authority on all things Dylan.’ – Rolling Stone
You Can Drum But You Can’t Hide
Of all the iconic musicians and scenes that emanate from Manchester, Simon Wolstencroft is the one who joins up the dots: The Smiths, The Stone Roses, The Fall and everywhere inbetween.
‘Wolstencroft’s book gives us a whole new perspective about Manchester’s music scene. A cracking read.’ — Louder Than War
‘Essential.’ — Vive le Rock!
The Big Midweek: Life Inside The Fall
Steve Hanley And Olivia Piekarski
Steve Hanley’s sublime story about his time in Britain’s most enigmatic band.
A Guardian Book of the Year, A Rough Trade Book of the Year, Reader’s Digest Music Book of the Year, A Dagsavisen Book of the Year
‘One of the more sincere and endearing band biographies available.’ – Los Angeles Review of Books
‘Whether you are a fan of the band or not, this is a fantastic rock’n’roll memoir. A wonderful reminder of what it once meant to be in a genuinely dangerous and groundbreaking group.’ – The Idler, Book of the Week
Signed First Edition Hardback
Amazon Paperback | Amazon Hardback
Anarchy in the Year Zero: The Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Class of 76
Shorltlisted for the Penderyn Music Book Prize
Definitive account of Punk’s Year Zero, 1976, a youth cultural movement that changed the country for good.
‘For those who weren’t there, but swear they were, now you are.’ – Richard Boon, former Buzzcocks manager
‘Heylin has done a masterful job of mapping the when, where and who’s who in the Pistols pied piper saga.’ – Thurston Moore, Sonic Youth
SIGNED AND NUMBERED COLLECTORS EDITION
Carpet Burns: Life With Inspiral Carpets
A magic carpet ride through the heights of Madchester and the bumpy landing on the other side.
‘A cool as f**k memoir.’ – Record Collector
‘Often witty and at times poignant, it’s a must for all Inspirals fans and devotees to popular culture of the time. (Want to know where Noel Gallagher first cut his teeth?)’ – Eartwister
Bringing It All Back Home
Our bestselling title, a breathtaking musical odyssey that reveals the secret that connects music to our heart.
‘One of the best books about popular music ever written.’ – Record Collector
‘Highly entertaining, full of wisdom and humanity.’ – Mojo
The Train of Ice and Fire: Mano Negro in Colombia
A crazy rock and roll tour, with full circus entourage, through one of the most dangerous landscapes in the world. What could possibly go wrong?
‘Maybe it was the best adventure I ever had.’ – Manu Chao
‘Any band that ever moaned about the freshness of the backstage towels should read this book. Chao is an excellent chronicler, placing us right in the thick of the action.’ – Word
Amazon Paperback | Amazon Hardback
Away From the Light of Day
Amadou and Mariam
The inside track on the Blind Couple of Mali and their spectacular rise to global success through adversity, rich in Malian colour and atmosphere.
‘It’s Amadou who narrates the bulk of the tale, explaining Malian quirks and traditions with an amusing directness, and conveying his love for Mariam with the sort of heartwarming guilelessness that has become the couple’s trademark.’ – Songlines
‘As far from Mötley Crüe’s The Dirt as music biography gets.’ – Word
Red Army Faction Blues
What connects Peter Green to the Red Army Faction? Music and politics combine to provide a prescient exploration of what unravels when youthful idealism meets the full force of the state.
‘Peter Green provides the thematic thread drawing the novel’s diverse elements into focus, as though the Green God has the answers – the code to what happened, to why the urban guerrilla youthquake all went wrong. Brilliant stuff!’ – Rock n Reel
‘A magnificent book about the messy degeneration of high ideals and good music. Skilfully and almost breathlessly, the author reveals the confused interior life of Peter Urbach, the undercover agent, as well as that of ex-Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green.’ – Morning Star
See our website for our full book list