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Learn about different music styles and genres with our hand-picked selection of music books.

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Musical Styles & Genres

  • Stephen Fry's Incomplete and Utter History of Classical Music

    Stephen Fry and Tim Lihoreau

    Product Code: SFHM
    Hardback
    (2)
    Hand-picked favourites
    National treasure and clever clogs Stephen Fry provides a riotous, rambling and rather potted history of classical music in this must-read book.

    Covering 700 years, Stephen throws in references to pretty much anything he wants as he tells how classical music came to soundtrack the nation. Along the way, he'll mention the Mongol invasion of Russia and Genghis Khan, the Black Death and the revolutionary atmosphere of Mozart's Don Giovanni.

    Beethoven, Bach, Debussy, Wagner, Mozart... all the key players are featured in this endlessly entertaining read about classical music and so much more.
    • £1.00
    • RRP £12.99
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  • My Dearest Father

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Product Code: AZTQN
    Paperback
    'They wanted me to give a concert; I wanted them to beg me. And so they did. I gave a concert.' A selection of personal correspondence between Mozart and his most important mentor and supporter, his father. Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791). Mozart's work available in Penguin Classics is Mozart: A Life In Letters.
    • £0.89
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  • The Pop Music Pub Quiz Book

    Product Code: BZNBR
    Paperback
    The amazing book contains more than five thousand pop music pub-quiz questions at various difficulty levels, ranged from easy to medium and hard. There are themed quizzes on a huge variety of musical subjects including genre quizzes (like indie, hip hop and heavy metal), legendary artists (like Elton John, Queen and Madonna) and specialist decade quizzes, as well as pot-luck quizzes for an extra challenge. This book contains all you need for setting your own pub quizzes or brushing up on your musical knowledge for your next competition.
    • £7.19
    • RRP £7.99
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  • Another Planet

    Tracey Thorn

    Product Code: CDKNM
    Paperback
    THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER 'Tender, wise and funny' Sunday Express 'Beautifully observed, deadly funny' Max Porter Before becoming an acclaimed musician and writer, Tracey Thorn was a typical teenager: bored and cynical, despairing of her aspirational parents. Her only comfort came from house parties and the female pop icons who hinted at a new kind of living. Returning to the scene of her childhood, Thorn takes us beyond the bus shelters, the pub car parks and the weekly discos, to the parents who wanted so much for their children and the children who wanted none of it. With great wit and insight, Thorn reconsiders the Green Belt post-war dream so many artists have mocked, and yet so many artists have come from.
    • £8.99
    • RRP £9.99
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  • K-Pop: The Ultimate Fan Book

    Malcolm Croft

    Product Code: CBQFV
    Hardback
    K-Pop: The Ultimate Fan Book is your essential guide to all the bands, songs and styles behind the most diverse and exciting genre in pop music today. 2018 was a breakout year for K-Pop (Korean Pop) on the global stage, with boy-band BTS reaching number 1 in the UK album chart and selling out live shows around the world including Wembley in June 2019. But there's so much more to this cultural movement. Featuring all the hottest K-Pop bands, from BTS and Red Velvet to TWICE and EXO, K-Pop: The Ultimate Fan Book is packed with dozens of vibrant photos and a colourful, eye-catching design.
    • £7.19
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  • Last Night a Bidet Drenched My Wife

    @Trouteyes with Moose Allain

    Product Code: CDAMW
    Hardback
    'Six o'clock already I was just in the middle of a dream. I was kissing Danny DeVito by a crystal blue Italian stream.' 'I was loooking for some action and all I found were cygnets and a waterfall.' 'When I get that feeling I need saxophone cleaning.' Funny, surreal, absurd and occasionally embarrassing, everyone has a misheard lyric moment. From simple mistakes like 'If you don't Naomi by now. You will never never Naomi', to something completely off the wall 'Specs and rugs and sausage rolls, are all my mind and body needs' - these linguistic gaffes have been the source of fun ever since the dawn of popular music. Now everyone's favourite online goon - the one and only @trouteyes has amassed a heap of his own wonky earworms for our reading pleasure in this wonderful hashtag fire emoji humour book.
    • £6.29
    • RRP £6.99
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  • Ariana Grande 100% Unofficial

    Malcolm Mackenzie

    Product Code: BYYTI
    Hardback
    Ariana is not just the ponytailed princess of pop, she is one of the world's biggest stars, every album and every single she releases tops the chart, she is the number one most followed female on Instagram, a fierce advocate for women's rights, and a supporter of the LGBT+ community, she's a businesswoman, an actress, and a survivor, who puts family first, and that includes seven rescue dogs. If anyone thinks they can come for her crown, we've got three words for them , "thank you, next."
    • £7.19
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  • A Better Me

    Gary Barlow

    Product Code: BXWEX
    Paperback
    From one of the most successful British musicians and songwriters of all time, A Better Me is Gary Barlow's remarkable memoir that looks into his dark times when he hit rock bottom 15 years ago. This paperback edition adds a new chapter!

    Despite being one of the UK's most beloved pop stars, Gary Barlow has admitted in the past to being out of shape, out of work, and depressed. Faced with an underperforming solo career, tireless media taunts and other cruel twists of fate, Gary turned to food for comfort. His weight struggles continued for nine years until he eventually found the right balance.

    In this extraordinarily honest book, Gary tells the story of his journey back to professional success, as well as mental and physical health. Written with his warm personality, his honest account covers everything from his battles with demons, enduring personal tragedy, and staging one of the most thrilling comebacks in decades.
    • £7.19
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  • BTS: The Ultimate Fan Book

    Malcolm Croft

    Product Code: BXLKB
    Hardback
    BTS are much more than just a K-Pop phenomenon, they are a band acclaimed for their record-smashing, barrier-breaking, trend-setting dance-pop and hip-hop tunes and personal philosophies. BTS: The Ultimate Fan Book is the first celebration of this colourful seven-piece phenomenon from Korea, exploring in stunning technicolour detail the group's origins, members and super rise to success, beautifully accompanied by photographs celebrating the band's kaleidoscope of personalities and passions that have made them famous. BTS are more than just a boy band - they are a way of life.
    • £7.69
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  • Tina Turner: My Love Story (Official Autobiography)

    Tina Turner

    Product Code: BUPNW
    Paperback
    Tina Turner celebrates her 60th year in the rock and roll industry with this astonishing autobiography.

    She recalls a childhood spent picking cotton in Tennessee, her rise to fame alongside Ike Turner and the global success she enjoyed during the 1980s and beyond. From her darkest moments to happy times, she tells all about her personal sacrifices, tumultuous marriage to Ike and the tragic suicide of her son.

    With strength, energy, heart and soul, Tina also fondly recalls David Bowie helping to make her a star and the day that Mick Jagger ripped off her skirt.
    • £8.69
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  • Ariana

    Danny White

    Product Code: BPWYV
    Paperback
    Ariana Grande captured the hearts of a nation with her One Love Manchester concert. Less than a fortnight after a terrorist killed twenty-two people at her Manchester show, the petite princess stood tall at her tribute concert that united and healed a shaken nation. She was the emotional core of a powerful evening that reminded us all of music's redemptive power. But who is Ariana Grande? This candid book traces the US pop star's story from her childhood in Florida, through her teenage years on Broadway and Nickelodeon, and onto her gleaming pop career which has seen her described as 'the new Mariah Carey'. This unauthorized biography of the songbird tells her eventful and inspirational story in full for the first time, and shows how she became an award-winning, chart-topping pop idol, as well as an empowering inspiration for a generation of girls. It reveals that there is more to Ariana than the celebrity we all think we know, explaining how her smooth transition from a squeaky-clean teenage pop product to a sophisticated, bold artist was powered by a restless and resilient personality. A must read for all her fans, this is a full, unflinching portrait of a pop sensation and inspiring, uncompromising woman - the small, sassy girl with the ponytail who conquered the world.
    • £7.69
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  • Paul McCartney

    Philip Norman

    Product Code: AZPFJ
    Paperback
    The first biography written with Paul McCartney's approval and with access to family members and friends closest to him. Superbly evoking half a century of popular music and culture, Paul McCartney is the definitive life of a long-misunderstood genius. In this masterly biography, history's most successful songwriter, a man of seemingly effortless talent, beauty and charm, is revealed as a complex, insecure workaholic who still feels as great a need to prove himself in his seventies as when he was a teenager. We learn how his boyhood was blighted by the death of his mother, Mary - later the inspiration for 'Let It Be' - but redeemed by his remarkable father, Jim, a Liverpool cotton-salesman who was his only music-teacher and whose influence has permeated his career. We understand as never before the creative symbiosis between John Lennon and himself that unlocked the extraordinary treasury of their songs for the Beatles when they were barely into their twenties, and the fierce rivalry which lasted beyond the band's break-up to the end of John's life - and still haunts and inspires Paul to this day. Here for the first time is the full story of Paul post-Beatles: his trauma after being brutally sidelined by John, George and Ringo over the appointment of their last manager, Allen Klein; his near-breakdown on his remote Scottish farm and dogged determination to build a new band, Wings, into as big a name in the 1970s as the Beatles had been in the 1960s. Here too is the first inside story of his marriage to Linda Eastman, much criticised at the outset but destined to become the longest and strongest in rock until her death from cancer. Here are the traumatic post-Linda years when his charmed life seemed temporarily to crack up: his whirlwind romance with Heather Mills ending after four years' marriage in one of the most expensive and rancorous divorces in British legal history. As richly fascinating and dramatic as its subject, Paul McCartney: The Biography is the last word on a man whose music has lit up the world.
    • £13.49
    • RRP £14.99
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  • Where's My Guitar?

    Bernie Marsden

    Product Code: CBZIN
    Hardback
    A fascinating insight into the golden-age of 1970s and 80s rock and roll told through the eyes of music legend Bernie Marsden and, most notably, his role in establishing one of the world's most famous rock bands of all time - Whitesnake. 'Bernie Marsden is a musical treasure...I don't think people know ALL he has done and just how much he was a part of the early British rock scene to present day. It's all in here. READ THIS BOOK!' Steve Lukather, Toto Touring with AC/DC. Befriending The Beatles. Writing one of the world's most iconic rock songs. This is the story of a young boy from a small town who dreamt of one day playing the guitar for a living - and ended up a rock n' roll legend. It follows Bernie Marsden's astonishing career in the industry - from tours in Cold War Germany and Franco's Spain, to meeting and befriending George Harrison and touring Europe with AC/DC. It's a story of hard graft, of life on the road, of meeting and playing with your heroes, of writing iconic rock songs - most notably the multi-million selling hit 'Here I Go Again' - and of being in one of the biggest rock bands of all time. At age 30, Bernie left Whitesnake due to serious conflict with his management, something he explores in this memoir for the very first time. Packed with stories and encounters with the likes of Ringo Starr, Elton John, Cozy Powell, Ozzy Osborne, B.B. King and Jon Lord, this is not just a remarkable look into the highs and lows of being a true music legend, but an intimate account of the revolutionary impact rock and roll music has offered to the world.
    • £17.99
    • RRP £20.00
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  • Me

    Elton John

    Product Code: CBVIC
    Hardback
    In his first and only official autobiography, music icon Elton John reveals the truth about his extraordinary life, which is also the subject of the smash-hit film Rocketman. The result is Me - the joyously funny, honest and moving story of the most enduringly successful singer/songwriter of all time. Christened Reginald Dwight, he was a shy boy with Buddy Holly glasses who grew up in the London suburb of Pinner and dreamed of becoming a pop star. By the age of twenty-three, he was performing his first gig in America, facing an astonished audience in his bright yellow dungarees, a star-spangled T-shirt and boots with wings. Elton John had arrived and the music world would never be the same again. His life has been full of drama, from the early rejection of his work with song-writing partner Bernie Taupin to spinning out of control as a chart-topping superstar; from half-heartedly trying to drown himself in his LA swimming pool to disco-dancing with the Queen; from friendships with John Lennon, Freddie Mercury and George Michael to setting up his AIDS Foundation. All the while, Elton was hiding a drug addiction that would grip him for over a decade. In Me Elton also writes powerfully about getting clean and changing his life, about finding love with David Furnish and becoming a father. In a voice that is warm, humble and open, this is Elton on his music and his relationships, his passions and his mistakes. This is a story that will stay with you, by a living legend.
    • £22.49
    • RRP £25.00
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  • BTS: K-Pop Power

    Carlton Books

    Product Code: CAXDJ
    Hardback
    BTS is the K-pop band that has taken the world by storm! And with a brand-new album out, Map of the Soul: Persona, this is the ultimate guide for young fans - the ARMY. BTS' K-pop power is harnessed with fabulous photography, meet each band member, see their meteoric rise to fame, their style, and lots more to keep their huge army of fans entertained. Read about how they made it to the top of the world, from their first auditions to 2019's globe-spanning tour. Along the way there are in-depth profiles of each member of the band, reviews and track listings for their biggest albums, plus their most memorable quotes and hottest looks over the years. This is the ultimate guide to the world's biggest K-pop band!
    • £7.19
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  • Led Zeppelin

    Jason Draper

    Product Code: BZIUV
    Hardback
    Led Zeppelin's blend of rock and heavy metal with other genres of music such as blues, soul, folk, pop, Indian and Celtic ranks them as one of the all-time greatest bands whose influence is still felt today. Taking a chronological look at their career, this book takes the reader from the heady days in 1968 when they first brought their unique sound to a worldwide audience, through the early 1970s when they were billed as the 'biggest band in the world' and to 1980s when they became household names on both sides of the Atlantic. Led Zeppelin is part of Flame Tree's successful ongoing series, Rock Icons. Other titles in the series include David Bowie, Queen, Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash, Pink Floyd, The Beatles and Elvis.
    • £7.99
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  • Dusty

    Lucy O'Brien

    Product Code: BZBLP
    Hardback
    FULLY REVISED AND UPDATED, THE STORY OF DUSTY SPRINGFIELD TWENTY YEARS ON. `Provocative and deadly accurate' - Time Out Dusty Springfield was one of our greatest pop singers. From 60s hits like `I Only Want To Be With You', `Son of a Preacher Man' and `You Don't Have To Say You Love Me' to her 80s collaboration with the Pet Shop Boys and beyond, she was a musical pioneer and the very essence of authentic white soul. A member of the US Rock and Roll and UK Music Halls of Fame, international polls have named Dusty among the best female pop artists of all time. Twenty years after her passing, she continues to fascinate and inspire. This completely revised and updated edition of Lucy O'Brien's classic biography has new photographs, a new introduction, fresh material and over 45 original interviews with close friends and people who worked with her, including Sir Tom Jones, Lulu, legendary arranger Ivor Raymonde, and the late, great Atlantic Records trio, Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd and Arif Mardin, with whom she recorded her classic album Dusty In Memphis. The book fully explores her life and legacy, from a troubled Home Counties childhood to 60s mod queen and solo star, to her struggles with addiction and mental health issues, to her status as an influential LGBT heroine and enduring pop icon.
    • £13.59
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  • Genesis

    Stuart MacFarlane

    Product Code: BUQLC
    Paperback
    From schoolboy band to sold out stadium tours and worldwide album sales of over 100 million, Genesis were one of the defining progressive rock bands of the seventies, playing a huge part in shaping the genre. Over a career spanning forty years from formation to the world reunion tour of 2007, they developed and adapted through many personnel changes, some of which polarised their existing fans but drew countless new ones. Fifteen studio and six live albums later, including six consecutive UK number one albums, fans still live in hope of yet another reunion tour which so far hasn't been ruled out. This book will take you on a journey through their entire catalogue, taking each album in turn and examining every track. It is an anthology from the viewpoint of a lifelong fan and it is hoped that this stirs many old memories as it has done for the
    • £11.99
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  • 30-Second Rock Music

    Mike Evans

    Product Code: BRYNZ
    Hardback
    30-Second Rock Music starts with 1950s rock'n'roll (and its roots) and explores blues and folk, progressive and heavy metal, punk, indie and alt rock, profiling extraordinary bands and musicians along the way. Featuring groups as diverse as Wilco, The Killers, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Wonder and The White Stripes, this book promises rock fans the world tour of a lifetime, from Detroit to Tokyo and everywhere in between.
    • £12.39
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  • When Ziggy Played the Marquee

    Terry O'Neill

    Product Code: BKMPS
    Hardback
    When Ziggy played The Marquee Club in Soho, London, in October 1973, most of those invited to the small venue did not realise that this would be the last performance David Bowie would ever give as Ziggy Stardust. Terry O'Neill, celebrated photographer, was given unprecedented access to document the event. O'Neill captured Bowie and his crew backstage as they went through costume changes, and Bowie transformed into the character he'd soon put to rest. On stage, dodging television cameras and lights, O'Neill snapped the incredible stage presence for which Bowie and his crew had become renowned. O'Neill remembers of Bowie: "He became a character on stage. As much as a person takes a role in a play for the West End or on Broadway, learning the lines, putting on the costumes - this was, I think, the way Bowie treated his stage. This night at the Marquee, I witnessed a modern-day Hamlet - and it was Ziggy Stardust". Award-winning music writer Daniel Rachel interviews key contributors of the day, including O Neill, Ava Cherry, Amanda Lear and Geoff MacCormack along with new insights and memories from fans who were in the audience who played witness to this incredible moment.
    • £26.99
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  • Punk Rock Blitzkrieg

    Marky Ramone

    Product Code: BGJNM
    Paperback
    When punk rock reared its spiky head in the early seventies, Marc Bell had the best seat in the house. Already a young veteran of the prototype American metal band Dust, Bell took residence in artistic, seedy Lower Manhattan, where he played drums in bands that would shape rock music for decades to come, including Wayne County, who pioneered transsexual rock, and Richard Hell and the Voidoids, who directly inspired the entire early British punk scene. If punk has royalty, Marc became part of it in 1978 when he was anointed 'Marky Ramone' by Johnny, Joey, and Dee Dee of the iconoclastic Ramones. The band of tough misfits were a natural fit for Marky, who dressed punk before there was punk, and who brought with him his 'blitzkrieg' style of drumming, as well as the studio and stage experience the group needed to solidify its line-up. Together, they would change the world. From the cult film Rock 'n' Roll High School to 'I Wanna Be Sedated' to Marky's own struggles, Punk Rock Blitzkrieg is an authentic, unflinching, and always honest look at the people who reinvented rock music. And not a moment too soon.
    • £7.59
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  • Moonwalk

    Michael Jackson

    Product Code: BFZCV
    Paperback
    "Moonwalk" is the only book about his life that Michael Jackson ever wrote. It chronicles his humble beginnings in the Midwest, his early days with the Jackson 5, and his unprecedented solo success. Giving absolutely unrivalled insight into the King of Pop's life, it details his songwriting process for hits like "Beat It, Rock With You", "Billie Jean", and "We Are the World"; and describes how he developed his signature dance style, including the "Moon Walk". It also opens the door to his very private personal relationships with his family, including sister Janet, and stars like Diana Ross, Berry Gordy, Marlon Brando, Quincy Jones, Paul McCartney, and Brooke Shields. At the time of its original publication in 1988, "Moonwalk" broke the fiercely guarded barrier of silence that surrounded Michael Jackson. Candidly and courageously, Jackson talks openly about his wholly exceptional career and the crushing isolation of his fame, as well as the unfair rumors that have surrounded it. "Moonwalk" is illustrated with rare photographs from Jackson family albums and Michael's personal photographic archives, as well as a drawing done by Michael exclusively for the book. It reveals and celebrates, as no other book can, the life of this exceptional and beloved musician.
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  • Electric Light Orchestra

    John Van der Kiste

    Product Code: BDFBK
    Paperback
    ELO (The Electric Light Orchestra) were devised by Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne of The Move as a fusion of rock and contemporary classical-style music, combining orchestral instruments, guitars, keyboards and drums in the same line-up. Their aim was to continue from where The Beatles' 'I Am The Walrus' left off. After the release of their debut eponymous album in 1971 and a few live dates at home and in Europe, it became increasingly apparent that both leaders' objectives were incompatible. Wood left Lynne in charge of the group to refine their sound, and their ambitious progressive rock epics gradually giving way to a more accessible style. With keyboard player Richard Tandy and drummer Bev Bevan the only other constant members in an ever-changing line-up, by the end of the decade the group were rarely out of the British and American charts. After disbanding in 1986, ELO Part II (minus Lynne) returned for two albums, but Lynne reclaimed the name with an album in 2001 and a long-awaited reappearance as Jeff Lynne's ELO in 2014. This book provides a comprehensive examination of all the group's studio albums.
    • £16.89
    • RRP £16.99
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  • My Dearest Father

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Product Code: AZVCU
    Paperback
    'They wanted me to give a concert; I wanted them to beg me. And so they did. I gave a concert.' A selection of personal correspondence between Mozart and his most important mentor and supporter, his father. Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791). Mozart's work available in Penguin Classics is Mozart: A Life In Letters.
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