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Off the Record: An Oral History of Popular Music [Paperback]

Joe Smith , Smith Joe/Fink Mitchell , Mitchell Fink

RRP: 17.10
Price: 16.96 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Paperback: 508 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (Oct 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446390909
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446390903
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 16 x 3 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,491,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Off the Record The legends of popular music tell their stories--in their own words--from the Big Band era's Artie Shaw to today's stars Paul Simon and Phil Collins. 200 photos. Advertising in Rolling Stone. Full description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 5 Feb 2004
By Kate Smart - Published on Amazon.com
I have owned two copies of this book - the first I lent out and did not get back. I loved it so much that I bought a second copy.
This fabulous book begins with Artie Shaw and ends with David Lee Roth and contains some of the most interesting anectodes and musical insight I have ever read. Some of the first-person narratives were hilarious - others were heart wrenching.If you love music, and the history of music, you simply must read this.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best oral history of popular music 30 Mar 2005
By S. Jacobson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have read this book at least three times and find it endlessly entertaining. It features artists and other music industry insiders from the 40's to the 80's telling their own stories in their own words. Each person is featured in a self-contained "chapter" that lasts just a couple of pages; the format lends itself to reading whenever you have a few minutes to spare. I recommend this book highly if you are interested in the subject.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read 10 Mar 2007
By Charlemange - Published on Amazon.com
I got this book a few years ago at a library sale in Hawaii. I think I paid a quarter for it. It has some really interesting little stories from many artists and people in the business like Frankie Valli, Sting, Shadow Morton, Mickie Most, and others.

The book was published in the 80's, so it's interesting to read these stories from people who have either passed on or become even more popular than ever. I liken it to a hors d'oeuvre tray of who's who in the music business.
5.0 out of 5 stars Trivia Abounds 8 Mar 2013
By Carol Haggas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Music geeks will loved getting the back story from and about their favorite stars. Nice book to dip in and out of when you're listening to some favorite songs.
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brief anecdotes, little depth 10 July 2005
By ensiform - Published on Amazon.com
This 430-page tome is a collection of brief anecdotes culled from interviews with over 200 music personalities, from Artie Shaw to David Lee Roth --- featuring huge luminaries such as Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Ben E. King, Buddy Rich, Ella Fitzgerald, Tom Jones... an impressive assemblage. However, I take issue with the authorial credit: in no sense is this a book "by" Joe Smith; his writing here consists of about eight pages in total. These are stories told to Joe Smith, which is how the credit ought to run. Why is he listed as the author? Basically, this is a vanity project: Smith was the CEO of Warner's, and who's the publisher of this book? Warner Books! What a coincidence! Sure, he made the interviews and edited them down into anecdotes, but... well, then, what did the editor, Mitchell Fink, do? Anyway, Smith's ego aside, this is an interesting enough collection to flip through. Its broad scope is, as noted, impressive, but this also works against the book, in that each interviewee's remarks are brief, three pages at the most. So unfortunately you get very little substance from each subject. As a whole, it's an adequate, skim-the-surface overview of pop music from the jazz era to the late '80s, and it gives a nice idea of how the business has changed over the decades, but --- and I say this in disappointment, not mockingly --- unfortunately the brief interviews fly by rapidly, and are ultimately forgettable.
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