Naked at the Albert Hall: The Inside Story of Singing Hardcover – 30 Apr 2015
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Smart, chatty . . . [Thorn is] a sufficiently deft writer to negotiate the populist and the high-brow . . . a thought-provoking and enjoyable read (Mail on Sunday)
Honest and compassionate (Sunday Telegraph)
If you care at all about pop music you should read both [Naked at the Albert Hall and Bedsit Disco Queen] (Sunday Herald)
Revelatory, always entertaining . . . a genuine insider's perspective . . . Thirty years of consideration went into this quietly impressive volume, and it shows (Independent)
A writer in fine voice . . . [a] cracker of a book (Scotsman)
Thorn is the perfect analyst of our reverence for and terror of singing . . .Thorn's practical, warm tone gives her a Miss Marple-like ability to appear kindly while holding mistruths up to account . . . She is best, though, as a sympathetic guide to the singers she loves (Daily Telegraph)
Tracey's characterful phrasing is as persuasive on page as it is on record (Grazia)
Gem-like confessions that make it feel like a proper discussion. I loved it (Nina Stibbe Telegraph)
A thoughtful and sensitive study of singing and her very English struggle with the embarrassment (Telegraph)
A subtle, suggestive book about performance (Keith Miller Times Literary Supplement)
Tracey Thorn, musician and author of the bestselling autobiography Bedsit Disco Queen, offers a unique insider's take on the art of singing: why and how we sing, and the voice's power to captivateSee all Product description
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and engaging book on the art of the singer. In this wonderfully easy, but illuminating read, she mixes her own experiences with those of other contemporary singers such as Alison Moyet, Green Gartside and Linda Thompson in order to explain just how difficult it is for some singers to accept the success and adulation that comes their way.
I personally found the section on "authenticity" to be extremely interesting and thought provoking. Call me stupid, but it had never really occurred
to me that for many singers it takes a great deal of thought and effort before they arrive at what we the listener comes to her as their individual "voice"; I just thought how a singer sang, however unusual, was actually just their "natural" way of singing. Wrong. For Tracey herself, Green Gartside and more obviously Kate Bush, Tom Waits, Elton John and Bryan Ferry, this is just not the case.
It was also news to me just how prevalent is the Americanisation of singers from these shores - although even I had picked up on the influences of people like Elton John and Mick Jagger.
Overall, this is a really interesting read on the difficulties, particularly for those who are not natural performers, in finding themselves with a singing voice that others love to hear. To that end it is not really a book solely about Tracey Thorne, but of the many artists we have come to think we know and love as people through their singing.
However, it's an interesting exploration of singing, even for someone (like me) who has a totally flat voice that offends my own ears!
Reading her books, I suspect she will find it strange that people can think they 'know' her from her writing (and I'm sure it is presumptuous), but she comes over as eminently likeable in both her books and leaves you wanting to read more.
A bit like her singing really!
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