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Talking Heads - Once in a Lifetime: The Stories Behind Every Song Paperback – 1 Oct 2004
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About the Author
Ian Gittins has written about music and popular culture for 15 years, for publications as various as Melody Maker, Q, the Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Time Out, MTV and the New York Times. Based in London, he now contributes to the Guardian and Q. He is also the author of Bjork - Human Behaviour: The Stories Behind Every Song.
Top Customer Reviews
However, its easily the worst SBTS book I've read. There's almost no reference to band interviews or other sources to explain the songs, no new information. Instead, the author just disassembles each track and describes what we can all hear anyway. The author actually just writes his guesses at what the lyrics mean without offering any information from the band about them. For the majority, he's clearly just sat down with a pad and the song, nothing else. That's not insight, it's just opinion. And the lyrical explanations are often heftily over-analytical, as if a 'deep and meaningful' paragraph might actually look convincing if it sounds 'heavy' enough.
Stay clear - this book is 'all talking, no Heads'.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
While the color photos are nice, some of them are barely relevant (a half-page photo of the Carpenters in a Talking Heads book?). Also, the editing/proofreading could have been better. For example, on page 9 there's a photo of Jerry Harrison and David Byrne, but the label for the photo says "Chris Frantz and David Byrne." This can cause major confusion for people not too familiar with the Heads, like myself, especially when the photo is near the beginning of the book.
One last criticism has to do with the author's writing style. He seems to use unusual words and descriptions just to be different, but it comes off as pretty annoying in my opinion. On page 83, he's describing "Girlfriend Is Better" and says Tina Weymouth's bass playing "is as near to phat as it ever gets but still sounds parping and hesitant rather than enjoyably flatulent..." And I know we all like our bass playing to sound flatulent. Finally, if you've never heard of the word 'skewwhiff' before, you might wanna steer clear since Gittins uses it about 20 times in this book.