Black Friday Bonanza: 10 Pop Music Books From The Past Year That Serve As Perfect Stocking Stuffers
Between Jay Z and Beyonce’s On the Run Tour and the arrival of Taylor Swift’s behemoth pop album 1989, 2014 has had quite a few key music moments. And now it’s that time of year when we try to figure out sort out what to give as holiday presents. So what do you do when your favorite music fan already owns all their favorite albums or has seen more concerts than they can count?
With the end of 2014 around the corner, there are still lots of bits and bobs you can stuff stockings with. For instance, what about getting your friend a book this holiday season? To help you out, we rounded up some of the reads that might have slipped under your radar. Whether you want to read up on some music history or learn more about an iconic musician, these are some books that you might want to grab for your pop-loving best friend or maybe even for yourself.
Loving Amy: A Mother’s Story by Janis Winehouse
Amy Winehouse’s death in 2011 came so abruptly that it shocked the world. However, no one was as devastated as her family. Following the memoir written by Amy’s dad, Mitchell, in 2012, the “Back To Black” singer ‘s mother is now coming out with her own memories, experiences and feelings toward her late daughter. Including family photos and excerpts from her childhood diaries, this book shows us that Amy Winehouse wasn’t only one of the iconic voices of the 21st century but also was once a mother’s little girl.
Bastille: The Bad Blood Tour photos by Gregory Nolan
With sold out tours and enthusiastic fans singing their songs wherever they go, it’s safe to say that past year has been a whirlwind for Bastille. This stardom has been years in the making, and in the band’s new box set, photographer Gregory Nolan captures Bastille’s day-to-day actions, from the moments before they were about to release Bad Blood all the way through the band’s world tour. The photo-filled book also comes with a 12″ vinyl EP of new songs. Perfect for the ultimate fan who wants to see just what Bastille have done to get to this point but doesn’t necessarily want to read all about it.
Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!: The Story of Pop Music from Bill Haley to Beyoncé by Bob Stanley
Although people have their preconceived notions of what pop music sounds like, it does come in many different forms. And Bob Stanley from UK band Saint Etienne tracks the history of pop music by looking at individual songs, major scenes and actual bands. Examining all genres (even country and metal), Stanley gives us a history of how pop music has not only put many of us in a good mood, but also how the songs and bands we chose to put at the top of the charts was a reflection of how the world was feeling in that moment. If your friend is a big music geek, this is a great stocking stuffer.
True Love by Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez has been a regular on the screen, stage and red carpet. Behind the fame, the actress and pop star has been going through some issues that left her hurt and beaten. In her new memoir, she delves into that abuse and describes how her children were what kept her going. This book doesn’t hide much, and it shows us that even the biggest of stars can go through some tough times. True Love is great not only for JLo fans, but also for those who may be going through some issues and need a pick-me-up.
Unbreak My Heart: A Memoir by Toni Braxton
Toni Braxton was one of the biggest R&B stars in the ’90s. And although she and her family continue to stay in the spotlight, Toni hasn’t had the easiest life since those chart-topping days. Delving into everything from bankruptcy to being diagnosed with lupus, the “Unbreak My Heart” songstress sets the record straight here and talks about the importance of family. Braxton also reveals what life has been like while mothering an autistic child. For those who want to read about a star who’s gone through the ringer and still come out a stronger individual, this will indeed be a page-turner.
One Direction: Who We Are: Official Autobiography by One Direction
Like the boy bands who have preceded them, there have been countless books written about One Direction. With this one, the guys tell you in their own words what it’s been like to be a member of the world’s biggest pop band at the moment. Complete with never-before-seen photos and drawings, Harry, Liam, Niall, Louis and Zayn reveal the nerves they felt when auditioning for The X Factor as well as how they’ve grown up to become best mates. And for the uber fan, there’s also a digital audio version of the book, where you’ll get to hear the guys read the book.
Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists And The Songs That Defined the 1980sby Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein
While the ’80s didn’t necessarily produce hairstyles or clothing trends that aged well, it was the time period that gave rise to the new wave of acts that defined a generation and continues to influence new music today. Featuring interviews with Johnny Marr, Morrissey and many legends of that era, the book is a real in-depth look into the decade. For those of you of a certain age, expect to be inspired to pull out old duds you’ve got hiding in the back of your closet and rock out to your favorite MTV videos.
Dancing With Myself by Billy Idol
Speaking of the ’80s, Billy Idol was one of those hit-makers who became a style icon in his own right. Bringing UK punk to the forefront, his catchy songs and ridiculous antics on and off the stage made him a chart-topper but also a star in the tabloids. In Dancing With Myself the rocker tells what it was really like to be in his shoes — from the success to the excess.
Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You? by George Clinton
If you think some of today’s pop stars are eccentric, you need to give George Clinton a try. For decades, he’s brought his bands, Parliament and Funkadelic, all over the world to inject the funk into our lives. Usually dressed in some flashy duds that go along with his rainbow dreads, George always brought any and every crowd to their feet. And now the iconic musician has penned his story. Starting from his barbershop quartet beginnings in New Jersey, George doesn’t hold back on the details and talks about the partying, drugs and, of course, the music. After reading this book, you’ll either want to get your groove on or pour yourself a stiff one.
A Whole Lot of History by Kimberley Walsh
After the Spice Girls’ worldwide success, the UK started churning out a number of girl groups to replicate that same formula, including Girls Aloud. Although they didn’t break in the same way internationally that Geri, Mel B, Mel C, Emma and Victoria did, Girls Aloud managed to put out six Platinum albums in their home country, entered the Guinness Book of Records and even sold out their reunion tour in 2013. After going their separate ways, GA member Kimberley Walsh has written a new book that shares her experiences in the limelight. Here she touches on the feud rumors and talks about how she managed keep a romantic relationship going while she was out there being a pop star. Written like you’re talking to your BFF, this is a relaxing read for the ones who love all things girl groups and pop music.
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