What's an awesome coffee table book about a singer/band?
December 30, 2016 12:49 PM   Subscribe

What's an awesome coffee table book about a singer/band?

I'm trying to identify some best-in-class examples of this: a big, visually-rich retrospective book that's focused on just one musical artist (not a genre), ideally including lots of behind-the-scenes photos and quotes, tour ephemera, lyrics, etc., along with a decent amount of biographical text.

I'd love to hear about anything you can recommend -- thank you so much in advance.
posted by argonauta to Media & Arts (8 answers total)
David Bowie Is... the answer to your question.
posted by the return of the thin white sock at 1:11 PM on December 30, 2016 [4 favorites]

Your preference for their music aside, I really don't think you can find a better example of what you are looking for than a book called Grateful Dead: The Illustrated Trip. I have a copy and it's fantastic. The book is laid out in chronological order and lists every known concert they ever played, highlighting albums, band events, cultural events, other artists popular at the time and many other things. There are some longer essays sprinkled in about each band member and tons and tons of great photos.

I'll drop this quote from the Amazon page: "This encyclopedic book tells the real story of the band from childhood to the present day, incorporating rare photography that captures pivotal moments, both large and small. Grateful Dead: The Illustrated Trip features seminal posters, memorabilia, and ephemera; personal essays that give revealing insights into life in the band and on the road; and all the facts — biographies of the band members, all the albums and key songs, and every tour date ever played."

I frequently pick it up just to flip through it or if I'm listening to the Grateful Dead Hour and want to see if there is any information about the particular show I'm hearing. It's quite a large book in size, length, and content. Totally recommended if you're a Head and also recommended as an example of the type of book you're looking for.
posted by friendlyjuan at 1:53 PM on December 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Mark Lewisohn's The Beatles: Recording Sessions is really fascinating. It's completely focused on the recording process for each album, lots of behind-the-scenes info. It might not qualify as "visually-rich" though--there are plenty of photos but the text is the main focus.
posted by equalpants at 3:32 PM on December 30, 2016

Anton Corbijn's photography distinguishes An Ideal for Living, a biography of Joy Division.

Kurt Loder wrote great liner notes for the Verve reissues of The Velvet Underground's LPs. If they and a few photos ever appeared in book form, I'd buy it.
posted by lasagnaboy at 3:34 PM on December 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Now that I am thinking about liner notes, I ought to mention the book that accompanied the lavish Albert Ayler "Holy Ghost" box has an extensive and well-researched hardcover book, replete with photos. And nine CDs!
posted by lasagnaboy at 3:43 PM on December 30, 2016

I worked on this book about the stones and it is BEAUTIFUL
posted by greta simone at 4:03 PM on December 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

"Get in the Van" by Henry Rollins, about his time with Black Flag.
posted by jzb at 5:31 AM on December 31, 2016

The Phish Companion
posted by juliplease at 3:53 PM on January 2, 2017

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