Looking for some new pop tomes to leaf through at your leisure? Here’s some from the last couple of months that you may have missed… 

My Name Is Prince book cover

Randee St. Nicholas – My Name Is Prince
10/10

While a number of photo books have surfaced since Prince’s death, they’ve tended to cover either the very early stages of his career or the very late years. My Name Is Prince, a compendium from long-time collaborator Randee St. Nicholas spans 25 years with the enigmatic superstar, capturing some of his most iconic moments.

From Prince and Randee’s first photoshoot together in 1991, My Name Is Prince takes in the ultra-stylised ‘Gangster Glam’ look of the Diamonds And Pearls and Love Symbol eras, the star with ex-wife Mayte, Prince with ‘Slave’ scrawled on his cheek as he battled his record label prior to the Emancipation album and looking immaculate during his record-breaking 21-night residency at London’s O2 Arena. As well as Prince’s public face, Randee’s unrivalled access also provides rare insights of the star asleep and shaving.

Beautifully presented in an oversize format, the lavish photography is complemented by Randee’s own anecdotes about her unique working relationship with Prince.

As one of the Purple One’s most celebrated collaborators, Randee’s long-awaited tome is perhaps the best photo book we will see of the much-missed performer – at least until photographer Jeff Katz raids his vaults to publish his own title.

Tim Burgess

Tim Burgess – One Two Another
8/10

It’s hard to believe that three decades have passed since The Charlatans’ breakthrough hit The Only One I Know established them as one of the defining voices of “Madchester”. To mark the milestone, frontman Tim Burgess’ third book is a collection of his lyrics from throughout that time, a selection of hits, B-sides, album cuts and collaborations, each with an explanation of who, what, or indeed where, inspired them (Tim cites Los Angeles as one of his greatest inspirations).

As well as the lyrics themselves – which take on a greater meaning and/or significance when presented in the context of the written word, stripped of musical accompaniment – the anecdotes detailing where they came from provide insight into where Tim was personally and the circumstances surrounding the band at the time as they provided an emotional outlet for him in dealing with subjects such as love, loss, grief, euphoria and nostalgia. 

As well as a trawl through three decades of The Charlatans, One Two Another throws up a few surprises with the inclusion of collaborations with dance duo The Chemical Brothers and The Libertines’ Carl Barât among others and a reminder of Burgess’ underrated solo album, 2003’s I Believe. An affirmation of the importance of song lyrics and an insight into the songwriting process, in One Two Another Burgess’ knack for telling stories shines. 

Glastonbury book cover

Michael Eavis & Emily Eavis – Glastonbury 50: The Official Story Of Glastonbury Festival
8/10

An early celebration ahead of 2020’s half-century landmark festival, Glastonbury 50 is the inside story direct from Michael and Emily Eavis along with anecdotes and recollections from countless artists who’ve graced the hallowed fields of Worthy Farm over the past decades.

Explaining how taking care of the farm was forced upon him following the death of his father, Michael’s story tells of how an epiphany at a nearby blues festival in 1969 was the inspiration for his own event. The problematic first Glastonbury Festival in 1970 is recounted in fascinating detail, with no-show headliners The Kinks replaced by T Rex, setting the stage for what has become the definitive pop cultural event.

Beautifully illustrated with posters, flyers, tickets, plans and photographs, Glastonbury 50 takes a decade-by-decade approach, recalling the highs and lows and the inside stories, not only on its memorable sets, but on the cultural impact of the festival.

From hippies to hipsters, freaks to families, Glastonbury’s evolution over the decades is illustrated in glorious detail via contributions from performers, photographers, journalists, organisers and festival-goers. A superb souvenir. 

Mark Lindores

         

 

 

 

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