Music truly is the universal language, and certain songs and artists will never truly fade from popularity. Any music fan loves learning more about their favorite stars, and about the inner workings of the music industry. To that end, there are, thankfully, plenty of well-written books by and about beloved stars. Whether you’re looking to get to know one of your favorites better or you simply want a deeper knowledge of the music scene, these new releases will get into your heart and soul and leave you with a thirst to know even more.
The Beautiful Ones
Spiegel & Grau, $30.00, 288 pages
Even legends have to start somewhere, and fans of Prince will delight in this tale of the music superstar’s origins, told through a combination of his own notes, photographs, and partially completed memoir. This book provides a truly unique glimpse into the mind of a genius. Readers will be inspired as they fall deeper in love with Prince’s music and style, and the words and pictures will help bring some closure to those still mourning the untimely death of the artist. This book is an absolute must for any diehard fans.
To Feel the Music: A Songwriter’s Mission to Save High-Quality Audio
By Neil Young
BenBella Books. $24.95, 242 pages
It’s a somewhat well-known industry secret that the quality of music we hear on CDs and through streaming services has been dramatically reduced from the original recording. And while consumers are making due with inferior sound quality, the original, high-quality recordings are left in record company vaults, where time and decay slowly destroy them. Musician Neil Young has been on a mission to create change, first through the creation of an affordable portable music player capable of handling these higher-quality originals and then through a longer campaign to create meaningful change within the music industry. This book chronicles the history and Young’s ongoing journey.
Ed Sheeran: A Biography
By Sean Smith
Diversion Books, $16.99. 320 pages
Ed Sheeran is a Grammy award-winning musician with devoted fans around the world, but he comes from surprisingly humble beginnings. This fantastic biography by Sean Smith traces Sheeran’s past, from his youngest days through his modern megastardom. Readers get to know Sheeran as a young, surprisingly shy boy who couldn’t sing for anything, and travel his road with him as he embraced music and made some key strategic decisions in his career, decisions that ultimately made him the beloved star he is today. Any fan of Sheeran will adore this book, but even non-fans will be enchanted by his journey.
Acid for the Children: A Memoir
Grand Central Publishing, $30.00, 400 pages
Flea is best known for his crazy antics performing as bassist in the popular rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, but there’s so much more to his story than that. Prior to helping form the band, Flea had a troubled childhood and years spent lost in the chaos of the 1970s and 80s L.A. music scene. Ultimately, though, his exposure to this community helped him find a higher purpose in music. Flea’s memoir introduces readers to the real Flea, providing a glimpse into an articulate and whimsical mind.
Wham!, George Michael and Me: A Memoir
By Andrew Ridgeley
Dutton, $28.00, 368 pages
Even today, years after the death of George Michael, the band Wham! is well-known and loved by many. This pop musical duo was formed by Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, who now gives readers an inside look into a lifelong friendship and an amazing musical partnership in this memoir. Ridgeley and Michael met in the 1970s at school, and the rest, as they say, is history. The two instantly became friends, and their friendship ultimately catapulted them into worldwide stardom. Readers will love getting a more intimate knowledge of this iconic friendship, as well as of the two men who made such beloved music.