counter create hit Blues & Chaos: The Music Writing of Robert Palmer - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

Blues & Chaos: The Music Writing of Robert Palmer

Availability: Ready to download

Palmer's extraordinary knowledge and boundless love of music were evident in all his writing. He was an authority on rock & roll, blues, jazz, punk, avant-garde, and world music -- often discovering new artists and trends years (even decades) before they hit the mainstream. Now, noted music writer Anthony DeCurtis has compiled the best pieces from Palmer's oeuvre and prese Palmer's extraordinary knowledge and boundless love of music were evident in all his writing. He was an authority on rock & roll, blues, jazz, punk, avant-garde, and world music -- often discovering new artists and trends years (even decades) before they hit the mainstream. Now, noted music writer Anthony DeCurtis has compiled the best pieces from Palmer's oeuvre and presents them here, in one compelling volume.A member of the elite group of the defining rock critics who emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, Palmer possessed a vision so complete that, as DeCurtis writes, "it's almost as if, if you read Bob, you didn't need to read anyone else." Blues & Chaos features some of his most memorable pieces, including gripping stories about John Lennon, Led Zeppelin, Moroccan trance music, Miles Davis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Philip Glass, and Muddy Waters.Wonderfully entertaining, infused with passion, and deeply inspiring, Blues & Chaos is a must for music fans everywhere. Flirtations with chaos / by Anthony DeCurtis -- The big picture : "The opinions expressed are dangerously subjective." -- The blues : "A post-Heisenberg-uncertainty-principle mojo hand" -- Jazz : "A kinetic kaleidoscope" -- The originators : "Where the hell did this man come from?" -- Soul and R&B : "It had to come from somewhere, and the church is where it all came from" -- Classic rock : "Musically, we weren't afraid to go in any direction whatsoever" -- John Lennon and Yoko Ono : "Now the music's coming through me again" -- Punk rock and beyond : "Fear and nothing" -- World music : "The world is changing and so is our music" -- Morocco : "We fell through each other, weightless, into the sky" -- On the edge : "Listen, as if a new world had suddenly opened up" -- Sonic guitar maelstrom : "All hail the overdriven amp."


Compare

Palmer's extraordinary knowledge and boundless love of music were evident in all his writing. He was an authority on rock & roll, blues, jazz, punk, avant-garde, and world music -- often discovering new artists and trends years (even decades) before they hit the mainstream. Now, noted music writer Anthony DeCurtis has compiled the best pieces from Palmer's oeuvre and prese Palmer's extraordinary knowledge and boundless love of music were evident in all his writing. He was an authority on rock & roll, blues, jazz, punk, avant-garde, and world music -- often discovering new artists and trends years (even decades) before they hit the mainstream. Now, noted music writer Anthony DeCurtis has compiled the best pieces from Palmer's oeuvre and presents them here, in one compelling volume.A member of the elite group of the defining rock critics who emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, Palmer possessed a vision so complete that, as DeCurtis writes, "it's almost as if, if you read Bob, you didn't need to read anyone else." Blues & Chaos features some of his most memorable pieces, including gripping stories about John Lennon, Led Zeppelin, Moroccan trance music, Miles Davis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Philip Glass, and Muddy Waters.Wonderfully entertaining, infused with passion, and deeply inspiring, Blues & Chaos is a must for music fans everywhere. Flirtations with chaos / by Anthony DeCurtis -- The big picture : "The opinions expressed are dangerously subjective." -- The blues : "A post-Heisenberg-uncertainty-principle mojo hand" -- Jazz : "A kinetic kaleidoscope" -- The originators : "Where the hell did this man come from?" -- Soul and R&B : "It had to come from somewhere, and the church is where it all came from" -- Classic rock : "Musically, we weren't afraid to go in any direction whatsoever" -- John Lennon and Yoko Ono : "Now the music's coming through me again" -- Punk rock and beyond : "Fear and nothing" -- World music : "The world is changing and so is our music" -- Morocco : "We fell through each other, weightless, into the sky" -- On the edge : "Listen, as if a new world had suddenly opened up" -- Sonic guitar maelstrom : "All hail the overdriven amp."

30 review for Blues & Chaos: The Music Writing of Robert Palmer

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Jackson

    I wasn't surprised that Robert Palmer - who wrote the seminal "Deep Blues" - filed insightful pieces about roots musicians like Charlie Patton, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Ray Charles, and Jerry Lee Lewis. But I had no idea that he also wrote absorbing profiles of minimalist masters LaMonte Young, Phillip Glass, and Terry Riley and insightful appreciations of avant luminaries including Yoko Ono, Ornette Coleman, Sonic Youth, and Sonny Sharrock. Erudite but always engaging, Palmer was equally a I wasn't surprised that Robert Palmer - who wrote the seminal "Deep Blues" - filed insightful pieces about roots musicians like Charlie Patton, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Ray Charles, and Jerry Lee Lewis. But I had no idea that he also wrote absorbing profiles of minimalist masters LaMonte Young, Phillip Glass, and Terry Riley and insightful appreciations of avant luminaries including Yoko Ono, Ornette Coleman, Sonic Youth, and Sonny Sharrock. Erudite but always engaging, Palmer was equally at home discussing the long-buried history of Arabic classical music, Jon Hassell's Fourth World experiments, Richard Hell's jittery punk, and Led Zeppelin's hard rock achievements. He moves effortlessly between accounts of scoring drugs with Eric Clapton circa "Layla" and perilous visits to the Master Musicians of Jajouka in the remote hills of Morocco. He even conducts the best interview I've encountered with William S. Burroughs. Reading "Blues & Chaos" led to some new discoveries (Robert Pete Williams, Pandit Pran Nath, David Hykes) and kept reminding me of the interconnectedness of traditions and styles that I've long kept quarantined from one another.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Leland

    Not every selection in this collection is worthy of 5 stars. But on the whole, this is a solid collection of Palmer's work and shows the breadth of his knowledge of Blues, Jazz and Pop music. Palmer was a great writer, with a sharp wit, and a compelling style. I was a regular reader of his Rolling Stone Magazine reviews in the 80's and always loved is acerbic criticism. At the time, I just thought he was a cool writer, but I really missed getting an appreciation of his vast understanding of musi Not every selection in this collection is worthy of 5 stars. But on the whole, this is a solid collection of Palmer's work and shows the breadth of his knowledge of Blues, Jazz and Pop music. Palmer was a great writer, with a sharp wit, and a compelling style. I was a regular reader of his Rolling Stone Magazine reviews in the 80's and always loved is acerbic criticism. At the time, I just thought he was a cool writer, but I really missed getting an appreciation of his vast understanding of music. This is the kind of book you want to read while listening to lots of different music. As I read, I found myself listening to a wide variety of music, from Mingus to John & Yoko, and I compiled a list of relatively obscure blues and jazz albums I had never heard while reading that I'm now eager to find. If you just want to read criticism, Palmer is a good start. But if you want to read critical reviews that inform and introduce you to good music and draw you into the inner worlds of the artists, there's no better than Palmer. He knew the music better than almost any other writer in this area for 30-plus years. He was mostly known for his understanding of Blues, but this collection really demonstrates how well he understood the full spectrum of 20th Century American music. His insights into the different regions of Blues (Delta, Texas, etc) are fascinating (here it really helps to have some good collections to listen to while reading), and Jazz. It all comes together with his intimate knowledge of the sounds and players in the 1960's -- The Rolling Stones, Beatles, The Band... and the powerhouses of Jazz in that time like Mingus, Ornette Coleman, etc. -- His ability to weave a tapestry that highlights the relationships between early Blues musicians and Jazz helped me greatly in understanding how rich and unique these two developments in American music were and how valuable both styles were in flavoring popular music since the 1960's. As such, Palmer is really a treasure of information for the historian -- but he writes as a critic, so his pieces are short and focused and almost always set up to drive a particular point. It's only when a reader gets the opportunity to absorb a large collection of his work, well-edited for clarity, that the real depth of his contribution comes across. My only regret is that this book doesn't come with a companion CD collection.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mk100

    This is one of the best volumes of music criticism that I have read. The breadth and depth of Palmer's knowledge, and the exceptional enthusiasm he maintains for rock, soul, R&B, rockabilly, punk, jazz, minimalist and world music is astonishing. Palmer deals with music titans whose work we all know by heart, and those who could have been contenders, but didn't get the breaks for one reason or another. Whatever the level of renown that his subjects have or don't have, he makes the reader want to This is one of the best volumes of music criticism that I have read. The breadth and depth of Palmer's knowledge, and the exceptional enthusiasm he maintains for rock, soul, R&B, rockabilly, punk, jazz, minimalist and world music is astonishing. Palmer deals with music titans whose work we all know by heart, and those who could have been contenders, but didn't get the breaks for one reason or another. Whatever the level of renown that his subjects have or don't have, he makes the reader want to dig much deeper into the music.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Norman Revill

    Reading the late American music critic/writer Robert Palmer (not to be confused with the late, great 'Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley' singer Robert Palmer) can truly help explain how the universe works. After reading 'Blues & Chaos' at last I know why I've never been much of a Bruce Springsteen fan. Sure he's an immense songwriter (but then so is Elvis Costello and I don't much care for his work either) but Bruce does nothing for me. I love rock & roll, yet 'Born To Run' has always struck me a Reading the late American music critic/writer Robert Palmer (not to be confused with the late, great 'Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley' singer Robert Palmer) can truly help explain how the universe works. After reading 'Blues & Chaos' at last I know why I've never been much of a Bruce Springsteen fan. Sure he's an immense songwriter (but then so is Elvis Costello and I don't much care for his work either) but Bruce does nothing for me. I love rock & roll, yet 'Born To Run' has always struck me as a bombastic din; a promising idea that degenerates into Meatloafian mess. Mr Palmer doesn't much care for Bruce either and now I know why. Citing Springsteen's 'Darkness On The Edge Of Town' ("universally hailed as a great rock & roll album") he ventures that "Springsteen is not rooted or even interested in the music's Southern beginnings. He seems to have been inspired by the East Coast studio rock of the early 1960's, a brand of music that had one foot, often both, in Tin Pan Alley. His guitar sound will never do and his albums are over-orchestrated in a manner more to do with grand opera than with rock & roll. His vocal style is mush-mouthed, but his self-consciously poetic lyrics - enough cause for excluding him from the rock & roll pantheon by themselves - are printed on a special album insert. Inexcusable. The rhythmic content of his music is one part rock and several parts bombast. His attitude - to so many rock critics, a paradigm of authenticity - strikes me as calculated, pretentious, only sporadically convincing. Springsteen's albums should carry a disclaimer, like the posters advertising the musical 'Beatlemania' - NOT ROCK & ROLL! AN INCREDIBLE SIMULATION!" Wow, brave stuff, honestly expressed. As a someone born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, it's hardly surprising that Bob Palmer loved rock & roll and championed its Southern roots. But in that segregated world of the 1950s, he was also one of the only white kids to show up at all the black shows, which was where he first saw Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and Solomon Burke. Palmer knew music, all music, from Bach fugues to Philip Glass, Miles Davis to the Master Musicians of Jajouka in Morocco. He listened to it all his life, thought deeply about it, where it came from, how it had evolved and met most of its more recent creators in his years writing for Rolling Stone magazine and the New York Times. He helped launch Fat Possum Records, produced albums by Junior Kimbrough and R L Burnside for the label and was a musician himself, playing clarinet and saxophone in the Insect Trust and with Ornette Coleman. As US critic David Lusterman wrote of him, his writing was "for anyone who ever wonders where music, any music, really comes from". Amen to that. On the evidence of this broad-reaching collection of his work, he's up there with Greil Marcus, Peter Guralnick and Nick Tosches as one of the great American writers about music.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    During his lifetime, I read very little of Robert Palmer's essays on popular and historic music. I regard this as a mistake. Palmer was an excellent writer... and an even more insightful storyteller. I had been allowing this book to simmer in my reading list for months... taking the book in, one essay at a time. This book is worth the read solely for the intimate stories and interviews with Ray Charles, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and (especially) the 16-page selection featuring Sam Phillips of Su During his lifetime, I read very little of Robert Palmer's essays on popular and historic music. I regard this as a mistake. Palmer was an excellent writer... and an even more insightful storyteller. I had been allowing this book to simmer in my reading list for months... taking the book in, one essay at a time. This book is worth the read solely for the intimate stories and interviews with Ray Charles, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and (especially) the 16-page selection featuring Sam Phillips of Sun Records fame... but the collection of writing about blues and jazz makes this a must-read. The only reason I gave "Blues & Chaos" 4 out of 5 stars is due to the editing. I found the section of writing on world music to be good writing but very difficult reading. And the close of the book was less dramatic than it could have been (Band of Susans? Who? Why not feature Otis Rush as the closing essay? Or even place a more intriguing section at the close to leave one final story lingering in the resonance of Palmer's body of work?). Those editing quirks aside... "Blues & Chaos" was a truly outstanding book. If you are searching to understand the story of music in North America... let these simmering essays lead you onward in your quest.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Neelakantan K.K.

    Quite an enlightening read. Palmer's myriad tastes and his expertise is just astounding. Each album and artist mentioned here is someone who should be listened to. Even if you don't agree with all of Palmer's opinions -- I personally think Springsteen is a fantastic artist, and a rock & roll star -- you will still find his writing absorbing, insightful, and likely to make you rethink your own ideas. This book has made me rethink Yoko Ono and her own music. It was actually quite startling to real Quite an enlightening read. Palmer's myriad tastes and his expertise is just astounding. Each album and artist mentioned here is someone who should be listened to. Even if you don't agree with all of Palmer's opinions -- I personally think Springsteen is a fantastic artist, and a rock & roll star -- you will still find his writing absorbing, insightful, and likely to make you rethink your own ideas. This book has made me rethink Yoko Ono and her own music. It was actually quite startling to realize that Ono has been quite influential in her own right, and perhaps the opprobrium heaped on her is quite unfair. Other than that, since this is a collection of writing, some phrases do tend to get repetitive, especially phrases like "arguably the greatest on his generation," and "most influential guitarist/composer/musician of the sixties" do crop up too often to mean anything after a point. However, the artists he's talking about are all stellar artists, and the albums he mentions should be part of everyone's collections. Definitely worth reading.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Derek

    Of all mainstream rock writers, Robert Palmer had the most wide-ranging and unerringly good taste. He wrote about a lot of great shit, but his writing itself (prose style) was not really that memorable. This is a 3 1/2 star book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Smith

    Wonderful collection of essays and insight into the history of blues and rock. Read it with your computer at hand to listen to the music he mentions to get the full experience. You will come away feeling smarter.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    palmer's writing on the blues, the stones, and john lennon make this book a worthy pick-up all on their own. one of those music critics who teaches their readers and brings music to life through prose, which is no mean feat. palmer's writing on the blues, the stones, and john lennon make this book a worthy pick-up all on their own. one of those music critics who teaches their readers and brings music to life through prose, which is no mean feat.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mike Barnett

    If you like music, especially blues and rock and roll, then you really have to read this book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Aveugle Vogel

    "behind and among the cactuses" "behind and among the cactuses"

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chip Rickard

    Interesting compilation of reviews, liner notes and articles Palmer published through his career.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Raymond Walrond

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Griffith

  15. 5 out of 5

    Paul Wilner

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bob

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hadley

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rivers

  20. 4 out of 5

    Eugene Goodale

  21. 5 out of 5

    Olav Nilsen

  22. 5 out of 5

    David Chiu

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chris Estey

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie Kelly

  25. 4 out of 5

    Steve

  26. 5 out of 5

    Johnny

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bruce

  28. 4 out of 5

    Wsickler

  29. 4 out of 5

    Hyun Rutkowski

  30. 4 out of 5

    5 Track

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.