Heavy Rotation: Twenty Writers on the Albums That Changed Their Lives by Peter Terzian


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  • Pub. Date: June 2009
  • 320pp
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    • Pub. Date: June 2009
    • Publisher:HarperCollins Publishers
    • Format: Paperback, 320pp


    Colm Tóibín on Joni Mitchell • James Wood on The Who • Stacey
    D'Erasmo on Kate Bush • Daniel Handler on Eurythmics • Lisa
    Dierbeck on the Pretenders • Clifford Chase on the B-52s . . . and
    other writers on the soundtracks of their lives

    In Heavy Rotation, twenty of our most acclaimed contemporary writers pay homage to the record albums that inspired them. Benjamin Kunkel remembers how the Smiths' Queen Is Dead transformed him into an adolescent Anglophile. Pankaj Mishra describes how a bootleg cassette of ABBA's Super Trouper evoked a world far from his small Indian village. Kate Christensen relives her years as an aspiring novelist in Brooklyn listening to Rickie Lee Jones's Flying Cowboys. And Joshua Ferris recalls his head-banging passion for Pearl Jam's Ten.

    Exploring music from the Talking Heads to the Hedwig and the Angry Inch soundtrack, this extraordinary anthology is a moving, funny, uplifting, and unforgettable celebration of the unique and essential relationship between life and music.

    Publishers Weekly

    Starred Review.

    Mapping out a space between criticism and personal essay, writer and music fan Terzian has invited a double handful of contemporary writers to expound on the albums that they love. Benjamin Kunkel covers the Smiths, John Haskell discusses the Talking Heads, Joshua Ferris remembers Pearl Jam's debut, Sheila Heti considers the Annie soundtrack; their stories take readers to India, Ireland, Haiti, the Upper East Side of New York and beyond with consistently thoughtful, but wildly variant results. These love letters to albums also examine the inextricable connection between art forms; of particular note are essays by Mark Greif (Fugazi's Fugazi), Lisa Dierbeck (Pretenders' Pretenders), Asali Solomon (Gloria Estefan's Mi Tierra), Martha Southgate (The Jackson 5's Greatest Hits), Clifford Chase (The B-52's self-titled album) and editor Terzian (Miaow's Priceless Innuendo). Almost without fail, these essays exhibit a perfect blend of respect and irreverence, with an intoxicating intimacy; readers who love music will devour this collection, and beg for a second volume.
    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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    Peter Terzian has written for the New York Times, Slate, the Believer, Print, the National, Columbia Journalism Review, Bookforum, and the Los Angeles Times Book Review. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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    Great for fans of contemporary writers and/or musicby Indie_Dad

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    October 04, 2009: ...Especially for people who cherish music as an integral part of their lives. Each writer shares their experience with an artist's release in a unique and compelling way. Even if you aren't familiar with the music being discussed in each author's piece, you will enjoy how it impacted their lives. A fun read.