When we interviewed Alan Parsons last year, he asked if we could shoot a photo of him for a book for which he'd just done an interview. I happily emailed him one of the digital pictures I'd taken of him. When this book, The Art of Digital Music, came out, I saw a photo of Alan on the back that looked familiar-hey, I'd taken it! They even kindly gave Tape Op credit for the photo. The great thing is that this book is really interesting. Along with Alan, there are interviews with 55 others, each introduced in a short, two-page spread at the beginning of the book. Bob Rock, Nile Rodgers, Don Was, Bob Ezrin, Albhy Galuten, Joe Chiccarelli, and many others are interviewed, though unfortunately, so are members of Styx and Night Ranger as well. Later chapters include sections on Production, Philosophy, Business, and Future, and many varied insights are drawn from the interviews. This is a good book, as it definitely focuses more on the creative process and how computers have impacted it, though I feel the title is a bit misleading. My favorite section deals with "bad audio habits," and it's a nice little peek into the working processes and problems of others! The book also comes with a DVD, featuring interview sound bites, 25 songs, videos, samples and loops, and web links. It's a really great feature to have access to tracks by the interviewed people so you can hear what they are doing. ($27.95 MSRP; www.artofdigitalmusic.com, www.backbeatbooks.com)
Follow the Music: The Life and High Times of Elektra Records in the Great Years of American Pop Culture
by John Noll
In 1950, a nineteen-year-old college student with an interest in electronics met another student in his dorm who had a vast collection of folk records. Having not heard this kind of music before, Jac...