Anatomy of 55 More Songs: The Oral History of 55 Hits That Changed Rock, R&B, and Soul

Grove. Dec. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9780802160201. $27. MUSIC
What do the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations,” the Temptations’ “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water,” Kenny Rogers’s “The Gambler,” and AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” have in common? Each is discussed in this collection of insightful pieces taken from and expanded upon Myers’s column in the Wall Street Journal. As he did in his 2016 book, Anatomy of a Song, Myers blends research and personal interviews with artists, songwriters, arrangers, producers, and others to create an appealing mix of pop music classics, from Dionne Warwick’s 1964 “Walk On By” to Sheryl Crow’s 1996 “If It Makes You Happy.” Each entry begins with a crisp black-and-white photo of the song’s artist, and, like an album’s liner notes, these pieces provide context and the backstory for each selected song.
VERDICT Pop-music fans of a certain age will enjoy this collection and might even use it as a playlist.
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