Tuesday 11 October 2022

Book ~ "Anthems We Love: 29 Iconic Artists on the Hit Songs That Shaped Our Lives" (2022) Steve Baltin

From GoodreadsFrom U2 to Carly Simon, the Temptations to TLC, artists describe in their own words how their songs became the soundtrack of your life in this celebration of music featuring original interviews by acclaimed music journalist Steve Baltin.

Which Beach Boys’ song brings Paul McCartney to tears? What makes “Light My Fire” a rite-of-passage song for teens in every generation, according to Doors guitarist Robby Krieger? What is it about music that brings back so vividly the passion of our early loves, our deepest losses, our richest memories?

Acclaimed music journalist Steve Baltin examines twenty-nine iconic songs of modern music to ultimately answer: what transforms a song into an anthem? How did these songs become such a part of our culture? Featuring original interviews with superstar musicians like the Beach Boys, Shania Twain and Earth Wind and Fire, this book offers a detailed celebration of songwriting, fan connections, memorable live performances, and more.

A must-have anthology for music fans, Anthems We Love showcases the most beloved and popular songs of all time, including Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” the Jackson 5’s “ABC,” Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way,” and TOTO’s “Africa.” More so, it centers the artists behind these songs - and the songs that formed the soundtracks of their lives - as they share stories, for the first time, about how writing an anthem has changed their lives, those of their fans, and our world.

I like music and thought this book would be interesting ... what would be considered "anthems"?

According to the author ...
There are two essential ingredients for an anthem.  The first is timelessness.  An anthem is a song that transcends genres, generations and eras, to continually reach new fans over the decades.

The second, and more important, is universally.  The truly great songwriters have the gift of writing a song that can be penned about the most intimate detail of their life but makes the listener feel like it was written about their own story. And hearing that song takes the listener back to a specific place and time.

I was expecting the songs to come from some kind of survey or poll but they seem to be the anthems that mean something to the author himself.

Before reading each chapter, I checked out the song on Spotify ... some I'd obviously heard of but some I hadn't. Some songs I agreed could be classified as anthems like American Pie by Don McLean, One Love by Bob Marley, Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond or Rock and Roll All Nite by KISS. As much as I like Shania Twain, I don't think You're Still the One classifies as an anthem.  Nor does Sara Smile by Hall & Oates ... they have so much better songs to choose from as anthem if you were to include them.  The stories behind the songs were for the most part interesting, though, as a singer or member of a group was interviewed.

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