Hearts of Darkness

Hearts of Darkness

James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Cat Stevens, and the Unlikely Rise of the Singer-songwriter

Book - 2012
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Hearts of Darkness is the story of a generation's coming of age through the experiences of its three most atypical pop stars. James Taylor, Jackson Browne, and Cat Stevens could never have been considered your typical late-sixties songwriters. Self-absorbed and self-composed, all three eschewed the traditional means of delivering their songs, instead turning its process inward. The result was a body of work that stands among the most profoundly personal art ever to translate into an international language, and a sequence of songs. From Sweet Baby James and Carolina in My Mind, to Jamaica Say You Will and These Days, to Peace Train and Wild World. That remain archetypes not only of what the critics called the singer-songwriter movement, but of the human condition itself.
Publisher: Milwaukee, WI : Backbeat Books, 2012
ISBN: 9781617130311
Branch Call Number: 781.64092273 T2432t 2012
Characteristics: xiv, 322 pages, [16] pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm


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Mark_Daly Aug 15, 2017

Introspective singer-songwriters were a new kind of pop performer in the 1960s, and it took the music industry several years to learn how to record, tour and promote them. The struggle makes for compulsive reading, but this book ends abruptly and too soon in 1972. Also, the narrow focus on three male performers (and their producers and sidemen) pushes the scene's important female stars into the background.

katch1126 Jul 14, 2014

I didn't find the tone condescending, but do agree the author veered off topic as if to name drop other artists. I sometimes forgot who was supposed to be the topic of the chapter.

JeremiahSutherland Jan 27, 2014

Would have been an interesting book if the author didn't constantly diverge from the stories of the 3 musicians and write about others.

If you prefer a wrapup of the music in the 60's and 70's, this is not bad.

The tone is a bit condescending.


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Mark_Daly Aug 15, 2017

Lots of currents, lots of courses, lots of little pick-up sticks, and all of them pushing pop into directions it should never have looked in.


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