It’s Global Beatles Day!

Steve Matteo, author of The Beatles’ Let It Be, is taking over the blog today to talk about the everlasting influence and wisdom of the band, this album, and the people that he met through writing his 33 1/3… The musical, cultural and historical phenomenon of the Beatles seems to know no bounds. When I began working on my 33 1/3 book on the Let It Be album back in 2002, I didn’t imagine the book would still be so relevant today. The Let It Be album was the last…

The 33 1/3 B-sides Sneak Peek!

Have you ever wondered, if given another chance to write for 33 1/3, which albums past authors would focus on the second time around? This anthology is the answer. Featuring 55 (yes, 55!) compact essays by past 33 1/3 authors, each chapter is about an album they just can’t seem get out of their heads.  The 33 1/3 B-sides is publishing on September 5th, and we’re so excited! Take a sneak peek at the table of contents below, and let us know what you think. Preface Introduction: Superfluous, Redundant, Enduring…

Tom Petty Week: Day 4 – Petty’s death and what happened next

In his final blog post of the week, Michael talks about the plans he had to interview Tom Petty, and how his book changed after Petty’s sudden death. I signed the contract to write Southern Accents in November of 2016. In early 2017 I reached out to Petty’s camp to see if he would be willing to meet with me. I waited those couple of months because I wanted to be sure of what I thought about the record. I didn’t want Petty to have an outsize influence on my…

Tom Petty Week: Day 3 – My perfect version of Southern Accents

Today, in honor of Tom Petty’s Southern Accents‘s publication date, Michael drafts up what he thinks Southern Accents should have looked like… It’s a bit of a parlor game amongst hardcore Heartbreakers fans to talk about the Southern Accents that could have been. Although I think that there would still be some significant problems with the record even if the most potent and powerful sequence of songs had been included, it’s fun to speculate, to try to make one’s own Southern Accents. Which is what I’m going to do here,…

Tom Petty Week: Day 2 – “The Image of Me” and what could have been

Day 2 of Michael Washburn’s blog takeover! Today, he talks about how the Southern Accents recording sessions “were a bit of a quagmire,” and unravels the riddle of why “The Image of Me” was never included in this album. I mentioned yesterday that Southern Accents is broken backed—it’s almost a couple of different records slammed together. This so puzzling if you look at some of the songs that were cut for the album but then sat aside. For my money many of those songs are better written—and sound better—than many…

Tom Petty Week: Day 1 – Why Southern Accents?

From today until Friday, Michael Washburn will be taking over our blog. Michael’s new 33 1/3 on Tom Petty’s Southern Accents, will be out on Thursday, April 4th, mark your calendars! In his first blog post of the week, Michael dives into why he chose Southern Accents to write about, and how this bizarre, contentious album came to be such a pivotal turning point in Tom Petty’s musical history. Southern Accents? Really? Not Damn the Torpedoes? Not Wildflowers? That was the typical response when I’d tell people which record I…

The Shangri-Las Week: Day 3 – The Freaky Side of Pop

In Ada Wolin’s third day of her blog takeover, she goes into the dark side of pop music – the frightening aspects of some of the Shangri-Las’ songs, and why spooky music is so much more alluring than bubblegum pop… In my first memory of hearing the Shangri-Las, I am in a dark car, driving through New Jersey with my parents. I have what feels like an exhaustive supply of memories like this—the trancelike state of being a kid in the backseat, very quiet but not quite asleep, bathed in…

The Shangri-Las Week: Day 2 – The Strange Afterlives of Child Musicians

This week, Ada Wolin, author of the new 33 1/3 The Shangri-Las’ Golden Hits of the Shangri-Las will be taking over our blog! Today, Ada talks about the consequences of being a child celebrity, and how she found kinship with The Shangri-Las through their parallel experiences as young artists. The notion of child celebrity was a tricky one to tackle in my book on the Shangri-Las. Technically all members were teenagers, making them, in the eyes of the music biz at least, basically adults. That’s an idea that we’re rapidly…

The Shangri-Las Week: Day 1 – How my 33 1/3 came to life

This week, Ada Wolin, author of the new 33 1/3 The Shangri-Las’ Golden Hits of the Shangri-Las will be taking over the blog! Her new book, out April 4th, dives into the popular 1960s girl-group, and their unique ability to challenge the status-quo of sticky-sweet girl groups of the time, setting the stage for the coming generation of tough women in music. When I first heard about the Under 22 Open Call, it struck me as an oddly sadistic concept. Before you accuse me of biting the hand that feeds,…