33 1/3 audiobooks

We probably don’t mention it enough around here, but a number of 33 1/3s are available as audiobooks. 25 of them to be exact…

Big Star’s Radio City
REM’s Murmur
Dusty Springfield’s Dusty in Memphis
Led Zeppelin’s IV (or ‘Runes,’ or ‘Old Guy with the Sticks and What Have You’)
Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds
Pink Floyd’s Pipers at the Gates of Dawn
Flying Burrito Bros.’s Guilded Palace of Sin
Abba’s Abba Gold
Jeff Buckley’s Grace
Radiohead’s OK Computer
The Beatles’ Let It Be
Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street
Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited
David Bowie’s Low
The Kinks – Village Green Preservation Society
Love’s Forever Changes
Neil Young’s Harvest
Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Nick Drake’s Pink Moon
Nirvana’s In Utero
The Smiths’ Meat is Murder
Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life
The Velvet Underground’s Velvet Underground & Nico
Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures
u2’s Achtung Baby

You can either get these through or go to your friendly neighborhood iTunes store and search for “33 1/3” and narrow that down to audiobooks. I’ve never been much of an audiobook person since I don’t have a car and work requires me to be around talking people, but I can tear up some podcasts doing the laundry, so I’m giving it a shot and…so far so good. Like having someone read you bedtime stories, but for the laundry.

Free Stuff Alert:
The good folks at Audible are running a promotion in conjunction with Rolling Stone where you can download the 33 1/3 on Paul’s Boutique for free. So try that out if you are so inclined. [note: some people complain in the comments about having to download software to get the free audiobook, but I didn’t have this experience.] They are going to be doing another promo with the Beach Boys Pet Sounds book at some point. I’ll keep you up to date on that.

Has anybody out there listened to any 33 1/3 audiobooks? Any suggestions on the best ones to start with?

16 thoughts on “33 1/3 audiobooks”

  1. Please release the rest of the books on Audiobook!!!!Especially Dj Shadow's one.I have the beach boys Audiobook and it is Amazing, plus The Intro Music is a really nice touch.I'm looking forward to see more of the series released on AUDIBLE.

  2. Hey, it's great to see all of this commentary about the audiobook versions of the 33 1/3 titles @ Clearly, each book is unique, and has its own appeal. Nobody's going to love all of them. One man's meat is another man's murder. Wait, did I get that wrong? Anyway, thought I should clue you in that we're reaching out to the non-iPod crowd at the Zune Audiobooks page: with regular free 33 1/3 offers. Check it out.

  3. Thank You for these terrific audiobooks! I enjoyed the Paul's Boutique book so much I bought the rest of the books I hadn't read (Highway 61 Revisited, Guilded Palace of Sin, Exile On Main Street, Radio City and Songs in the Key of Life). The best books in the series that will the best transition to successful audiobooks are the ones that keep the musical terminology to a minimum. I listened to Pet Sounds as well and found that whenever a chord change in a song was mentioned, it slowed the book down considerably. On the page, it didn't have the same effect. If I recall, books like Jeff Buckley's Grace, David Bowie's Low, and The Smiths' Meat is Murder (fiction) are all light on terminology and great books to boot. In fact, you couldn't really go wrong with most of the list, except maybe OK Computer.

  4. I'm a huge audiobook fan, as a supplement to "real" books — mostly when in the car.As for this series on audio, I've only listened to a few so far and they're quite well done. The only thing that would be truly brilliant would be if actual tracks or snippets could be interspersed with the text – but licensing and royalty issues no doubt make that impossible.As for who reads, I've had fantastic experiences from the authors (John le Carre and Margaret Atwood come to mind), but sometimes the authors are just not great readers. There's some great readers out there, many stage actors who manage the nuances incredibly well.

  5. But you didn't ask did you??? You could just ask and see what happens. Both Nick Cave and Henry Rollins have published all sorts of books and/or essays on music with all different publishers too. I think both will be interested in writing something for the 33 1/3 and I think you'll be surprised how easy it is too. Go on I dare you, double dare. Why not just ask???

  6. So far all of these are read by voice actors? Professional readers? Compensated spokespeople? Not sure of the right nomenclature, but not by the authors.

  7. Let me just say that hearing my book on audiobook is one of the most crazymaking experiences of my medium-short life. If the whole rest of the 33 1/3 experience hadn't been totally worthwhile (which it was), this would have entirely justified a year's worth of research and writing. Awesome.

  8. Hey Wes,The best way to keep track of what's going on with submissions and whatnot is to subscribe to this blog in your RSS feeder. But yeah, it will probably be at least a year or two before we open the submission floodgates again. We also have a 33.3 mailing list (which has not yet been broken in). You can send an email to me at and I'll add your name to the list.As for the book/album package, we have done this before with some of the smaller record labels, but it's a bit of a hassle with the major labels. And it's not too hard to just buy both of them separately anyway. The book/album package is a great way to give a gift, though (cough, ahem…FATHER's DAY).BlackCoffeeDuck,I think it would be great to have someone like Nick Cave or Henry Rollins write/read/perform a book in the series. Unfortunately they would probably do that sort of project through their current publishers and record labels. Bummer.

  9. Thanks for audiobooks, look great!!! What about this for an idea? You ask some well-known, even famous musicians to write some books for 33 1/3 series. I know you had some musicians before but what about asking some like Nick Cave and/or Henry Rollins? Both have a long history in publication. I think sells would not be a problem too. The only thing would be seeing if both would but I think if you ask really nicely both would. If it did happen it would open the 33 1/3 series to new people/readers too. What do you think???

  10. Hey – don't worry, I just found your last call for submissions – guess you'll be looking for the next stuff at the end of 2011?I'll get my thinking cap on. Have fun til then.Wes

  11. Are there any plans to make them available in a package with the original album?I apologise for this next question as I'm sure you're asked it 10 times a day – what's the procedure for submitting a proposal for the next season? I realise you've only announced the new season's choices a few weeks ago, and am wondering if there's a mailing list or something I can go on to get a heads up when you're open for submissions next time around. Thanks for any advice you can give.

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