The Art of the Blues: A Visual Treasury of Black Music's Golden Age (Hardback)
  • The Art of the Blues: A Visual Treasury of Black Music's Golden Age (Hardback)
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The Art of the Blues: A Visual Treasury of Black Music's Golden Age (Hardback)

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£26.50
Hardback 224 Pages / Published: 04/11/2016
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This stunning book charts the rich history of the blues, through the dazzling array of posters, album covers, and advertisements that have shaped its identity over the past hundred years. The blues have been one of the most ubiquitous but diverse elements of American popular music at large, and the visual art associated with this unique sound has been just as varied and dynamic. There is no better guide to this fascinating graphical world than Bill Dahl a longtime music journalist and historian who has written liner notes for countless reissues of classic blues, soul, R&B, and rock albums. With his deep knowledge and incisive commentary complementing more than three hundred and fifty lavishly reproduced images the history of the blues comes musically and visually to life. What will astonish readers who thumb through these pages is the amazing range of ways that the blues have been represented whether via album covers, posters, flyers, 78 rpm labels, advertising, or other promotional materials. We see the blues as it was first visually captured in the highly colorful sheet music covers of the early twentieth century. We see striking and hard-to-find label designs from labels big (Columbia) and small (Rhumboogie). We see William Alexander's humorous artwork on postwar Miltone Records; the cherished ephemera of concert and movie posters; and Chess Records' iconic early albums designed by Don Bronstein, which would set a new standard for modern album cover design. What these images collectively portray is the evolution of a distinctively American art form. And they do so in the richest way imaginable. The result is a sumptuous book, a visual treasury as alive in spirit as the music it so vibrantly captures.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226396699
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 1497 g
Dimensions: 279 x 241 x 23 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Art of the Blues provides a fascinating visual documentation of the music industry as well as insight into American culture. It s difficult to quickly flip through this beautiful book because there are so many compelling images that deserve a closer look, whether it s a publicity portrait of a young Etta James (taken by Hollywood photographer John E. Reed) or the 78 label of Adam Bit the Apple, recorded by Big Joe Turner for Houston s Freedom Recording Co., which used the Statue of Liberty as part of its graphics.
--Bobby Reed "DownBeat ""
"The Art of the Blues will be a jewel in any blues fans library. It not only enhances the ability to understand and enjoy the music, it acts as a lavish historical document that will enrich anyone's understanding of American history and the blues place in our ever changing society.One may be tempted to buy multiple copies so the lavish images can be mounted individually for display; they're that high quality, and there are so many of them! The depth and quality of the images is almost overwhelming, providing the opportunity for discovery whether it's the initial or hundredth time the book is enjoyed."

--Mark Baier "Chicago Blues Guide "


"Art of the Blues provides a fascinating visual documentation of the music industry as well as insight into American culture. It's difficult to quickly flip through this beautiful book because there are so many compelling images that deserve a closer look, whether it's a publicity portrait of a young Etta James (taken by Hollywood photographer John E. Reed) or the 78 label of 'Adam Bit the Apple, ' recorded by Big Joe Turner for Houston's Freedom Recording Co., which used the Statue of Liberty as part of its graphics."
--Bobby Reed "DownBeat "

"The Art of the Blues will be a jewel in any blues fans library. It not only enhances the ability to understand and enjoy the music, it acts as a lavish historical document that will enrich anyone's understanding of American history and the blues place in our ever changing society.One may be tempted to buy multiple copies so the lavish images can be mounted individually for display; they're that high quality, and there are so many of them! The depth and quality of the images is almost overwhelming, providing the opportunity for discovery whether it's the initial or hundredth time the book is enjoyed."

--Mark Baier "Chicago Blues Guide "

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