Judging by the lines I faced while shopping at Borders this weekend, books are one of the top gift items this holiday season. And what better gift for the music geek in your life than a rock biography?
This year, there have been several interesting life stories to hit the shelves. Here are three that are worth perusing as gift-giving ideas.
Neil Diamond Is Forever: The Illustrated Story of the Man and His Music
Like the artist himself, even the title of this biography is overblown. And at only 160 pages, this volume could hardly be called definitive. But author Jon Bream does a good job summarizing Diamond's continued mass appeal over that span. And with a bevy of high quality photos included within, this quick study is the perfect bathroom book for dads around the globe.
Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah: A New Biography
Author Tim Footman does a much more thorough job on his subject matter, the mercurial singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen. Plus, Footman strikes the perfect balance between fan and critic, poking fun at Cohen's obsessive lyrical perfectionism while admitting that the man's not a gifted musician. Seeing that Cohen has recently asked everyone to stop covering the song which gives this book its title, I give Footman's bio bonus points for sheer chutzpah.
Bowie: A Biography
Marc Spitz has no qualms about gushing over David Bowie. Indeed, the author (who had no direct contact with the legendary rocker) goes out of his way to defend every musical direction the Thin White Duke ever attempted. Even the misguided attempt to form a rock band (the forgettable Tin Machine) is treated as just another expression of Bowie's genius. Although hyperbolic, the writing makes this bio well worth a read as Spitz' presentation of Bowie's ever-changing musical personas make the 448 pages fly by with surprising quickness.