August 4, 2020
Highway To Hell was AC/DC's infamous last album recorded with singer Bon Scott, who died of "death by misadventure," in London in February of 1980. Scott's demise has forever secured the album's reputation as a partying primer and a bible for lethal behavior, branding the album with the fun chaos of alcoholic excess and its flip side, early death.
Author Joe Bonomo talks with us about this album, the power of adolescence, the durability of rock & roll fandom, and the transformative properties of memory. Why does Highway To Hell matter to anyone beyond non-ironic teenagers? Find out here.
July 21, 2020
From Bessie Smith and The Supremes to Joan Baez, Madonna, Beyonce, Amy Winehouse, Dolly Parton, Sleater-Kinney, Taylor Swift, and scores more, women have played an essential and undeniable role in the evolution of popular music including blues, rock and roll, country, folk, glam rock, punk, and hip hop. Today, in a world traditionally dominated by male artists, women have a stronger influence on popular music than ever before.
Editor Evelyn McDonnell talks to us about “Women Who Rock,” an all-out celebration of 104 of the greatest female musicians. McDonnell takes us into the selection process, how the book was organized, and the profiles and illustrations of the musicians, all written and composed by women writers, journalists, and artists.
July 7, 2020
During his 30 years in the photography business, Jimmy Steinfeldt has worked with everyone from Miles Davis to the Ramones. Jimmy was first published in 1985 in SPIN magazine. Rolling Stone soon followed, publishing a classic photograph of Madonna from the “Like A Virgin” tour.
Jimmy tells us about the Minneapolis music scene in the '80s, and the difference in shooting in LA, the biggest market in the world. He also takes us backstage to give us the backstory on his shoots, including Johnny Cash, Dee Dee Ramone, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and many others!
June 23, 2020
Singer, songwriter, and producer Wayne Warner details his relationship with country music’s major record labels, the common practices in making hit records, and tell us about his experiences with great artists he has worked with, including Taylor Swift and Bonnie Tyler, as well as many country legends.
But how did Nashville react to his fierce independence, and his adoption of two African American sons? A brutally honest conversation with the man whose hit, “Turbo Twang” reached the top of the country charts, gives us a look behind the curtain of Nashville's famous Music Row.
June 9, 2020
Roy Christopher traces the story of how hip-hop invented the twenty-first century and tells us how the hallmarks of hip-hop — allusion, self-reference, the use of new technologies, sampling, the cutting and splicing of language and sound — would come to define the culture of the new millennium.
Christopher takes in the ground-breaking work of DJs and MCs such as Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and Rammellzee, alongside writers like Philip K. Dick and William Gibson, and links graffiti and DIY culture to present a fascinating continuum of music of the past, present, and future— all tied to hip hop.
May 26, 2020
Take a trip back in time, as Van Morrison arrives in Boston to begin writing what would become his masterpiece, "Astral Weeks." Author Ryan Walsh joins us to unearth the album's fascinating backstory — along with the untold secrets of the time and place that birthed it.
Walsh paints an incredible picture that includes Peter Wolf (of the J. Geils Band), the "Bosstown" sound, Jonathan Richman, the Velvet Underground, and James Brown. Join us for a look into this unique history of 1968 Boston.
May 12, 2020
Ted Templeman: A Platinum Producer's Life in Music takes us into the studio during the recording sessions for some of the most talented and successful artists in rock music history, including Van Morrison, The Doobie Brothers, Aerosmith, Eric Clapton, Little Feat, Sammy Hagar, and Van Halen.
Author Greg Renoff recounts Ted's memories and the behind-the-scenes dramas and reveals the inner workings of Ted's professional and personal relationships with some of the most talented and successful artists in rock music history.
April 28, 2020
STIFF Records was a maverick of an independent label. Founded by Dave Robinson and Jake Riviera, their motto was "If It Ain't Stiff, It Ain't Worth a F*ck!" One word sums up why Stiff Records came into being: frustration. Their brash and humorous takes artwork, marketing, and the music itself changed the industry.
While Stiff tongue-in-cheek called itself "the undertakers to the industry," they would bring the world Elvis Costello, Ian Dury and The Blockheads, Nick Lowe and Madness, among many others. Author Richard Balls takes us through the story of one of the most unique and influential labels in the history of music.
April 14, 2020
In our second season opener, author Faith Pennick takes on D'Angelo's epic album Voodoo, where the singer puts his own pleasures and insecurities up front. However, the sonic expansiveness of Voodoo proved too nebulous for airplay and was nearly overshadowed by a four-minute music video featuring D'Angelo's sweat-glistened six-pack abs.
Ms. Pennick takes us deep inside the sessions, the band, the late-night listening parties and what it was about D'Angelo that "almost made black women in particular and women in general, collectively pass out."
March 31, 2020
Host SteveJ and engineer Steve Folsom fill listeners in on who they are and what they've done in past lives. This episode also expounds on AllMusicBooks.com and the creation of that website, as well as the story behind the "Deep Dive" podcast, with a little help from some of our guests.