Every great song has a fascinating backstory. In Anatomy of a Song, based on the ongoing Wall Street Journal column, writer and music historian Marc Myers brings to life five decades of music through oral histories of forty-five transformative songs woven from interviews with the artists who created them. Bringing readers inside the making of a hit, Anatomy of a Song includes the Isley Brothers' memorable song Shout, Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love, Janis Joplin's Mercedes Benz, and R.E.M's Losing My Religion. After receiving his discharge from the army in 1968, John Fogerty does a handstand and reworks Beethoven's Fifth Symphony to come up with Proud Mary. Joni Mitchell remembers living in a cave on Crete with the mean old daddy who inspired her 1971 hit Carey. Elvis Costello talks about writing (The Angels Wanna War My) Red Shoes in ten minutes on the train to Liverpool. And Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Rod Stewart, the Clash, Jimmy Cliff, Roger Waters, Stevie Wonder, Keith Richards, Cyndi Lauper, and many other leading artists reveal the emotions, inspirations, and techniques behind their influential works. Anatomy of a Song is a love letter to the songs that have defined generations of listeners.
Marc Myers is a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal, where he writes about rock, soul, and jazz, as well as the arts. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book Why Jazz Happened, and posts daily at JazzWax.com, two-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association s award for Blog of the Year.