I am a child of the 1970s and 1980s, so like most people, my musical tastes are somewhat stuck in that era. 80s British New Wave is my favorite, but my taste covers the period. For me, the fall of 2015 was a great time as publishers released four autobiographies from four of my favorite artists, all trendsetters and survivors of decades in the music industry. Why did they all have to come out at once? It’s an embarrassment of riches. They’re all on my reading list; maybe they should have a place on yours too.
Tom Jones’ autobiography, Over the Top and Back, relates the story of his Welsh upbringing and his unlikely rise to international superstar and sex symbol. In his career spanning more than six decades, he has also crossed boundaries, performing in rock, blues, country, and gospel among others. At 75 years old, he’s still a phenomenal artist.
Chrissie Hynde is one of the leading ladies of rock and roll. She is the quintessential rock chick. Whether as a solo artist or as the front woman of The Pretenders, she’s rocked for forty years. Reckless: My Life as a Pretender covers that career, in which a girl from Akron Ohio became a major player in the London rock scene.
If Chrissie Hynde is the illustration of the word “rock” in the dictionary, Grace Jones’ word would be “wild.” Model, actress, disco queen, rocker, pop star, Grace Jones doesn’t follow anybody’s rules, even her own, since the title of her autobiography is I’ll Never Write My Memoirs. She is definitely an iconoclast, and her book promises to be a wild read.