Reviews for Legends, Icons & Rebels : Music That Changed the World

Booklist Reviews 2013 November #1
*Starred Review* Wow. Just wow! This book is big in every way. Robertson, best known as a member of the Band, and his cowriters introduce the heavyweights of popular music to a new generation. Incredible thought has been put into this oversize offering, from selection of the artists to the eye-popping design and even to the quality of the paper. CDs of the artists' music are included, something books about musicians often miss. The book's art is hard to resist. Big, bold graphic portraits begin every section. A variety of illustrators have provided the pictures, and each one is so memorable you want to rip it out and frame it. (Don't do that.) Chuck Berry duckwalks on a checkerboard. Aretha sings her heart out at the piano. In a graphite image, more like a photo than a drawing, a young, beautiful Elvis, guitar in hand, eyes the reader. In a book so visually appealing, it's a treat that the words grab as much as the pictures. Though each artist gets just a two-page spread, there's such well-chosen personal and professional information, young people will come away with an understanding of each person's evolution. All of the material feels fresh, and with back matter aplenty, there are lots of ways that this could be used in schools--or kids could just kick back, read, and listen. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2014 Spring
In this oversize, weighty volume, music-industry-veteran authors offer collected anecdotal sketches, including personal memories, of twenty-seven music "risk-takers" such as Aretha Franklin, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan. Their meteoric careers, many touched by tragedy, are justly celebrated. A timeline of these artists' first recordings (1925-1968) ends the book; includes two CDs of sparkling audio quality with one iconic song by each.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 August #2
Art, factoids and personal reflections introduce 27 carefully selected and thoughtfully presented musicians, whose radical experimentation with sound and verse helped to shape the music of today. Each profile opens with a two-page spread of stunning original artwork and a recollection from lead author Robbie Robertson, who is himself an accomplished musician best known for his role with The Band. Brief snippets of biographical information follow, along with details about the artist's influence not only on music, but also on the culture of the time. This diverse selection of artists spans many decades (1925-1968) and musical genres. Though the included CDs provide only one song per artist, recommended songs for further listening are listed. Who has been chosen and who has been excluded may spark debate among music buffs, but this work is designed to pique the curiosity of young people who have not yet been exposed to these boundary-pushing innovators. Unfortunately, the lack of contemporary musicians may limit this book's initial appeal to the already music-obsessed. However, the conversational tone of the writing and visually alluring layout will quickly capture the attention of most young readers who give it a chance. A compelling introduction to the ancestors of modern popular music. (timeline, sources) (Nonfiction. 12 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 September #4

Written by the Band's Robbie Robertson, his son, and two music industry executives, this weighty tribute provides two-page biographies of 27 artists from Chuck Berry to Bob Dylan, placing each one in the context of music history. The crucial contributions of African-American musicians, both to the development of rock and roll and to the Civil Rights movement, are celebrated. "At one concert, was told he would have to perform twice: once for a white audience and another show for an all African-American audience. Sam refused." Unexpected connections in the family tree of music are traced, too. Jimi Hendrix started out touring with Little Richard; Merle Haggard was a convict in the audience when Johnny Cash performed in San Quentin. The first of each musician's two spreads features a striking, album art-style painting that evokes each star's style and genre of music (15 illustrators contribute), while the second contains the biography. Two CDs include a single hit from each musician, an impressive collection. An ideal gift for children whose parents have just discovered that they don't know who Otis Redding is. Ages 9-12. (Oct.)

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VOYA Reviews 2014 February
Veteran award-winning musician Robbie Robertson and others have created an attractive, oversized, coffee-table book covering iconic American musicians from 1925 to 1968. Career and personal highlights of twenty-seven artists from a wide variety of music genres including jazz, country, and rock-and-roll are condensed into an extremely readable format for the reader looking for a quick introduction to the "who's who" of the American music scene. Each musician's biography is lavishly illustrated with a graphic portrait rendered by a collection of illustrators. Every artist is given a two-page spread containing interesting facts and a playlist of notable songs. Gorgeous colors, cool fonts, and pop art assure readers of all ages will enjoy this entertaining book. Readers will want to pop the two accompanying CDs into a player for an auditory tour of America's musical superstars. Although this book does not include an index or bibliography, it does contain a timeline of the musicians' accomplishments. Written for the middle school to adult audience, this book's value is as a browsing selection for readers to enjoy and as an inspiration leading to further reading for more in-depth research about specific musicians.--Adrienne AmborskiThis book written about musicians from an earlier time will be entertaining to teens wanting to learn some interesting facts about classic rock and other types of music from the 1920s to 1960s. The CDs that come with the book bring the musicians to life. Bright and colorful pictures add to the reading experience. The book is great for looking, but is just a start for reports. 5Q, 3P.--Gwen Amborski, Teen Reviewer Photos. Illus. Timeline. CDs. 5Q 4P M J S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.