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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Iain Shed­den spin­doc@

It’s that time of year again when it’s worth men­tion­ing a few books and al­bums to get you through the hol­i­days — and maybe just one or two that you would do well to avoid. Start­ing with books of a mu­si­cal bent, there have been the usual num­ber of cut-and-paste bi­ogra­phies land­ing on the SD desk over the past few months, with ev­ery­one from Guns ‘n Roses to Troye Si­van get­ting a pro­file of some de­scrip­tion. John Farn­ham and Jack White have also re­ceived rudi­men­tary out­pour­ings of facts this year. How­ever, there are a few tomes that dig a lit­tle deeper and of­fer more than a chrono­log­i­cal ac­count of tours, al­bums and latenight car­ry­ings-on, and a cou­ple that doc­u­ment pe­ri­ods in music his­tory or in an artist’s life that pass muster. Of the lat­ter, Ray Con­nolly’s Be­ing Elvis: A Lonely Life, of­fers up lit­tle new in­for­ma­tion and is no match for Peter Gu­ral­nick’s de­fin­i­tive two vol­umes on the King, but he writes in a sharp jour­nal­is­tic style and, as the ti­tle sug­gests, fo­cuses un­err­ingly on the down­side of Pres­ley’s su­per­star­dom. Some­what more dis­turb­ing but also more ab­sorb­ing is a book men­tioned here a few weeks ago, When the Scream­ing Stops: The Dark His­tory of the Bay City Rollers by Si­mon Spence. Any­one who thought this boy-band pro­to­type was as clean­cut as their tar­tan-striped dun­ga­rees will be in for a shock at the ma­nip­u­la­tive and crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties be­hind the scenes of the Scot­tish band’s suc­cess, at the mercy of their un­scrupu­lous man­ager Tam Pa­ton. Top­ping my list for 2016 is Bruce Spring­steen’s au­to­bi­og­ra­phy Born to Run, a fas­ci­nat­ing in­sight On My One into the Boss’s char­ac­ter, his pas­sion and his craft as a great Amer­i­can song­writer.

Turn­ing to al­bums, it has been an­other great year for lo­cal and over­seas artists, so much so that I find it im­pos­si­ble to com­pile a de­fin­i­tive Top 10 with­out want­ing to change half of them five min­utes later. How­ever, here are 10 of those, in no par­tuclar or­der, that have en­joyed con­sis­tent play on the SD turntable (or what­ever) in 2016. 1. A Moon Shaped Pool — Ra­dio­head 2. On My One — Jake Bugg 3. Deep Dark Sav­age Heart — Melody Pool 4. Utopia De­feated — DD Dumbo 5. Lemon­ade — Bey­once 6. Civil Dusk — Bernard Fan­ning 7. Teens of De­nial — Car Seat Head­rest 8. Skele­ton Tree — Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds 9. Wil­liam Crighton — Wil­liam Crighton 10. Sch­milco — Wilco

That’s it from me for 2016. Thanks for all of the feed­back this year. I’ll be back on Jan­uary 21. Merry Christ­mas and a happy new year. theaus­tralian.com.au

Jake Bugg re­leased in June

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