David Byrne How Music Works
The title of David Bryne’s 2012 book sure is ambitious but the Talking Heads frontman more than delivers enough for it to be justified.
Despite his decades of experience and insight, he delivers clear, concise, down-to-earth analysis of everything from the evolution of live performance to the history of recorded music, Algerian pop to the ethics of philanthropy (it even includes a16-page section on how to create a properly vibey nightclub).
Much of the book is littered with anecdotes from his own history with Talking Heads, from how they came to their iconic look and sound via his requirements for sound at their live gigs round the world. Those are welcome, enjoyable digressions that add to the overall value of the book and also paint Byre himself as a very reasonable and amiable soul.
As an insight into various different facets of music and a positive discussion on its evolution when many prefer to hark on about the good old days, How Music Works is an essential read.