Robert Plant

The Voice That Sailed the Zeppelin

by Dave Thompson


A fresh look at the man whose primal howl made Led Zeppelin soar and who forged his own path after the flight was over.

With the title of his latest album, lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar, Robert Plant illustrates the dichotomy of a life lived both within the glare of the fiercest spotlight and as far from it as he could get. This dichotomy also lies at the heart of Robert Plant: The Voice That Sailed the Zeppelin (October 2014, Backbeat Books, $26.99), Dave Thompson’s engrossing study of a truly remarkable career

Thompson follows the iconic singer on two parallel track: one through his heights of fame with rock colossus Led Zeppelin, and another through his second life as a multimillion-selling solo artist., and his more idiosyncratic pursuits. Thompson details Plant’s early years as an unknown in Birmingham, England, with fresh depth and insight. He likewise tells the Zeppelin story from new and unexpected angles, focusing on Plant’s contributions to the band’s success and on the toll of that success on him as a performer and an individual.

Two years after drummer John Bonham died in 1980 and Zeppelin broke up, Plant went solo, in time becoming the only former band member to maintain an unbroken career to this day. His single-mindedness in meeting this challenge might well be his greatest personal attribute, enabling him to push forward without regard for his past or any related expectations. Thompson shows how it is Plant’s determination alone that ensured Zeppelin reunions would not become a routine part of the classic rock furniture, as he created a body of work that in so many ways artistically rivals what he recorded with the band.

Woven throughout Robert Plant: The Voice That Sailed the Zeppelin are excerpts from Thompson’s conversations with Plant’s friends and associates, including Jeff Beck, Deborah Bonham, and Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant. The book also draws upon Plant’s own music and that which surrounded him since childhood, and it delves into the mythological fascinations that have helped shape Plant’s work.

Robert Plant: The Voice That Sailed the Zeppelin is the story of the consummate rock star who is as far from that archetype as it is possible to be.

October 21, 2014
6″ x 9″
280 pages

Two 8-page photo inserts

Backbeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group


DAVETHOMPSONDave Thompson is the author of more than 100 books on television, music, and pop culture, including Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell, and Hearts of Darkness, both published by Backbeat Books and Sherlock Holmes FAQ and Doctor Who FAQ, published by Applause Books. His writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, Spin, Goldmine, MOJO, Melody Maker, and other outlets. He lives in Newark, Del.



The Room

The Definitive Guide

by Ryan Finnigan


Entertainment Weekly called it “the Citizen Kane of bad movies.” National Public Radio said it is “a cult hit so bad, it’s good.” And The Independent of London observed, “It may be sublimely rubbish, but The Room makes audiences happy.”

The Room is the biggest pop culture phenomenon of the 21st century, having become one of the most popular theatrical releases of all time, since its arrival in 2003, and The Room: The Definitive Guide by Ryan Finnigan (November 2014, Applause Books, $24.99) is the key that unlocks Tommy Wiseau’s beguiling masterpiece of so-bad-it’s-good filmmaking.

Written with both the newcomer and the repeat (and repeat and repeat) viewer in mind, The Room: The Definitive Guide explains to all how, as Finnigan puts it in his introduction, “a film that should never have been remembered became something of longevity and influence.”

Part One looks at the act of viewing The Room, interacting with and sharing the film with others, and certain viewing customs. Part Two parses the details of the film itself, focusing on key scenes and their motivations. Along the way, interviews with cast recall the making of the film and cult following that has grown around it since. Finally, Part Three attempts to understand Tommy Wiseau, with an analysis of his further work, and also looks at the international bestseller The Room inspired, The Disaster Artist by cast member Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell.

Designed and illustrated by cult film artist Mute, The Room: The Definitive Guide is as eye-catching and distinctive as the film that inspired it.

So get your tuxedo on, grab your football, have your spoons at the ready, and prepare to shout, “You’re tearing me apart, Lisa!” for the first or 1,000th time, as we enter The Room.

November 4, 2014
Paperback Original
200 pages
 x 10
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books is an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

RRyan_Finniganyan Finnigan is a writer on film specializing in cult films. He is the editor of [SIC] Blog (, a website covering independent, alternative, and cult titles. In addition, he is one half of the cult film night duo, “The Five and Dime Picture Show,” and is the joint programmer and host of their event screenings. He lives in Sheffield, England.


The Metropolitan Opera Presents:

Georges Bizet’s Carmen


A riveting story of fatal attraction between a beguiling, strong-willed gypsy and the naïve but passionate soldier who falls under her spell, Georges Bizet’s Carmen pulses with seduction, obsession, and deadly betrayal. It was reviled at its Paris premiere, where its realism and perceived amorality proved shocking, but it became one of the most popular and highly regarded operas of all time. Arguably the greatest musical product of France’s enduring fascination with Spain, Carmen features many numbers that are now almost universally familiar, including the seductive Habanera and the boastful but infectious Toreador Song.

The Metropolitan Opera Presents: Georges Bizet’s Carmen (September 2014, $18.99) is the latest in the Metropolitan Opera Presents Libretto Library Series by Amadeus Press. In this groundbreaking series, classic and well-known operas are presented in a fresh new package. Each book features the complete libretto; color image inserts from Met Opera productions, a Met Opera libretto “In Focus” feature; and official Met Opera program notes. All titles include introductions and forewords by renowned opera experts.

Don José is an idealistic young corporal in 1820s Seville when he encounters the gypsy Carmen, who is irresistible to all men, except, seemingly, José, who loves the innocent country girl Micaëla. But soon enough Carmen works her wiles on him to escape imprisonment, and a later twist of ever-looming fate forces him to completely abandon the world he knows and follow Carmen into a life of crime. When the bullfighter Escamillo wins Carmen’s affections, Don José’s explosive jealousy clashes with Carmen’s resolve to remain true to herself, leading to one of opera’s fiercest confrontations and most unforgettable conclusions.
September 16, 2014
Paperback Original
6” x 9”
168 pages
Amadeus Press is an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation

Georges Bizet’s Carmen is the fifth title in Amadeus Press’s Metropolitan Opera Presents Libretto Series, following Puccini’s Tosca, Puccini’s La Boheme, Mozart’s Così fan tutte, and Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. The next book in the series will accompany this season’s Live in HD debut of Cavalerria Rusticana/Pagliacci in early 2015.


The Composer’s Landscape

The Pianist as Explorer

Interpreting the Scores of Eight Masters

by Carol Montparker


Derived from her popular series of lecture-recitals presented by over the past several years, The Composer’s Landscape: The Pianist as Explorer – Interpreting the Scores of Eight Masters by Carol Montparker (September 2014, Amadeus Press, $29.99) features eight insightful essays on the piano repertoire, through a pianist’s eyes..

Each chapter in The Composer’s Landscape focuses on a single composer: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Chopin, and Mendelssohn. Montparker uses “landscape” as a metaphor for the score, whether it be a well-tended garden of Mozart or the thorny thickets on a Schumann page: the topographical peaks and valleys, the circuitous melodic lines, the thoroughfares where all the voices convene, and so on. The discussions include thoughtful suggestions for navigating these “landscapes,” which differ so greatly from one composer to the next, taking note of the essential technical and interpretive elements, as well as the challenges for the “explorer pianist.”

As an actively performing pianist, lecturer, teacher, music journalist, and author of six other books on music, Montparker has the experience and understanding to guide readers through these issues while elucidating the finer points. Woven into her text are excerpts from her interviews with world-renowned pianists, from Alfred Brendel to André Watts, conducted during her many years as senior editor of Clavier magazine.

Illustrated with images from original autograph manuscripts and a CD of Montparker performing selections by the featured composers, The Composer’s Landscape will inform and charm pianists and music lovers alike

September 19, 2014
Paperback Original with CD
288 pages
 x 9
Amadeus Press is an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation

About the Author:

CarolMontparker2Carol Montparker, an acclaimed author and pianist, is a Steinway Artist and an active recitalist and lecturer. Among her other books are The Blue Piano and Other Stories, A Pianist’s Landscape, and Polly and the Piano, all from Amadeus Press. Montparker’s career in music journalism includes 15 years as senior editor of Clavier magazine and pieces in the New York Times, Newsday, and many other publications. She lives in Huntington, N.Y.



Sondheim & Lloyd-Webber and The Wordsmiths

by Stephen Citron


Applause Books, America’s foremost publisher of theater and cinema books, has released two books by Stephen Citron in its Great Songwriters Series: The Wordsmiths: Oscar Hammerstein 2nd and Alan Jay Lerner and Sondheim and Lloyd-Webber: The New Musical (September 2014, Applause Books, $24.99)

Incomparable and unique in their ability to write both libretti and lyrics, Oscar Hammerstein and Alan Jay Lerner brought the musical theater to an artistic peak that remains unsurpassed. From Show Boat, Oklahoma!, and The Sound of Music to Brigadoon, My Fair Lady, and Camelot, they wrote the book and lyrics for one glittering gem after another.

Drawing on a wealth of previously unpublished manuscripts, lyrics, letters, and interviews, Stephen Citron’s dual biography, Wordsmiths, brings to life the strikingly different worlds of Hammerstein and Lerner – two remarkable artists who revolutionized musical theater. Citron’s narrative brims with fascinating stories about these two master wordsmiths, sweeping readers along Hammerstein’s roller-coaster career with its mixture of hits and flops – contrasted sharply with Lerner’s endless rewrites, eight marriages, and debilitating drug habits.

In Sondheim and Lloyd-Webber, Citron takes on two leading contributors to the lyric stage. By exploring the works of these two giants of musical theater and those of their contemporaries, Citron also simultaneously guides readers along the winding path of musical theater.

Beginning with Sondheim’s lyrics-only works West Side Story, Gypsy, and Do I Hear A Waltz? through his scores for A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park, and Into the Woods, among other classic musicals, Citron presents major milestones of musical theater, exploring the influence of the artist’s youthful training and private life upon his creative output. Lloyd-Webber’s musical contributions – from his early works The Likes of Us and Joseph to his smash hits Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cats, and The Phantom of the Opera, among others – are also thoroughly analyzed.

Wordsmiths and Sondheim and Lloyd-Webber feature chronologies that reveal the artists’ lives within the scope of world events, copious quotations from their works, and extensive bibliographies. Both are essential editions to the library of any fan of musical theater.

The Wordsmiths: 9781480386488
Sondheim and Lloyd-Webber: 9781480386495
September 23, 2014
 x 9
464 pages

Applause Theatre & Cinema Books is an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:                                                                                                                                       

Stephen Citron (1924-2013) was one of the world’s best-known musical theater historians, as well as a composer, pianist, lyricist, and lecturer. His book Songwriting is the standard reference on the subject. He also wrote acclaimed biographies, including in-depth musical analysis in such works as Noel and Cole: The Sophisticates (also available in this series from Applause Books) andJerry Herman: Poet of the Showtune.


Alan Parsons’ Art & Science of Sound Recording: The Book

by Alan Parsons and Julian Colbeck


Alan Parsons’ Art & Science of Sound Recording: The Book, is a complete rewrite and reappraisal of the award-winning video version. Alan Parsons takes the approach to sound recording to the next level as the book provides space to present more technical background information, more detailed diagrams, and more in-depth discussion on each of the twenty-four topics, from “A Brief History of Recording “ to the now-classic “Dealing with Disasters.”

“With the videos we strove to keep you visually and aurally entertained. Now, you can be reading this at home, or in a busy Starbucks, or on a plane… you can read one page at a sitting or one chapter, or just dive in here and there using the index or the glossary,” said Parsons.

Written with the DVD’s co-producer, musician, and author Julian Colbeck, ASSR: The Book offers readers a classic “big picture” view of modern recording technology in conjunction with an almost encyclopedic list of specific techniques, processes, and equipment. The Book has a logical flow of chapters, looking at how sound is created and how it behaves before moving on to the different processes of manipulating sound recordings such as EQ, reverb, delays, compression; covering how to work and record with live musicians and the art and sciences that goes into the mixing process.

For all its heft and authority – authored by a man trained at London’s famed Abbey Road studios in the 1970s – ASSR: The Book is also written in plain English and is packed with priceless anecdotes from Alan Parsons’ own career working with the Beatles, Pink Floyd, and countless others. Not just informative and packed with colorful pictures, but also highly entertaining and inspirational, ASSR: The Book is the perfect platform on which to build expertise in the art and science of sound recording.

$49.99 (US)
ISBN: 9781458443199
8.75″ x 11.25″
272 pages
Hal Leonard Books is an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group 

About the authors

Alan Parsons’ recording career got off to a great start with the Beatles when he served as their assistant engineer on Let It Be and Abbey Road. With an illustrious engineering career that included The Dark Side of the Moon, Parsons went on to become one of the most sought-after producer/engineers of the seventies and eighties, socring No. 1 hits with multiple artists. In 1976, he formed the Alan Parsons Project, enjoying multiplatinum success with hits such as “Eye in the Sky,” “Time,” and “Games People Play.” Parsons remains an active recording artist and producer to this day.

Julian Colbeck was a professional keyboardist for over twenty-five years, working with Yes/ABWH, Steve Hackett, John Miles, and his own group, Charlie. He has also authored a dozen books on music and music technology, including the groundbreaking Keyfax series, and he has written and produced numerous instructional DVDs on recording, live sound, and synthesizer technology. CEO of Keyfax NewMedia since 1994, Colbeck has most recently been on active duty with the creative and advocacy platform Musicians Guild.


Broadway Musicals: Show by Show

Eighth Edition

by Stanley Green | revised and updated by Cary Ginell


Since the first edition in 1985, Broadway Musicals: Show by Show has been Broadway’s most comprehensive and widely used reference book. This updated edition has been expanded to include many of the most important and memorable productions of American musical theater, including revivals. Chronologically arranged, beginning with The Black Crook in 1866, the eighth edition adds new entries and photos on numerous musicals from recent years, including Priscilla, Queen of the Desert; The Book of Mormon; Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark; Once; Newsies: The Musical; Annie (revival); Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella; Kinky Boots; A Night with Janis Joplin; and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.

Broadway Musicals: Show by Show, Eighth Edition (Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, September 2014, $24.99) is equal parts history, guide, fact book, and photo album of the most memorable Broadway musical productions. With its glitter, its imagination, and its rhythmic beat, the Broadway musical has become a distinctive commodity, but with theatre prices so high, theatregoers want to make sure they get what they pay for. Broadway Musicals: Show by Show offers facts, not opinion, to let readers select the right plays for them. Each entry includes a wealth of statistics, inside information, critical reception, a cast list, and pithy commentary.

Original-cast albums, concert versions of vintage shows, and opera companies adding musical theatre to their repertoires have all helped to preserve Broadway musicals through the decades. Broadway Musicals: Show by Show does its part, too. It is a mine of information for both the playgoer and the theatrical historian, and a reference no Broadway fan should be without.

September 16, 2014
Paperback Original
512 pages
 x 9
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Stanley Green (1928–1990) was a historian of the American musical theater, devoting many years to lecturing and writing on the subject. In 1967, Green wrote A Salute to the American Musical Theatre for the Manhattan School of Music, which was performed at the White House. He was the author of The World of Musical Comedy and The Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre, among other well-loved books.

 Cary Ginell is an award-winning author and music historian. He has written five books on American music and annotated dozens of CD reissues in theater, jazz, folk, and popular music, and has produced and annotated dozens of songbooks in the fields of musical theater and standards. Ginell has earned a Grammy nomination, is a four-time winner of the ARSC Award for Excellence in Music Journalism, and is a winner of the ASCAP/Deems Taylor Award. A longtime student of musical theater, he has been a theater critic in Southern California for the past 18 years. He lives in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

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