Rock Reads

James Campion, in addition to writing numerous books on the topic of rock, also reviews others’ efforts. Categorized by major artists below.

The BeatlesThe Rolling Stones
Bob DylanMiscellany
Various Artists


Aerosmith – On Tour, 1973-85 – Julian Gill (2021)

The Beatles

John Lennon 1980: The Last Days in the Life – Kenneth Womack (2020)
Fab: The Intimate Life of Paul McCartney – Howard Sounes (2010)
Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World – Rob Sheffield (2017)
Hold On World – The Lasting Impact of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Plastic Ono Band, Fifty Years On – John Kruth (2021)
Solid State: The Story of Abbey Road and the End of the Beatles – Kenneth Womak (2019)
Top of the Mountain: The Beatles at Shea Stadium 1965 by Laurie Jacobson (2022)

Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry: An American Life – RJ Smith (2022)

David Bowie

Silhouettes and Shadows: The Secret History of David Bowie’s Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) – Adam Steiner (2023)

Bob Dylan

Hard Rain: A Bob Dylan Commentary – Tim Riley (1993)

Elton John

Me – Elton John (2019)

Scattershot – Life, Music, Elton & Me – Bernie Taupin (2023)

Elvis Presley

Dead Elvis: A Chronicle of a Cultural Obsession – Greil Marcus (1991)

Michael Jackson

On Michael Jackson – Margo Jefferson (2006)

Paul Simon

Paul Simon: The Life – Robert Hilburn (2018)

Patti Smith

Why Patti Smith Matters – Caryn Rose (2022)

Phil Spector

Pearl Jam

Long Road: Pearl Jam and the Soundtrack of a Generation by Stephen Hyden (2022)


Prince and the Parade and Sign “O” the Times Studio Sessions 1985 to 1986 – Duane Tudahl (2021)

The Beautiful Ones – Prince Rogers Nelson (2019)

This Thing Called Life: Prince’s Odyssey, On and Off Record – Neal Karlen (2020)

Bruce Springsteen
Shades of Springsteen: Politics, Love, Sports, and Masculinity – John Massaro (2021)
There Was Nothing You Could Do: Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In The U.S.A.” and the End of the Heartland – Steven Hyden (2024)


Music is History – Questlove (2021)

Rolling Stones

Parachute Women – Marianne Faithful, Marsha Hunt, Bianca Jagger Anita Pallenberg, and the Women Behind the Rolling Stones – Elizabeth Winder (2023)

Steely Dan

Nightfly: The Life of Steely Dan‘s Donald Fagan by Peter Jones (2022)


U2’s The Joshua Tree – Planting Roots in Mythic America – Bradley Morgan (2021)


Leon Russell: The Master of Space and Time’s Journey Through Rock & Roll History – Bill Janovitz (2023)
This is What it Sounds Like: What The Music You Love Says About You – Sudan Rogers and Ogi Ogas (2022)
Rock on Film: The Movies that Rocked the Big Screen – Fred Goodman (2022)
You’re with Stupid – kranky, Chicago, and the Reinvention of Indie Music – Bruce Adams (2022)

Life on Two Legs: Setting the Record Straight on Queen, The Beatles, Elton and Bowie
and the Ultimate Rock Studio, Trident
– Norman J. Sheffield (2013)

The White Label Promo Preservation Society: 100 Flop Albums You Ought to Know – Sal Maída, Mitchell Cohen & Friends (2021)

Rememberings – Sinéad O’Connor (2021)

Last Chance Texaco: Chronicles of an American Troubadour – Rickie Lee Jones (2021)

Anthem: Rush in the 70s / Limelight: Rush in The 80s – Martin Popoff (2020)

Jesusmania!: The Bootleg Superstar of Gettysburg College – Devin McKinney (2016)

Total F*cking Godhead: The Biography of Chris Cornell – Corbin Reiff (2020)

Let Love Rule – Lenny Kravitz with David Ritz (2020)

Remain in Love: Talking Heads / Tom Tom Club / Tina – Chris Frantz (2019)

There Was A Light: The Cosmic History of Chris Bell and the Rise of Big Star – Rich Tupica (2020)

C’mon, Get Happy: Fear and Loathing on the Partridge Family Bus – David Cassidy (1994)

Ted Templeman: A Platinum Producer’s Life in Music – Ted Templeman as told to Greg Renoff (2020)

Levon: From Down in the Delta to the Birth of The Band and Beyond – Sandra B. Tooze (2020)

Objects in the Mirror – Thoughts on a Perfect Life from an Imperfect Person – Stephen Kellogg (2020)

Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom – Peter Guralnick (1986)

Louie Louie: The History and Mythology of the World’s Most Famous Rock ‘n’ Roll Song – Dave Marsh (1993)

Raising Hell: Backstage Tales from the Lives of Metal Legends – Jon Wiederhorn (2020) (Reviewed by Chris Barrera)

Shake It Up: Great American Writing on Rock and Roll and Pop from Elvis to Jay Z – Edited by Jonathan Lethem and Kevin Dettmar (2017)

The 33 1/3 B-Sides: New Essays by 33 1/3 Authors on Beloved and Underrated Albums – Edited by Will Stockton and D. Gilson

Exile in Guyville (33/13 Series) – Gina Arnold (2014)

The Number Ones: Twenty Chart-Topping Hits That Reveal the History of Pop Music by Tom Breihan (2022)

Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘N’ Roll  by Peter Guralnick (2015)

Got to Be Something Here: The Rise of the Minneapolis Sound – Andrea Swensson (2017)

60 Songs That Explain the ‘90s – Rob Harvilla (2023)

Various Artists

Tearing Down the Wall of Sound: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector – Mick Brown (2008)
Lou Reed – The King of New York – Will Hermes (2023)
The Band Has No Past – How Cheap Trick Became Cheap Trick by Brian J. Kramp (2022)
Madonna: A Rebel Life – Mary Gabriel (2023)
Tonechaser – Steve Rosen (2022)
Livin’ Just to Find Emotion: Journey and the Story of American Rock – David Hamilton Golland (2024)

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