One of the defining moments of College Rock in the USA, Let It Be (and the Replacments themselves) had an enormous impact on the lives of the fans who fell under its spell. For Colin Meloy, a daydreaming adolescent in the cultural wilderness of Montana, the album was a lifeline and an inspiration. In this disarming memoir, Meloy lovingly recreates those initial years when music grips you, and never lets go. 33 1/3 is a series of short books about critically acclaimed and much-loved albums of the last 40 years. Focusing on one album rather than an artist's entire output, the books dispense with the standard biographical background that fans know already, and cut to the heart of the music on each album. The authors provide fresh, original perspectives, often through their access to and relationships with the key figures involved in the recording of these albums. By turns obsessive, passionate, creative, and informed, the books in this series demonstrate many different ways of writing about music. (A task that can be, as Elvis Costello famously observed, as tricky as dancing about architecture.)
What binds this series together, and what brings it to life, is that all of the authors - musicians, scholars, and writers - are deeply in love with the album they have chosen. Previous titles in this now well-established series have beaten sales expectations and received excellent review coverage - the third batch is sure to continue this success. More titles follow in the spring of 2005.
Colin Meloy is the lead singer and song writer for the Decemberists. Their first two albums, Castaways and Cutouts and Her Majesty the Decemberists, have been released to widespread critical acclaim. He lives in Portland, OR