Warner Music Group subsidiary Rhino, partially addressing digital music’s lack of liner notes, just launched a series of short ebooks under the imprint Single Notes.
Each $1.99 ebook focuses on a particular artist or genre, and includes art along with links to purchase relevant music. Four of the first five are about specific bands: the Beastie Boys, Chic, the Grateful Dead and Duran Duran.
The fifth one, which is available free for a limited time, is a personal perspective on a particular time in music history. In “My Life in the Ghost of Planets: The Story of a CBGB Almost-Was,” Binky Philips shares what it was like when he fronted the Planets, a band that never quite managed to surpass opening for the New York Dolls in 1970’s New York. (See the author’s video, below.)
Future stories will cover the Ramones’ collaboration with Phil Spector and the making of David Bowie’s Hunky Dory, as well as essays about Van Halen, Fleetwood Mac, Todd Rundgren, Nirvana, Rick James and the Shangri-Las.
Rhino – Single Notes
Here are descriptions provided by Rhino:
“My Life In The Ghost of Planets: The Story of a CBGB Almost-Was” by Binky Philips recounts his days of raucous fun and furious heartbreak as the guitarist/songwriter for The Planets, the semi-legendary CBGB band.
“Every Day I Take A Wee: The Beastie Boys and the Untimely Death of Suburban Folklore” by Spin senior editor Christopher R. Weingarten details how discovering the Beastie Boys at age seven led to his lifelong fascination with the tales music fans pass along like a secret handshake.
“Dark Stars and Anti-Matter: 40 Years of Loving, Leaving and Making Up with the Music of the Grateful Dead” by veteran music writer and radio show host Gene Sculatti. He looks back on his time growing up, music-obsessed, in the Bay Area and how his love of the Grateful Dead waned with the dawn of the punk era only to be rekindled later in life.
“Careless Memories of Strange Behavior: My Notorious Life as a Duran Duran Fan” by Yahoo Music managing editor Lyndsey Parker reveals how the Nagel girl’s beguiling smile on the Rio cover led to the scary extremes of her hardcore “Duranmania.”
“We Won’t Settle For Less: Chic at the End of Disco” by magazine contributor and author Michaelangelo Matos explores the immeasurable influence exerted by the unstoppable bass from Chic’s 1979 chart-topping single “Good Times.”