Isle of Noises

Isle of Noises : Conversations with great British songwriters

4.2 (82 ratings by Goodreads)
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Isle of Noises features brand-new, exclusive, in-depth conversations with twenty-seven of the UK's greatest living musicians. Artists discuss their individual approach to writing, the inspiration behind their most successful songs, and the techniques and methods they have independently developed. It is an incredible musical journey spanning fifty years, from `Waterloo Sunset' by Ray Davies to `The Beast' by Laura Marling, with many lyrical and melodic secrets revealed along the way.

Original handwritten lyrics from personal archives and notebooks (many never-before-seen) offer a unique glimpse into the heart of the creative process, and some of the greatest names in photography, including Jill Furmanovsky, Pennie Smith and Sheila Rock, have contributed stunning portraits of each artist.

The combination of individual personal insights and the breadth and depth of knowledge in their collected experience makes Isle of Noises the essential word on classic British songwriting - as told by the songwriters themselves.

A great set of questions. I'm proud to be part of this project. Ray Davies

I was astounded by Daniel's knowledge and even after all these years to be asked original questions that surprise you was very impressive. Robin Gibb

I know you've had glowing reports from others - it's really interesting how you did it. Jimmy Page

I've always been very wary about analysing songwriting. It's always been a mystery to me where ideas come from. Bryan Ferry

I enjoyed the conversation very much. What did the guys have to say? Joan Armatrading

Really good questions. It's nice to speak to someone with some musical knowledge who's smart. That's unusual. Sting

I want to read what Ray Davies said; a hero of mine. Andy Partridge

One of the best and most challenging interviews I've ever done. Great. Glenn Tilbrook

What you're doing's great and very important. The questions are brilliant, really interesting . . . sometimes you know straightaway if someone's going to be trotting out the same old stuff. You've obviously got a real feeling for the esoteric, romantic and spiritual side of it. Johnny Marr

It's a really interesting project. I bet no one says the same thing. Damon Albarn

I hope I've been able to shed some light onto my weird brain. Lily Allen
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Product details

  • Hardback | 544 pages
  • 198 x 254 x 37mm | 1,388g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main Market Ed.
  • 1447226755
  • 9781447226758
  • 342,953

Review quote

Never less than illuminating Belfast Telegraph This is without doubt the finest book I've ever read about songwriters and the songs they write. Fantastic insightful interviews. I remember being interviewed for it at the time and thinking I wish all interviews were like this -- Noel Gallagher Many of our greatest songwriters, including Noel Gallagher, Ray Davies, Paul Weller and Jarvis Cocker offer fascinating insights into their craft Choice Magazine More than 500 pages [of] brand-new, in-depth interviews with 26 luminaries, including Ray Davies, Bryan Ferry, Johnny Marr, Damon Albarn and the Pet Shop Boys Sheffield Star Rachel is a really intelligent, clued-up and musically astute interviewer and his book is worth more than its hefty weight Weekend Sport A fascinating book -- Miranda Sawyer, BBC Radio 4 Loose Ends Daniel Rachel's Isle of Noises is made for sipping slowly, featuring long Q&As with 27 British songwriters. As a musician himself, Rachel has an insider's advantage and his shrewd questions draw fascinating insights from reliably analytical characters such as Neil Tennant and Andy Partridge, as well as those, including Noel Gallagher and John Lydon, who are usually asked about everything except their craft -- Best Music Books of 2013 Guardian Daniel Rachel's interview technique for 'Isle Of Noises: Conversations With Great British Songwriters' was straightforward: talk to songwriters not about fame, excess or the rock'n'roll lifestyle, but simply about the day-job. The insights he got were as fascinating as his subjects: Jarvis Cocker, Noel Gallagher, Laura Marling, Ray Davies, John Lydon, Johnny Marr, Paul Weller, among others -- Best Books of 2013 NME Rachel's brilliant tome is as far from the snotty, gossipy stereotype of music journalism as it's possible to get. These 23 interviews dig beneath pop's sheen to uncover the inspiration and techniques of key British songwriters ... The introductions, and the questions that follow, reveal real insight -- James Smart Guardian As a songwriter himself, Daniel Rachel's approach immediately sets Isle of Noises apart from similar books. In his conversations with the likes of Bryan Ferry, the Pet Shop Boys and Laura Marling, Rachel negotiates the thin line between talking 'shop' and sounding like an inquisitive fan - but it works. Maybe because he feels some empathy with a fellow songwriter ... A fine book that throws new light on the art of songwriting -- Mark Blake MOJO
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About Daniel Rachel

Daniel Rachel was born in Solihull in the summer before The Beatles announced their break-up. He wrote his first song when he was sixteen and was the lead-singer in Rachels Basement, which he formed in his early twenties. In 2001, he released his debut solo album, A Simple Twist Of Folk, on Dust Records, followed in 2006 by A Taste Of Money. Daniel is a specialist in Forum Theatre direction and lives in north London with his partner and three children. Isle of Noises is his first book.

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Rating details

82 ratings
4.2 out of 5 stars
5 39% (32)
4 45% (37)
3 13% (11)
2 2% (2)
1 0% (0)
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