Dr. James Perone Authors The Words and Music of David Bowie

April 06, 2010

Dr. James Perone, professor of music and chair of the Department of Music at Mount Union College is set to publish his newest book, The Words and Music of David Bowie, on June 30.

Like Perone's first published work in the Praeger-Singer Songwriter Collection, The Sounds of Stevie Wonder, this book is an in-depth analysis of his works. 'I go through Bowie's recordings in chronological order and analyze each of the songs he wrote and recorded,' said Perone.

The introduction supplies a short biography and explains the importance of David Bowie as a pop musician. Perone then presents each period of Bowie's career and evaluates the songs he has written. The book ends with a re-cap, stressing Bowie's importance as a songwriter.

Perone chose to write a book on Bowie because he has been a long time fan of his pop and experimental music. 'To me, he is a unique singer-songwriter because his compositions rely so heavily on his work as a recording artist,' said Perone. ' In other words, someone like Stevie Wonder, or Carole King or Paul Simon has had many, many other artists record their songs'it seems like in the early 1970s everyone recorded King's 'You've Got a Friend,' for example. There have been far fewer cover versions of David Bowie songs, in part because his versions quickly become the definitive version of the song, and because his lyrics are so challenging. His poetry is filled with metaphors, obscure stream-of-consciousness imagery and experimental 'cut-up' techniques derived from the work of 1950s personalities such as writer William Burroughs and composer John Cage. I'm also fascinated with Bowie's explorations of the theme of identity, something that runs through almost every song he's ever written.'

The Words and Music of David Bowie is the third in Perone's Praeger-Singer Songwriter Collection. 'The Bowie book won't be my last in the series, since I'm currently working on a similar book on Prince. I'm scheduled to have the manuscript of the Prince book done by December 31, 2007,' said Perone.

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