A blog about Bloomsbury Academic's 33 1/3 series, our other books about music, and the world of sound in general.

Friday, August 31, 2012

18 New Titles

Bloomsbury is thrilled to announce that we'll be publishing the following 18 titles in the 33 1/3 series during 2013 and 2014:

Andrew WK: I Get Wet, by Phillip Crandall
Aphex Twin: Selected Ambient Works Vol II, by Marc Weidenbaum
Beach Boys: Smile, by Luis Sanchez
Bjork: Biophilia, by Nicola Dibben
Bobbie Gentry: Ode to Billie Joe, by Tara Murtha
Danger Mouse: The Grey Album, by Charles Fairchild
Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, by Mike Foley
Devo: Freedom of Choice, by Evie Nagy
Gang of Four: Entertainment! by Kevin Dettmar
Hole: Live Through This, by Anwyn Crawford
J Dilla: Donuts, by Jordan Ferguson
Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, by Kirk Walker Graves
Michael Jackson: Dangerous, by Susan Fast
Oasis: Definitely Maybe, by Alex Niven
Richard Hell and the Voidoids: Blank Generation, by Pete Astor
Serge Gainsbourg: Histoire de Melody Nelson, by Darran Anderson
Sigur Ros: ( ), by Ethan Hayden
They Might Be Giants: Flood, by Alex Reed and Philip Sandifer

We sincerely hope that you'll enjoy the books on this list when they publish; these were the proposals that most inspired and excited us. (Although there were many, many others that could also have made wonderful books: if we ever figure out how to publish more of this work without diluting the series too much, we'll let you know!)

I'll post again very shortly about the Competition results.

There are still dozens of you who sent in proposals that ended up being turned down, and then requested feedback. I'm way behind on that, for which I can only apologise but I will respond to all of you before the end of September.

And finally: a massive Thank You to everybody who's taken part in, and helped out with, this process over the past several months - it's been a pleasure.



Anonymous said...

Great. More Bobbie Gentry myth-mongering.

Anonymous said...

Awesome list!

Can you give us any clues as to the approaches each book takes?
Even if it's just "ethnographic study" or "through the lens of 60's drug culture" or whatever the gist of it is...

Anonymous said...


Nigel Smith said...

Is that Mike Foley the wrestler?

Anonymous said...

well, i think there's one on there i will buy. and it was going so well up to now... WHERE DID ALL THOSE GREAT PROPOSALS GO?

Anonymous said...

I kinda hate to say it, since this is an otherwise good series, but this is one sorry list.
I'm sure you'll find plenty of readership, though, since you've done a good job of pandering to poor taste.

Anonymous said...

All 18 are cookbooks inspired by the albums in question!

Anonymous said...

It's so amusing to see bitterness on display in the form of resentful, frustrated music "writers" unhappy with the list. Kind of sad, too.

Z said...

Wow, what a list! Sigur Ros, Kanye, Dilla, Beach Boys, Aphex Twin, Andrew WK, Michael Jackson, Danger Mouse, Devo! Didn't get everything i hoped for, but still looks a some great stuff coming out

Z said...

only bad thing is i'm going to have to wait 2 years for some of these to come out!

1313 Music Blog said...

Solid list. Only 3 of the 18 I had guessed/hoped for made the cut, but if there's one thing I've learned about this series it's that every book has something interesting to say. Man I would've loved to see an All Hail West Texas book though. Oh, and I'm most excited for Flood and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Can't wait to see where those go.

Anonymous said...

Flood! YES!!!

Of all the entries that made the first round of cuts, but not the final 18, I think the biggest surprise was "Psychocandy". Thought that would be a shoe-in, but then I also don't know what the proposed approach was.

Of the ones that did make the final 18, I am most surprised by SMiLE. I mean, I love the album and there's an amazing history behind it, but it has already been addressed by so many books and this would make the Beach Boys only the second artist to have two 33 1/3 entries about them. That said, can't wait to read this book and kudos to the person who submitted the proposal.

Anonymous said...

the Beach Boys would actually be the third artist to have two books, Radiohead (ok computer & kid a) and the Rolling Stones (exile on main st. & some girls) also have two.

Citizensmurf said...

Interesting, very hard to pick 18 out of the 94 listed. Several on this list, I put on my 'short list', but only 3 were from my final list. Shows what I know, but I believe the finished works will reflect the author's intention more than the actual album.

Still, Hole??? I can only find two words to describe that album and they rhyme with butter spite.

Eric said...

Wow. I must be one of the few that is totally disappointed by this list!

There were so many great proposals! So many amazing albums that I was very excited about reading about. Which may be it in the end? Perhaps the suggested albums were great, but the proposals not?

There are some great ones here of course, but overall, I find the list of albums very flat. Boring even. Damn.

Luke said...

I look forward to these!

Here's my shortlisted proposal for Spiritflesh by Nocturnal Emissions: http://rivetingstuff.co.uk/spiritflesh-by-nocturnal-emissions-my-proposa

Admiral Snackbar said...

Nigel, I think the wrestler you're thinking of is Mick Foley.

Although man, I would LOVE to read Mick Foley doing a 33 1/3. I read in a WWF Magazine when I was a kid and a wrestling obsessive that he's a big Merle Haggard fan. That would be an awesome book.

Anyway, this list is...it's a list. It's hard to go by just the titles, but there are some I look at and have a sense of what they're going to be about just thanks to the prevailing discourse around the album/artist. Going by album choice alone, I don't see many I'd have any interest in reading. Blank Generation, maybe. I love that album, but I hope the book has something new to say about it.

Robert Bennett said...

Sure it isn't the list any of us would have picked, but isn't that the whole point? You can argue the inclusion or exclusion of any particular album--or even the approach that a specific book takes on a particular record--but the series as a whole includes an intriguing and unpredictable range of works--both popular and experimental, both classic and obscure, both good and bad. Overall, however, doesn't the series get us to listen to a wider range of music than we would have? Doesn't it force us to think about music--including music we thought we already understood or thought was not worth ever listening to--in different ways? Do you really want to read a series of books that only reconfirm your preconceptions? Carl Wilson's Let's Talk about Love is the 60th volume in the series that I bought--and even then only out of curiosity, very begrudgingly, doubting I could possibly like it. But it is the best written, most thought-provoking, most original book that I have read in the series. I keep reading the series not because I like every album--some of them I have not even heard of--or because every writer has a brilliant take on the album, but because the range of albums covered and the range of perspectives applied to them never becomes predictable or stale. Follow the flow of the series and let it expand your own musical tastes and critical perspectives, but what is the value of a series that simply reconfirms our expectations. I tried to guess what the editors would select, and I basically picked the exact statistical probability one would expect from a random guess, and if I had picked my personal favorites it would have been different titles but the same percentage. But isn't that the beauty of it? You get as many wrong as you get right. Taken as a collective whole, the series covers and speaks to the things that we already love, but it also challenges everyone to listen a little more and think a bit broader. Of these 18 albums, I only own 3, but I have always wanted to get 4 of them (so now I probably will). 4 more titles I find very intriguing to learn more about (though I am certain that I never would have dones so without the books sparking my curiosity), 3 I know nothing about, and 4 more I _think_ I am not interested in reading because I dislike the album, artist, or genre. (Chances are that I will be wrong on 2 of those). That is pretty much what I like about this series. It stretches my interests and perspectives from my favorites to the unknown and even things I positively dislike. This isn't a list of my favorites, but it is my favorite kind of list--the kind of list I can learn something from, the kind of list that changes, rearranges, and even upsets the list of my favorites, so that it never remians the same.

Anonymous said...

@Robert Bennett

I think you're probably an unusual case if you're buying most of the books in the series to learn more about music in general...

I think most people either pick books on the albums they like already, and then occasionally may buy one on a famous album they're not that familiar with.

"Let's Talk About Love" was definitely a clever move in the series -- they weren't going to be disappointing anyone because even though it's a popular album, I don't think too many Celine Dion fans wanted an in depth look at that album... so it was a good choice to write a more general argument about music on...

You ask, "Do you really want to read a series of books that only reconfirm your preconceptions?"

It depends, sometimes no, but if it's an album I really love, sometimes I just want to know more about it.

I think the approaches are what's important here, I think obviously all these albums have their fans, but it depends how they're approached. Some may warrant a straightforward "how it was made" approach, and then something like "Smile" which has had that a million times already, probably warrants a more obtuse approach.

Will be interesting to see if they give us any more information about each one...

Anonymous said...


thanks for posting the list of books to be published, but we're still waiting for a number of books from the last batch to be published.

Perhaps you'd be kind enough to give us an update on the still "waiting" books?

I should say that the latest list is intriguing - not wholly to my taste, though I look forward to the Dangerous book - maybe an emphasis on US indie style stuff for us Brits?


Tom Paine said...

I'm a huge fan of the series so it kills me to say I won't be buying any of these titles. Maybe I'm being close-minded but I'm not interested in reading about any of these albums. I'm a manager at a bookstore and i used to carry every title in the series in stock until i got tired of people stealing them. I still carry whatever the newest title is for awhile and I will carry these when they come out, but i won't be buying any myself.

ShaunP said...

>Danger Mouse: The Grey Album, by Charles Fairchild

Was that album even legally released?

JDot said...

Very disappointing list considering all the great album entries. Excitement extinguished.

Brian Doan said...

Looking forward to several of these, and congrats to all who made the cut. For anyone interested (and if it's not too late too post), here's my proposal:


Benjamin J Robertson said...


Nope, but I imagine that's part of what's important about it to the writer. My proposal for The Kleptones' A Night at the Hip-Hopera focused on this issue, namely that music is no longer simply what you buy in a store, or even on iTunes. Music is also what you steal and what gets produced and distributed outside of the purview of any label, whether big and commercial or small and indie. The Grey Album seems to me to be not only an interesting pick for the series, but a *necessary* one, one that reflects the fact that perhaps the most important innovation in the music business in the last decade and a half is not a new genre or sound, but the ways in which digital and networked technologies have changed the nature of its production, distribution, and consumption.

Anonymous said...

I think i'll buy 4 this time around, here's the ones, if you wanna know:
Bjork: Biophilia, by Nicola Dibben
Bobbie Gentry: Ode to Billie Joe, by Tara Murtha
Serge Gainsbourg: Histoire de Melody Nelson, by Darran Anderson
Sigur Ros: ( ), by Ethan Hayden

Thomas said...

Hello, I totally missed the boat on this year's proposal timeframe. How often do you solicit new proposals? And when do you anticipate the next call to go out? Thanks!

David said...

Thomas: there's no fixed timeframe for the calls for proposals. My best guess at the moment is that we might do it all again either late 2013 or early 2014. Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

Are you still way behind on proposal feedback?

bzfgt said...

What about the Fall??!? Do it!