As we brace ourselves for what will likely be the biggest week for legacy artists releasing brand new material all year (the Beach Boys, Neil Young & Crazy Horse and Joe Walsh all release new albums next week), this week’s releases are looking pretty bare for those with a fondness for the classics.

However, it’s probably not a coincidence that new books about the Beach Boys and Neil Young are being released this week to coincide with new albums from the music legends. Let’s delve right into those two, as well as a new Bruce Springsteen biography.

While the Beach Boys will release their big reunion record, That’s Why God Made the Radio, next week, a new book features band members taking a look back. Rather than focusing on all the band drama through the years, the Beach Boys tell their story through 50 songs in Fifty Sides of the Beach Boys. Even the notoriously eccentric Wilson is on board for the commentary, as are famous fans like writer/director Cameron Crowe, Alice Cooper and actress/musician Zooey Deschanel.

The new book about Neil Young, titled Neil Young FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Iconic and Mercurial Rocker, is more of an overview of one of rock’s more left-of-center legends than insight from Young himself. However, the writer – music journo Glen Boyd – delves deep, and there are rare photos included in the book.

In Marc Dolan’s Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock ‘n’ Roll, the British broadcast host, comedian and writer takes on a (thankfully) less comical approach to his very earnest subject. The book is billed as a biography, but at least in an excerpt from the book, Dolan makes a point of telling more than just The Boss’s personal history, putting his musical contributions in context with the country’s political state.

Aside from these literary releases, live albums are having a decent week in the classic arena. A two-disc live album, titled Live at the Roseland Ballroom, NYC, from Bachman & Turner (formerly known as Bachman-Turner Overdrive) and a two-disc reissue of┬áThe Supremes’ 1965 live album At the Copa were also released on Tuesday.

– Jillian Mapes, CBS Local


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