Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY, and the Lost Story of 1970

Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY, and the Lost Story of 1970

by David Browne

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Overview

Set against a backdrop of world-changing historical and political events, Fire and Rain tells the extraordinary story of one pivotal year in the lives and music of four legendary artists, and reveals how these artists and their songs both shaped and reflected their times. Drawing on interviews, rare recordings, and newly discovered documents, acclaimed journalist David Browne “allows us to see—and to hear—the elusive moment when the '60s became the '70s in a completely fresh way” (Mark Harris, author of Pictures at a Revolution).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306820724
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 07/03/2012
Pages: 392
Sales rank: 196,862
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.05(d)

About the Author

David Browne is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and the author of three previous books, including Goodbye 20th Century. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Prologue: January 5

Part 1 Winter Into Spring: A Song That They Sing When They Take to the Highway 25

Part 2 Spring Into Summer: A Feeling I Can't Hide 113

Part 3 Summer Into Fall: Away, I'd Rather Sail Away 187

Part 4 Pall Into Winter: Gone Your Way, Ill Go Mine 253

Epilogue: December 315

Coda: October 2009 327

Acknowledgments 335

Notes and Sources 339

Index 347

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Browne's engrossing account of this fertile but volatile period sets the standard by which comprehensive musical histories should be judged." —-BookPage

Customer Reviews

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Fire and Rain 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
BookAddictFL More than 1 year ago
If you are a fan of any of the bands and/or singers listed in the title, then this is a book for you. Readers follow the descent of the Beatles, the quick rise and fall of CSNY, Simon and Garfunkel's fall and Simon's singular rise, and James Taylor's ascent into the singer/songwriter world of music. We're given glimpses into their personal lives and the way their lives and music tangled together, then came apart. David Browne does occasionally touch upon the politics and social aspects of life in 1970 but this book is mainly about the music of these particular artists. I found it a well-written, relatively unbiased account one of the major turning points in music's history.
Maria Braden More than 1 year ago
The author jumps around too much in his writing. It's not that I couldn't keep up with the information (I mean, really, what's to keep with - nothing new was revealed). It was so fragmented - no glue to hold the story together. I found myself jumping ahead to see if the book was gonna improve. Well, folks, it didn't. Sure wish I'd read the sample before buying. And that's another issue - why the high price for an ebook?!
Ty Martin More than 1 year ago
With great style and incredible detail, Fire and Rain really captivates what most music lovers probably don't realize was a pretty big year...I didn't. With great ease and seamless transitions, you'll be reading about the Beatles then jump to JT then CSNY to Simon & Grafunkel then back again. Music, sex, drugs, and great short sections on the world events that coincided with the making of some real classics. An entertaining and easy read...and count the number of times you say, "wow, I didn't know that!"
Jimm Burrell More than 1 year ago
Thanks for the sample B&N...Well written and extremely interesting. But, it's too much for an ebook. You have gone beyond the tipping point. Sell the book for less than $10 and more folks would buy it...jb
lemuel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book was engaging enough, as I got through it fairly quickly. The point is to show the end of the 60's and the start of the 70's through the actions of four groups or musicians: the Beatles, CSN&Y, Simon & Garfunkel, and James Taylor. The Beatles were splitting up and each member had their own projects, CSN&Y squabbled and acted like 4 individuals, Simon and Garfunkel split up, and James Taylor was a leading individual singer-songwriter. This is supposed to be a change from the more unified groups of the 60s. The stories are interesting and you get a lot of background on the musicians, but the author does not really tie things together to prove his point about the changes in the 70s. It is more of an excuse to write about the squabbles and problems of all these musicians. On that basis the book is good and I enjoyed it. It is a little bit of a guilty pleasure, but still a pleasure.
Darcia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you are a fan of any of the bands and/or singers listed in the title, then this is a book for you. Readers follow the descent of the Beatles, the quick rise and fall of CSNY, Simon and Garfunkel's fall and Simon's singular rise, and James Taylor's ascent into the singer/songwriter world of music. We're given glimpses into their personal lives and the way their lives and music tangled together, then came apart. David Browne does occasionally touch upon the politics and social aspects of life in 1970 but this book is mainly about the music of these particular artists. I found it a well-written, relatively unbiased account one of the major turning points in music's history.
TimBazzett on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
FIRE AND RAIN: THE BEATLES, SIMON & GARFUNKLE, JAMES TAYLOR, CSNY AND THE LOST STORY OF 1970 - it's quite a mouthful as a book title, but what it's really about is that last bit, 1970 as the end of something and the beginning of something, using that small sampling of the popular music of the day as a lens for looking at history. It's a pretty ambitious undertaking, and I'm not sure it's entirely successful. But it sure as hell did bring back a lot of memories for this old grey-haired geezer.In 1970 I was finishing up grad school on the GI Bill, married and a new father, so I wasn't the typical college student of the 60s. I was intensely focused on getting through college and finding my first 'real' job, feeling the heavy responsibility of providing for my brand-new family. I was aware of the anti-war protests, the marches, the sit-ins and general unrest that went with the late 60s. But I was too busy to be part of them, working part-time at various minimum wage jobs and then as a teaching assistant. But I tried to be 'hip.' We went to the Shakespeare Fest in Stratford, Ontario, that spring. I bought my first bell-bottoms and sandals there. I let my hair grow. And I always - ALways - made time for music. Because music had always been important to me, from the time I was old enough to sit and rock to my mother's old 78rpm records of Bing Crosby, Guy Mitchell, and Gene Autry. My first 45rpm purchase was Johnny Ray's "Just Walking in the Rain," followed by Marty Robbins' "A White Sport Coat (and a Pink Carnation)." The first LP I bought was Elvis's Christmas Album when I was twelve. And I kept on buying records from then on.So when David Browne focused in on 1970, I could immediately picture those album covers in my mind's eye. The Beatles' LET IT BE album was to my mind a damn good record, with tunes like "Across the Universe," "Two of Us," "The Long and Winding Road," and of course the title track. Because I came from an earlier time when there was rarely more than one hit per album. The Beatles changed all that when they became so popular on both sides of the Atlantic that whole albums were played on the radio and every single released from their LPs charted in the top ten. I was sad, of course, that the Beatles were finished as a group, but I was also excited that they'd keep making records, albeit individually. MCCARTNEY, Paul's debut solo album, was something of a disappointment. As big a fan as I was, I thought the track, "Junk" kinda summed up the effort. I wasn't real pleased with Lennon's initial efforts either - that 'primal scream' LP with the Plastic Ono Band was pretty raw. I didn't expect much from Ringo, but his albums of standards and C&W were, I thought, at least more honest efforts. George's triple album, ALL THINGS MUST PASS was the biggest surprise, and the best of all. Because I bought all those albums. I didn't stop being a Beatle fan just because the Beatles stopped liking each other. Because no matter how they all tried to forge their own identities as artists, they would always be Beatles to their fans. That's how big they were in the cultural lexicon of the 20th century. And I was saddened when we lost two of them. John and Yoko's Double Fantasy was a fantastic album and I felt Lennon was on the verge of a whole new career when he was killed. And George kept putting out great music too. Simon & Garfunkle, well they were always simply superb in everything they did, even after they split up - even more beautiful and thought-provoking music. BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER was indeed a gorgeous achievement, filled with wonderful inspiring, rollicking and joyous music - not a clinker on the whole album. I can still remember the day I bought it, in a store called Log Cabin Records on Mission Avenue in Mt Pleasant. Took it home and played it over and over; probably damn near drove my wife nuts. But my one year-old son was clapping his hands to "Cecelia" right along with me after a few times through. To
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lots of interesting tidbits about some of the best years of the music industry
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I do not know the race of the writer, but to judge by his taste , he is as lilly white as his favorite artists. He seems totally ignorant of black artists and their music in 1970, except to point out that the bassist for CSNY was Afro-American. There are countless soul artists who were great in 1970. Take a pick among the great rhythm and blues artists who excelled that year: ISAAC HAYES , JAMES BROWN, CURTIS MAYFIELD AND IMPRESSIONS, SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE, JACKSON 5. ALSO WHITE SOUL MEN LIKE ROD STEWART AND VAN MORRISON. THERE WAS ALSO MILES DAVIS CREATING A NEW GENRE FUSION. The title is an apt one for the book because it deserves to be set aflame like young men burning their draft cards and then quickly doused so it won't blaze. Don't waste your money on it but instead get ROB KIRKPATRICK'S SUPERIOR BOOK ON 1969. BETTER YET IS TO GET MOONDANCE, THE BEST RECORD OF 1970.
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