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All by Myself

Essays on the Single-Artist Rock Album

Edited by Steve Hamelman

Thriving within a narrow niche in rock music is the recording on which one artist composes, plays, sings and often produces each track. As a showcase of individual effort and talent, the single-artist rock album has been adopted by artists such as Neil Young, Stevie Wonder, and Prince to produce unique additions to their discographies.

To this type of album, Steve Hamelman has affixed the label AlphaSoloism. In All by Myself: Essays on the Single-Artist Rock Album, eleven scholars explore eleven different albums, both well-known and obscure, released between 1970 and 2011. Their essays illuminate aesthetic, technical, and theoretical elements that distinguish AlphaSolo recordings from conventional ones.In addition to providing historical background on studio, live, original, and cover recordings released between the 1970 to the present, the essays explore questions of intention, craft, performance, and reception.

All by Myself marks the AlphaSolo subgenre’s moment of origin as a musical category and academic field. To date, no study exists on this unique genre of music-making, and All by Myself serves as a call for future investigations into this present and growing phenomenon in rock culture.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 226Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-4723-9 • Hardback • May 2016 • $85.00 • (£54.95)
978-1-4422-4724-6 • eBook • May 2016 • $84.99 • (£54.95)
Steve Hamelman is a professor of English at Coastal Carolina University. He is the author of But Is It Garbage? On Rock and Trash (2004) and the book and audio reviews editor for the journals Popular Music and Society and Rock Music Studies.
Chapter 1: “I Think I’m Pretty Good”: Paul McCartney and the Art of AlphaSoloism by Steve Hamelman
Chapter 2: A Perspective on the Single-Artist Album and John Fogerty’s
Blue Ridge Rangers (1973) by Thomas Kitts
Chapter 3: Songs in the Key of Strife: Stevie Wonder’s Solitary Songs of Social Significance on
Innervisions (1973) by Ian Peddie
Chapter 4: His Life with You He Shares: Prince’s
For You (1979) by Sarah Niblock
Chapter 5: Breaking Free of Queen: Roger Taylor’s
Fun in Space (1981) by Nick Braae
Chapter 6: Martin Newell’s
The Greatest Living Englishman (1993) by James Martens
Chapter 7: Resignation with Flair: Elliott Smith’s
Roman Candle (1994) by Kristin Lieb
Chapter 8: Thrown into a Cruel World: Neil Young’s
Dead Man (1995) by Ulrich Adelt
Chapter 9: Narrative Themes about Post-Band Solo Work in Media Coverage of Ben Folds’s
Rockin’ the Suburbs (2001) by Jordan M. McClain and Amanda S. McClain
Chapter 10: “What’s for Tea, Daughter?”: Technology and Selling Out in
Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out (2005) by Colin Helb
Chapter 11: So Young, So Country, So Self-Contained:
Hunter Hayes (2011) by Lawrence Pitilli