Fire and Rain

Fire and Rain

The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY, and the Lost Story of 1970

Book - 2011
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Baker & Taylor
Depicts the interactions between four groups of famous musicians who each released an iconic album in the year 1970, told against the backdrop of the events of that year, including the Kent State killings and the rescue of Apollo 13.

Perseus Publishing
Fire and Rain traces the arc of one tumultuous year using four classic albums as a window into the era.

January 1970: the Beatles assemble one more time to put the finishing touches on Let It Be; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young are wrapping up Déjà Vu; Simon and Garfunkel are unveiling Bridge Over Troubled Water; James Taylor is an upstart singer-songwriter who’s just completed Sweet Baby James. Over the course of the next twelve months, their lives--and the world around them--will change irrevocably. Fire and Rain tells the story of four iconic albums of 1970 and the lives, times, and constantly intertwining personal ties of the remarkable artists who made them. Acclaimed journalist David Browne sets these stories against an increasingly chaotic backdrop of events that sent the world spinning throughout that tumultuous year: Kent State, the Apollo 13 debacle, ongoing bombings by radical left-wing groups, the diffusion of the antiwar movement, and much more.

Featuring candid interviews with more than 100 luminaries, including some of the artists themselves, Browne's vivid narrative tells the incredible story of how--over the course of twelve turbulent months--the '60s effectively ended and the '70s began.

Book News
More than just a new decade, 1970 was the start of a new era, claims Browne. Following the music world's most iconic players who turned out new albums that year, as well as major political headlines, he shows how the tension of these events was marked by upheaval and collapse, and of endings and new beginnings. It was the year of Kent State, the Manson trials, the Beatle's and Simon and Garfunkel breakups, and the emergence of James Taylor. In a poignant visit to 1970, Browne takes the reader on a musical, albeit turbulent, trip from January through December helplessly hoping to remember better days. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

& Taylor

Depicts the music, tours, lives, tensions and intertwined personal ties between a group of extraordinary musicians including The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel and James Taylor against the backdrop of the events of 1970 including the Kent State killings and Apollo 13 scare.
The story of four landmark albums of 1970, tracing the musical, political, and cultural changes of the time.

Publisher: Cambridge [Mass.] : Da Capo Press, 2011
Edition: 1st Da Capo Press ed
ISBN: 9780306818509
Branch Call Number: ML3534 .B76 2011
Characteristics: 369 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm


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Oct 02, 2018

Fire and Rain was a continuation of my summer 'Rock and Read' program consuming as much knowledge of the music from my early years to the musicians who performed the songs I still crave for entertainment.

David Browne's research is superb with insights I hadn't heard in my previous reading selections but valuable all-the-same in the completion of one specific year - 1970.

James Taylor was perhaps my biggest surprise. I knew nothing of the man, only his music. Such a difficult early life softened by a loving family.

Sean Runnette's reading knocked the audio down two stars for me. Someone like Beau Phillips with an enthusiastic style would have been a better narration choice. Suggestion: pick up the book and read, rather than the audio listen.

"a November poll placed Nixon 8 points ahead of muskie;" "on November 8 Crosby recorded LAUGHING with members of the Dead: 'anybody who tells you he's been talking with God is full of shit.'"when zappa and the mothers came through town, stills jammed with them on stage and caroused with them in their dressing room later..he flew to Amsterdam to join the stones on stage, partied with them until dawn in keith Richards' hotel room ." "in late September, Jim Morrison was found guilty of indecent exposure and profanity in a florida courtroom; stemming from a never proven accusation of pulling out his penis on stage with the doors" "mike curb (we're the pepsi generation), head of mgm records, dropped 18 acts who supposedly promoted drugs in their songs..he retained roy orbison and former righteous brother bill medley, and eric burdon, of the animals, and of war." "the monkees' final single, THE SERENITY OF THE MUSIC, turned out to be a cover for the turbulence that lay beneath the surface." "fire and rain debuted at 100 on the billboard top 100; three weeks later, it was at #3.
" "Carole KIng: the cycle has come back to romanticism. people got sick of the psychedelic cloud and wanted to get softer moods."

Jul 29, 2011

James Taylor, the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young ..all legends and all my favourites. David Browne tells the story of these pop icons throughout the tumultuous year of 1970. A well-written peek into the often troubled past of popular music.


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