In Long Players, fifty of our finest authors write about the albums that changed their lives, from Deborah Levy on Bowie to Daisy Johnson on Lizzo, Ben Okri on Miles Davis to David Mitchell on Joni Mitchell, Sarah Perry on Rachmaninov to Bernardine Evaristo on Sweet Honey in the Rock.
Part meditation on the album form and part candid self-portrait, each of these miniature essays reveals music's power to transport the listener to a particular time and place. REM's Automatic for the People sends Olivia Laing back to first love and heartbreak, Bjork's Post resolves a crisis of faith and sexuality for a young Marlon James, while Fragile by Yes instils in George Saunders the confidence to take his own creative path.
This collection is an intoxicating mix of memoir and music writing, spanning the golden age of vinyl and the streaming era, and showing how a single LP can shape a writer's mind.
Featuring writing from Ali Smith, Marlon James, Deborah Levy, George Saunders, Bernardine Evaristo, Ian Rankin, Tracey Thorn, Ben Okri, Sarah Perry, Neil Tennant, Rachel Kushner, Clive James, Eimear McBride, Neil Gaiman, Daisy Johnson, David Mitchell, Esi Edugyan, Patricia Lockwood, among many others.
[A] collection of writers' love letters to their most treasured albums ... Headphones are donned, needles are dropped, minds are blown, lives are changed -- Dorian Lynskey ― Observer
Tom Gatti's brilliantly edited collection offers a captivating mix of memoir and music writing ... Long Players is informative and entertaining ... Like a book equivalent of Desert Island Discs, the joy is in discovering what celebrated authors choose as their favourite music. The answers are considered, colourful and frequently surprising -- Sarah Gilmartin ― Irish Times
Great writing about great records. What more could you possibly want? ― Paul Morley
A richly textured snapshot survey of artists on art ...At their best the pieces reveal something useful about the writer, the music, the world at large and the world at that moment ― Guardian
The revelations discussed brilliantly convey the power music has to shape individual lives. Music lovers will want to put this on repeat ― Publishers Weekly
Tom Gatti has assembled an all-star cast of 50 writers and music lovers, each detailing their relationship with a single album . We're in expert hands . What results is a kaleidoscopic array of influences, histories, recollections of innocence, debauchery, and even trauma ― Happy Mag
About the Author
Tom Gatti works at the New Statesman, where Long Players began life as a feature. He joined the magazine in 2013 as culture editor; before that he was Saturday Review editor at The Times, where he also wrote book reviews, features and interviews. From 1995 to the present, he has listened to Radiohead's The Bends more times than is strictly necessary.