I am nearly the perfect reader for The Vinyl Dialogues: Stories Behind Memorable Albums of the 1970s as Told by the Artists by Mike Morsch. First, I listened to a lot of rock music in the 1960s and 1970s. Second, I enjoy behind-the-scenes stories about rock music. Third, I owned (or still own) several of the recordings profiled in this book. My shortcoming as a reader of this book is I stopped listening to pop music radio and buying rock records around 1976 when I went through a classical music phase. As a result, I had not heard of some of the artists interviewed by Morsch for the stories in The Vinyl Dialogues.
The author compensates for my deficiency by including hooks in every story. Even when I did not know the artist or album, the stories were good and I recognized someone involved in the plot. The group Head East toured with Jethro Tull and was essentially fired by its leader Ian Anderson. Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes were given songs by Bruce Springsteen. Player reminded listeners of the Hall and Oates, Steely Dan, and the Doobie Brothers.
My favorite story may have been the one about the album recorded by Dave Mason and Cass Ellliot, which was called Dave Mason and Cass Elliot. I recently read about two in Graham Nash's book, Wild Tales. In the story about Joe Walsh and Barnstorm, I was struck by a statement by Joe Vitale that albums of the 1960s and 1970s were "variety shows." I think that is a great description for Beatle albums. I also read with special interest stories about the Guess Who, Three Dog Night, and America.
Including Morsch's introduction and Epilogue, there are 33 chapters in Vinyl Diaglogues, none over 10 pages. Reading one and then searching the web for some relevant videos once a day would give a younger reader a good sense of the variety of the 1970s music scene. Older readers will already many of the songs. More about the project can be found on the Facebook page Vinyl Dialogues.
Morsch, Mike. The Vinyl Dialogues: Stories Behind Memorable Albums of the 1970s as Told by the Artists. Biblio Publishing, 2014. 265p. ISBN 9781622492077.