Band Together: Internal Dynamics in U2, R.E.M., Radiohead and the Red Hot Chili Peppers

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McFarland, Sep 13, 2006 - Music - 272 pages
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From The Joshua Tree to Blood Sugar Sex Magik, from Automatic for the People to OK Computer, they produced some of the most memorable rock albums of the post-punk era. Beyond the music, though, the members of U2, R.E.M., Radiohead and the Red Hot Chili Peppers share several common bonds. Having emerged from punk's do-it-yourself ethos, they embody collective creativity over individual artistry. With the exception of the Chili Peppers' revolving-door guitarists, each band's lineup has remained stable while the groups outlasted most of their contemporaries. The twin factors of group-inspired music and long-term collaboration make these four bands important case studies in modern rock and roll. With a focus on creative dynamics, author Mirit Eliraz studies four of the most popular, critically acclaimed, and prolific rock bands of the last quarter century. Introductory chapters offer band bios; reasons for formation; and each group's friends, collaborators and business partners. Middle chapters discuss the governing structures and general relations within the bands; obstacles to unity and survival; how diverse elements are merged into a productive whole; role divisions; the collaborative process; and life on the road. Concluding chapters cover external influences on band dynamics; the evolution of each band's communal life; and challenges to the band paradigm.

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User Review  - Laura3989 - LibraryThing

"Band Together" provides great insight into the inner workings of the four title bands. Mirit Eliraz does a good job of picking apart exactly what it is that defines each of these bands and sets them ... Read full review

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"Band Together" provides great insight into why the title bands, U2, R.E.M., Radiohead, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, stand apart from their contemporaries. Mirit Eliraz poses the questions: What makes these bands different? Why have they survived through the decades while other bands have failed? He delivers with powerful theories backed with substantial evidence regarding the chemistry which the members of these bands share. He insists that this chemistry and creative connection is what allows these musicians to work out any issue that they might confront in a democratic manner, which in turn contributes to their mutual trust and interdependence.
Eliraz describes how members of each of the aforementioned bands claim that they would be nothing without their bandmates. Although these bands are insanely successful, their members do not believe that they would be able to function in any other group. This contributes to Eliraz' friendship and chemistry theory; each band is greater than the sum of its parts. Eliraz suggests that each band's success can be attributed to the chemistry and musical creativity which its members share, and which radiates in the form of great music when the members are in sync.
This book is an easy read, especially if you have an interest in music. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of my all-time favorite bands; I grew up listening to R.E.M.; U2 is an international staple. These are all reasons that I picked up this book, and I am glad that I did. I now know more about the bands themselves, their struggles, and how their great music was made. (Note: I did not mention Radiohead only because I have not listened to much of their music; although, after reading this book, I will be more inclined to do so.) If you've ever wanted to know the inner workings of your favorite bands, this is the book to read.


Reasons for Forming the Band
Governing Structure
Obstacles to Band Unity
Merging Diverse Elements into
The Collaborative Process
Onstage and on the Road Together
External Influences on Band Dynamics
Evolution of
Its the End of the World as We Know It And I Feel

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About the author (2006)

Writer Mirit Eliraz lives in Ontario, Canada.

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