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Rock and Roll History Told Through Its Biggest Hits

Inside the Hits, Tracks the Making
of 60 of Rock’s Greatest Songs

Rock and Roll History Told Through Its Biggest Hits

Boston, MA, April 23, 2002 - Did you know that the Eurythmics’ smash hit, “Sweet Dreams,” was recorded in a run-down warehouse with improvised lyrics? That Tina Turner didn’t like “What’s Love Got to Do With It” when she first heard it? That the BBC thought Mick Jagger was too ugly to front the Rolling Stones?

These aren't even the most provocative of the many revelations that emerge in Berklee Press’ Inside the Hits: The Seduction of a Rock and Roll Generation, a rare insider’s look at the craft, art, business — and social impact — of some of rock’s most powerful and memorable chart toppers. Authored by producer, engineer, educator and record label owner Wayne Wadhams, Inside the Hits is a must-read for anyone who has ever cared about rock and roll. Musical detective, acerbic critic, and ardent fan all rolled into one, Wadhams dissects the structure, and reveals the hidden recording history, of 60 of rock’s all-time greatest classics, from Elvis Presley’s “All Shook Up” to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

Legendary producer Phil Ramone, who has worked with such artists as Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, and Madonna, said: “Reading Inside the Hits is like reliving some of the most memorable moments in rock and roll. A captivating read for industry professionals and fans alike.”

Giving rock its full due as both a major art form and the soundtrack of youth culture, Wadhams investigates each song’s melodic structure and arrangement, lyrics, and production history. He also explores how such factors as the artist’s personality and image, the timing of the release, and the social context, affected a song’s climb up the charts — and ultimately its staying power as a classic of the form.

The 60 songs covered by Inside the Hits — over two-thirds of which also showed up on VH1’s “100 Greatest Rock Songs of All Time” — include “My Girl” by the Temptations, “I Get Around” by the Beach Boys, “You Really Got Me” by the Kinks, “Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones, “Light My Fire” by the Doors, “Respect” by Aretha Franklin, “Kodachrome” by Paul Simon, “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder, “Every Breath You Take” by the Police, “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman, and a score of Beatles hits.

Award-winning author Wayne Wadhams, whose previous three-volume reference set, Sound Advice, was named one of 1991’s outstanding reference works by the New York Public Library, is a Professor of Music Production & Engineering at the renowned Boston-based Berklee College of Music. He also owns and operates Boston Skyline Records, an independent classical and world music label.

About Berklee Press
Berklee Press is the non-profit, educational publishing division of Berklee College of Music. Berklee Press publishes high-quality practical books, videotapes, DVDs, and interactive products for all areas of contemporary music education. Berklee Press products are dedicated to furthering the enrichment and success of musicians, students, teachers, and hobbyists alike. Proceeds from the sales of Berklee Press products are contributed to the scholarship funds of the college. Berklee Press titles are distributed by the Hal Leonard Corporation, 800-524-4425,

Book Specs.
Inside the Hits: The Seduction of a Rock and Roll Generation
By Wayne Wadhams
$29.95 (US), book, trim size - 6” x 9”, soft cover
ISBN 0-634-01430-7
Available Now

Cover art available on

Review copies are available to members of the media by submitting a request to Berklee Press on your publication's letterhead via fax at (617) 747-2149

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