"1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die" is an absorbing introduction to some of the greatest songs ever recorded, by an enormous range of artists from Bessie Smith to Gnarls Barkley and from Metallica to Missy Elliott. Find out what made their songs so great - then get back to the music. The rich history of popular music is built on a foundation of classic songs. From Tin Pan Alley to the Brill Building, Bob Dylan to Kurt Cobain, and Joni Mitchell to Amy Winehouse, gifted songwriters have crafted a cherished body of music that has become part of our lives. Imagine the Fifties without the magical clamor of "Tutti Frutti" and "Hound Dog", the Seventies without the anthemic "Le Freak" and "Anarchy in the U.K.", or the Noughties without the leftfield pop of "Toxic" or "Crazy". This music mirrors the times, both reflecting society at large ("A Change is Gonna Come" and "The Message") and mapping our own personal highs ("God Only Knows") or lows ("Hurt"). And from "Saturday Night Fish Fry" to "Saturday Night Fever", it has helped us simply forget our problems and dance till dawn. "1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die" picks through nearly a century of music to bring you an inspiring selection of some of the greatest recordings ever made. Each entry in this wonderfully browsable book tells the story of a great song. Find out what inspired the songwriter, what makes the track so enduring, which songs it influenced in turn, and which cover version to listen out for. You'll also pick up a wealth of fascinating trivia along the way. What links Lead Belly, Lonnie Donegan, and Black Betty? Whose gravestone inspired Phil Spector's first hit? And when did Christina Aguilera join forces with The Moon People? Read on and find out.