Praise for

Anatomy of a Song…

“In these pieces . . . songwriters and performers speak in their own voices, edited from interviews with Myers, about one of their signature songs. Because of Myers's skill as an interviewer, their pride and enthusiasm come blasting through. Each story is a pleasure to read and will deepen your listening experience . . . Myers bears down hard on these songs and the artists rise to the standards he sets.”

―Anthony DeCurtis, New York Times Book Review

“A first-rate playlist . . . A rich history of both the music industry and the baby boomer era.”

―Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Marc Myers’s Anatomy of a Song [is] a winning look at the stories behind 45 pop, punk, folk, soul and country classics . . . A smart, gracious book. His interviews yield some fascinating details.”

—Washington Post

“Candid conversations with stars like Stevie Wonder, Keith Richards and Rod Stewart are collected in a new book called Anatomy of a Song . . . Myers is particularly good on the competition within bands and between them to produce the best possible songs . . . [A] splendid volume.”

―Charles Kaiser, Guardian (UK)

"A cultural history of the elusive hit single, focused on artists' recollections and studio alchemy…. The book's strength lies in thoughtful, wry reflections from artists including Elvis Costello, Jimmy Cliff, Stevie Wonder, Booker T. Jones, Dr. John, and Debbie Harry. An entertaining record of the soundtrack of the baby boomer era.”

Kirkus Reviews

“A music lover’s dream book.”

―Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Anatomy of a Song . . . reads like a dream karaoke playlist. Not a dud in sight.”

―Huffington Post

“Anatomy Of A Song . . . gets the lowdown on about forty years of hits straight from the artists’ mouths . . . It’s always cool to hear how the musical sausage gets made, especially when it’s made by geniuses in the field. But Myers also does an outstanding job of unearthing the moments of humor and heartbreak that accompanied the creation of these songs.”

―American Songwriter

“Who would’ve ever guessed the inspiration behind Gladys Knight’s soul-stirring ‘Midnight Train to Georgia’ was ’70s pinup queen Farrah Fawcett? That’s just one of the fascinating song histories revealed in the new book Anatomy of a Song.”

―New York Post

“Myers . . . uncovers the fascinating backstories behind many legendary songs that changed the trajectory of music . . . Culling together anecdotal revelations about happy accidents, deliberately vague lyrical choices and unexpected lapses of confidence, the book manages to both demystify and humanize so many of its iconic subjects. . . . Filled with surprises for music fans and aspiring songwriters alike.”

―BMI Music

“The short, sharp chapters breeze by like a particularly well-curated jukebox . . . Fast, fun and informative.”

―Houston Press

“The critical ability of Marc Myers shows in his selection of topics and his persistence in hunting down the right people to talk about their songs. But his talent as a writer shows in his willingness to get out of the way and let them talk about their songs . . . Myers pushes his subjects to recollect what had really happened that day in the studio, that moment when the song first came to mind, that instant when the radio began to play it.”

― Washington Free Beacon

“Countless fun facts dot Anatomy of a Song.”


“Myers’ book succeeds as a collection because he reveals the paradox of popular music: the magical change that transpires once the personal becomes public . . . Perhaps the greatest gift of Anatomy of a Song is its range . . . This is a book that encourages you to go back into your record collection, to the hits you think you remember well.”―Las Vegas Weekly

“Who doesn’t like to listen to musicians tell their stories about the genesis of a song? Or to hear them laugh at the deep meaning that listeners often invest in it when for them it was, well, just a song about a breakup? Myers’ book has something for everyone.”

No Depression

“Myers provides a new introduction to the songs, which were written between 1952 and 1991, setting each in its cultural context, as well as indicating its historical significance . . . Following these introductions, Myers then turns the mike over to the artists, writers, musicians, and producers behind each song, who tell us about the stories behind it . . . Music fans will enjoy the behind-the-songs stories.”

Publishers Weekly

I expanded our approach to ensure that our album wouldn’t be chopped into singles for AM radio. So I produced ‘Whole Lotta Love’ as an uneditable expression.

Jimmy Page

“On ‘Street Fighting Man’s opening riff, I used enormous force on the strings. I like to whip them pretty hard.”

Keith Richards

“ 'Love’s in Need of Love Today’ emerged from the process of listening to what I was doing on the keyboard. To this day, I never sit down and formally write songs.”

Stevie Wonder

" 'White Rabbit' is a very good song. I'm not a genius, but I don't suck. My only complaint is that the lyrics could have been stronger. More people should have been annoyed. "

                                                                Grace Slick

About the Book…

In Anatomy of a Song (Grove Press), Marc Myers features 45 of his interviews with leading rock, R&B and pop artists on the iconic hits they wrote and recorded. The interviews are organized in chronological order and are prefaced with introductions that trace the evolution of R&B and rock from 1952 to 1991.

The Songs…

1: Lawdy Miss Clawdy
2: K.C. Loving (Kansas City)
3: Shout
4: Please Mr. Postman
5: Runaround Sue
6: Chapel of Love
7: You Really Got Me
8: You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
9: My Girl
10: Reach Out I’ll Be There
11: Darling Be Home Soon
12: Light My Fire
13: White Rabbit
14: Groovin’
15: Different Drum
16: (Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay
17: Fist City
18. Street Fighting Man
19: Stand By Your Man
20: Magic Carpet Ride
21: Proud Mary
22: Oh Happy Day
23: Suspicious Minds
24: Whole Lotta Love
25: Mercedes Benz
26: Moonlight Mile
27: Maggie May
28: Carey
29: Respect Yourself
30: The Harder They Come 
31: Midnight Train to Georgia
32: Ramblin’ Man
33: Rock the Boat
34: Walk This Way
35: Love’s in Need of Love Today 
36: Deacon Blues
37: (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes
38: Heart of Glass
39: Another Brick in the Wall
40: London Calling
41: Brother John/Iko Iko
42: Big City
43: Time After Time
44: Nick of Time
45: Losing My Religion

Interviews With…

Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, Elvis Costello, Debbie Harry, Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder, Linda Ronstadt, Rod Stewart, the Kinks, Smokey Robinson, Loretta Lynn, John Fogerty, Merle Haggard, Joni Mitchell, the Clash, Jimmy Cliff, Gladys Knight, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Donald Fagen, Walter Becker, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Stipe, Bonnie Raitt and many more.