You Call It Madness Lenny Kaye -- poet, rock critic, guitarist for Patti Smith for three decades -- has written a gorgeously authoritative history of crooning reaching back to… You Call It Madness Lenny Kaye -- poet, rock critic, guitarist for Patti Smith for three decades -- has written a gorgeously authoritative history of crooning reaching back to… 2004-08-03 Nonfiction
Book Review

You Call It Madness (2004)

EW's GRADE
A

Details Release Date: Aug 03, 2004; Writer: Lenny Kaye; Genre: Nonfiction

Lenny Kaye -- poet, rock critic, guitarist for Patti Smith for three decades -- has written a gorgeously authoritative history of crooning reaching back to the 1930s in You Call It Madness. Beginning with Russ Columbo, moving on through Rudy Vallee and Bing Crosby, and including surprises like Iggy Pop (''in the lower registers, the horse latitudes of melody''), Kaye delivers scholarship through daringly impressionistic prose that can even describe crucial sounds: ''Yoo hoo. Boo hoo. The double o of crooning. A circle squared. Times two, or should we say too ...'' Entrancing.

Originally posted Aug 06, 2004 Published in issue #777 Aug 06, 2004 Order article reprints
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