Leading Australian Icons in Music: Insights Into 20 Australian Legends That Have Influenced the Music Industry Since the 1970s (Leading Legends in Music)
Independently Published (2022)
Reviewed by Amy Lignor for Reader Views (02/2022)
I honestly searched my memory banks when I was told the title of this book. I mean… I’ve read all the other fantastic encyclopedic/coffee table tomes this author has written regarding the music industry and absolutely loved every word of them. Yet… no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t remember icons or music legends from Australia. Oddly enough, as I was mulling this over, in the background, my television (which is always playing quietly to help me concentrate) suddenly issued a highly familiar voice—from a highly familiar movie—through its speakers. The “stud with the great hair” John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John were there, in 50s garb, singing to each other in that entertaining film: Grease!
Yes, Olivia was most assuredly Aussie born and bred, and that was the movie that catapulted her and her music into the upper echelons of the “best” singers. She had been in my soul for a good long time; I thought “Xanadu” was cool, too. So, when I received this “Legends” book to read, it came as no surprise that Ms. Newton-John, who became one of the most beloved singers and actresses of her time, was well-represented.
As always with these unique books, I dove headfirst into the other icons that, yes, I knew quite well. (I’d just shamefully forgotten they had roots in Australia.) The Bee Gees… remember them? The three Gibb brothers that were a famous band, yet ended up kind of red-faced when Andy Gibb, the youngest brother, became even more popular than the trio of Barry, Maurice, and Robin. The Bee Gees were referred to as the Disco Kings during their reign in music, even though the twins, Maurice and Robin, had some truly difficult times while having to work together.
Then I got to move on to another one of my absolute favorites in the country world: Keith Urban. Now, yes, he’s certainly famous for marrying Nicole Kidman, but with or without Tom Cruise’s ex on his arm, Keith became an Australian/American legend in the world of country music. He has that powerful triple talent of being a singer, songwriter, and actor, and even became one of the most popular judges on “The Voice – Australia” and “American Idol.”
The names represented here speak volumes for Australian talent. Think about it… you have Flea, INXS, Kylie Minogue—entertainers and singers who have become some of the most recognized and respected voices in the industry today. And this author, Jene Roswell, yet again has done his homework. He not only gives you the backstories about these incredible creators, but he also offers up little-known and fun facts about the performers and their careers. He makes sure that when you’re done reading about one of the legends, you feel like you really know them and what they went through to climb that ladder of fame and fortune.
By utilizing these specific 20 musical legends, readers are able to put their hand on the pulse of an entire country. I mean, these are all Australian legends who remain unmatched in their specific category, and the author offers up the information in a way that flows easily, has no errors, and is presented impeccably for the reader to enjoy. It is no doubt that, as with the other books I’ve viewed from this author, I can guarantee you will want to read this one over and over again as well! “5-Stars!” My advice is to not just purchase this book, but purchase all four Jene Roswell has taken the time and effort to produce. (Gotta go. I’m going to go watch Grease again!)