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THE HOLY OR THE BROKEN we´re gonna need a bigger bookshelf


No bookshelf should be without it.

by Norman Warwick

Praised by The New York Times as a “thoughtful and illuminating” work of music journalism, this is the unforgettable, fascinating, and unexpected account of one of the most performed and beloved songs in pop history–Leonard Cohen’s heartrending “Hallelujah.”

When Leonard Cohen (lit large, left) first wrote and recorded the song “Hallelujah,” it attracted little attention or airplay, dismissed by both fans and critics alike. Today, it is one of the most recorded songs in history, having been covered by a variety of music icons including Celine Dion, Bon Jovi, Willie Nelson, and, most famously, Jeff Buckley. It’s been featured on soundtracks as diverse as Shrek to The West Wing. And in the days after major tragedies, it has brought comfort to thousands after being featured in the MTV 9/11 tribute video and the telethon for the 2010 Haitian earthquake.

So, how did one relatively unknown song become an unofficial international anthem for human triumph and tragedy, one which each successive generation feels they have discovered and claimed as uniquely their own? Through in-depth interviews and expansive research, long-time music journalist Alan Light follows the captivating and improbable journey of “Hallelujah” to the heart of popular culture.

Discover how great songs come to be, and how we as listeners have the endless ability to project a succession of meanings onto a cultural artefact, forever reinterpreting art through the lens of current events and the latest trends. Bathesian Death Of Author and all that.

“A combination mystery tale, detective story, pop critique, and sacred psalm of its own” (Daily News, New York), The Holy Or The Broken is a revelatory and masterful exploration of the overwhelming power of music.


we´re gonna need a bigger bookshelf

Title                              The Holy Or The Broken

Author                          Alan Light

Price                              $16.74

Publisher                      Atria Books

Publish Date                 June 07, 2022

Pages                             320

Dimensions                  5.45 X 8.25 X 0.91 inches | 0.61 pounds

Language                      English

Type                              Paperback

EAN/UPC                    9781982141363

photo authorAlan Light is one of America’s leading music journalists and is the cohost of the daily music talk show Debatable on SiriusXM.

He was a senior writer at Rolling Stone, founding music editor and editor-in-chief of Vibe, and editor-in-chief of Spin.

He is a frequent contributor to The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and Esquire, among other publications.

Alan is the author of Let’s Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain; biographies of Johnny Cash, Nina Simone, and the Beastie Boys.

He was alos the co-writer of New York Times bestselling memoirs by Gregg Allman and Peter Frampton.

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