Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s untimely death. Over three decades ago, Lennon was fatally shot in front of The Dakota building where he lived. As we pay tribute to this legendary music icon, several of his most memorable songs inevitably come to mind. Among them, his 1971 best-selling single, “Imagine”—arguably one the most revered songs of our time. Why does this song continue to to possess and haunt us after almost 40 years?
In Hits: Philosophy of the Juke Box, author Peter Szendy analyzes “Imagine” and other popular songs. He probes the ever-growing and ever more global phenomenon of the hit song. The hit song, Szendy concludes functions like a myth, a force of repetition that grows by force of repetition. After reading this book, one can no longer avoid realizing that music is more than a soundtrack: It is the condition of our Lives.
Hits: Philosophy of the Juke Box will publish in July 2011.