10 Best Music Books of 2014

From the stage to the page: The year's best biographies, rock crit, photo essays and more

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'Special Deluxe: A Memoir of Life & Cars' by Neil Young
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9. 'Special Deluxe: A Memoir of Life & Cars' by Neil Young

Neil Young is a man of obsessions. Over the years he's fixated on everything from toy trains to digital audio quality, but the one constant has been classic automobiles — which meant many fans groaned when they learned his new book would focus on the many cars he's owned over the years. Thankfully, their fears were unfounded. The car angle is merely a clever framing device for Young to tell his life story in a more linear fashion than his scattershot 2013 memoir Waging Heavy Peace. Along the way we learn about the making of After The Goldrush ("I had just purchased a pound of Panama Red"), his regrets over his mistreatment of the members of Crazy Horse and Buffalo Springfield ("I was mostly juvenile and had no patience") and a crazy morning last year when his electric car LinkVolt broke down in Manhattan on his way to film a bit with Bill O'Reilly and Stephen Colbert, almost stalling out in the Lincoln Tunnel ("It was not a good day for us"). People wanting a straight account of Young's life will still be better served by reading Jimmy McDonough's definitive biography Shakey, but Special Deluxe is an enjoyable trip into the singer's endlessly fascinating mind. By Andy Greene

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