The Best Music Books of 2021 - Rolling Stone
Home Music Music Lists

The Best Music Books of 2021

From a wide-ranging history of Black feminist sound to deep dives into Southern classics by Outkast and the Drive-By Truckers to moving memoirs from Dave Grohl, Stevie Van Zandt, and Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner.

paul mccartney Ricki Lee Jones michelle zauner japanese breakfast dave grohlpaul mccartney Ricki Lee Jones michelle zauner japanese breakfast dave grohl

Mary McCartney*; Peter Ash Lee*; Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images; Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images/Children's Hospital Los Angeles

This year, many of the books we loved most used music as a lens through which to examine broader issues of politics, history, and identity — whether it was the story of capitalist circulation as heard by Joshua Clover in the Modern Lovers’ “Roadrunner,” Hanif Abdurraqib riffing on everything from Soul Train to 1920s dance crazes in his panoramic A Little Devil in America, or Eric Harvey exploring depictions of African American life in Eighties pop culture. Also included in our list of staff favorites (which is unranked and in alphabetical order by author) you’ll see some great, revealing musician memoirs from the worlds of rock, indie pop, rap, and country, as well as fascinating new works that deal with the vagaries of the music business, the story of Latin music, the history of women in hip-hop, and more.


Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.