Friday, 15 July 2016

A Cracked Jewel Case



by Kevin Pearce

with a cover designed by Per-Christian Hille


“Here’s a book that you should open if you want to know much more about ...”

1990s pop. Opening up versus closing down. How the energy was passed around. When one thing led to another. So many new worlds to discover. Take a pile of compact discs. And find out who was taking risks. A dog-eared digipak and a cracked jewel case. Here’s to those who never knew their place. Sometimes distance offers new perspectives. Revealing clues to the pop detectives.

Pick out fragments of what was happening. Put them together to create new patterns. Depth charge bass and broken beats. Wildflowers growing in the streets. Shadows dance all across the wall. A lovers melody for when you fall. Did you ever hear the dub mix? Old games transformed by brand new tricks. Buying back sounds rashly sold. Bringing in names from the cold. Revelations hiding in plain sight. Dusty corners needing some new light.

A Cracked Jewel Case is the final part in a trilogy of titles that form a dub history of late twentieth century pop culture. The other books in the series are A Moment Worth Waiting For and You Know My Name: The Lovers, The Dreamers and Bobby Scott. They are the work of Kevin Pearce whose writing includes the acclaimed book of pop mythography Something Beginning With O and scripts for the London films of Paul Kelly & Saint Etienne.

AVAILABLE NOW WORLDWIDE THROUGH AMAZON for £3.00 or an equivalent amount.

Free Kindle reading apps for computers, smartphones and tablets are available through Amazon. 

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

You Know My Name - a short promotional film


This is a short promotional film about You Know My Name: The Lovers, The Dreamers, And Me by Kevin Pearce. The video was put together by Per-Christian Hille who designed the cover for the book. You Know My Name is available digitally through Amazon. If you can help spread the word everyone at YHO will be eternally grateful.

Friday, 12 June 2015

You Know My Name



by Kevin Pearce
with a cover designed by Per-Christian Hille


“This is a book about Bobby Scott. Or rather it is a book that starts with Bobby Scott and ends with Bobby Scott. It is all to do with discovering his music and what it leads to. It is a meditation on musical contexts and connections. The book uses Bobby as a totem, in terms of wide-ranging interests and varied activities. It is a celebration of a magnificent musical journey and illogical career progression.”

Let Daniel Williams explain further about this new chapter of dub history:

Perhaps you won’t actually know his name, but if you’ve any interest in the jazz, soul, pop, folk, blues or Brazilian music of the 1960s and 70s, then you will almost certainly have heard either the songs or the piano playing of Bobby Scott. Take ‘A Taste of Honey’, recorded by The Beatles for their first LP – that’s one of Bobby’s. ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’, another.

Following on from his previous book, ‘A Moment Worth Waiting For’, which focussed on the early 1980s and took the equally adventurous Vic Godard as its touchstone, here Kevin Pearce traces an insightful and alternative path through the music of the two previous decades – alternative in the sense that Bobby Scott and many of the singers and musicians with whom he worked have not been anything like as celebrated as they deserve to be.

Bobby Scott’s approach was genre-blind if not genre-busting, illustrative of the plurality, interconnectedness, and cross-pollinating tendencies of a certain type of musical adventurer. He was, in the best sense of the word, a mastermind, but one who never lost sight of the gifts which individual singers possessed.

This was a man who packed a lot of living into too short a life. From precocious and energetic youth to grey-bearded patrician, Bobby composed, arranged, conducted, produced, sang, and played on countless sets of music, working with an amazing cast of fellow musicians and singers, including Bobby Darin, Jackie Paris, Chet Baker, Roland Kirk, Quincy Jones, Aretha Franklin, Timi Yuro, Nana Mouskouri, Esther Ofarim, Catherine Howe, Luiz Bonfá, Eumir Deodato, Marvin Gaye, and Dionne Warwick – and just as many less well-known performers, each treated by the writer on the merits of the work they left behind rather than plaudits gathered along the way.

It’s a journey which ‘You Know My Name’ maps in meticulous detail and with great affection, building a portrait of a gifted, fascinating, and generous man, as well as a rich and enlightening history of the music of the times. Among others, Astrud Gilberto, Stan Getz, Gary McFarland and Lalo Schifrin all also feature prominently in the story as it diverges from its central character to record the influential effect that Brazilian bossa nova had on music in the United States from the early 1960s onwards.

The book becomes an evocation of the depth, breadth and staying power of the great American and Brazilian songbooks, and in so doing, an extended treatise on the art of singing. Bobby Scott – himself a vocalist of raw emotional power – is rightfully rescued from the cracks in history down which he has fallen, and along with him, dozens of fine singers and musicians worthy of far greater attention than they received at the time.

"Kevin Pearce is a writer whose work includes the acclaimed work of pop mythography ‘Something Beginning With O’ and film scripts for ‘Finisterre’ and ‘What Have You Done Today, Mervyn Day?’, two of the Paul Kelly/Saint Etienne London films.”

AVAILABLE NOW WORLDWIDE THROUGH AMAZON for £3.00 or an equivalent amount.

Free Kindle reading apps for computers, smartphones and tablets are available through Amazon. 

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

A Moment Worth Waiting For

A MOMENT WORTH WAITING FOR by KEVIN PEARCE is the first book to be published by Your Heart Out. It has a beautiful cover designed by Per-Christian Hille. That should be enough, but to help provide some context this is a selection of quotes about the book:

A Moment Worth Waiting For is a quietly extraordinary book, as fond as it is forensic. It’s guided by the spirit of “discovery… neglected dusty corners … aesthetics and romance, a passion for learning, a fascination with how things fit together”. It explores songs, artists, imaginative ley lines, moments of possibility that are often left out of histories. If this project sounds personal, well, in some ways it is. A Moment Worth Waiting For doesn’t offer big theoretical statements. But every page is studded with insights, connections and subtle realignments of the status quo.” - Sukhdev Sandhu, The Wire

“I would like to suggest it to everyone who loves music and everything essential and peripheral to its making. A mixture of world class memory recall, gleaning and in the end, fabulous writing. Have a look...” – Stephen Pastel

“Out now in digital format for the price of a modern day, city centre pint is A Moment Worth Waiting For. It’s a glorious mind map of forgotten sounds and styles that continually side steps traditional ideas of writing about music and zig zags across records, scenes and artists honing in on and making connections you are sure to have either missed or more likely never dreamt of.” – Subbaculture
“It’s very much the journey and work of a lifetime. The depth of the research – and / or recall – is amazing; key to the book is the contemporary music criticism upon which Kevin draws, so obviously influential in terms of his developing taste. But those well-remembered moments of discovery are merely the beginning, and it’s the lifetime of subsequent listening and exploration which adds lightly disguised layers of retrospective understanding to each instance of musical epiphany.” – A Jumped-Up Pantry Boy

“Generally speaking I don’t like books about music/musicians, often only of interest to the dedicated music aficionado or fan but of no general appeal, however I have to make an exception for Kevin Pearce’s A Moment Worth Waiting For and I am frankly in awe at the breadth and depth of Mr Pearce’s research. Right from the start Mr Pearce offers up a veritable feast to the reader, leading us down one musical pathway after another, many ending up in totally unexpected territory, but fear not, this is the author’s story and he is the guiding light throughout the book, joining the dots to give us a pretty extensive musical and cultural overview of the times. Quotes from a number of sources are ingeniously inserted in to the narrative, always apposite, in context, always credited and some very funny.  You’ll have to delve in yourselves to find out what is in there for you and there is sure to be something that will pique the interest, illuminate and enlighten you.” - Gertie Grocott,

“Prompted by Vic's mention, talk moves on to Kevin Pearce, the brilliant and prolific writer, researcher and cataloguer behind a slew of fiercely passionate zines, books, and blogs including Hungry Beat, Something Beginning With O and Your Heart Out. Pearce's work is marked out by both its eloquence and its depth of research”. – Helen King, The Quietus

You can also read what people are saying about the book on Goodreads. You might even want to have your say there or elsewhere.

The book is available in digital format through or your local equivalent. 

Sunday, 29 June 2014

A Moment Worth Waiting For

by Kevin Pearce


A mesmerising dub history of late twentieth-century popular culture emerges when a writer stops to consider the forces that have shaped his musical explorations.
Set initially over a two-year period at the start of the 1980s, the book zooms back and forth through time, tracing where clues led and how things fit together, to understand better the urge to hear and learn something new, to look at art in a new way.
Part of the focus is on how things were originally presented, how ideas were absorbed, how names recur, and the long-term impact. In that sense it is a celebration of journalists on the music press like Sounds’ Dave McCullough, the NME’s Ian Penman, and several others: the contexts they created, the chances they took, the seeds they planted, the searches they prompted.
Musically, the book starts with Vic Godard’s ‘What’s The Matter Boy’ LP and takes in some of the activities of the ZE, Postcard, Rough Trade, Y and On-U Sound labels, as well as Eddy Grant, A Certain Ratio, Frank Sinatra, Weekend, Pale Fountains, Everything But The Girl, and many others. These sounds in turn lead to torch songs and vocal jazz, ’60s soul and lovers rock, disco dub and afrobeat, bossa nova and samba, skiffle and music hall, calypso and free jazz, Bristol blues ’n’ roots and the Chicago underground, British funk and Nigerian boogie, Greek neo kyma and Cuban nueva trova singers, plus a whole lot more.
The author is Kevin Pearce, whose work includes the acclaimed book ‘Something Beginning With O’ and film scripts for Paul Kelly/Saint Etienne. He contributed regularly to the Tangents website, and ran the irregular publication ‘Your Heart Out’ for five years and fifty editions. This book is an attempt at understanding what has been behind all these words and ideas. The text draws together and elaborates on themes from these and other sources.
‘A Moment Worth Waiting For’ is the perfect diversion for those who love playing with words and patterns and clues, and for those who believe there should be more than one solution to any jigsaw puzzle.

AVAILABLE NOW WORLDWIDE THROUGH AMAZON for £4.50 or an equivalent amount.
Free Kindle reading apps for computers, smartphones and tablets are also available through Amazon.  

Monday, 7 October 2013


The fiftieth and final issue of YHO is about listening.  It is illustrated using examples of records which have become life-supports between and during YHO explorations.  These might include ones by Pinch, Pursuit Grooves, Photek, Cyrus, Sherwood, Shackleton and Smith & Mighty, but that’s not really the point.

So, yes, this is the end of YHO’s five-year plan.  It’s time now to tackle something new.  In the meantime, there are fifty issues here to explore.  Thanks to those who have supported this adventure, and greetings to those who may be new arrivals. 

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

yho49 - compound

The forty-ninth edition of YHO begins by being preoccupied by the remarkable 1983 recording Noir et Blanc by Zazou/Bikaye/CY1, which is sort of the sound of young Zaire meets Suicide at the grassroots of dub.  It then launches into an aural adventure that takes in many, many things, including:

·         Papa Wemba and Kanda Bongo Man
·         Barney Wilen and Caroline De Bendern
·         Don Cherry and Jacques Thollot
·         Lizzy Mercier Descloux and Brion Gysin
·         Elli Medeiros and Ramuntcho Matta
·         Samia Farah and Zap Mama
·         Aksak Maboul and The Honeymoon Killers
·         Catherine Jauniaux and Cold Storage
·         ZNR and Joseph Racaille