The Black Chord

by David Corio
The Black Chord

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£53.99
This volume is a graphically improved re-edition and re-invention of a book that first appeared in 1999. The classic Corio portraits have been swapped in a few places, but the line-up of brilliance they represent is unchanged, as is the text itself, apart from a little polish here and there. All quotes are taken from either the lifetime of original interviews I have conducted as a music journalist, first published in the mid-1970s British rock press, or from the many months of interviews I conducted specifically for The Black Chord, unless otherwise noted. My choice of additional subjects was dictated by David's magnificent portrait gallery. I wanted to, if not directly quote, at least contextualize every artist. In the intervening decades, many have left us. Some shine even more brightly. Regarding others whose luster has been tarnished by scandal, it may be a poignant surprise to recall how they were viewed before the sad, sordid truth came out. Like my dear friend and colleague David Corio - who had shot some of my own finest portraits - I came up in the London media and arts scene of the 1970s and '80s; in the early '90s, we both moved to New York. We shared the same typical Londoner's sort of eclectic pan-Black aesthetic: A love of soul, jazz, hip hop, R'n'B, music from Africa, particularly Francophone West Africa, and we had a special passion for reggae and dub. We shared a cultural formation, one that is reflected in this eclectic collection. When he told me in the closing years of the last century that he was planning a book of his portraits and asked if I might be interested in writing it, I sat with the archive and marveled. Through his serious commitment to and passion for music, he had kept on shooting since 1976, usually for a publication or label, but often for love, until his archive spelled out much of the arc of Black popular music from the latter half of the 20th century. I found it epic. Over a North London lunch with Trinidadian writer and broadcaster Isaac Fergusson, we discussed the way music has flowed in cycles of creativity; how the Africa from which so many individuals had been stolen remained the foundation for virtually everything we loved to listen to. That idea, that truth, resonated and took form in an alluring vibration. We decided to call it The Black Chord, as no matter how different were the sounds, together they formed one mighty harmony. - Vivien Goldman
About the book

This volume is a graphically improved re-edition and re-invention of a book that first appeared in 1999. The classic Corio portraits have been swapped in a few places, but the line-up of brilliance they represent is unchanged, as is the text itself, apart from a little polish here and there. All quotes are taken from either the lifetime of original interviews I have conducted as a music journalist, first published in the mid-1970s British rock press, or from the many months of interviews I conducted specifically for The Black Chord, unless otherwise noted. My choice of additional subjects was dictated by David's magnificent portrait gallery. I wanted to, if not directly quote, at least contextualize every artist. In the intervening decades, many have left us. Some shine even more brightly. Regarding others whose luster has been tarnished by scandal, it may be a poignant surprise to recall how they were viewed before the sad, sordid truth came out. Like my dear friend and colleague David Corio - who had shot some of my own finest portraits - I came up in the London media and arts scene of the 1970s and '80s; in the early '90s, we both moved to New York. We shared the same typical Londoner's sort of eclectic pan-Black aesthetic: A love of soul, jazz, hip hop, R'n'B, music from Africa, particularly Francophone West Africa, and we had a special passion for reggae and dub. We shared a cultural formation, one that is reflected in this eclectic collection. When he told me in the closing years of the last century that he was planning a book of his portraits and asked if I might be interested in writing it, I sat with the archive and marveled. Through his serious commitment to and passion for music, he had kept on shooting since 1976, usually for a publication or label, but often for love, until his archive spelled out much of the arc of Black popular music from the latter half of the 20th century. I found it epic. Over a North London lunch with Trinidadian writer and broadcaster Isaac Fergusson, we discussed the way music has flowed in cycles of creativity; how the Africa from which so many individuals had been stolen remained the foundation for virtually everything we loved to listen to. That idea, that truth, resonated and took form in an alluring vibration. We decided to call it The Black Chord, as no matter how different were the sounds, together they formed one mighty harmony. - Vivien Goldman