mark blake

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Magnifico!: The A to Z of Queen (Nine Eight Books, 2021)

The story of Queen is rich with anecdotes, trivia, humour and tragedy - accompanied by some of the best-known songs of all time. In this revealing profile, acclaimed biographer Mark Blake uses a unique 'A to Z' approach to shed new light on the legendary band. With every entry aiming to celebrate, inform, entertain or amuse, Blake's complete portrait covers not only the major hits and bestselling albums, but also the inside stories behind the music.

Via a series of essays, lists and mini biographies, the author shares a wealth of lesser-known details - gained from over thirty years of original interviews - and explores what the songs of Queen say about their creators. The book's format also allows it to take fascinating tangents, charting the places, characters and events that, often inadvertently, played a part in shaping the band and informing its music.

Elsewhere, entries offer light-hearted trivia - from a list of LPs the band was listening to in 1970 to tales of the fifteen Jimi Hendrix gigs Freddie Mercury hitch-hiked around the UK to attend - as well as serious analysis, including the truth behind Mercury's funeral, which was effectively controlled by Queen's management, and a reflection on the ways in which the flamboyant frontman confronted the twentieth century's sexual mores and prejudices.

Addressing the phenomenal success of Bohemian Rhapsody, while challenging the fictionalised account it sold to cinemagoers, Blake builds on the band's enduring audience appeal in order to provide a fresh and unparalleled take on Queen's music, story and legacy.

Bring It On Home: Peter Grant, Led Zeppelin And Beyond – The Story Of Rock’s Greatest Manager
(Constable & Robinson/Da Capo, 2018) 

A Sunday Times Pop Book Of The Year 
A Daily Telegraph Music Book Of The Year 
A Daily Mail Music Book Of The Year 
A Times Music Book Of The Year 
The Observer’s Best Books Of 2018

“Enthralling and rigorously researched…” Sunday Times 

“Blake has talked to everyone, and the stories are lurid and melancholy.” Mail On Sunday 

“Sheds new light on how excess and tragedy tore this amazing band apart.” The Sun 

“Of the many Led Zeppelin biographies marking the band's 50th anniversary, this is the most illuminating.” The Times

“A tale as expansive and complex as the man himself…” Mojo 

“Thought provoking, humorous and fascinating… A truly excellent biography.” Dave Lewis, Tight But Loose.

Pigs Might Fly: The Inside Story Of Pink Floyd (Aurum Press/ Da Capo, 2007, 2013, 2017) 

Paperback Of The Week, 2013 The Guardian

"Mark Blake brings Floydology into the 21st Century." Sunday Telegraph 

“You really do feel as if you’re being sucked into the drama…” New York Press 

"An engrossing and big-hearted history, rich in human detail and atmosphere.” The Observer 

"Chances are you probably won't see another Pink Floyd book on the shelves anytime soon because this one gets it right.” Kirkus

"Mark Blake does Pink Floyd justice with some heroic research." Mojo

“Until Pink himself writes his memoirs, this is the best Floyd biography you'll read.” Word 

Is This The Real Life: The Untold Story Of Queen (Aurum Press/Da Capo, 2010) 

Pick Of The Paperbacks Daily Telegraph 

“The whole, splendid saga… Sparkling anecdotes throughout.” Mojo 

“Blake matches the detail of his Pink Floyd book with a fluid, muscular narration of the band’s rise. Crucially, he interviews the key players which the other biographies don’t. ” Classic Rock 

“Richly detailed...draws on extensive new interviews.” Daily Telegraph 

“A good choice for Queen experts and more lightweight fans.” Sunday Business Post   

Pretend You’re In A War: The Who And The Sixties (Aurum Press, 2015)  

“Blake gives new reasons to appreciate the angst and theory behind The Who’s music …” Sunday Telegraph 

“A definitive tome for Who fans and newcomers alike” Q Magazine  

“Puts other Who books in the shade.” Richard Evans, 

“A rollicking and insightful tale.” Mojo 

“A compelling read...and a story told with unflinching care and infectious enthusiasm." Classic Rock 

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