The Art of Noise

Conversations with Great Songwriters

Daniel Rachel

St. Martin's Griffin

A collection of brand-new, in-depth, and revealing conversations about songwriting with some of the world's most-noted hitmakers
THE ART OF NOISE offers an unprecedented collection of insightful, of-the-moment conversations with twenty-seven of the great songwriters.  They discuss everything from their individual approaches to writing, to the inspiration behind their most successful songs, to the techniques and methods they have independently developed to foster their creativity. 

Contributors include:

Sting * Ray Davies * Robin Gibb * Jimmy Page * Joan Armatrading * Noel Gallagher * Lily Allen * Annie Lennox * Damon Albarn * Noel Gallagher * Laura Marling * Paul Weller * Johnny Marr * and many more

Each interview is approached with depth of understanding—of the practice of songwriting, but also of each musician's catalog.  The result is a collection of conversations that's probing, informed, and altogether entertaining—what contributor Noel Gallagher called "without doubt the finest book I've ever read about songwriters and the songs they write."
The collected experience of these songwriters makes this book the essential word of songwriting—as spoken by the songwriters themselves.


Read an Excerpt



And just when I wanted no one to be there / All of my friends were there / Not just my friends / But their best friends too.

Behind Ray Davies is the celebrated British music hall tradition: an era of song, laughter and alcohol. Music hall was riotous and unconstrained by the Royal Patent which regulated legitimate theatres, and its songs told stories in the folk tradition. Rogues, wastrels and criminals were remembered and even celebrated on the Victorian stage, like ‘Sam Hall’ or George Leybourne’s comic character ‘Champagne Char



Praise for The Art of Noise

An Editor's Fall Pick by Library Journal

"Uniformly interesting...A splendid treat for music aficionados."—Kirkus Reviews

"These are fans notes that will appeal to those obsessive about the details of songwriting."Publishers Weekly


“This is without doubt the finest book I've ever read about songwriters and the songs they write. Fantastic, insightful interviews.  I remember being interviewed for it at the time and thinking, 'I wish all interviews were like this.' ” —Noel Gallagher


"A great set of questions.  I'm proud to be a part of this project." —Ray Davies


“Rachel is a really intelligent, clued-up, and musically astute interviewer and his book is worth more than its hefty weight.” —Daily Sport (UK)


“Impeccably researched, thoughtful, and well-angled…ART OF NOISE is an insightful read. Rachel gains the confidence of his subject and, in doing so, hundreds of engaging thoughts on individual process emerge, amounting to the essential word on classic British songwriting.”—Mouth Magazine


“Daniel Rachel’s ART OF NOISE (St. Martin's Griffin) is made for sipping slowly…Rachel has an insider’s advantage and his shrewd questions draw fascinating insights from reliably analytical characters.”—Dorian Lynskey, The Guardian


“Rachel’s interviews are enthralling and vivid. Our senses are excited, our consciousness heightened and our mind’s utterly captivated…Rachel has delivered a true moment of glory with this Bible for music fans.”—J. Rodger, Balthazar Review


“Rachel’s questioning is sharp and well informed…It’s a fascinating read that any musician or songwriter would find both helpful and thought-provoking, as would anyone with an interest in pop culture. After reading the interviews I guarantee you will listen to these artists with fresh ears, renewed interest and fresh appreciation. A remarkable achievement.”—Duncan Fletcher, Subba Cultcha


“The interviews…are as in-depth as you could possibly hope for…ART OF NOISE is an outstanding book that will appeal to all kinds of discerning music lovers – and to songwriters of all persuasions.”—Russell Deeks, Songwriting

“A superb new book…Rachel has managed to bring together a truly impressive ensemble of British tunesmiths…The results are hugely enjoyable.”—Thomas McGrath, Dangerous Minds


“Documenting fifty years of British songwriting through unique personal insights and an impressive wealth of knowledge, this is a beautiful book.”—Emma Parlons, Life of Yablon


“Rarely has this thought-provoking subject been tackled in such an engaging and insightful way.”—Jocks and Nerds Review


“ART OF NOISE offers a fascinating glimpse into the mind of a songwriter.”—Campbell Miller, The List


“What a collection…it’s absolutely fantastic.”—Janice Long, BBC RADIO 2

“A fascinating book.”—Miranda Sawyer, LOOSE ENDS BBC RADIO 4

“Never less than illuminating.”—Belfast Telegraph

“It’s a fascinating insight into songwriting.”—Robert Elms, BBC LONDON

An NME and Guardian Best Music Book of 2013

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Daniel Rachel

  • DANIEL RACHEL is a writer and musician.  He wrote his first song when he was sixteen and was the lead singer of Rachel's Basement. A specialist in Forum Theatre direction, he lives in north London with his partner and three children. The Art of Noise is his first book.
  • Daniel Rachel


Available Formats and Book Details

The Art of Noise

Conversations with Great Songwriters

Daniel Rachel



St. Martin's Griffin