Mosaic: Pieces of My Life So Far
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (March 2009)|
The cover jacket of "Mosaic... Pieces of My Life So Far" by Amy Grant
|Genre||Autobiography, Memoir, Poetry, Music|
|Publisher||Random House, WaterBrook Press, Flying Dolphin Press|
|October 16, 2007|
|Media type||Print (Hardback), Audiobook|
|Pages||222 pp (hardback edition)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-385-52289-4 (hardback edition)|
|782.42164092 B 22|
|LC Class||ML420.G814 A3 2007|
Mosaic: Pieces of My Life So Far (ISBN 0-3809-7594-7) is an autobiography written by American musician Amy Grant, published by Flying Dolphin Press and WaterBrook Press (subsidiaries of Random House) and released in October 2007. The book features song lyrics, memoirs, original poetry, pictures, and a partial index of Grant's career achievements. The book is composed largely of short stories, most spanning only a few pages, that provide a glimpse into some chapter of Grant's life or her personal philosophies, often containing a surprise revelation or twist at the end.
Grant had been approached by publishers to pen a book since the early stages of her career. Though she published several books for children and families and a small holiday companion book to her 1992 song, "Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song)", it was not until 2007 that Grant announced that she would finally publish a proper memoir.
The book's publication was scheduled to coincide with Grant's 30th year in the music industry. 2007 also marked Grant's departure from her long-time Contemporary Christian Music record label, Word Records, and her new deal with EMI's Sparrow Records. EMI re-released 17 of Grant's albums as digitally remastered special editions in the same month as Mosaic, as well as a new Greatest Hits CD and DVD set, all of which were cross-promoted with Mosaic in major retailers and online. Additionally, an online collection of most of Grant's music, entitled "The Storytellers' Collection", and a digital ringtone store featuring various Amy Grant songs, were launched at the same time.
Prior to Mosaic, only unofficial biographies of Grant's life and career had been published. Bob Millard had authored the unofficial Amy Grant in 1986, later revised, updated, and reissued as Amy Grant: The Life of a Pop Star in 1994. Mosaic became the first major book to chronicle Grant's life and career since her headline-making divorce from husband Gary Chapman in 1999, marriage to Vince Gill in 2000, induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2002, return to pop music in 2003, and sixth Grammy win in 2005.
The book is divided into an introduction, a career index, and four themed sections, each named after one of Grant's songs: "Every Road", "Heirlooms", "Lead Me On", and "Takes a Little Time". Inside each are various stories from Grant's life, original poems, small black and white pictures, and lyrics to songs that Grant personally wrote, usually related to or inspired by the story immediately preceding or following the lyrics. There are no songs from any of Grant's first three albums. However, the book contains lyrics to four songs which Grant has yet to record.
In the book's opening section, Grant explains her reluctance to write a book and the path that led to her writing and makes a series of acknowledgments. Additionally, this section contains the lyrics to a song that Grant wrote but never recorded (it was recorded by Faith Hill for the Mad About You soundtrack instead): "Who I Am".
Named after "Every Road" from 1997's Behind the Eyes album, the first themed section in Grant's book includes stories of encounters that changed the author's life or provided her with new perspective. Included are stories of the recording of four of her seminal albums (Age to Age, A Christmas Album, Straight Ahead, Unguarded) and a number of outings with other celebrities and political figures, including President George H. W. Bush.
The song lyrics contained within the "Every Road" section are: "Every Road", "Leave It All Behind", "Love Has a Hold on Me", "Children of the World", "Ask Me", "Turn This World Around", "Thy Word", and "Hats".
Named after her successful single, "Heirlooms", from 1983's A Christmas Album, the second themed section in Mosaic concerns Grant's family, both the one she grew up with and the one she forged as an adult through two marriages. The stories in this section typically reveal an experience that had a profound impact on the author's life or the life of her children.
The song lyrics contained within the "Heirlooms" section are: "Heirlooms", "Say Once More", "How Can We See That Far?", "Saved by Love", "Baby Baby", "Mimi's House", "I Will Remember You", "Missing You", "Oh Tennessee", and "True Love". The last two songs are notable because, as of the book's publication in 2007, neither had been recorded by Grant or anyone else. Mosaic marked the debut of both songs, which have been rumored to be potential tracks on a future studio album.
Lead Me On
Named after Grant's smash hit single, "Lead Me On", from the 1988 album of the same name, the third themed section in Mosaic is arguably the most overtly spiritual in the book, concerning profound spiritual encounters with God and Grant's approach to prayer, fellowship, and worship. Included is the story of her re-baptism following her divorce, remarriage, and the birth of her fourth child. This section also features a sixteen page, full-color spread of photos from Grant's childhood and thirty year career.
The song lyrics contained within the "Lead Me On" section are: "Lead Me On", "Angels", "Helping Hand", "1974", "The Water", and "Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song)". This makes this the second of Grant's books to contain the complete lyrics to "Breath of Heaven".
Takes a Little Time
Named after Grant's top-ten pop single, "Takes a Little Time", from 1997's Behind the Eyes album, the fourth themed section in Mosaic takes an intimately personal turn. The stories within contain previously unknown revelations about Grant's lifelong struggle with depression, her personal anguish over her highly publicized 1999 divorce from Gary Chapman, and the pains of blending two families after her 2000 marriage to Vince Gill, among other things.
The song lyrics contained within the "Takes a Little Time" section are: "Takes a Little Time", "All Right", "Carry You", "Cry a River", "Somewhere Down the Road", "After the Fire", "Out in the Open", and "What the Angels See". The last song is notable because, as of Mosaic's publication in 2007, it had never been recorded by Grant or anyone else. Mosaic marked its debut and it is rumored to be a track on a future studio album, along with "Oh, Tennessee" and "True Love".
The book ends with Grant's own step-by-step walk through her life, devoting a paragraph to the major milestones of her life and career. The chronological chapter, entitled "The Times of My Life", spans from the author's birth to the 2006 release of Time Again...Amy Grant Live on CD and DVD and her writing of Mosaic in 2007.
Additionally, there is a discography and videography, along with recent sales certifications numbers, covering fifty Amy Grant releases. The discography is followed by a partial index of major awards and achievements from Grant's career, including her six Grammy awards, 11 Grammy nominations, 22 Dove awards, and her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The book is packaged with an exclusive link that readers can enter into their web browser to retrieve two free .mp3 downloads from Grant's catalog. The free songs are "Sing Your Praise to the Lord" from 1982's Age to Age and "Wise Up" from 1985's Unguarded.
In total, Mosaic contains lyrics to 33 of Grant's self-penned songs.
|Album Name||Number of Songs Published in Mosaic|
|Amy Grant (1977)||0|
|My Father's Eyes (1979)||0|
|Never Alone (1980)||0|
|In Concert (1981)||1|
|In Concert Volume Two (1981)||0|
|Age to Age (1982)||0|
|A Christmas Album (1983)||1|
|Straight Ahead (1984)||2|
|The Collection (1986)||0|
|Lead Me On (1988)||5|
|Heart in Motion (1991)||5|
|Home For Christmas (1992)||1|
|House of Love (1994)||0|
|Behind the Eyes (1997)||7|
|A Christmas to Remember (1999)||0|
|Legacy...Hymns and Faith (2002)||0|
|Simple Things (2003)||2|
|Greatest Hits 1986-2004 (2004)||1|
|Rock of Ages...Hymns and Faith (2005)||1|
|Time Again...Amy Grant Live (2006)||0|
|Songs Not Yet Recorded||4|
Release and reception
The book was released on October 16, 2007 in hardback press by Flying Dolphin Press and WaterBrook Press. Mosaic received rave reviews from a variety of outlets, including Entertainment Weekly and Christianity Today. In November, the book debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list at #35, rising to #27 in December. The book also spent several weeks in the Amazon.com Top 100 best-selling books list.
Grant downplayed the media's characterization of the book as a tell-all, saying, "It’s not an autobiography, but more a collection of memories, song lyrics, poetry, and a few pictures." Still, she has acknowledged in interviews that the book features a number of candid stories. On her website, Grant told her fan club that she is "anxious to get back in the studio after the book is finished, and reinvent myself as an almost-50 performing woman" and indicated that she plans to write again in the future.
To promote the book, Grant launched a national book tour and WaterBrook Press sponsored a major online blog tour. Grant's book tour coincided with her own concert tour and symphony tour at the time, which also promoted Mosaic along with her new Greatest Hits album.
In December, Amy Grant appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show in an episode entitled "Heading Home for the Holidays". The Christmas-themed episode featured an extensive interview with both Grant and husband Vince Gill as well as all five of the couple's children. Grant gave a tour of her home and of her writing cabin on the show. During the episode, Grant discussed Mosaic at length and host Oprah Winfrey read excerpts from her favorite sections. The two debuted the song "True Love", which has never been recorded but was included in lyrical form in Mosaic, as a live duet. Additionally, Amy sang an excerpt of "What the Angels See", another unrecorded song with complete lyrics inside Mosaic. The studio audience received gift copies of Mosaic, Grant's Greatest Hits album, and Gill's These Days album. Following the show, the book's position on the Amazon.com and New York Times bestsellers lists spiked. The episode marked Grant's third appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show and the first in nearly ten years. It was Vince Gill's first appearance.
Other television appearances included The View, Paula's Party with host Paula Deen, The Today Show, The 700 Club, CMT Insider, CMT Loaded, CNN's Showbiz Tonight, Hour of Power, and Fox & Friends. Additionally, the upstart Gospel Music Channel aired a documentary on Amy Grant as part of their Faith and Fame series.
At the time of Mosaic's release, Grant, a one-time spokesperson for Land O'Lakes Butter, became a spokesperson for Country Crock butter and the company's Spread the Sharing campaign. The book, the campaign, and Grant's Greatest Hits CD were cross-promoted. In addition, in support of the new book and CD, Amy Grant launched her own ten episode podcast on iTunes, where it was made available for free. The podcast covered highlights of the artist's life and career and was a major part of a larger iTunes promotional campaign that marked the launch of Grant's entire catalog in digitally remastered, digital rights management-free format on the iTunes Music Store.
In addition to hardback print, Mosaic was released in a 4-disc CD audiobook set (ISBN 1423343077). Unabridged and read by the author, the audiobook features Grant speaking aloud the lyrics to her songs in poetic form, occasionally using actual excerpts from her music and other sound effects as background accompaniment or chapter transitions. The same recording was also made available in cassette tape form (ISBN 1423343069) and in .mp3 form (ISBN 1423343093). Amazon.com also made the book available in its exclusive Kindle format.
Grant also released a single-track .mp3 entitled "Excerpts from Mosaic" to online digital music stores such as iTunes and Amazon.com. The track features excerpts of Grant's audiobook recording of Mosaic and runs 9:59.
Songs From Mosaic
In support of the book and as part of her 2007 digital music campaign, Grant also released Songs From Mosaic, a digital album, in October 2007. The album, carried at online digital music stores such as Amazon.com and iTunes, features 17 of the 30 songs that are reprinted in Mosaic. Additionally, the "Excerpts from Mosaic" track is included on the album. None of the previously unrecorded songs contained in Mosaic are included on the album. The iTunes Music Store included an exclusive digital booklet with its sales of the album.
- Every Road
- Ask Me
- Turn This World Around
- Thy Word
- All Right
- Say Once More (from Lead Me On, not to be confused with Grant's song of the same name from 1980s Never Alone)
- Saved by Love
- Baby Baby
- I Will Remember You
- Missing You
- Lead Me On
- Helping Hand
- Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song)
- Takes a Little Time
- Carry You (version from "Rock of Ages...Hymns and Faith")
- Somewhere Down the Road
- Excerpts from Mosaic - Read by Amy Grant