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All Music Guide to Rock: The Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop and Soul Paperback – Apr 1 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1400 pages
  • Publisher: Backbeat Books; 3 edition (April 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087930653X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879306533
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 18.3 x 23 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #389,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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By Mad Dog on Sept. 23 2003
Format: Paperback
If you're into rock trivia or just have the need to know more detail, this is an excellent source. It is not fully encyclopedic, missing many albums found in other books, such as the Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock. The writing is generally very good to excellent and doesn't lean into the overly opinionated, a fault with the Rolling Stone book. At the back of the book, there is a section covering the evolution of rock music that is very informative. It includes recommended recordings for many genres. Another minor point - some of the album release dates in this book are incorrect.
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Format: Paperback
This book is without a doubt the best overall guide to rock bands and musicians I have encountered. The coverage is very full - each artist has a career summary at the beginning which usually indicates highlight albums. THEN there is a discussion album by album. This is fantastic for being able to decide (if a given band is one you want to check out but are not familiar with their total output) which albums to buy to get their very best. The reviews are in general very well balanced. On some bands, a few albums are only listed rather than reviewed, reflecting the Guide's view that these albums are minor by comaprions - and one may diagree with this on given albums - but all up, this book is a must-have!
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Format: Paperback
First things first: AMG's rock guide is still the most comprehensive look at modern rock music of all styles. This honor is only won, though, by the default of Trouser Press to update their album guide after 1996.
If you're merely interested in exploring contemporary rock music, skip the purchase; refer to AMG's website, search to your heart's delight, and take their suggestions with a grain of salt.
If you're a die hard aficionado and looking to complete a well-rounded collection, AMG's guide serves as a checklist of sorts for choosing from the discographies of thousands of artists. Again, you will certainly find your opinions vary from those of the writers.* Do not buy blindly.
For albums produced prior to 1995, I personally refer to the Trouser Press guide or the 2nd edition of AMG's guide. In the 2nd edition of the AMG rock guide, the writing style is closer to rock journalism than fan fiction, and the reviews seem honest rather than celebratory.
*As for other users' comments that the reviews in the 3rd edition seem to be written by fans rather than journalists: that's because they are written by fans. At the launch of the AMG website, AMG began allowing fans to submit reviews; with the publication of the 3rd edition guide, they began including fans' reviews in the written volume. Personally, I found the reviews to be more consistent and fair when authored by the AMG staff.
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By Dougie on March 8 2003
Format: Paperback
The only problem is they like TOO much and seem to have a hard time being negative.
Besides that, this thing is the musical reference bible that provides endless browing, fact-checking, and (most inportantly) points you in the direction of great music.
If you love music, do yourself the favor of picking this up and you will not regret it.
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Format: Paperback
This is the most complete history of rock I've ever seen--and I saw quite a few when I was researching for my book "Forever Retro Blues." This book has become indespensible as a tool for promoting my book also. I can get a call to be a guest on radio as few as three hours before. It's great to be able to look up an artist or record that a host mentions before or during commercial breaks. This book is organized in a way that allows me to do that.
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By NICK DODD on Aug. 26 2002
Format: Paperback
I agree with most of the sentiment expressed by the other reviewers. It's still the best guide out there, but its previously high standards have dropped alarmingly. Not only do we lose some excellent and helpful essays, but these are frequently replaced with fan-type reviews, which almost always are unobjective (i.e. they praise the band/artist without question), and which are therefore largely useless to the reader wishing to explore the music of that artist (I seem to recall the entry on 'Modest Mouse' being something on these lines...although my memory may be failing me).
To summarize: It's still the best guide out there, but I sincerely hope that the editors realise the error of their ways with this 3rd edition and rectify it in the 4th.
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