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All Music Guide to Rock: The Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop and Soul [Paperback]

Chris Woodstra , Stephen Thomas Erlewine , Vladimir Bogdanov
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1 2002 Book
(Book). Easy to use and fun to explore, this 1,400-page tome is the most complete guide ever published on the artists and recordings that really rock. Compiled by dozens of music critics, it reviews and rates more than 14,000 great albums by over 2,200 artists and groups in more than 400 styles both mainstream and alternative including bootlegs, import-only releases, important out-of-print recordings, and lesser-known cult artists. A brief profile details each performer's career, while insightful reviews of top recordings help define the musician's artistic development and impact on rock. Expanded biographies spotlight major figures, along with complete album discographies. Also features educational essays and "music maps" that chart the evolution of rock's diverse subgenres at a glance.

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Product Details

Product Description

From Library Journal

As accurate and obsessively detailed as www.allmusic.com is, its print cousins can seem somewhat redundant. This well-established entry, now in its third edition, offers biographical and listener's advisory information on artists and recordings that All Music Guide (AMG) editors Bogdanov, Chris Woodstra, and Stephen Thomas Erlewine have deemed rock an all-encompassing term that includes pop, soul, R&B, rap, and easy listening. Since the last edition (1997), about 3000 album reviews and 400 artist profiles have been added. That makes for a total of 2200 alphabetically arranged artist entries and 14,000 reviews (rated on a scale of one to five stars), most of which are signed. While the contributors cover a remarkable range of new artists from Aaliyah to Weezer, they often give short shrift to those who recorded prior to the 1980s; sometimes, whole bodies of work are ignored in favor of "best of" compilations. Refreshingly, most reviews are free of rock elitism, so useful guidance is given for styles often reviled by critics (e.g., heavy metal). The closing section offers a series of introductory essays on various rock styles, some obvious ("British Invasion") and others obscure ("Jangle Pop"). Also included are dozens of "music maps," flow charts that illustrate the development of each style. The AMG provides more detail and analysis of an artist's career than the MusicHound, Rough Guide, and Rolling Stone books, so having circulating copies on hand may be most appropriate. Recommended, but keep the web site bookmarked. Lloyd Jansen, Stockton-San Joaquin Cty. P.L., CA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Vladimir Bogdanov is president of All Media Guide (AMG); Chris Woodstra is AMG editor-in-chief; Stephen Thomas Erlewine is an AMG senior editor.

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Contemporary R&B singer Aaliyah (born Aaliyah Haughton) became an overnight sensation in 1994 with her debut album. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource Sept. 23 2003
By Mad Dog
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable Guide to Rock Bands Aug. 19 2003
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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3.0 out of 5 stars Still the best guide but only by default June 20 2003
By xiuh
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Treasure trove March 8 2003
By Dougie
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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5.0 out of 5 stars If they ever cut a record, they're here Jan. 2 2003
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Not what it was Aug. 26 2002
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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