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.
Vladimir Bogdanov is president of All Media Guide (AMG); Chris Woodstra is AMG editor-in-chief; Stephen Thomas Erlewine is an AMG senior editor.
This review is in response to Mr. Bogdanov's book, with the featured Amazon link to p. 557 concerning the song, Wipe Out:
• Excerpt from page 557 "... Read more
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... Read morePublished on Sept. 23 2003 by Mad Dog
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... Read morePublished on Aug. 19 2003 by Leigh Blackmore
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,... Read more
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. Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2003 by KatSchool
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. Read morePublished on Aug. 26 2002 by NICK DODD