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1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die: And 10,001 You Must Download Hardcover – November 2, 2010
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- Instrumentals were omitted to narrow the millions of choices. It's not a decision I necessarily support, but there was a rationale behind it.
- The index - while unconventional - is perfectly comprehensible, and the arranging of artists by first initials will be instantly recognizable to anyone familiar with iTunes.
- While I wouldn't dispute the worth of The Allman Brothers, they weren't a big deal in Britain (where the book was produced), so I'm afraid they didn't make the shortlist. (However, our US publishers didn't suggest them either.)
- The ten artists that you've highlighted are all represented in the book; some with, in our view, more interesting choices from the same album (e.g. "War Pigs," from Paranoid, "When the Levee Breaks," from Led Zeppelin IV, and "Bring the Noise" from It Takes A Nation of Millions...).
- I take full responsibility for including "Amazing" and not campaigning for "Dream On." As a long-time Aerosmith fan, I think "Amazing" is a much better song!
- Inevitably, given the millions of available choices, we were never going to satisfy every reader. However, as the book ranges from commercial smashes to cult hits, and from Mississippi to Mali, there's plenty to discover. I would urge you to listen to Elvis Presley's "Tomorrow is a Long Time" and Oumou Sangare's "Diaraby Nene" - both featured in the book, and both songs that I'm very happy to have heard before I die!
As I said, thank you for taking the time to comment, and I hope you find something of value in the book.
I'd caution against expecting either the 1001 or "10,001 to Download" to be a definitive "best" song list. The variety of editors bring some great choices together, however such a task is just not possible, nor the intent, but this does mean that you will find some expected songs missing. Not making either list includes some of my personal favorites from Michael Jackson (Billie Jean), the Rolling Stones (Gimme Shelter), though about 30 Stones' songs make the 10,001, or Allman Brothers (Midnight Rider), or Joy Division (New Dawn Fades), while room for five Spice Girls songs on the 10,001 seemed generous in this context.
All in all, this doesn't knock it down from 5-stars for me, I know and listen to the songs I like without this book, but it gives me plenty to explore and enjoy, which is just what I had hoped for.
This completely subjective report (as Dimery gladly admits) is a veritable jukebox in book form. Spanning the decades from the pre-50's to the 00's, Dimery and his contributors have compiled a list ranging from the obvious (R.E.S.P.E.C.T.) to the obscure (Captain Beefheart's "Big Eyed Beans from Venus") to hundreds of musical slices in between.
Each of the selections are accompanied by a story of the history, the behind the scenes and/or the influence the song had on others. In addition to full credits, there are boxes on certain entries that indicate cover versions and which songs influenced which others. In all cases, the original releases provide the template, with later credits (samples, etc) added where appropriate. There is also an intro by famed Bowie producer, Tony Visconti.
The book concludes with a list of 10,000 songs (listings only) that you must download before you die. Though the book has a bit of an international lean in places (many songs from the UK, France, Africa, etc. are simply unknown in the states) it serves as both a treasure trove of great songs you may have forgotten from the past, as well as a jumping off point for a wide berth of new musical territory to explore for quite a while. Pure fun.
I saw this in the book store and scanned through it. It seemed like a worthwhile effort. Am I going to agree with everything here? Certainly not. I won't like some of the songs selected. Is this book going to have every song I selected? No way.
Why would I want it to. This book is a great resource for someone like me who spends his life chasing down great music. If I find 500 good songs I didn't know about out of the 10001 then this will be one of the greatest things I've ever spent money on. Heck, if I find 100 I'll jump for joy.
The fact that this book isn't in lockstep with what'd I'd pick is what makes it compelling to me. It's also a beautifully done book. I'll be buying come payday and I bet my personal list gets a little bit longer.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book on American Music History. Makes a great Christmas gift for anyone interested in music.Published 7 months ago by Thomas J. Mcway
If you are a serious songwriter or song enthusiast, I would highly recommend this book. It provides a chronological perspective of the songs. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Robin D Grace
I'm between a 3 and a 4 here. I guess with millions of songs available one is necessarily biased to what one knows well. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Jazzy Jake
I realize that this book has been around for a while, and I'm kind of late to the train here, but I wanted to compliment the editors for putting together such a terrific mix of... Read morePublished 13 months ago by OutlawPoet
I am very excited to sample the songs that are included in this encyclopedia.Published 13 months ago by Christopher Allen Brown
Bought this book as a holiday present for my two teenage daughters who want to expand their music collection. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Kim Stewart
I don't agree with all of the choices...many of these are songs I haven't ever heard of. But the information about each song is very interesting and compelling. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Lynn Green