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All Music Guide: The Definitive Guide To Popular Music, 4th Edition Paperback – November 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1400 pages
  • Publisher: Backbeat Books; 4 edition (November 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879306270
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879306274
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.5 x 2.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #445,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Given the comprehensiveness, popularity, and timeliness of the free All Music Guide web site (www.allmusic.com), one wonders whether an abridged print version is needed. Still, it's hard to ignore the pleasures of browsing this highly entertaining tome, now in its fourth edition, which provides guidance on the best music from virtually all popular (i.e., nonclassical) genres. Over 20,000 albums and 4000 artists are represented from the worlds of rock, blues, country, jazz, rap, folk, gospel, reggae, avant-garde, and more. The book is arranged into 16 genre chapters, each beginning with an overview of the genre and its various subgenres or "styles." (Tabs on the page edges would have facilitated thumbing to a particular genre.) Artists are listed alphabetically within each chapter, making the comprehensive index crucial for determining the genre under which an artist is listed. Unfortunately, the index is off by a few pages for artists in the fourth chapter (Gospel) through the end. Each artist entry includes vital statistics, styles played, a biographical sketch, and a selective list of albums. All albums are rated from one to five stars, with additional symbols denoting recommended first purchases and albums that are essential representations of a genre. Signed reviews from scores of contributors accompany the most significant titles. (Beware: an album's rating and review do not always jibe. Also, ratings and reviews in the book may differ from those found on the web site for the same album.) Other features include music maps (a sort of family tree outlining the history and key artists of a genre or style) and sidebar articles on topics such as Caribbean music styles and English and Celtic folk instruments. While still selective, the All Music guides (there are also separate volumes on rock, jazz, blues, country, and electronica) tend to provide more detail and analysis of an artist's oeuvre than the MusicHound, Rough Guide, and Rolling Stone tomes. All in all, patrons are better off using the truly comprehensive web site, but this is the best of the print sources. Recommended. Lloyd Jansen, Stockton-San Joaquin Cty. P.L., CA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Founded in 1947, Hal Leonard Corporation has become the worlds largest print music publisher, representing some of the greatest songwriters and artists of all time. We are proud to publish titles of interest to all musicians as well as music lovers, from songbooks and instructional titles to artist biographies and instrument price guides to books about the music industry and all the performing arts.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan M. Mason on March 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
For anyone who wants to build a collection of the best popular music on CD this is a really useful guide. The Editorial Review (above) gives you a good guide to the structure of the book, so I won't repeat that.
The digital revolution, with a great deal of music now readily available in a lightweight compact format has created a new dilemma--what to buy.
An artist you like, say Diana Ross or Miles Davis, might have sixty or a hundred albums listed in a catalog or on a Web site. If you wanted to build a music collection that contained just one example of their best work, which of these would you buy?
This book will help you make that decision and, most importantly, help you avoid buying duds that you will later regret.
The question has been raised as to whether this book is necessary, as the Web site version is fuller, not to mention free. I guess that answer to that is that it depends on what you want it for. The book is a handy reference that you can read in bed, in the bathroom, take with you to the music store, read on the beach etc. So you don't have to buy it, but if do want a print version, here it is. It would also be (or is) a valuable reference work for any library, radio station, print publication, or as a starting point for anyone doing any kind of research into poular music. I imagine that it would also be indispensable for anyone who purchases music for any kind of musical library or collection.
It probably isn't so great if you want information on recently released music. After all, it takes a while for an initial critical evaluation to take root. Just consider how many Grammy winning or best selling albums start to look quite shabby once the initial acclaim wears off. Where is M.T. Hammer now? But for a survey of the whole library of recorded popular music, you can't beat it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By ski on July 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
All Music Guide eliminates the guesswork out of pop music research, period. After using an earlier AMG rock guidebook, I'm truly convinced that there exists no more comprehensive music manual-Rolling Stone step aside. Use it in conjunction with AMG's website, [...] as a handy, tagalong supplement.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Victor Meillon on July 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
This guide constitutes an excellent effort in describing major artists in different music genres.
But I found certain omissions, for example in Dave Brubeck an album is mentioned Time Changes but there is no review of it at all.
In Easy Listening I didn't found Roger Whittaker who has been praised with a special edition of Billboard magazine several years ago.Another one is Claudine Longet which had several records of her own.
Anyway this guide is a must for any music fan.
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By fodraks on July 14, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All kinds of music ratings.
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By ken rodgers on September 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
good book for those who like different kinds of music to prioritize buying. If you like to listen to different kinds of music I would recommend.
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