on July 16, 2011
Simply put, I truly love my vinyl LP collection. From the album cover art work to the superb sound (compared to the diminished highs and lows of a CD), they are a joy. The Billboard Book of Top 40 Albums fulfills my need to know more about my favorite music, groups and individuals. It is chock full of fun tidbits, history of music and much more. I continually enjoy referencing this book as I listen to my music.
on March 6, 2007
I am surprised there hasn't been an edition after the 3rd, which only goes from 1955 up to 1994! This is a wonderful book. I had hoped there would be another edition, but it doesn't look like it's happening. Like the Top 40 singles book, it lists each artist's top 40 album with all the quick and easy information you need to settle an argument or clear one's vague memory.
I picked up this book hoping to find out what other albums were on the charts at the same time as the Beatles, but "The Billboard Book of Top 40 Albums" is not laid out that way. Instead it provides an alphabetical listing, by artist, of all albums to make the Top 40 of the "Billboard" pop charts from January 8, 1955 to June 30, 1990. Actually, when the "Billboard" chart began it had just the 15 Best-Selling Popular Albums, which expanded to 25 in 1957, and went to 50 Best-Selling Monophonic and 30 Best-Selling Stereophonic LPs in 1959 (separate Mono and Stereo charts were published through late 1963). In 1967 the list was expanded to the Top 200 albums. So what you will find in here are all of the artists who produced those albums, from ABBA to ZZ Top. Throughout this section there are also over 150 photographs of Top 40 album jackets from Dayton Allen's "Why Not!" (he was a comedian on Steve Allen's TV show) to Frank Zappa's "Apostrophe(')" (which featured the song "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow").
In the back of the book Joel Whitburn has a section on The Record Holders, which has over a dozen lists that cover The Top 100 Artists of the Rock Era and an Indez to Albums of Longevity. If you want to know who has had the most number one albums (the Beatles), the most Top 10 albums (Frank Sinatra), or the album that has spent the most time at #1 ("West Side Story" soundtrack), then this is the book for you. For each album you get the date the album debuted in the Top 40, the album's highest charted position (with ow many total weeks the album held the No. 1 and No. 2 positions in parentheses), total weeks charted in the Top 40, and the original album label and number. There are brief descriptions of each group, including members, type of music they played, and other information of note. Basically this should let you know if this reference book would be of interest or help to you.