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R & B: The Essential Album Guide with CD (Audio) (Musichound Essential Album Guides) Paperback – 1998

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Product Details

  • Series: Musichound Essential Album Guides
  • Paperback: 766 pages
  • Publisher: Visible Ink Press (1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825672554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825672552
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.6 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,958,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on August 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
This includes a disproportionately hefty dose of hip-hop and rap albums, which makes sense, considering the intense recent cross-pollination of hip hop with cheesy quiet storm "soul" (which is also heavily emphasized in this volume). However, the emphasis is clearly more contemporary than historical -- for example, the reference sidebars are entitled "Word Up!", which seems tacky as well as rather dated. Modern artists such as Bobby Brown, Sheena Easton, and Toni Braxton get equal -- if not superior -- billing with soul music touchstones such as Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, and the Stax/Volt and Motown crowds. Very few pre-rock artists are included -- Cab Calloway and Big Joe Turner make it in, for example, but not Buddy Johnson or Floyd Dixon, and several classic 60s soul stars such as Garnett Mimms are also omitted. Finally, while most of the big-name blues shouters such as Wynonie Harris, Amos Milburn and Louis Jordan have entries, practically none of their great gospel counterparts are included. This really is a disgrace, as well as a short-sighted, culturally revisionist nod to contemporary tastes (which do not embrace the preachin' and shoutin' religious side of African-American music). Rest assured that without Bessie Griffin, Clara Ward, the Soul Stirrers, or Rev. James Cleveland, there would never have been a BeBe Winans, Mariah Carey or Aretha Franklin -- much less a Parliament, Lauryn Hill or KRS-1. As with other MusicHound books, this also provides useful appendices, including fan sites, etc., and the companion CD is a nice (if stingy) sampler of some of gems from the Mercury Records catalog. But if Wu Tang or Billy Oceans are not your "R&B" thing, you may wish to be wary of this tome.
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