Top critical review
22 people found this helpful
A good book...if you're into rock
on November 3, 2002
I guess I should have spent a little more time thumbing through this one before picking it up. I have Mr. Neely's current LP price guide and it covers a good variety of styles of music. I assumed this guide whould be equally diverse.
I collect mostly soul and jazz 45s, two areas that are lacking or, in the case of jazz 45s, completely devoid of listings. Sure, there are the major artists, James Brown (though I have some label variations not mentioned) the Motown artists, etc. But where's Eddie Bo, for instance? He's obscure to probably the average punter, but he did have some top 40 and regional hits and is a highly collectable artist in this field. Even classic breakbeat artists the Incredible Bongo Band, who were popular enough to appear on K-Tel compilations, are missing from the listings.
I wouldn't find the lack of soul listings so troubling, if not for the fact that in the introduction the author discusses the "Northern Soul" scene and how the Frank Wilson 45 has surpassed the Beatles "Beat Brothers" single as the most valueable 45.
Granted, a lot of the Northern Soul is based on obscure regionaly produced 45s, but the listings seem to exist for Doo-Wop and garage collectors interested in similar pressings. The Northern Soul scene has been active since the 1970s and while it's mostly collectors over seas buying, they're buying American soul records. This has been an active field of collecting for long enough, at least the records that change hands more frequently (such as the afore mentioned Mr. Bo) should be included.
The ommission of jazz 45 I can tolerate a little better. This is kind of an odd field of collecting. The jazz records that crossed over into the soul market (Jimmy Smith, for instance) are collected, but the more straight ahead jazz records (like a Charles Mingus single on Candid I have) are kind of in a grey area. I know Goldmine put out a Jazz 45 book years ago, so they at least have the listings somewhere.
I also was bothered by the fact that current artists (the Backstreet Boys, for instance) were listed even though they really aren't "collectable" (meaning nothing listing for more than $3 NM) yet. I can see that this may be a "place holder" of sorts for the time if and when they do become collectable, but to give a listing of their current (at the time of publishing) 45s in a book about collectables does a disservice, I think.
Still, there's a lot of information. This is easily the biggest book dedicated to 45 collecting I've ever seen. However, if you're not interested in rock, you may find it lacking. (And to the previous reviewer (Is that you Joe?) the price on Mike Nesmith 45 has been adjusted in this addition.)