12 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2010
Make no mistake, these volumes are Piero Scaruffi's highly personal and idiosyncratic history of rock and dance music. That would be fine, and one might benefit from his take on music (and he has listened to a lot of music), except for his own personal writing style. The book has all the disadvantages of an independently published book (the formatting is off, in just a few minutes one can find multiple typos and errors, and he insists on his own rules of capitalization [e.g., he won't capitalize the pronoun i in a sentence]). There are no extended treatments of any band, and he is not interested in how a band developed. Most bands get a single mention and one is lucky if they receive a short description in addition to one of two of their early songs being mentioned. He also has an explicit preference for alternative bands (read: bands you've never heard of). After a while, I just started looking for bands I like to see what reason he gave for hating them. He reminded me of those people who sneer at the music you like, claiming you really don't understand music. Ironically, I found his extended editorial discussions more interesting than his actual review of bands. He does raise some interesting questions about exactly what is rock `n roll, and whether we should focus on an album or a single by a particular artist. In the end, however, one should only buy this book (and its companion) if they are curious what Scaruffi thinks of a particular band.
1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2009
This book was forthcoming, and now its out of print. OK here's the story:
"This is the second edition of the book that was first published in 2003.
Given the size (800 pages total), it is now split in two volumes, about 400 pages each.
ISBN 978-0-9765531-5-1 (Vol 1: 1950-1989)
ISBN 978-0-9765531-6-8 (Vol 2: 1990-2008)
If you own the old edition, the first volume contains the first four parts (1950s to 1980s), updated and corrected (about 300 small corrections and about 40 small additions). The second volume covers the 1990s (some massively revised text of the old edition and a lot of new text) and the 2000s (all new text). The number of names in the alphabetical index increased from 3,100 to 4,800. This is a good way to gauge how much material has been added to the second edition. Some of the material about non-rock and pre-rock music until the 1950s has been transferred (vastly expanded) to the "History of Pop Music"."