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Musichound Rock: The Essential Album Guide (Musichound Essential Album Guides) Paperback – December, 2000

3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Musichound Essential Album Guides
  • Paperback: 1497 pages
  • Publisher: Music Sales Corporation; 2nd edition (December 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825672562
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825672569
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.5 x 2.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,308,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
At the tail end of the 1990s, I was an extremely eager reader of music criticism and looked for any new artist in genres I was interested in at the time. I was very familiar with The Rolling Stone Album Guide and the guides of Robert Christgau but wondered whether music I at the time was finding interesting would be covered in better detail than I had found in those books.

When I first read "Musichound Rock: The Essential Album Guide" I had very much mixed feelings about it. On the one hand there was information about a great many artists who were and are not covered in much detail or at all in the previous record guides I had read. In many cases, I devoured this and wanted to find out more (I will confess without mentioning names that I feel with hindsight I was as so often rather reckless).

However, with hindsight I can find many faults with "Musichound Rock: The Essential Album Guide" and all other guides released by the firm. For one thing, their rating system is ridiculously inconsistent: for many artists they will rate albums much more highly than would be consistent, whilst others are rated much less so - and one cannot predict what they are going to do. For another, it is fair to say that my own experience shows that some of the artists included were dubious and that others, like Talk Talk were not listened to carefully.
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Format: Paperback
Each artist has a list of their major influences and who they influenced. I used this to quickly skim through and spot who I might be interested in. I was able to find hundreds of bands that I did not know but were pretty good. I usually did enjoy the stuff I thought I would from reading the book. This book led me to what I wanted.
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Format: Paperback
I've housed this fat reference on my shelf for well over a decade now and have often enjoyed taking it down and flipping through at my leisure. The sheer breadth of the bands included is impressive. However, recently I looked up the entry on Depeche Mode and saw that their near-masterpiece "Violator" was assigned a one-star rating and dismissed as bland pop. There are many more examples of bizarrely misguided ratings in this volume, but that one seemed particularly egregious. Also, seeing as how this book was published 13 years ago, it's horribly out-of-date at best.
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