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Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll Paperback – November 8, 2001

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Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll + The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll: The Definitive History of the Most Important Artists and Their Music
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1136 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Rev Upd edition (November 8, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743201205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743201209
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 2.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This latest incarnation of an authoritative encyclopedia first published in 1983 boasts over 100 new entries and many revisions to the 1800 entries found in the 1995 edition. The coverage increase was made possible by the omission of three kinds of "nonartist" entries: the Grammy Award boxes, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame boxes, and the style and genre definitions. As with the previous editions, the scope is excellent: few works can compete in terms of blanket coverage of the major rock'n'roll players, which dates from the 1950s to the present and includes names as diverse as Elvis, Chad and Jeremy, Britney, and Eminem. The alphabetically arranged entries contain birth and, when applicable, death dates; a discography; and an essay that attempts (usually successfully) to put the performer's or group's work in critical and historical perspective. The introduction by coeditor Romanowski cogently sums up the criteria and methodology, and though her reasons for featuring or deleting artists are subjective, they are hard to counter. This latest edition even offers an index of acts cut from the second edition. Useful, reasonably priced, and including well-written essays by respected music writers, this is highly recommended for any public or academic library. David M. Turkalo, Suffolk Univ. Law Sch. Lib., Boston
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

I would give it a zero if I could.
Everyone, from the pioneers of rock 'n roll, to rock stars of the 90s are included in this book.
David E. Levine
Contains relevant information as it's an update of the original book.
Kathy Skelly

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Gianmarco Manzione on July 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
There are two reasons why I had to get this book. Firstly, my 1995 copy crumbled into an oblivion of dry glue, a spine torn in half and a cover too flabby to endure. I did turn to the book often for information, but from the looks of it, you'd think I shot it out of a canon once a week as well. The book is just as cheaply constructed as other reviewers contend, while the Q Rock Stars Encyclopedia is much friendlier to the reader both aesthetically and physically. Secondly, Rolling Stone's web site used to contain all the information found in this book. Recently, though, the disappointing decision was made to scrap those lengthier and more informative biographies for the infuriatingly cursory headnotes they recently replaced them with.
Some of the omissions noted by other reviewers here are remarkable not necessarily because of the bands omitted, but because of the "artists" Rolling Stone replaced them with. I mean, come on, the guys in Great White aren't exactly pioneers, and why anyone thinks the exclusion of Wierd Al Yankovic is at all noteworthy mystifies me. But to leave them out for Britney Spears? Ricky Martin? What a blow! Couldn't we just scrap Milli Vanilli, for the love of God? It isn't as though Tiffany, who is included in this book, will be remembered any more than Britney 30 years from now; nonetheless I don't consider either pop star worthy of inclusion at the expense of decently talented blues bands such as Great White who at least know what a "chord" is. The real crime with regard to the debate over who's in and who's out is the exclusion of various Native American songwriters such as Jim Boyd or Bill Miller. The former in particular continues to make unbelievable folk rock (some of which was featured on the "Smoke Signals" Soundtrack).
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By E. Davis on October 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
Why include a nothing group like the Classics IV and not include the group they imitated who had more hits (the Hilltoppers)? Why exclude one-hit wonders, but include Bobby "Boris" Pickett (Monster Mash)? Why include Sam Phillips, but exclude Leonard Chess who may be even more important? How can they include the Flamingoes, the Penguins, the Moonglows and leave out the Harptones? And two of the worst ommissions: the Duprees and the Skyliners! Amazing!
I don't like the fact that they included Phil Spector as a performer and then wrote a lengthy article about him as a producer. If his reason for being in the book is that he sang with the Teddy Bears (another one-hit wonder), then he shouldn't be in for that. If he is in because he was a seminal producer, then Lou Adler and John Hammond should be in. How can you leave out Alan Freed and Murray the K? What happened to Lieber & Stoller? Eddie Holland?
Of course, there are wonderful articles that are gems such as the one on the Airplane, Mamas & Papas and others. There is a wealth of information that one would be hard pressed to find elsewhere, but the inconsistencies are astonishing. The real problem lies, I think, in that this should be a larger book, or a CD-ROM. Further, the discography listings that precede each article should have the correct number of stars assigned. Obviously, this may not be possible (or even desirable)for every album, but this information already exists in the RS database. A couple of more editions and they may just get it right.
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51 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Ham On Wry on September 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
I won't be as kind as some of the other reviewers who were disappointed in this edition. It's a load of crap! Back in the 80's it was the only thing going, but each successive edition has gotten less and less helpful, until it's finally degenerated to a great big commercial for What's Playing On The Radio. Hey, if I needed to know what was playing on the radio, I'd turn on the radio!

I just saved you thirty bucks. You can thank me later.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lovblad on October 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is clearly not the success they would like it to be. it is very incomplete and patchy. Some artists are covered too succintly and some should not be included in a rock encyclopedia. If you need one reference work, this is clearly not it. This is probably due to the direction that RS magazine has taken over the last decade or so. While it was indispensable reading it has become hopeless and out of touch. I really used to read it but the quality of the writing has gone down the drain and this is reflected here. It is surprising since the early editions of their album guide were quite fantastic.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By James N Simpson on May 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a huge book with lots of bands and solo artists inside but many are not here. Where is Weird Al Yankovic, Ben Folds and others? This book does have some basic information on the bands contained such as when and where they formed, were signed etc, but nothing you probably don't know if you're already a fan. It is also missing albums such as for example Bon Jovi's One Wild Night Live album. This book is good maybe for school assignments if you are researching bands that you have no knowledge of but this book's competitors have much better information. There's also no index or contents page which makes finding who you're after take a bit longer. The paper the pages are written on is also fairly cheap ... feeling yellow looking white paper. If you want a book on this sort of thing try Q Rock Stars Encyclopedia and others. They're much better.
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