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The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll: The Definitive History of the Most Important Artists and Their Music Paperback


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

  • Paperback: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 3 Sub edition (November 10, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679737286
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679737285
  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 4.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The ultimate illustrated history of rock & roll--comprehensive, authoritative, and fully updated with coverage of the most important new sounds and artists of the 1980s and `90s.

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Customer Reviews

I need to update my copy right away!
L. Gray
They had other british rock bands in it, but left out Queen!
Kelsey morrow
One of those good coffee table books, big and thick.
The Bades

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Zettel on May 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
This history of Rock and Roll comes from Rolling Stone, one of the biggest and longest-lasting names in Rock reporting and coverage. It is truly a mixed bag, ranging anywhere from great historical content to outright howlers.
First, the book does an excellent job of covering the entirety of rock history and drawing out its influences and evolutions. It does a wonderful job of covering the different local scenes and how they were integrated in with the whole of rock music. Whole chapters are generally rewarded to the most influential bands, and not just those that sold more album.
However, the book suffers a number of strong drawbacks. First, as many pointed out, the book is clearly slanted toward the Rolling Stone perspective. Artists such as Billy Joel, who have not had good relations with the magazine, have been omitted. Several others, such as Bob Seger, were also given no treatment. There is also a bit of redundent content, such as giving the Beatles two whole chapters and then devoting a third (British Invasion) to a primarily Beatles-related topic. Also, there are separate chapters on Motown and Stevie Wonder.
Secondly, the book is often skewed toward the "pop" scene when it comments on more current acts. Rolling Stone has been getting even worse about this in its magazine. One particular example that stands out is in the heavy metal section. My edition was published in 1991 and the writer heaps load and loads of praise upon such hair-metal acts as Motley Crue, Poison, Ratt and Warrant. Other, more talented but less popular metal acts, such as Metallica, are put down and summarily dismissed. However, we all know that if this were to have been written 5 years later, Rolling Stone would be worshipping Metallica and praising them for destroying such hair-bands. RS makes the mistake of "going with the flow" one too many times.
Overall - nice book, but with some obvious problems.
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38 of 47 people found the following review helpful By GBS on November 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
Rolling Stone has been around reporting on rock music for nearly 35 years. That longevity only earns them stripes, but not exactly the monker of expert.
RS editors - in all fairness like most journalists - have an agenda, and accuracy and fairness in rock isn't exactly one of them. One writer (below) asked why Billy Joel was snubbed. Simple; RS and Joel have publically feuded for years so as far as RS is concerned, one of rock's greatest acts (and an inductee to the Rock Hall of Fame) doesn't exist. In the rock world according to Jann Wenner, there is no greater act in rock history than the Rolling Stones. They're certainly a bellweather act in rock history, but not "the greatest"...but that's how RS sees it, and apparently so should history.
So take what they say with a grain of salt, enjoy it for what it is (their fave-raves, as valid as the Listmania right here on Amazon) - cuz after all, it's only rock and roll.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Malteseterp on June 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
I have owned all three editions of this book (1976, 1980, 1992). Unfortunately, I found that the quality of the publication has decreased with eached edition.

The first edition, published in 1976 is a classic. I would rate that edition at 5 stars. Granted, the book was never a true history - it would be more accurate to describe it as a collection of critical essays. Still, it was a sight to behold. Even though it was a $10.95 publication, it is obvious that a lot of thought was given to presentation - it is almost an art book. It was published in an oversized format that really showed off the photgraphs. Page layout was inventive and the printing and photo reproduction were top notch. Plus, since the publication date of the book was 1976, the orginal edition has ultimately proved to be a perfect encapsulation of the classic era of rock and roll.

The second edition was published in 1980. I would rate that edition at 4 stars. It was published in a reduced size and alot of photographic material was deleted. Additionally, the unique graphic layout of the orginal edition was changed and the print quality & photo reproduction really fell short in comparison to the first edition. One big plus for the 1980 edition is that the number of essays were greatly increased, to include esaays on the changes in music since 1976 (i.e disco/punk/new wave). The new essays are, on the whole, very good and add value to book. Additionally, all of the essays in the 1976 edition were retained & some were updated. This edition has proven to be my reading copy.

I think the current edition (1992)is a mess. The visual quality of the book has dramatically decreased to the point of non-existance. The print quality and photographic reproduction is terrible.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Val on May 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
Good writing, great photos - but lacks the last 20 years

(and sooooo many of the legendary bands).

Get Pierre Scaruffi's history of rock'n'roll.

Much more indepth and covers up to 2000

(also rap, glitch, post-rock, drum'n'bass...

all missing from RS)

RS is ok for beginners.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Maz on December 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to get this for a class, at first I was very surprised because it seems like a bunch of magazine articles about a group or person who was influential. But, I got used to it and actually learned a LOT from it and that's with only reading about half of it. It's also in black and white and doesn't have glossy pages, so do not be expecting anything too flashy.
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