A guide to the world of alternative music in all its variety and weirdness, from the earliest influences to the latest bands. Provides in-depth and informative record reviews and discussions of such phenomena as the New Zealand sound, alternative hip-hop, and the secret history of women in punk. The book also includes a sure-to-be controversial listing of what they consider to be the top 100 alternative albums of all time, and top-ten lists from such artists as Joey Ramone and Kurt Bloch. Despite some questionable additions (Cindi Lauper?) and glaring omissions (where is Game Theory?), it remains an indispensable guide.
From Library Journal
So much of the popular music released these days is billed as "alternative" that it's tough to locate the mainstream without really looking. The proliferation of these alternatives notwithstanding, this guide fills a gap in the literature of modern music. Where else are you going to find the complete discographies of Trobbing Gristle and Jonathan Richman under the same cover? Maybe in the Rolling Stone Album Guide (Random, 1992), but not with the length and scope of the reviews provided by the 64 contributors to this volume. Each entry includes a complete discography, and each release is rated on a scale of one to ten. The hip writing is geared toward those in the know, and the authors themselves are knowledgeable. Entries are interspersed with top-ten album lists from various artists and photographs of album covers. An appendix offers a list of the top 100 alternative albums of all time, and a mercifully short essay on the nature of alternative music outlines the principles of the category: "antigenerationally dystopian, subculturally presuming fragmentation ...built on an often neurotic discomfort over massified and commodified culture." Though 99 percent of those who check out this volume won't be able to offer anything close to a dictionary definition of "dystopian," they'll probably think it's a pretty cool book. Recommended for both public and academic libraries. (Index not seen.)?Adam Mazmanian, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.