From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up—The creation of this edition was clearly a monumental task and a labor of love for the editor, whose passion for and knowledge of popular music are first made evident in the introductory material. Within its alphabetical, cross-referenced arrangement, this ambitious work provides over 27,000 entries, including 6,000 that are new to this edition. Every aspect of popular music is covered, from Broadway show tunes and rap to heavy metal and big band, from the 1900s to today. The set provides information on artists and other important figures such as producers and songwriters. Entries encapsulate their subjects well even given length limitations. The six-page entry on the Beatles, for example, is concise yet comprehensive, as is the entry on Bob Dylan, which gives readers a clear sense of the man. Larkin and his contributors provide evaluations, using phrases such as "superbly crafted," to describe an album. The writing is always entertaining even when covering less-exciting career details. Each entry concludes with a comprehensive, rated discography covering all mediums and formats produced by the artist, and some also have further-reading lists. The main entries take up eight of this encyclopedia's volumes. The ninth volume provides a healthy quantity of selected album reviews, again presented alphabetically by artist, along with a bibliography, and the final volume is a set index. This title will be invaluable for research.—Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ
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From Library Journal
Those who have followed the progress of this excellent work (an LJ Best Reference Book in 1992 as The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music; 2d ed., 1995) assume that Larkin will not disappoint, and here he delivers a monumental and quite handsome update. Anyone unfamiliar with this guide to 20th-century "nonclassical" music?rock, pop, rap, reggae, jazz, country, musical theater, etc.?will be staggered at the breadth and depth of the material. The third edition features 18,500 unsigned entries, normally 150 to 3000 words in length, including 4500 entirely new articles, with updates throughout. In comparison, the 14,500-entry 1992 edition now seems minuscule. Larkin continues to include performers, composers, producers, labels, companies, events, venues, films, and videos. One-hit wonders abound, and the international coverage is a model for all musical reference works. The index is now over 350 pages, with a song index of 50,000 titles, a relief for those confronting "who sang what?" questions. As with earlier editions, this is remarkably up-to-date, although additional "where are they now?" information would be welcome in future editions. Two other significant modifications have been made since 1995. For the first time, accompanying discographies list record labels and feature a five-star rating system; release dates of all recordings continue from earlier editions. The expansion into eight volumes also means that each volume is less unwieldy than before, although more shelf space is required for the set. Even without these new features, this is an acquisition without equal for all academic and public libraries and will easily replace either earlier edition.?Anthony J. Adam, Prairie View A&M Univ. Lib., TX
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.