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The Rough Guide to Soul & R 'n' B 1 (Rough Guide Reference) Paperback – September 18, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter Shapiro is an experienced music journalist and his work has appeared in The Times (London), Spin, The Wire, Vibe, Uncut, Sleaze Nation and Urb. He is author of the Rough Guide to-Hip-Hop and contributor to the Rough Guides to Rock, Website Directory and the Rough Guide Book of Playlists.
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Product Details

  • Series: Rough Guide Reference
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Rough Guides; 1 edition (September 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843532646
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843532644
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 1.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,496,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By littledove on October 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
Peter Shapiro is the author of a fine book on 1970s Disco called 'The Secret History of Disco' so trusting him with a much needed Rough Guide to Soul & R & B looked a good move. The writing is authoritive and for a first edition seems to be remarkably free of errors. The guy writes well although he has the music journalist habit of adding superlatives for no reason and I didn't always agree with his opinions ie. Smokey Robinson's solo work is dull - it's not but hey it's his book. So far so good yet within a short time of opening this book I was becoming frustrated and ultimately I became rather disatisfied by its contents.

The problem for me is the format of the book. It contains brief, sometimes so brief as to be useless, biographies of around 300 artists. We get a collection of artists from the fifties through to the early years of this century. As Shapiro says in the introduction everyone from an 11 year old prodigies (far too much on Micheal Jackson)to a former folk singer from North London (Dusty Springfield)gets a look in. It didn't help that the first two artists I looked up in the index Little Milton and the Sweet Inspirations were absent but Billy Ocean whom I'm sure wouldn't call himself a soul singer has an entry.

If you take this listing format then at least compensate with a good discography on each artist. Sadly you don't get that in this book. There is an almost total over emphasis on greatests hits compilations with the consequence that many fine albums are missed completely. As for a book list for the genre you won't find one here.

Interspersed in the text are 'Feature Boxes' on related genres (Acid Jazz through to Stax Records via New Jack Swing, Latin Soul, Doo-Wop etc.,). Some of these are better than others.
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8 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Breann on August 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
Take my advice if you want to learn more about your favorite R&B artists than don't buy this book. The person who wrote this book obvisouly doesn't care about r&b music any way. Every single artist in this book he gives them an overly critcal review. For example when singer Aaliyah was reviewed the author states the main reasons of her fame was that she died in a plane crash in 2002, and that she got married to R. Kelly at the age of 15. Yet the author does not give her any credit for having a best selling album at the young age of 14. I guarantee you the person who wrote this book complains about every artist they profile. The author reviewed brandy and monica's the boy is mine as "female rubbish". I am telling you just look up your fav artist on wikepedia, but please don't buy this book.
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