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Showing 1-10 of 68 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 135 reviews
on June 22, 2017
This is a great coffee table book.... which means, it's somewhat obsolete. I don't know that anyone is going to sit down and read this thru - it's something to browse aimlessly.
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on August 2, 2013
New note: it appears that this entire book is on the website. The layout on the website actually makes it easier to read than the Kindle edition. Check out the website before buying the book.

If you have diverse interests in music, this is the book for you. The book may not be as useful if you only listen to one type of music and are already very familiar with those recordings (for instance if you only listen to classic rock).

Of course, if you do not have any way to listen to the listed recordings, then this book might be somewhat pointless. However, it is fun to read about a recording, (e.g., an early 40's blues guitar recording; or a modern classical piece; or a 60's zydeco recording; or an early punk rock record etc.) and then listen to the recording at the same time using a service like Rhapsody.

The Kindle edition of this book is a good buy at $2.99; however, I think a hard copy of the book might be better because you'll do a lot of flipping back and forth between the chapters and appendices and a real book is better for this.

I have noted that for the included classical and opera pieces, the author often chose really old recordings. Sure, these might be highly regarded classic recordings of these pieces, but they also sound like crap compared to modern recordings. I am quite sure that there are great recordings of these classical masterpieces that are not 60 or 70 years old.
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on May 31, 2010
Well OK, the book didn't cost that much, but it's impact certainly did. On one level this book makes an informative read that should develop a curiosity about the music that surrounds us all. Some reviews criticize it for not being the definitive list of all that is best; well, OK, maybe that is the case, but I took from this book that it was just a list and that in digesting its contents there should grow inside you a curiosity to find your own '1001' that may or may not include elements of this 'list'. That you should go out and listen to this 'list' or indeed find your own is enough; you have found your music and felt what it does to you. Aha! But can/do/should you stop there? Maybe I took things a bit too far as I sought out not the CD from the local music store (we'll come to 'record store' in a minute) but as much of the original recordings as I could find. Yes, I sought out the vinyl where it was on vinyl, CD where it was on CD and 78 where it was on 78 and actually bought them (not all 1001 I assure you! Just the ones I wanted to hear...) hence the book being 'expensive'; most you can get for under ten dollars, but start looking for mono Rolling Stones or Hendrix first pressings from the UK with intact inner materials etc and it will start to cost...)

Yes, it is all still out there; eBay being the obvious choice among rival bidders - but you get the choice of 'good enough', '1st pressing' or 'cheap and playable' depending on your budget, preference etc. Then you have the local thrift stores and 'record stores' where people dump those piles of vinyl from the attic - recycling, perhaps? Wherever it comes from, you can find it and this is the core of my message. If you can find it to rent (local library) or buy (eBay, thrift etc) get the original and hear it as it was supposed to be heard. This book will literally jump out at you and you will thirst for more...

That music was crafted long ago by those who sought to bring an experience to their listener and did so according to how its reproduction should sound (or at least as best they could manage within the boundaries of the technology at the time...Jelly Roll Morton, Memphis Minnie and Bix Beiderbecke for example). There have been many treatises on the reproduction of music - especially classical, written not for the LP but for the salon or concert hall - but to experience it in the medium that brings the intent of the composer/writer/performer alive should not be missed. From within that medium comes the textures and dimensions modern compression for our disposable 'noise in the background' music media have destroyed or lost along the way.

...then you will have found your music. It won't be that of the reviewers, nor necessarily the same 'list', but you will have experienced what music can do as well as understand where it comes from and how it has developed. Buying this book will begin a journey you can enjoy and share with others too, learning of their tastes and perspectives and sharing yours - to say nothing of nostalgia etc.

Tell you what...go down to the local 'record store', find a good copy of an album (and I mean an LP you own on CD) you think you know (according to taste...) and play it in the store. See what you think. Enjoy.
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on October 1, 2008
If you are a baby boomer trying to grab gusto before you check out, this is the book for you. Now you can make sure that eery recording worth listening to has crossed your ears. Personaly, I used it to make sure my iPod collection was complete. Has made cruising the recycled records stores much easier. I may not agree with all his opionions, but at the least it give me a chance to be sure I haven't missed anything major. I'm not sure I need to be told to listen to Pet Sounds or many of the other chosen recordings, but in case I lived in a cave for a few years there, nothing will be left to chance. Definitely a must buy.
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on September 19, 2008
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )|Verified Purchase
excellent reference work & fun to just browse in. the bulk of the book is recordings listed in order of performer's name, with commentary & standard associated features. the commentary is not merely a straight review of the recording, & demonstrates that the author is a writer - if i may say something that sounds, but is not, redundant - & furthermore a skilled writer. the commentary usually puts the music in the context of history & gives the particular backdrop of the recording with accompanying anecdotes.

in the back of the book, it has other ways of listing the recordings - general all-encompassing index, by genre (blues, electronica, vocals...), for special occasions (cocktail hour, play this for the kids...), classical & opera composers, classical & opera performers - as well as some recordings quick-listed that the author would have added if the title were "1108 recording to hear before you die."

i liked the listing of recordings by country, under world genre listing, & found a recording that interested me that way. i wish that the "next stop" & "after that" standard features of each listing had been confined to recordings listed in the book, so i could satisfy the created curiosity instantly & informatively, but that is a minor quibble. another quibble is that the book contains annoyingly varied & tiny fonts. prepare to buy your first pair of reading glasses, if you aren't already rolling down that hill, as i am.

great gift for anyone, expert to amateur. the experts will enjoy being annoyed by what is included & what is excluded. the amateurs will be able to find at least one album to buy that they will enjoy that never would have occurred to them otherwise. avid general readers will enjoy the great writing regardless of their listening habits or lack thereof.
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on May 7, 2010
This is a really good book for browsing, discovering music that is completely off your radar, and reading the author's interesting views on music that you know (and may love or hate). It's a reference book (although with no search) as well as a good book for random exploration.

So the book is very enjoyable in terms of content, but the Kindle edition has some problems (I am reading it on the Kindle app on an iPod Touch). Many of the illustrations are wrong (duplicates of correct graphics for some other entry), and the book has shown odd behavior that I have not seen with other Kindle books on the iPod (and I have bought and read many). E.g., losing the place if you close and re-open the book, getting stuck on one page that will not advance or go back (fixed by closing and re-opening the app). Other things I forget - but it seems like the book was not "compiled" correctly for the e-book format. It's just flaky. Very annoying.

This book really needs a search capability too. That's a generic limitation on the Kindle app that Amazon really needs to fix.
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on July 10, 2013
I'll keep this brief, as Moon has, in whole, done a very good job in representing many genres and styles in the book.

My primary concern is more with the title. This book is in fact a listing of 1000 albums you must listen to, not recordings. When I purchased it I was hoping to see specific pieces to address, moments captured in time. Instead it feels more like a a buckshot blast of music, a thousand albums that every listener will find SOMETHING of value in.

Essentially the book isn't bold, it isn't daring, and some of the choices are mediocre, and saved only by the broadness a single album can hold. For true lovers of sound pass on this book. Look for performances of power and emotion, which some are contained here, but largely seem to elude the writer.
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on July 7, 2013
There is another book out there with 1001 albums in it. I found this book a much more rewarding experience. I had already heard most of the 1001 albums in Dimery's book. It was much more focused on post-1950s rock. This book is much broader in its tastes. Going through it has been a real learning experience and I've gotten to hear a lot of new music that I think I probably never would have encountered despite being a fairly obsessive music fan. This was a great way to break down my genre habits and find new things. I don't mean to knock Dimmery's book, which I enjoyed, but the two books are trying to serve different purposes.
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on February 14, 2012
We music nerds do love our lists. If I were to compile a list of 1,000 recordings you must hear, it would look a lot different than the list you would make, and the one Tom Moon has written. So if you're the sort to give this a one-star review because he left off your favorite hipster band, then skip this book and write your own. If, however, you're willing to approach it with an open mind (and the time and money to track down these recordings) then you might pleasantly suprised. If you truly love music, I guarantee you'll find at least a few new favorite artists after listening to some of the suggestions. Particularly if you're willing to step outside your comfort zone and delve into some of the more obscure recordings.
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on August 5, 2013
Best to listen to this with your Itunes store app open because almost every one will make you want to sample albums you have heard of and never actually heard, or stuff you have never heard. My prize so far is the Staple Singers old album Freedom Highway, which this book gave me. A few samples and it was a buy and I have enjoyed the album several times since buying it. You will probabgly have similar experiences. The book is inexpensive on Kindle and well worth the few dollars charge. It's not authoritative and there are flaws which others have pointed out. But if you look to the good and not the bad, it's a no brainer.
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