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1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die: And 10,001 You Must Download Hardcover – November 2, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert Dimery is the author of 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Universe (November 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789320894
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789320896
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 2.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #329,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bruno MacDonald on December 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Hi Oxwood. Thank you for taking the time to comment on the book. As one of its co-editors, I'll try to address your points.

- Instrumentals were omitted to narrow the millions of choices. It's not a decision I necessarily support, but there was a rationale behind it.

- The index - while unconventional - is perfectly comprehensible, and the arranging of artists by first initials will be instantly recognizable to anyone familiar with iTunes.

- While I wouldn't dispute the worth of The Allman Brothers, they weren't a big deal in Britain (where the book was produced), so I'm afraid they didn't make the shortlist. (However, our US publishers didn't suggest them either.)

- The ten artists that you've highlighted are all represented in the book; some with, in our view, more interesting choices from the same album (e.g. "War Pigs," from Paranoid, "When the Levee Breaks," from Led Zeppelin IV, and "Bring the Noise" from It Takes A Nation of Millions...).

- I take full responsibility for including "Amazing" and not campaigning for "Dream On." As a long-time Aerosmith fan, I think "Amazing" is a much better song!

- Inevitably, given the millions of available choices, we were never going to satisfy every reader. However, as the book ranges from commercial smashes to cult hits, and from Mississippi to Mali, there's plenty to discover. I would urge you to listen to Elvis Presley's "Tomorrow is a Long Time" and Oumou Sangare's "Diaraby Nene" - both featured in the book, and both songs that I'm very happy to have heard before I die!

As I said, thank you for taking the time to comment, and I hope you find something of value in the book.

best wishes,
Bruno MacDonald
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Format: Hardcover
I am currently making a list of the greatest "rock and roll" related songs. My own list has 5540 songs on it right now (if you care you can find it rateyourmusic,com - user name Mattymath. I've been at it for 7 or 8 years. I still keep finding songs I'd forgotten and ones I've never heard that deserve the list. Some bands I'm not a fan of, so they don't get what they deserve. Other bands I love...they get too many. Do I want to put songs on there that no one has heard so they'll be discovered? I can't imagine anyone making a list like this and not getting attacked by 9/10 of the people who decide to comment on it.

I saw this in the book store and scanned through it. It seemed like a worthwhile effort. Am I going to agree with everything here? Certainly not. I won't like some of the songs selected. Is this book going to have every song I selected? No way.

Why would I want it to. This book is a great resource for someone like me who spends his life chasing down great music. If I find 500 good songs I didn't know about out of the 10001 then this will be one of the greatest things I've ever spent money on. Heck, if I find 100 I'll jump for joy.

The fact that this book isn't in lockstep with what'd I'd pick is what makes it compelling to me. It's also a beautifully done book. I'll be buying come payday and I bet my personal list gets a little bit longer.
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Format: Hardcover
This book has a similar look and feel for those familiar with 1001 Albums with great pictures, nice format and layout, and interesting song and artist background. I found this to be a great resource for (re-)exploring both well known songs and lesser known nuggets. The selections cover a broad range of periods and styles. Many are obvious choices such as Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode, Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit.

I'd caution against expecting either the 1001 or "10,001 to Download" to be a definitive "best" song list. The variety of editors bring some great choices together, however such a task is just not possible, nor the intent, but this does mean that you will find some expected songs missing. Not making either list includes some of my personal favorites from Michael Jackson (Billie Jean), the Rolling Stones (Gimme Shelter), though about 30 Stones' songs make the 10,001, or Allman Brothers (Midnight Rider), or Joy Division (New Dawn Fades), while room for five Spice Girls songs on the 10,001 seemed generous in this context.

All in all, this doesn't knock it down from 5-stars for me, I know and listen to the songs I like without this book, but it gives me plenty to explore and enjoy, which is just what I had hoped for.
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Format: Hardcover
All the Young Dudes," "Rock Lobster," "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and about 998 more. It's been five years since Robert Dimery compiled the collection "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die" and now with the music world returning to its roots as a singles based medium, it's a perfect time for this series to surface the best songs of all time.

This completely subjective report (as Dimery gladly admits) is a veritable jukebox in book form. Spanning the decades from the pre-50's to the 00's, Dimery and his contributors have compiled a list ranging from the obvious (R.E.S.P.E.C.T.) to the obscure (Captain Beefheart's "Big Eyed Beans from Venus") to hundreds of musical slices in between.

Each of the selections are accompanied by a story of the history, the behind the scenes and/or the influence the song had on others. In addition to full credits, there are boxes on certain entries that indicate cover versions and which songs influenced which others. In all cases, the original releases provide the template, with later credits (samples, etc) added where appropriate. There is also an intro by famed Bowie producer, Tony Visconti.

The book concludes with a list of 10,000 songs (listings only) that you must download before you die. Though the book has a bit of an international lean in places (many songs from the UK, France, Africa, etc. are simply unknown in the states) it serves as both a treasure trove of great songs you may have forgotten from the past, as well as a jumping off point for a wide berth of new musical territory to explore for quite a while. Pure fun.
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