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Not half-bad, but only half-good.
on December 24, 2008
I tend to agree with the previous reviewer who said this feels more like the kind of thing you'd find on somebody's web site, rather than a book. The coverage is about a mile wide and barely a half-inch deep, in that while it DOES manage to touch on just about all the major 1-hit wonders of any significance (since the 1960s-70s, anyway), each entry generally delivers little more than just the most superficial factoids concerning the songs; rarely, if ever, does the author follow up with any significant details or historical perspectives, and he appears to have made little effort to actually contact any of the artists involved to question them about how they feel about these songs *today*. Instead, the author relies mostly on excerpts of comments made by the artist(s) as published in newspaper and magazine articles, most of which are almost as old as the songs themselves.
The "did you know" sidebars scattered throughout the book, while occasionally interesting, only further contribute to a feeling that the book isn't very well organized or edited; half the time, the information in a given sidebar has little or no relevance to the song it appears next to. It's as if, having convinced himself that these bits of trivia are just *too* interesting to leave out, the author felt compelled to shoehorn them into the book anywhere he had a bit of blank space to fill whenever he couldn't find any more logical place to mention them.
Lastly -- again, as prior reviewers have already noted -- the author does have an unfortunate habit of repeating the same phrases over and over, which gets tedious after a while if you try to read the book all in one sitting.
The book isn't *all* bad, to be sure; there is some interesting information to be found here, and there's enough trivia and "where-are-they-now?" information to satisfy those who are mildly curious about the subject -- but music aficionados and those with a deeper interest in pop-culture history will probably be disappointed.