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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: The CD/Access Code is NOT included. A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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Worst Band in the Universe Hardcover – September 1, 1999

4.2 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Australian author and illustrator Graeme Base's books are all musical, but The Worst Band in the Universe (with its accompanying 25-minute CD) clearly trumpets the loudest... in a Blippian sort of way. Like The Eleventh Hour, The Sign of the Seahorse, and Animalia, Worst Band takes place in a nonhuman context, this time in a dystopian planetary system far from Earth.

The premise is this: Sprocc, expert at the guitarlike splingtwanger, has the creative itch to write songs. But alas, his planet, Blipp, has strict creative rules about music. All songs must come directly from tradition, so Sprocc's desire to "call the tune... or else forsake the stage" leads to his exile from Blipp and a variety of galactic run-ins with authority. This includes the "Worst Band in the Universe" contest which, of course, is actually a best band contest that takes him deeper into dismal realms. Sprocc sharpens his musical delivery, hooks up with another long-time Blipp exile, and eventually the planet is freed from the rigorous creative restrictions with a mix of innovation and tradition.

In the tangle of rhyming couplets and fantastical illustrations is plenty of food for thought. On a purely musical level, The Worst Band in the Universe is an instructive volume, complete with a CD of Blippian music. It's a profound creation, conjured so that its ingredients will reward scrutiny. (Ages 7 and older) --Andrew Bartlett

From Publishers Weekly

The author of Animalia expresses a determined nonconformism in this multimedia package, which pits oldies fans against experimental musicians. Beneath the sulfur-orange skies of Planet Blipp, a reptilian Musical Inquisitor fills the airwaves with official Ancient Songs, while Sprocc, an amphibious-looking 13-year-old, challenges the law. "There's more to playing music than the notes upon the page./ I have to call the tune myself, or else forsake the stage," the upstart decides. With his Splingtwanger (think souped-up double-necked guitar) in hand, Sprocc joins an illicit rock group and competes for the title of "The Worst [i.e., most innovative] Band in the Universe"Abut his victory is short-lived. The contest is a sham, and the winners are imprisoned on a slimy, viney planet where they meet other vanished rebel rockers from years past. With relentless rhyme and quirky neologism (jamming is "meshing," and cool dudes are "groobs"), Base explains how Sprocc and the gang triumph over their Orwellian plight. His deliriously detailed panoramas feature decaying postmodern architecture and smooth-skinned, bug-eyed creatures of endless variety; the original Star Wars cantina scene comes to mind. This junior rock-opera even includes a CD recording of the band competition, complete with canned cheers and 1980s synth-rock stylings. Base's imaginative effort, roiling with hot colors and intergalactic weirdness, will baffle traditionalists even as it thrills budding iconoclasts. All ages. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 78 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; Har/Com edition (September 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810939983
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810939981
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #646,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book has wonderful rhyming text and is a visual feast. I'm buying many for presents this holiday season for middle schoolers in band - including one for my son's band teacher. One is never too old for a picture book of this quality.
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By A Customer on December 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is awesome! Sprocc is an average 13-year old he wants to be a rock-and-roll star. Unfortunately it is illegal to play anything but traditional music on the splingtwanger (a guitar-like instrument), on his planet. He and some friends enter The Worst Band in the Universe contest, the prize is a ticket to a 'better' planet. When Sprocc and his pals win they find themselves on a junk planet, they are always at risk of plants that eat anything that makes noise. The illustrations are bright and amazing - everytime I read the book I notice something new in them. The other cool thing is the cd in the back of the book and the lyrics written on the backside of the last page. This book makes me wish I could play the splingtwanger too.
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Format: Hardcover
Every age has its idiosyncratic vernacular. If I spoke of multi-tasking, for instance, you'll know what I mean. Allow me to introduce you to the Master Multi-tasker, Graeme Base: author, poet, artist, cartoonist, social commentator, musician and all-around madcap hyper-dimensional entity (his term). This, folks, is a mind you'll want to meld with: a veritable Dr. Seuss in hyperspace.
Billed on its eye-catching jacket as a "totally cosmic musical adventure," The Worst Band in the Universe is all that, and more. In a pithy sure-footed poetry, Base introduces us to Sprocc, a thirteen(standard)-year-old member of the Blippian Tribe who, along with his instrument of choice - the Splingtwanger - dares to defy the mandates of the Musical Inquisitor. Sprocc's crime is innovation, for which he is banished to Wastedump B19 after his band is named winner of the bogus Annual Worst Band in the Universe Contest advertising as first prize an all-expense-paid trip to Alpha 10.
On B19 Sprocc meets, among others, Skat, self-proclaimed overseer of the Wastedump and former recipient of the Worst Band in the Universe one-way-ticket to paradise lost. Skat rules since he alone can hold the indigenous flesh-devouring creepers, called Gulpers, at bay -- by hammering ear-splitting chords on his PowerAxe. But all is not lost. Fellow exile, ButtonPusher, a member of the Midimoog Tribe (proficient on all bU.Mff compatible keydevices and associated NrD electro-sonicware) holds a B.S. in SonicEngineering from the University of GalSec14. ButtonPusher turns out to be a bit of an innovator, himself, having drawn up schematics for a ship that sails on song.
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Format: Hardcover
An awesome book about being different and new! The illustrations are great, the story has an awesome message, the prose is perfect, and it comes with a cd too! Overcoming obstacles, doing what is right, good winning over evil, youth empowerment, hard work, and even multi-cultural! I love reading this book with kids I babysit for and then listening to the cd and talking about the story!
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Format: Hardcover
A "groovy" sci-fi adventure tale that is a cross between Star Wars and "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure". I'm buying this for inspiration for my 40+ long-hair brother who dreams of playing guitar in a rock-and-roll band, among other "crazy" aspirations. It might serve to inspire others, ages 10 and up, to follow their dreams. Spacey, wet watercolors with enough definition to keep the characters solidly "real" without being too scary.
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Format: Hardcover
The groove of the universe, the rythm of the street, this book has got it all! The young groob Sprocc lives on planet Blipp where the world is ruled by traditional music, and no one is allowed to change it. One day Sprocc plays a new tune but is not banished. Sprocc leaves Blipp in search of musical freedom. Sprocc soon wins The Worst Band In The Universe contest. Sprocc then gets a message from the evil musical inquiseter. Can Sprocc and his friends save the Eldest One and the universe from total musical manotony?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Yes, I would recommend this item. It arrived as advertised, on time, safely packaged, and I had no issues at all.
I would def do business with this company again.
Excellent product !! -Jim :-)
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Format: Hardcover
While this book is an excellent story-in-rhyme for older/experienced readers (the vocabulary is too difficult for the picture-book set, though the illustrations should please them), my favorite part was the CD, which is an eclectic mix of pop, new age, electronica, humor, and neo-classical that should have something to interest anyone.

W.Y.S.I.W.Y.G. (track nine) is my favorite track--it's a funny alien-love-song with a good beat that would be a great addition to a Halloween humor mix, and "Fade Away" brings back memories of the Moody Blues "Days of Future Passed" in its styling. "Ancient Melody #42", though a very short piece, is lovely and etherial. And "Alpha 10" should please anyone who enjoys the Chipmunks.

All in all, this is an interesting CD that not only adds to the book, but stands well on its own as a novelty album.

Enjoy!
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