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1001: Albums You Must Hear Before You Die [Paperback]

Robert Dimery
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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1001: Albums You Must Hear Before You Die 1001: Albums You Must Hear Before You Die 3.8 out of 5 stars (21)
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Book Description

8 Oct 2005 1001
If you thought you knew your music this will make you think again. 1001 Albums is more than a simple guide to music, it is a critical list, packed with insights into why each album is significant, the key tracks, the circumstances of its creation, the critical reception in its day, and why it stands the test of time. The text contains fascinating anecdotes that will amaze even the most dedicated muso. Written by top UK and US music journalists, 1001 Albums covers the period from the late '50s, when albums began to be considered as an oeuvre, to 2005 when inspiration drawn from bands of the '60s once again defined the musical landscape. With a focus on rock music and a peppering of hip-hop and R&B, these are the soundtracks of our lives. In short, no other publication crams so much endlessly readable information and insight into one volume.

Product details

  • Paperback: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Cassell (8 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844033929
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844033928
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


Facinating...comprehensive guide to just about every record you
could want to own or download
--Reading ALIVE

About the Author

Robert Dimery is a freelance writer and editor who has worked on Tony Wilson's 24 Hour Party People, Pump Up the Volume: A History of House, and 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, plus countless other popular music publications. He has also contributed to books on classic albums and classic singles, and has worked for a variety of magazines, including Time Out London and Vogue. He lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Guide to Further Exploration. 17 May 2007
By William J. Walker VINE VOICE
First of all I must say that I have found this book to be useful, informative, maddening, haphazard, brazenly populist, wilfully obscure, engrossing and just plain wrong about lots of things. So why five stars for a work of such gross imperfection? Because ultimately it does what a work like this should do; acts as an excellent aid to exploration and discovery of new (to me) music. Also it is an entertaining and informative read.

I discovered the book by chance as the title caught my eye in a bookshop because I already owned the 1001... film book. I was a little dubious at the expansion of the 'franchise' but when I realised I'd been reading it for over half an hour and still couldn't put it down I figured I'd best make the purchase.

The book has justified its purchase easily as I have been led to discover many albums that I'm sure would have remained unknown to me. It is particularly useful in that it explores a wide range of genres over a large time frame .I have bought many albums as a direct result of their inclusion in the book but more importantly, a great many more as a result of those initial purchases, that aren't in the book(but are just as good or better).

It is important to note that this book covers albums NOT artists and does not include compilation albums. It is an approach I approve of but one that weighs heavily against some important artists(Motown/disco acts for example and indeed artists in popular music prior to the mid-sixties). It also means that on those rare occasions where an artist is better appreciated by way of a "Best of/Greatest Hits" album you may find yourself being pointed towards a release of merely average quality, in order to include an important artist(a perhaps understandable compromise by the editor).
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A friend and I saw this in a bookshop and flipped it open with the intention of having a dig at the contents: most rock books don't do any more than show the ignorance and narrowness of the compilers. In the event, we turned over every page right to the end. Sure not every entry will please everyone, but the main point is that virtually every great album we could think of -- and our taste is pretty eclectic, from Beefheart to Beethoven, via Arcade Fire and Ray Charles -- is here, including many that we thought "only we knew about". For any one looking to build or expand their collection this book is just fantastic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's not going to please everyone 25 Feb 2008
Part of the appeal of books like this is flicking through them to make sure your own great taste is represented isn't it? 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die won't disappoint on several levels. Many of the records covered by other "best of" or "must own" series are here - but there are some surprises.

What's good about this book (and indeed other titles in the same series) - is the quality of the writing that goes with the various entries. Just enough to whet the appetite and provide some detail, but not too much to become pretentious and boring. Any book that lists albums from bands derided for their popularity (such as Abba) can't be all bad, so it's a surprise to find a couple of their albums listed, proving that music worth listening to can also be popular and big-selling.

Although classical music is covered in another book in the series, it's a shame that one or two essential recordings from the classical repetoire didn't make it here, as it would somehow make the appeal even wider. But I guess you can't have everything. Previous reviewers have pointed out the huge amount of albums making it into the lists here from the sixties - which is a fair point, but I must confess that flicking through the entries for more recent times found me scratching my head as I simply haven't heard of most of the artists mentioned.

Inevitably, everyone will look through such a book and yell indignantly at the glaring omissions - and that's got to be part of the appeal. Owning this book, along with the 1001 Books and Films titles in the same series will surely see anyone out in terms of discovering great new entertainment before the Grim Reaper comes calling.....
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
The stupid title to this book belies what lies between its cliched covers.
Just another hackneyed, generic title to grab the attention of the book-buying masses? Yes, but the gems of music knowledge inside make it worthwhile reading. Good historical context and an enriching blend of obvious classics and under-rated obscurities (ever heard of Moby Grape?) educate and edify, though a bit more of this would not have gone amiss (to avoid this just being one lost list of records).
Author index at the back, Album titles at the front is a nice touch as is an attempt to be bang up to date with some 2005 titles. Well, there's 3 records to consider. 1967 though has about a million....
A good book that will make you buy records.
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34 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reviews, but questionable selection 14 Dec 2005
As with so many other compilations and charts, the problem this book suffers from is that it is dominated by recent themes at the expense of great music from the past.
Thus the coverage of black music focusses principally on rap and world music, whereas 60s Tamla Motown gets hardly a look-in. 70s progressive music is largely ignored -- not a single album by Van Der Graaf Generator or Magma is listed, let alone any of the second-tier bands such as Camel, Can, Alan Parsons Project etc.
One must question whether a book that nominates Britney Spears and Mariah Carey can really pretend to be a definitive listing of albums we must listen to before we die. They may well be the last things I hear before I die, but they are highly likely to be the cause of my death rather than any source of last-minute consolation.
However, the pictures are great, and the reviews of the chosen albums consistently informative. The selection also (slightly) redeems the 1980s, which is still unarguably rated the worst decade in popular music.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Class
Great info,all you need to know about the 1001 albums however ill need to buy one every year but still for £2 i cant grumble
Published 2 months ago by Marky
5.0 out of 5 stars 1001
This was bought as a Christmas present for my partner,got the older edition as he's a 70's man-he has hardly had his nose out of it since,so I think it was a successful gift!!
Published 4 months ago by peg singer
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
Have been enjoying this book for a long time. Delivery as promised and all is up to my high expectations
Published 7 months ago by Jan-Åke Persson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
Bought for a massive music fan and he loves it. Packed full of ideas, very impressed with it. Would certainly recommend this.
Published 16 months ago by Miss J Stenning
3.0 out of 5 stars Not 1001 albums I would wish to hear...
The problem for a book like this is that it is quantifying such a vast output from very many years. Yes,there are recordings you know will be there even before you open this... Read more
Published on 4 Feb 2009 by Mr. Martin K. Toll
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Read,Bar The Odd Inaccuracy
For those who regard music as life,the saying,"there are only two types of music...good music and bad music" has always been true. Read more
Published on 11 Sep 2007 by Metal Des
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for a hardcore music fan!
** Please be aware, this book is for music fans with a wide range of music tastes **

This was a fantastic book for me as i'm very open minded with my music tastes. Read more
Published on 7 July 2007 by Liam Howard
3.0 out of 5 stars OK,But...
Where's Warren Zevon? You cant find new music in this,good pearls you've never heard,its mostly albums and bands everyone have heard...are the birds really that good for example? Read more
Published on 9 Mar 2007 by Mikael Jonsson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book...
All the classics are here, as well as one or two strange choices (Robbie, Britney?) One album that should definitely have been in is Scoundrel Days by a-ha. Read more
Published on 12 Oct 2006 by amazonian
3.0 out of 5 stars Decide for yourself what albums you "must" listen to...
Early in the 20th century, the likes of F.R. Leavis and T.S. Eliot used to write po-faced literary criticism telling us what we ought to read. Read more
Published on 12 Sep 2006 by Steve
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