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1001 Songs: You Must Hear Before You Die Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Length: 960 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Book Description

1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die is an absorbing introduction to some of the greatest songs ever recorded, by an enormous range of artists from Bessie Smith to Gnarls Barkley and from Metallica to Missy Elliott. Find out what made their songs so great--then get back to the music.

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 40307 KB
  • Print Length: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Cassell Illustrated (5 Dec. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006MX1N3C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #120,872 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This was a surprise Christmas present for me, but a very welcome one. The soundtrack to Christmas evening therefore (once I got a chance to read some of the book) was murmurings of agreement, interspersed with 'you must be joking!' from time to time, as I assessed the suitability for inclusion of each song presented in the book. Of course, very few people are likely to agree with every entry in a book like this and it therefore provides a starting point for some debate.

However, the main reasons the book works for me lies in its' presentation - 1 or 2 songs to a page, a short piece of text for every song that provides some background and history, a picture of the record sleeve for many of the songs, and larger full page photos of selected featured artists. Also because the songs are listed chronologically, the earliest included song is Enrico Caruso's 'O sole mio' from 1916 and the latest being three selected tunes from 2010, the book provides a kind of history of popular music through much of the 20th Century and beyond albeit a naturally incomplete and rather selective one (by selective I mean the focus on hand-picked individual songs, not particularly selective in terms of the consideration of different genres of 'popular music', which I thought was quite reasonable).

At this point I have to be honest and say that I have never heard some of the songs featured although I was aware of their existence; whilst I was completely unaware of quite a few others prior to reading this book. But for me these were not negative points, and I fully intend to seek out quite a few of the 'unknown' songs.

The book concludes with a more comprehensive '10,001 songs you must hear' presented in list form only (alphabetically by artist).
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Format: Paperback
Being a kid of the 60/70/80's I naturally have every song of those eras ingrained in my head, leaving little room for important stuff like grown-up work. I pounced on this book with glee and found many gems, plus countless songs I haven't heard but will try to find. Most of the latter are modern ...i.e post 1980's. The compilers of this haven't gone down the 'greatest hits' path, thank God. Nor have they gone for anorak stuff that only 1% of the population will recognise. They walk the tightrope between pop and rock, punk and prog with aplomb. I was equally delighted to find 'Wonderous Stories' (Yes) as I was with 'Gloria' (Patti Smith). Duffy, REM, Stones, the Who, Waterboys, all good stuff. And for New Zealanders, Weather with you' (Crowded House) and curiously Pokarekare. Of course I would have picked different songs from a few of my favouriate artists like Springsteen, Green Day or Beatles but that doesn't matter. Summing up? I only review books on here that I reccomend you buy. This is a book for dipping into, not reading cover to cover (it's too weighty a tome for that anyway). And those 60's and 70's songs...groovy man!
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Format: Paperback
If you'd like to learn something about modern music through all the genres without getting bored, THIS is the book for you!
Good criticism, nice layout, and remarkable affectedness in the tons of hits proposed in all this book (even the ones listed in the final 10'001 songs).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sure, there are a few things you might disagree with, but that is the nature of such books.

This book, YouTube and I will be spending many evenings together.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the sort of book I like to look at and see how many of the songs I have actually heard! I found that I had heard the majority in the 50's and 60's but as the years went on, I'd heard less and less! I enjoyed reading the background to the songs and was surprised with some of the stories. I found some of his choices strange, but was pleased to see 'Sally go round the roses' by the Jaynettes. I bought this in the 60's and loved it. If you want a book to relive your younger days, musically, then this is the book to buy.
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Format: Paperback
Got the book for Christmas and was delighted, there is some brilliant stuff in there that I didn't know and that has been fantastic discovering. Much of what I do know I thoroughly agree with being in this book, especially taking into account they are aiming to cover a wide range of styles.

That being said, I do have some criticism of the list, or at the very least inconsistencies.

Taking into account the very fact they are sourcing from all types of especially Western popular musical tradition (featuring quite a bit of punk, reggae, hip-hop, hard rock, disco, etc.) there is a glaring hole in the middle of progressive rock's representation in the list. The tracks from the major "prog" bands listed are relatively commercial and not necessarily the best examples of their style of music nor their most influential and rated work. Either Yes's "Close To The Edge" or Genesis' "Supper's Ready", between them the zenith of progressive rock, should have been in the list. Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond (part 1)" arguably as well.

In other artists they sometimes seem to shy away from the obvious tracks and select some more obscure album tracks, like in the case of Randy Newman's "Louisiana 1927", a song I would hesitate to select on a Randy Newman compilation, which is selected above his essential "Rednecks".
Frank Zappa's selected entry is also a strange choice, as much of his other music has been infinitely more influential and ground-breaking.
Most glaringly perhaps, Simon & Garfunkel's "The Only Living Boy In New York" selected in favour of one of the absolute must-includes in even a much-reduced list ("Bridge Over Troubled Water" itself), does appear to make a little bit of a mockery of the selection criteria.
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