If you have the original large 1998 edition this latest book is just a continuation, though smaller in size, up to the thousandth edition in May/June 2006. I was rather impressed with the earlier book except for the silly tiny type dates and photo credits for each cover, amazingly set in four point. Fortunately someone has realised that tiny type is not really readable in a domestic lighting environment so the cover dates and photo credits have been upped to just over five point, still rather small though. Apart from this all the other text is readable and combined with the excellent design and printing makes this a wonderful book to look at.
Like the first book it is not just a memory jogger of covers, there are plenty of sidebar excerpts from the magazine. It is the covers though that are the five stars plus. Not many consumer publications manage to consistently retain a quality cover look over so many years and in the Stone's case with the same logo since January 1981. Look through the index of photographers and illustrators and you'll see why the covers look so cool: Annie Leibovitz shot 142 of them, Herb Ritts has forty-six, Richard Avedon eighteen. With this sort of quality no wonder it always looked good. Even the early issues in the rather inflexible newspaper format had a distinctive cover style.
I think this beautiful looking updated book will be a strong seller (not least because of Amazon's bargain price) for those who lived with rock for the last thirty-nine years.
Quirky observation: the book's title is on a wrap-around strip of paper (rather bizarrely called a belly band in the trade) and I can't see it staying in one piece for long as this is just the kind of book that will enjoy a lot of handling.