There are a number of fine books on Progressive Rock. Bill Martin's `Listening to the Future' is a curious mixture of academia and chumminess - but the lad knows his stuff and puts it across with enthusiasm, if not always with grace. Edward Macan's `Rocking the Classics' is a sober, erudite account, if narrower in scope than Stump's book. Macan is convincing when he speaks of Progressive's intimate relationship with the counter-culture of the late 60's/early 70's and the transformation of its audience into a `taste public' (one of large number) as the counter-culture faded from the scene. Charles Snider's `Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock' is very handy to have around; but it needed, and didn't get, a good editor. But by far the best is Paul Stump's `The Music's All That Matters'. It's nice to have a new, updated edition; and it's been a long wait for enthusiasts. The earlier edition of the book - and even this new one - has gathered some flak from Progressive fans. Grumblers seem to take issue with Stump's critical engagement with Progressive. They seem to have in mind a history of Progressive Rock that is what it says on the tin - a history. But how boring would that be? Stump does do the history; but in so doing, you get a sense of someone sorting the wheat from the chaff; someone who greatly appreciates the music, but who is also keen to highlight its longheurs and frequent bouts of absurdity. Negative reactions to the book bring to mind similar grumbles about Stump's biography of John McLaughlin. What McLaughlin fans wanted to hear, it would seem, was how great he is, not - as is evident to more detached observers - that he's made some poor records as well as the gems. For sure, Prog's great - but it can also be foolish and overblown (actually, for some - like myself - its mildly bonkers elements contribute to its enduring charm and interest). Stump is a reliable, often amusing guide to the territory and I, for one, am very pleased to see the book back in print. As with Snider's book, the discography is admirably open-minded (and - to pick out just one instance - nudged me in the direction of the more than decent Yugoslavian band `Tako'). Buy without fear.