Customer Reviews


19 Reviews
5 star:
 (8)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Guide to Further Exploration.
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...
Published on 17 May 2007 by William J. Walker

versus
43 of 55 people found the following review helpful
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. One ought to read Author A but not Author B. Nowadays, no serious thinkers would attempt to construct "canons" setting out what to we should read, hear, or look at. This is because there is no objective basis at all for making...
Published on 12 Sep 2006 by Steve


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

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 "Billyjay" (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 1001: Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (Paperback)
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).
Another thing to be aware of is that this is the work of many(90) different reviewers and thus avoids the failings of the solo-author(too narrow a range, plays favourites, not enough time for one person to listen to/research everything properly etc) only to substitute them for others. At least a couple of times I have read reviews of albums by the same artist which offer slightly conflicting opinions because they are written by different reviewers so there is a lack of that clarity/unity of purpose that can be provided by a single vision.

Finally I feel that the book has received a lot of criticism, some justified, some entirely unfair and misdirected. My own biggest complaints are, over representation of some artists,the usual under representation of female acts(but they've done better than in most such guides),the tendency to not pick the best albums by an artist a lot(but not all) of the time and a tendency to include some albums purely because they were big sellers in a particular genre or in a particular year (particularly in the 80s and 90s).

If there is one thing a book like this confirms, it is that it is not possible to like everything. If you think that nearly every album in this book is someone's favourite(or top ten at least) it doesn't mean that you will appreciate them. Some genres just don't take. On the other hand I have found myself delving deeply into areas that I had only dabbled with before or exploring new areas that I'd been wary of thanks to this book.

In summary I think this book will appeal most to the enthusiastic and inquisitive music fan who can treat this as a useful tool rather than as a 'definitive list of the most important albums' and it would be a very fortunate person indeed who could find nothing of use in this.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best guide since the peerless NME Book of Rock II, 5 Mar 2006
By 
J. Patterson (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: 1001: Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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
By 
Jl Adcock "John Adcock" (Ashtead UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 1001: Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (Paperback)
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.....

Having now owned this book for a while, I can honestly say I've discovered more new music through flicking through the pages of this than any other music book I can remember. It's very accessible - and the surprising choices contained within make it a book I keep on returning to. Five stars - if I could get in and change my rating.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 1001 stupid titles you must suffer before you dive in, 9 Nov 2005
This review is from: 1001: Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


34 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reviews, but questionable selection, 14 Dec 2005
By 
Gavin Wilson - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 1001: Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


43 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decide for yourself what albums you "must" listen to..., 12 Sep 2006
By 
Steve (By DUNDEE Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 1001: Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (Paperback)
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. One ought to read Author A but not Author B. Nowadays, no serious thinkers would attempt to construct "canons" setting out what to we should read, hear, or look at. This is because there is no objective basis at all for making these judgments (something the dear old philosopher Kant knew over 200 years ago). However, it seems that in the field of popular culture, a mania for drawing up lists of the "best" albums persists like a itch, which magazines like Q can't resist scratching. And now we have this book, which exhorts us that these are 1001 Albums which we "must" hear BEFORE WE DIE!!!! Presumably the compilers of this book expect us to be lying on our deathbeds in the distant future, muttering our last words- "My life was wasted! I never listened to The Cure's Pornography!"

Some of my favourite albums aren't here- in fact, lots of albums which I rather like aren't hear either. Why is this? Its because I'm my own man with my own opinions, and so are you, dear reader. What do you need this book for? All the usual, predictable albums are here- Dark Side of the Moon (yawn) Sgt Pepper (yawn), Blood on the Tracks (a good album, but tedious lists like this are enough to put you off Dylan). The only way to find the music you like is to find out for yourself- it seems obvious, but it's completely true. I've always found that recommendations, even from close friends, tend to be a complete waste of time- firstly because there's no accounting for taste, but secondly because its extremely difficult to accurately describe the sound of an album with words, and so to convey this to other people.

Its tempting to use these books as a convenient way to boost your record collection (and your street cred), but you'll probably find that you end up feeling compelled to buy things you don't actually like that much, and worse, you'll overlook hidden, critically ignored albums which you may love. Seek and ye shall find, as they say.

NB- If you really can't resist the urge to buy a rock reference book, I'd recommend M.C. Strong's comprehensive Great Rock Discography instead, which contains practically every record released since Elvis, with useful synopses, trivia and recommendations.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not 1001 albums I would wish to hear..., 4 Feb 2009
By 
Mr. Martin K. Toll "MAJOR CLARET" (Marlow, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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 weighty tome,the question then is where should it go from those obvious but essential reference points ?
For someone like myself who has always tended towards an adventurous music buying habit (10th - 21st centuries) this falls a long way short from what I would call essential listening. Personally I would prefer something which would "lift up a few rocks" & pull out some criminally overlooked gems,but if you are one of those people simply curious about what has established the staple body of music & artists during the past 50 or so years,then this book is a great place to start.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for a hardcore music fan!, 7 July 2007
By 
Liam Howard "The Greatest Toob Fan!" (Somerset, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 1001: Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (Paperback)
** 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. This features all main album which deserve to be in the book (if you like them or not), such as, "Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols", even if you don't like the album you have to give its credit for the influence this has given to many artists which around today. You also have odd albums which are still amazing such as "The Penguin Cafe Orchestra". You also have electronic albums which i think have changed the way electronic music is made "Prodigy - Fat Of The Land", "Leftfield - Leftism" these albums maynot be classics to some people, but if you have a wide range of music tastes then you will like most of the albums in this book. I was also glad to see Miles Davis (jazz artist) in the book too. I could go on for ages. The book layout is well put out, with a picture of the album cover, the tracks on the album and which ones were released as singles, it even has the playing time of the album!
If you are a hardcore music fan, this is a must have book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Class, 21 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: 1001: Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (Paperback)
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
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars 1001, 20 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: 1001: Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (Paperback)
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!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

1001: Albums You Must Hear Before You Die
1001: Albums You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (Paperback - 8 Oct 2005)
Used & New from: 1.18
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews