Top positive review
12 people found this helpful
on 8 November 1999
The cover puff for this book claims that it is 'intended for browsing and arguments - but also as a highly practical guide to rock music' And for once, this is a very accurate description of this 1000 plus page work. The Rough Guide to Rock is excellent on two levels; both as a guide to bands and their discographies, but also as a general repository of trivia which bears many hours of dipping in and out. Whether you open the Guide to find a specific piece of information, simply fancy a casual browse, or are trying to settle some esoteric dispute about some long-forgotten band or song, the chances are you will start off by looking up one entry, then find yourself drawn by cross references to other entries, which in turn will lead to further browsing until, by the time you have put the Guide down, you find you have revisited a substantial portion of your musical history.
Those of us who should get out more are inevitably drawn into an exercise of trying to find bands that have been omitted; ultimately a fairly unrewarding exercise, so comprehensive is the Guide. In any case, such efforts usually end fairly abruptly as the eye is drawn to yet another entry you want to read up on.
The Rough Guide to Rock is written by fans, and it is the enthusiasm of the fans which makes this such a rewarding book. Inevitably the entries are a bit uneven in terms of length and detail, but the editors have done an excellent job of achieving a good degree of consistency overall. The entries are grouped alphabetically by band rather than chronologically or by record, which makes the Guide very easy to navigate around, and it should be commended to anyone who has ever had an interest in rock and pop music which went beyond a vague awareness of who was top of the charts.