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Broad but shallow, essential guide for the frivolous rock fan,
This review is from: Rock Chronicles: Music - Every Legend, Every Line-Up, Every Look (Hardcover)
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Rock chronicles is basically an encyclopaedia. By saying that, I mean that it is broad in scope, covering 250 rock acts (groups and solo artists) from Blondie to Sepultra, from Elvis to Kings of Leon, but is also quite shallow. If you know much about any particular act, you probably won't learn anything new.
For every featured act there is a listing of all members, a basic discography listing major album releases, information about sales, and grammys, and a basic biography. "Lesser" acts (Prime Circle (no, me neither), Muse !!!!!) get a single page, mid ranking acts (Popul Veh?? the Smiths) get a double page spread, while major acts (Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, the Scorpions (hmm)) are given four pages, including two of photos.
The contributors are a mixture of UK and US journalists giving a mid-atlantic feels which manifests itself in the inclusion of some quintessentially British bands, but then in the use of phrases such as 'Britain's Lancashire'.
One of the chief joys of a book like this is in disagreeing with the inclusions and exclusions, and with where the authors choose to focus. So for example, Scorpions are given a four page spread, whereas UFO don't even merit an entry. The article about Deep Purple mentions Machine Head and Highway Star, but manages to omit any reference to a certain conflagration based track from the same album. Dark Side of the Moon was apparently 'propelled' by the hit Money.
So this is the epitome of a coffee table or guest bedroom book, nicely produced, quite fun to flick through, but rather lacking in depth.