4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Good, easy read,
This review is from: Unknown Legends of Rock 'n' Roll: Psychedelic Unknowns, Mad Geniuses, Punk Pioneers, Lo-Fi Mavericks & More (Paperback)
Rarely do I sit down and find myself sucked into a book, but over the past couple of days exactly that has happened. It's such an easy book to read with roughly five pages on each of the 60 or so musicians. Obviously with such short chapters you're not going to get complete biographies of the people Richie Unterberger talks about, but he has managed to select artists that each fit into some kind of category, so each artist is talked about in some kind of context with the four or five surrounding.
Chapters include 'Overlooked originators', Garage Bands, 'Mad geniuses & eccentric recluses', Krautrock, Folk, Punk, Post-punk, Lo-Fi and a few more.
Artists mentioned range from Syd Barrett (early Pink Floyd), Love, Can, X-Ray Spex and Nick Drake to The Great Society, The Hampton Grease Band, The Plastic People of the Universe and Swamp Dogg. So not all are necessarily "unknown"s, but the majority will not be known to the average music listener.
Despite Richie's clear knowledge of practically everything related to rock (senior editor of 'All music's guide to rock' and appears in documentaries about people like Jandek), some of the parts to the book do leave you thinking he should have written a bit more about it, especially if you have some kind of prior knowledge of the artist/band. For example, the Krautrock section does supply you with a nice nugget of information, but it barely scratches the surface or the scene.
However, his intention for the book seems to be more angled as an introduction to the music and that the onus is then on you to go and find more if you like what's been said, and then after every part recommended albums and reading are listed.
It's a well written book with lots of interview quotes and a wealth of knowledge behind it, but don't buy this book thinking it's going to give you full blown accounts into the life and times of the musicians, it sets the scene and acts as more of a taster.