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The Long-Player Goodbye: The Album from Vinyl to IPod and Back Again Paperback – 11 Jun 2009

3.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (11 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340934115
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340934111
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 287,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

He's got a happy knack of stuffing sentences with facts, colour and incident (Scotland on Sunday)

Pleasingly compelling... Elborough is a charming, funny and frequently fascinating guide (Daily Telgraph)

Reassuring air of cultural authority... impressive depth of perspective... admirably persuasive (Independent on Sunday)

Fascinating... very fresh and clear ( Guardian )

Wonderful book... a great thundering roar of nostalgia for the LP record. (Spectator)

Elborough has the passion of a true enthusiast... but he's also an indefatigable researcher, who has somehow seen a clear path through the vast amount of material to write a book that reads easily and well but also wholly coherently. Richly enjoyable. (Mail on Sunday)

highly entertaining (Independent)

an affectionate adieu to the format (The Long-Player Goobye)

Lovingly researched (TLS)

pacey narrative (New Statesman)

Very good (Herald)

a P.G. Wodehouse guide to pop history (Times Online )

a timely paean to the sound of the needle hitting the record (Metro)

Book Description

The history of the pop album, from the invention of vinyl and the LP 60 years ago to its revival in our iPod age.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book purports to be a history of the vinyl LP, its rise, decline and (slight) return, but it is really just another potted history of mainstream popular music from the '60s to the present day. It's a shame, because it starts out so well - the first third of the book tells the story of the development of the vinyl long-player in fascinating and apparently well-researched detail. If the author had kept this up throughout, the book would have been great. Unfortunately, by chapter 6 he seems to have run out of anything to say about the format itself, and reverts instead to a plodding and over-familiar exposition of popular music from the Beatles through psychedelia, prog, punk, post-punk, so on. I'm guessing that the target audience for this book is made up of Mojo-reading anoraks who will know this stuff back to front anyway, so really, what is the point? And the author has a wearying tendency to fall back into glib cliche (for example, "...after the murder of a fan at Altamont in 1969, [the Rolling Stones] retreated into a cocoon of coke and morphine"....Ah, yes, of course. They'd been clean up till that point... ). The story isn't helped by a surprising number of mis-spellings and minor, but annoying, inaccuracies.

Overall, this is a missed opportunity, a good idea poorly executed. So many potentially interesting facets of vinyl culture are not covered at all (as a previous reviewer notes, developments in audio engineering are not even touched on), or mentioned only in passing (the gatefold sleeve, cover art, quadrophonic sound, mysterious pressing plant inscriptions on the runout groove, etc). The eventual decline of the format is given about 2 pages, the recent surge in interest / sales a few sentences. There is a whole book about this fascinating subject still waiting to be written.
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Format: Hardcover
More padding than a Police Dog Trainer's trouser crotch!

One might wonder if an account of the Lp record could stretch to 468pages (including pretentious Bibliography and index) an you would be right to do so.

Travis Elborough (frankly looking too young in his publicity shot to have seen the invention of the ipod, let alone the Cd), warbles verbosely through a Thesaurus like knowledge of the English language, sometimes engagingly, hanging every moment of interest since 1948, somehow, (and God knows he tries so hard to) on the Long Playing record.

His knowledge I have to say seems/feels born, not out of a deep interest in Vinyl and all that we record junkies love, but instead a deep sea talent in internet information dredging. He adheres moments and motifs together in a way that reminds me rather generously of someone everyone mistakenly listens intently to at a party, believing them to be interesting, thoughtful and knowledgeable.

His writing appears to me as a cut and paste job, with cracks lightly dusted over with a frosting of probably public schoolboy over confidence. I could not shake this over-riding feeling that he's spent many hours looking at other people's amassed knowledge, displayed for all on t'internet. Then appropriating it, rather than actually listening to an Lp or two, he witters on incessantly. The writing just feels that way to me. The line he often seems to trace throughout the book seems at times nothing more than an Oxfam bargain bin collectors vision of Lp records, and touches very poorly indeed on the excesses of the collecting art, or the depths of the Lps developmental history.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book purports to be a history of the vinyl LP, its rise, decline and (slight) return, but it is really just another potted history of mainstream popular music from the '60s to the present day. It's a shame, because it starts out so well - the first third of the book tells the story of the development of the vinyl long-player in fascinating and apparently well-researched detail. If the author had kept this up throughout, the book would have been great. Unfortunately, by chapter 6 he seems to have run out of anything to say about the format itself, and reverts instead to a plodding and over-familiar exposition of popular music from the Beatles through psychedelia, prog, punk, post-punk, so on. I'm guessing that the target audience for this book is made up of Mojo-reading anoraks who will know this stuff back to front anyway, so really, what is the point? And the author has a wearying tendency to fall back into glib cliche (for example, "...after the murder of a fan at Altamont in 1969, [the Rolling Stones] retreated into a cocoon of coke and morphine"....Of course! That was what got them started). The story isn't helped by a surprising number of mis-spellings and minor, but annoying, inaccuracies.

Overall, this is a missed opportunity, a good idea poorly executed. So many potentially interesting facets of vinyl culture are not covered at all (as a previous reviewer notes, developments in audio engineering are not even touched on), or mentioned only in passing (the gatefold sleeve, cover art, quadrophonic sound, mysterious pressing plant inscriptions on the runout groove, etc). The eventual decline of the format is given about 2 pages, the recent surge in interest / sales a few sentences. There is a whole book about this fascinating subject still waiting to be written.
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