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Rock and Roll: An Unruly History Hardcover – 30 Jun 1998

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 325 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony Books; 1 edition (30 Jun. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517700506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517700501
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 20.3 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,297,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Great book if you're interested in how rock and roll evolved - but be aware this book has also been released almost verbatim under the title "Dancing in the Street - A Rock and Roll history' by Robert Palmer to accompany the Major TV series on BBC "Dancing in the Street" in 1996. The only substantial differences are the dust covers.
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By Tony Martin TOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 May 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just started reading it, so can't really comment. Seems like an almighty treatise on roots r&r, thru to soul, without fine detail. Chunky size makes for difficult bedtime reading! As advertised by supplier (I've forgotten who!), top marks, regarding condition and prompt delivery.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars 11 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robert Palmer & the Journey of Rock 'n' Roll 4 April 2002
By K. French - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had to write this to offer a different opinion to the one-star review below. Robert Palmer was one of this country's best music writers and a man who died way too young. This book is not his best (that'd be DEEP BLUES), but he does an excellent job of capturing the broad history of rock 'n' roll. He discusses what led up to that crucial moment at Sun Studios in 1954 (I don't think he's trying to say that the music sprang full-grown from Elvis) and where the music traveled from there.
Bear in mind, however, that this book also served as a companion to a PBS special. That it's able to stand alone without the visuals attests to its worth. It badly deserves to be back in print.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I thought this book was brilliant 21 Mar. 2007
By Chuck Bobuck - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I read this book almost ten years ago, and I still remember it as a remarkable work that put everything into perspective -- a kind of enlightenment experience. I especially loved Palmer's background on the beginnings of rock & roll in the call-and-response tent revivals.

With regard to the Elvis controversy below, I don't think Palmer ever suggests that Elvis invented rock & roll -- he painstakingly documents the contributions of dozens of black artists like Pinetop Smith, T-Bone Walker, Roy Brown, Goree Carter (to whom he credits the first rock & roll record), Ike Turner etc, well before the Elvis "invasion" of the mid-1950s.

I loved it.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Snapshots into rock 'n' roll's true roots 18 Nov. 2002
By Rick Coleman - Published on
Format: Hardcover
An intriguing archaeological dig down to the murky muddy roots of rock 'n' roll -- sifting through race politics and dogma back to pre-war gospel, blues and jazz, to the Caribbean, to Africa.
Robert Palmer was one of the best rock 'n' roll writers and historians. This is the basis for the PBS TV series ROCK 'N' ROLL, which,unfortunately, did not have nearly the depth of this (it quickly dispensed with rock's roots and showed only Elvis and other latecomers in its first episode). Sadly, Palmer died before he could flesh out this work, which remains a blueprint for future writers to follow on researching rock 'n' roll's roots. Go for it!
5.0 out of 5 stars This book needs to be updated, and also the VHS tapes 14 Jan. 2014
By dougrs - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great and fantastic book - it is a shame that it is out of print. This book is timeless for all that appreciate Rock and Roll music History. This is the best book that I have ever read on the subject. Robert Palmer is one of my favorite music history writers - his writing is truly excellent.
I would like to see this book updated and re-issued - it is a very valuable book for music fans and especially those interested in Rock and Roll history.

Also, I would like to see the set of related VHS tapes updated to DVDs.

The VHS tapes are very hard to find, and not many have VHS players.

These tapes are much too valuable to simply let disappear.
I look forward to the book being updated and re-released, and having the VHS tapes converted to DVD.
5.0 out of 5 stars Robert Palmer is one of the greatest Rock writers. 27 Jan. 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I teach a contemporary music program and studio performance class. This book is a great resource because the author focuses on the most influential artists (not just the most popular/commercial). I highly recommend you ebay the WGBH Rock & Roll documentary 5 Set DVD Collection for this "companion" book (avoid the Time/Life set of the same name- it's not the same, and very weak). The book extends the depth of the video very well.
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