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Virgin Encyclopedia of Seventies Music (Virgin Encyclopedias of Popular Music) Paperback – 20 Nov 1997

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books; First Edition edition (20 Nov. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753501546
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753501542
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 17.5 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 917,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Sept. 2000
Format: Paperback
Here one may relive one's youth (or learn some history) from Abba down to singer-songwriter Warren Zevon. Sartorially the decade was one of extremes: compare the tartaned Bay City Rollers to the ridiculous hippieness of Wizzard, Kiss's comic-book style, Amanda Lear's disco leather decadence, Elton John's flamboyance and the austerity of the singer-songwriters. A particular pleasure is finding information on the more obscure hitmakers like R Dean Taylor (a solitary Canadian on Tamla Motown who gave us Indiana Wants Me & Gotta See Jane), UK experimentalists like Curved Air and East Of Eden, punk pioneers like X-Ray Spex and The Adverts. The more one reads, the more addictive this book becomes and the more you realize how rich and diverse the decade was. To think that side by side with the anger of the punk revolution there existed the hedonistic abandon of Disco-the party of the 70s! Donna Summer, Boney M, MFSB, Sylvester and the P-Funkers are all here. There is also the Woodstock generation in the form of Matthews Southern Comfort, Don McLean, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Melanie. Other folk artists include Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention. Megastars like David Bowie, Neil Diamond and the Bee Gees merit their many pages but it is also heartening to see little-known reggae acts like Bob & Marcia (The Pied Piper) and Dave & Ansil Collins (Double Barrel) getting a mention. By the way, anyone wants to dispute the fact that Bowie produced his best work in this decade? Think of 1975's Young Americans, 1976's Station To Staion and the electronic cycle of Low and Heroes. But the 70s was also the decade of the teenyboper and you'll find them here: The Partridge Family, David Cassidy, The Osmonds nd Leif Garrett.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This could so well have been a 5 star book, very extensive list (to an experienced seventies fan there are several reasonably well known artists missing like PFM, Capability Brown, Nova and quite a few spin off bands like Badger, and it would have been nice to include Genesis in the 70's rather than the 80's)
What lets this book down is the rather inaccurate scoring of some of the artists, Lynyrd Skynyrd's first and by far best album is rated 3 stars, when several later albums warrant 4 stars - unforgiveable. Then the jazz rock guitarist Al DiMeola's earlier albums are rated far too low, just 3 stars for what I consider his finest Elegant Gypsy, again when clearly under par later renditions are given the 4 star treatment. Return to Forever get similar treatment. Gentle Giant too .. .. I could go on. I have read the same with other reviews.
So overall a very good series of music encyclopedias but someway let down by some of Larkin's judgments. To be fair he is generally right but not always.
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Format: Paperback
Whilst this work is a comprehensive encyclopedia of seventies music and offers many hours of browsing, I will not be purchasing a copy. The articles on the artists are factually correct but what spoils the work completely is the extremely subjective nature that the artist's albums have been rated. I have checked a wide variety of different bands and singers and find that the ratings are not in keeping with other books covering the same subject nor are they in keeping with those rated by fans of the group / artist.
To illustrate this I have given the book one star which should pull it's overall average down. This is highly subjective and may not be in keeping with the true rating that the book should receive!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9130aa2c) out of 5 stars 1 review
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x913749cc) out of 5 stars THOROUGH & READABLE 29 Jun. 2000
By Peter Uys - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Here one may relive one's youth (or learn some history) from Abba down to singer-songwriter Warren Zevon. Sartorially the decade was one of extremes: compare the tartaned Bay City Rollers to the ridiculous hippieness of Wizzard, Kiss's comic-book style, Amanda Lear's disco leather decadence, Elton John's flamboyance and the austerity of the singer-songwriters. A particular pleasure is finding information on the more obscure hitmakers like R Dean Taylor (a solitary Canadian on Tamla Motown who gave us Indiana Wants Me & Gotta See Jane), UK experimentalists like Curved Air and East Of Eden, punk pioneers like X-Ray Spex and The Adverts. The more one reads, the more addictive this book becomes and the more you realize how rich and diverse the decade was. To think that side by side with the anger of the punk revolution there existed the hedonistic abandon of Disco -- the party of the 70s! Donna Summer, Boney M, MFSB, Sylvester and the P-Funkers are all here. There is also the Woodstock generation in the form of Matthews Southern Comfort, Don McLean, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Melanie. Other folk artists include Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention. Megastars like David Bowie, Neil Diamond and the Bee Gees merit their many pages but it is also heartening to see little-known reggae acts like Bob & Marcia (The Pied Piper) and Dave & Ansil Collins (Double Barrel) getting a mention. By the way, anyone wants to dispute the fact that Bowie produced his best work in this decade? Think of 1975's Young Americans, 1976's Station To Staion and the electronic cycle of Low and Heroes. But the 70s was also the decade of the teenyboper and you'll find them here: The Partridge Family, David Cassidy, The Osmonds nd Leif Garrett. For sheer variety and the essence of pop, the 70s cannot be rivaled. Nmes like Dawn (Knock Three Times)evoke tender childhood memories. The entries are informative and a pleasure to read. Perhaps there could have been more extensive discographies. All in all a fascinating read for nostalgists, the music researcher and music lovers of all ages and persuasions.
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