Over 650 musical locations & the stories behind them with so many fascinating entries that it is hard know where to begin. One of the first images you are hit with in the intro is the gravestone of Eleanor Rigby which inspired Lennon (also Location #467). Didn't realise but there is also an Eleanor Rigby statue in Liverpool (Location #442). Obviously there are many sixties places that are not in here but then the problem is how can you possible fit them all in. Do you put the address of every London studio & record company back then in? Notwithstanding those minor points then this is a beautiful book with many fine quality photos & easily to read text that you can at any given moment pick up skim through & find interesting info. Naturally it concentrates more on the famous acts but does also (which I appreciated) some of the more unknown or unexpected. For example particularly liked the mention of Spillers Records - it is located in Cardiff & reputedly the world's oldest record shop still going (#412). Amazing that secret out of the way pub gig in Somerset by Kylie Minogue & that pub location (the locals thought it was a hoax) (#26), & happy to see the not so well known but special West Runton Pavillion mentioned (#349). Salisbury even in itself has had 2 excellent books written on its scene and here it can only be due to space limitations virtually a page with half of that nicely devoted to DDDBM&T & their Salisbury City Hall blue plaque (#49). Interesting to see where the Stone Roses 'Love Spreads' sleeve comes from Newport Bridge's coat of arms (#423), plus Dusty Springfield's cliff top memorial location at Moher (#679). As Roberts humbly says in his fine intro "there's so many more tales to be told and we'd like to hear yours". The research that Roberts undertook here is really staggering and taking up to date clear photos of how the locations are looking today then this is simply a beautiful book & read.
I've been waiting for this to be released for ages - it's been on pre-order but it's finally here. Question is, was it worth the wait?
The answer is, unequivocally, yes!
David Roberts, formerly the editor of the much-missed Guinness Book of Hit Singles & Albums, has put together a marvellous book that, as it says on the cover, details major rock locations and landmarks in the UK and Ireland. Each piece features a unique summary, quotes from rock luminaries and photos from the archives, some rarely seen before. Contemporary photos are also included which serve to show how rapidly situations can change. Readers are invited to actually visit the locations as specific directions are included, and perhaps you should visit while you still can, as some venues may not be around forever? Take for example Olympic Studios - when photographed recently, an active studio...now closed, having been sold by EMI, it's future uncertain.
It's not just the major stars who are included, although The Beatles, The Stones & the like feature prominently throughout. Smaller bands and artists also feature along with the some of the sadder entries, such as the Marc Bolan shrine in Barnes.
The fans will know about every aspect of their hero's life & career - however the casual reader may not be aware of the some of the major events that may have happened right in their neighbourhood and this, I think, is the real appeal of the book.
It's rich in detail, content and has clearly been a labour of love. I'm already looking forward to Volume II!!
Cover images of Ozzy, Oasis, Pink Floyd and Phil Lynott give a clue to the varied delights in this chunky tome. You'll inevitably look for your hometown and favourite artists first, but the jam-packed design continually draws your eye to other items and pages. The book will hopefully inspire a road trip or two to the places identified, but it works just as well as an armchair guide to our rock 'n' rollin' isles.
We bought this for our son and he is delighted with it. It is exactly as described and is the type of book you can pick up and dip into for a 5 minute read with your coffee. Recommended for all those who enjoy rock music history.
How many times have we walked across that Abbey Road crossing to have our photo taken as we recreate the iconic Beatles album cover, much to the annoyance of drivers on that busy London street? How many albums have we bought and wondered where the cover images were taken or interested in the background to the actual shoot? Have we strolled down a street, or ever stayed in a pub or hotel and not realised that the surroundings have a place in the `modern history' of the music industry? Do we know where our icons were born, met up, died or made their first recordings along the way to the top?
If, like me, you are fascinated by the stories behind certain locations and landmarks in `pop' history, then Rock Atlas is the book for you as it contains a massive amount of photographs, interviews and much more trivia that will certainly inspire any music fan to `take a trip' as we said back in the Swinging Sixties! The latest edition covers the whole of Great Britain, starting another `Magical Mystery Tour' from the West Country, in the tyre marks of the Beatles coach that wound its surreal way across the South back in 1968. Rock Atlas is crammed full of fascinating photos with accompanying information mixed with personal reminisces of `ordinary' people who happened to bump into many an idol at the most ordinary location. 700 locations and more than 450 rare photographs with assorted trivia have been captured in this beautifully produced book that can be enjoyed on more than a preliminary read through.
Spanning the decades from the late Fifties to the present day, this virtual encyclopaedia of pop trivia has been produced with great detail and one of the most entertaining reads I have had for years. From the legends of names such as The Beatles, Stones, Hendrix through to Kylie and Lady Gaga, there are entries that will surprise even the most ardent fan as they learn more about the links to certain places all over the country. Many landmarks have disappeared but it's still easy to just stand there and let the mind wander back a few years, with this book in the hand. More than a boring `tourist guide' - the Rock Atlas is the perfect guide that uncovers long forgotten stories and background to recognisable images that pinpoint certain times.
I am a massive Beatles fan and have read several accounts of their story ever since I saw them `live' back in 1963 but discovered even more delights as I turned the pages. From their early Liverpool roots down to the London based years and beyond, the Rock Atlas contains even more insights. I never knew that Bob Dylan quietly joined a small tourist group who were visiting John Lennon's former home to soak up the atmosphere and ponder on how it all started. You can discover statues to much revered stars or pay a visit to a graveyard in quiet contemplation of someone you may have admired. Perhaps, like me, you will have a yearning to take some time out and follow this same path, driving from place to place, taking your own photos and maybe even bump into a local who may have been there at the relevant time of that entry. Many people are fascinated by traditional history over the last few centuries and enjoy visiting the actual sites that are well established with a massive amount of literature that tells more of the story. However, the Rock Atlas is an innovative insight into our modern history of `pop'culture and the perfect travel companion that can be used to allow many a diversion to explore even more. Who knows - you might even bump into me at one of these sites in the near future!
A really great book it made me want to visit many of the places covered in this book. A very nostalgic approach to Rock! Some good current pictures of places that have been touched by the world of Rock. Nice page layouts a similar style to a high quality magazine and simple facts about the artists and their music. This book does not spend page after page on details about the bands but most artists are mentioned more than once: especially the Beatles. This book will inspire you to see more Rock or even start making your own Rock history; well It did for me. I took this on holiday and it kept me amused every night back at the tent in the south of France.
I HAVE to say that there's no better way to explore our music heritage than a trip around the UK with a copy of Rock Atlas by your side.
The book takes you on a fascinating musical tour of old Blighty (and Northern & Southern Ireland too), in a fact-packed guaranteed style to have music trivia fans positively drooling.
Author David Roberts has done an astounding job of compiling facts and information on various `must see' music shrines county by county.
I like to think as a music journalist I am aware of many of the better known places to visit. Though once you have checked-out the likes of Heddon Street and The Ziggy Stardust telephone box, Salford's Lads Club made famous by The Smiths, The Abbey Road Pedestrian crossing and so many more, you then begin to find hidden gems that are all news to me.
The book focuses on places to visit and pay homage to, it doesn't, like other books of its kind give you every piece of useless information available on each area, instead it leads you to the most tangible spots making each one a special place to read about.
Speaking of which, Coventry gets two rather nice pages, predictably about our 2-Tone heritage. The 2-Tone Trail is highlighted, featuring 51 Albany Road, the birthplace of 2-Tone, and also 2-Tone Central gets an entry, even including its new 2-Tone Village location.
With or without that Cov stuff, this book is the best music book I have read.
Pete Chambers, The Coventry Telegraph,Backbeat Column
* Rock Atlas (Clarksdale Books, £19.99). ISBN: 9781905959242
If your into your music you'll love this book. It guides you on a tour of all well loved bands and artist's hangouts, gigs they played, monuments dedicated to these legends and much more. Amazon sell it for a bargin at £13.90 and worth every penny in my oppinion. Its makes a great gift for any music enthusist. Well put together, informative and awsome imagery; its a book you'll dip into again and again.