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Music Books: 100 Best of All-Time: Billboard

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  • Music Books: 100 Best of All-Time: Billboard

    http://www.billboard.com/articles/ne...-greatest-ever

    Props to the VG+ massive. Neither Iain Chambers - Urban Rhythms nor Michael Bracewell - England Is Mine made it on to this list.

    I read both after posters here recommended them and both should have been on this list imho.
    <<Soul Strut 100>>Collectable CDs 1 Forumusic: April 2014 Collectable CDs 2<<'95 WOF>>

  • #2
    Lists compiled by rock and pop writers will always turn out like this, but I've seen much worse ones than this (and not because there are two books I had some involvement in, in the chart). Personally, although I enjoyed the Patti Smith book (which is no 7, I think), the Moby memoir is easily the best one I've read for a very long time and it's not in the Top 100 at all. I just think there's a tendency for books that write about 'The Canon' to finish automatically higher than others.
    http://www.djhistory.com

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ladyboygrimsby View Post
      Lists compiled by rock and pop writers will always turn out like this, but I've seen much worse ones than this (and not because there are two books I had some involvement in, in the chart). Personally, although I enjoyed the Patti Smith book (which is no 7, I think), the Moby memoir is easily the best one I've read for a very long time and it's not in the Top 100 at all. I just think there's a tendency for books that write about 'The Canon' to finish automatically higher than others.
      Agreed - and 'The Canon' is always skewed towards books about artists, bands and genres championed by the 'inkies' / rock press generally. The two I mentioned are both academic, opinionated overviews of music and its consumption through scenes, hence of less general interest I suppose. I found them both fascinating.

      Leaving aside the fact it's brilliantly readable, your book should have been way higher as a pioneering and memorable first major overview of the history of recording-based dance / club cultures; presenting lots of openings and glimpses of interesting areas for other writers to exploit.

      Incredible that club cultures generally are still a poor relation in the field of music books. As someone else pointed out: Love Saves The Day was absent. I don't recall seeing Haslam's Life After Dark on there but maybe that was too recent? Although I did find it a bit laboured, his research was very impressive.
      <<Soul Strut 100>>Collectable CDs 1 Forumusic: April 2014 Collectable CDs 2<<'95 WOF>>

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      • #4
        What Bill said, and you pointed out correctly as well Ian.
        That's a pretty 'Mojo' list with a few cursory nods to women in music both artists and writers, otherwise it's guys all the way.
        Massive lack of club culture books, no 'Boys Own - complete fanzines' book on there, easily the most irreverent and yet accurate summary of the effects and impact of the dance music
        explosion between 86-92.
        Sylvia Patterson's 'I'm Not With The Band' is a great read from a female music journalists point of view over 3 decades, 'Playing The Bass With 3 Left Hands' is a great read from Will Carruthers about his time in the Spacemen 3.
        Eric Fenby's 'Delius As I knew Him' is also a fascinating read, as is 'My Magpie Eyes...' the book charting the Creation records history.
        So many good books out there that should have been on the list.
        Fleas the size of rats suck on a rat the size of a cat....



        Not As Great As His Very Best, But Pretty Much As Great As Most Anyone Else's.

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        • #5
          It's an odd list. I'm surprised to find I've only read 14 of the books. Surprised because I read a lot of this sort of thing.
          The problem isn't that it's too Mojo-centric, it's too music biz centred, too focussed on the business, its pre-history, it's rise and fall, on songwriters, on management, and a little bit on the science - how music affects listeners. Perhaps not that surprising given its publisher. I'm surprised to see Nick Hornby finish so high.

          The most glaring omission for me is Rock And The Pop Narcotic by Joe Carducci.
          Dave Lee Roth, I Too Am Running With This Devil Of Which You Speak (sic)

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          • #6
            Simultaneously surprising and unsurprising: plenty of very good books, a fair few I've never read but plan to and unsurprisingly heavy on US/Rolling Stone stuff.

            Even though the artists mentioned are mostly canonical, and as Ian mentioned it is mostly books about individual, canonical artists, I thought the books themselves were suprisingly uncanonical: there are lots of books from the last ten years and many "classics" that appear in lots of these kinds of lists are missing (although some of that is a UK/US thing).

            Glad to see the other thread about our own top 10. I'd love to see some recommendations...
            Mixes, compilations and the like

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