Cover image for The Encyclopedia of popular music
Title:
The Encyclopedia of popular music
Author:
Larkin, Colin.
Edition:
Third edition.
Publication Information:
London ; New York : Muze ; New York : Distribution in the USA by Grove's Dictionaries, 1998.
Physical Description:
8 volumes (6653 pages) ; 27 cm
General Note:
Earlier ed. published under title: The Guinness encyclopedia of popular music. Enfield, Middlesex, England : Guinness Pub., 1992.
Language:
English
Contents:
v. 1. A Band of Angels-Burnel, Jean Jacques -- v. 2. Burnett, Carol-Dusty, Slim -- v. 3. Dutch Swing College Band-Heptones -- v. 4. Herbal Mixture-Louvin Brothers -- v. 5. Louvin, Charlie-Paul, Clarence -- v. 6. Paul, Emmanuel-Smith, Larry -- v. 7. Smith, Leo-Wildchild -- v. 8. Wilde, Kim-ZZ Top.
Added Author:
Added Uniform Title:
Guinness encyclopedia of popular music.
ISBN:
9780333741344

9781561592371
Format :
Book

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ML102.P66 G84 1998 V.5 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
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ML102.P66 G84 1998 V.6 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
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ML102.P66 G84 1998 V.7 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
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ML102.P66 G84 1998 V.8 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
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ML102.P66 G84 1998 V.4 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
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ML102.P66 G84 1998 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
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ML102.P66 G84 1998 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Reference
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On Order

Summary

Summary

This comprehensive reference work on popular music includes all the significant popular music artists of the 20th century. The 18,000 entries each include a biography, discography, record label details and a compilation album listing. There are also essays on popular music genres, record companies, festivals and cities.


Summary

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music is the most thorough reference work on the music that has formed the soundtrack of this century. Covering both mega-star and little-known performers, the Encyclopedia includes jazz, rock, country, folk, rap, blues, stage and film musicals, heavy metal, punk, techno, and unique coverage of world music and reggae. Selected by Library Journal as a Best Reference Source in its two previous editions, The Encyclopedia of Popular Music has established itself as the definitive reference for libraries, broadcasters, recording industry professionals, musicians, and scholars in music history and cultural studies. Expanded to eight volumes, the Third Edition includes over 18,000 articles ranging in length from 150 to 5,000 words and covers performers, composers, producers, record companies, events, venues, and magazines. The discographies, lists of films and videos, sources for further reading, and bold-faced cross-references provide invaluable tools for research.


Reviews 8

Booklist Review

In its third edition, The Encyclopedia of Popular Music now has more than 18,500 entries, which add up to make this the most comprehensive reference work of its kind. The second edition, originally published in 1995, was called The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music [RBB Ap 15 96] and had approximately 15,000 entries. The detail and comprehensiveness found in the new set's eight volumes (up from six) are impressive. In creating it, author and editor Larkin has truly placed the stamp of legitimacy and respect on the study of popular music. The genres of rock, country, soul, jazz, rap, folk, New Age, blues, and R & B and the music of Tin Pan Alley are all represented, but popular composers in the classical vein (Aaron Copeland, Charles Ives) are consciously omitted. The focus is upon music from or popular in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. It is impossible to be completely objective about any form of music, a subject on which contributors have likes and dislikes that inevitably come through in at least some of their writing. However, Larkin has succeeded in editing to meet his criterion: "to strike a balance between being highly opinionated and dead boring." More than three-quarters of the entries have been enlarged, and new ones have been added. Main headings, as in past editions, cover individuals (including singers, writers, producers, actors, session players), bands, albums, films, musical theater, record labels, and concepts. Entries range in length from a paragraph or two (for some albums, stage and screen titles, and people) to one or more pages for more influential artists (Billie Holiday, George Gershwin, The Rolling Stones, Stephen Sondheim, Sun Ra) and other topics (Atlantic Records, jazz writing). There are numerous people and bands here that most of us have never heard of, which makes the encyclopedia fun for browsing. For individuals and groups, birth and death or formation and breakup dates are given when available, and careers are followed from early influences to albums, concert tours, and collaborations. Song titles are frequently mentioned, and there is a mammoth song-title index in the last volume. Following each narrative is a chronological album discography (usually, but not always, complete), with original label name and date and star rating; compilation albums are listed separately. As explained in notes on style, the five-star rating system for albums (new to this edition) is different from that used in other forums. Here, ratings indicate a comparison between the various works that that performer has produced. For instance, a Heart four-star album is that much better than a Heart one-star album, but it is not necessarily the critical equivalent of a Beatles four-star album. Ratings are assigned by the editor and a few contributors and take into account critical opinion. Larkin has also begun the huge task of adding a list of videos for more recent performers, and he has added to the further reading lists appended to many entries. For each of the 1,500 key albums important enough to rate a separate entry, the writing conveys a sense of the work's musical characteristics, critical reception, social importance, and how it reflects the performer's development at that point. Significant and hit tracks are singled out; for instance, Public Enemy's 1990 "`Fight the Power' still bites harder than just about any other track in rap's history." A list of all tracks, album release dates, and U.K. and U.S. peak chart positions are given. It would be helpful if there were a single list in an appendix of these seminal works. Although album entries contain cross-references (designated by boldface) to their creator, the reverse is not always true. For example, under Public Enemy, there is nothing that would tell the reader that there are separate entries for several of their works. In the next edition, perhaps boldface cross-references could be used within a performer's album listings, rather than in the text, where the album may not even be mentioned. Film and musical entries outline plot and characters and focus on notable songs. Occasionally the words "film musical" or "stage musical" appear in parentheses following titles, but only to distinguish between two or more identical entries (e.g. Grease); this means that it is often hard to tell which form is under discussion until halfway through the entry. In the entry Good Times, the reader doesn't know until the fourth sentence that this is a Sonny and Cher film, not an album. For companies, such as Sun, Verve, and Windham Hill, we get an overview of the careers of artists who recorded for them and a sense of the musical style(s) the labels promoted. Grunge, AOR (adult orientated rock), and rockabilly are examples of entries that define musical genres, although New Age can't be found. Country Music Association and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are just two of the many institutions covered. In the last volume, there is a bibliography by artist, which duplicates the reading lists found at the end of entries but adds publishers and dates. A bibliography by subject (blues, punk, and so forth), a list of selected fanzines (often with corresponding Web sites), and the song title index follow. A general index nearly 300 pages long and a quick reference guide to main headings conclude the set. There are several problems with the general index. The only information provided under each index entry are page numbers, but the lack of printed page ranges on the book spines, combined with the omission of a page range by volume key on the index pages, makes for a frustrating search because, for example, the reader must guess which volume contains page 4,053. On the plus side, the indexing to internal references seems to be incredibly thorough. Spelling and typographical errors do exist, although not in noticeably large numbers. Inevitably, there are some omissions. Bobby Sherman, bubble-gum phenomenon of the early 1970s, was left out, although perhaps there is an editorial statement to be found there. Larkin does have 29,500 headwords still waiting to have entries prepared, so expect either supplements (which would be more economical for libraries) or new editions in the years to come. Problems are certainly minor, in the end, given the enormous scope of this encyclopedia. Any library that can afford the hefty price tag should have this resource in its collection on music and popular culture. Those libraries in which the previous edition has received heavy use will want to update.


Library Journal Review

Originally published in 1992 as a modest four-volume set, this remarkable compendium of facts about all manner of popular music and culture, edited and largely written by Larkin (All-Time Top 1000 Albums), has in this fourth edition been fully revised and expanded to a ten-volume set with 6000 new entries. The first eight volumes feature alphabetical entries, the ninth volume presents an exhaustive bibliography and a discography, and the tenth is made up of indexes (by song and album title as well as a general index). There are entries on jazz, country, folk, reggae, rap, rock, film scores, musicals, world music, and other genres. Classical crossover composers, e.g., Leonard Bernstein and Philip Glass, are generously covered. A welcome addition is the inclusion of a five-star album-rating system. Larkin explains this rating system, as well as other editorial decisions, in an informal and witty but persuasive introduction to Volume 1, which also includes an excellent introductory essay. Larkin and his "small band of contributors" are based in the United Kingdom, thus, many of the obscure British pop musicians may be unknown to American readers. But to Larkin's credit, he is remarkably inclusive of little-known pop figures from the United States, Europe, and the rest of the world. Bottom Line The depth of most of the entries is highly impressive, especially given this project's ambitious scope. Those even remotely interested in any sort of popular music or popular culture in general will find this a treasure trove of information. Nothing remotely as comprehensive on the topic exists. A most enjoyable read and an essential purchase for all libraries. [Available online as a subscription product that is interactive with Grove Music Online; published in partnership with Muze; see Q&A with the editor on p. 110.-Ed.]-Larry Lipkis, Moravian Coll., Bethlehem, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up--The creation of this edition was clearly a monumental task and a labor of love for the editor, whose passion for and knowledge of popular music are first made evident in the introductory material. Within its alphabetical, cross-referenced arrangement, this ambitious work provides over 27,000 entries, including 6,000 that are new to this edition. Every aspect of popular music is covered, from Broadway show tunes and rap to heavy metal and big band, from the 1900s to today. The set provides information on artists and other important figures such as producers and songwriters. Entries encapsulate their subjects well even given length limitations. The six-page entry on the Beatles, for example, is concise yet comprehensive, as is the entry on Bob Dylan, which gives readers a clear sense of the man. Larkin and his contributors provide evaluations, using phrases such as "superbly crafted," to describe an album. The writing is always entertaining even when covering less-exciting career details. Each entry concludes with a comprehensive, rated discography covering all mediums and formats produced by the artist, and some also have further-reading lists. The main entries take up eight of this encyclopedia's volumes. The ninth volume provides a healthy quantity of selected album reviews, again presented alphabetically by artist, along with a bibliography, and the final volume is a set index. This title will be invaluable for research.--Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.


Choice Review

Larkin's set encompasses more than 27,000 articles covering primarily popular music of the US and Great Britain from the early 20th century to the present. This fourth edition (3rd ed., CH, Sep'99, 37-0020) includes updates, new articles, and the addition of appendixes and indexes. Articles on musicians, bands, and selected terms are unsigned and arranged alphabetically, but the encyclopedia includes some anomalies. For example, "Blues, The" appears after "Blues Traveler" and "Blues Brothers, The." Entries are accompanied by a bibliography, selected discography, and video and film listings. Larkin employs an interesting, if overly subjective, system of assigning stars to album titles as a reflection of their quality. The writing is largely anecdotal, yet lively and interesting. Entries generally lack an introductory statement to familiarize readers with the subject, and some basic knowledge is assumed. A volume with song and album title indexes proves quite useful, while the prefatory history of popular music is uneven. A separate volume of appendixes contains reviews of selected albums and an extensive bibliography. Although Larkin's work lacks the rigorous theoretical and historical underpinnings of many standard music encyclopedias, it is nevertheless a helpful tool for both casual and scholarly users. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers; general readers. B. Doherty Arizona State University


Booklist Review

In its third edition, The Encyclopedia of Popular Music now has more than 18,500 entries, which add up to make this the most comprehensive reference work of its kind. The second edition, originally published in 1995, was called The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music [RBB Ap 15 96] and had approximately 15,000 entries. The detail and comprehensiveness found in the new set's eight volumes (up from six) are impressive. In creating it, author and editor Larkin has truly placed the stamp of legitimacy and respect on the study of popular music. The genres of rock, country, soul, jazz, rap, folk, New Age, blues, and R & B and the music of Tin Pan Alley are all represented, but popular composers in the classical vein (Aaron Copeland, Charles Ives) are consciously omitted. The focus is upon music from or popular in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. It is impossible to be completely objective about any form of music, a subject on which contributors have likes and dislikes that inevitably come through in at least some of their writing. However, Larkin has succeeded in editing to meet his criterion: "to strike a balance between being highly opinionated and dead boring." More than three-quarters of the entries have been enlarged, and new ones have been added. Main headings, as in past editions, cover individuals (including singers, writers, producers, actors, session players), bands, albums, films, musical theater, record labels, and concepts. Entries range in length from a paragraph or two (for some albums, stage and screen titles, and people) to one or more pages for more influential artists (Billie Holiday, George Gershwin, The Rolling Stones, Stephen Sondheim, Sun Ra) and other topics (Atlantic Records, jazz writing). There are numerous people and bands here that most of us have never heard of, which makes the encyclopedia fun for browsing. For individuals and groups, birth and death or formation and breakup dates are given when available, and careers are followed from early influences to albums, concert tours, and collaborations. Song titles are frequently mentioned, and there is a mammoth song-title index in the last volume. Following each narrative is a chronological album discography (usually, but not always, complete), with original label name and date and star rating; compilation albums are listed separately. As explained in notes on style, the five-star rating system for albums (new to this edition) is different from that used in other forums. Here, ratings indicate a comparison between the various works that that performer has produced. For instance, a Heart four-star album is that much better than a Heart one-star album, but it is not necessarily the critical equivalent of a Beatles four-star album. Ratings are assigned by the editor and a few contributors and take into account critical opinion. Larkin has also begun the huge task of adding a list of videos for more recent performers, and he has added to the further reading lists appended to many entries. For each of the 1,500 key albums important enough to rate a separate entry, the writing conveys a sense of the work's musical characteristics, critical reception, social importance, and how it reflects the performer's development at that point. Significant and hit tracks are singled out; for instance, Public Enemy's 1990 "`Fight the Power' still bites harder than just about any other track in rap's history." A list of all tracks, album release dates, and U.K. and U.S. peak chart positions are given. It would be helpful if there were a single list in an appendix of these seminal works. Although album entries contain cross-references (designated by boldface) to their creator, the reverse is not always true. For example, under Public Enemy, there is nothing that would tell the reader that there are separate entries for several of their works. In the next edition, perhaps boldface cross-references could be used within a performer's album listings, rather than in the text, where the album may not even be mentioned. Film and musical entries outline plot and characters and focus on notable songs. Occasionally the words "film musical" or "stage musical" appear in parentheses following titles, but only to distinguish between two or more identical entries (e.g. Grease); this means that it is often hard to tell which form is under discussion until halfway through the entry. In the entry Good Times, the reader doesn't know until the fourth sentence that this is a Sonny and Cher film, not an album. For companies, such as Sun, Verve, and Windham Hill, we get an overview of the careers of artists who recorded for them and a sense of the musical style(s) the labels promoted. Grunge, AOR (adult orientated rock), and rockabilly are examples of entries that define musical genres, although New Age can't be found. Country Music Association and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are just two of the many institutions covered. In the last volume, there is a bibliography by artist, which duplicates the reading lists found at the end of entries but adds publishers and dates. A bibliography by subject (blues, punk, and so forth), a list of selected fanzines (often with corresponding Web sites), and the song title index follow. A general index nearly 300 pages long and a quick reference guide to main headings conclude the set. There are several problems with the general index. The only information provided under each index entry are page numbers, but the lack of printed page ranges on the book spines, combined with the omission of a page range by volume key on the index pages, makes for a frustrating search because, for example, the reader must guess which volume contains page 4,053. On the plus side, the indexing to internal references seems to be incredibly thorough. Spelling and typographical errors do exist, although not in noticeably large numbers. Inevitably, there are some omissions. Bobby Sherman, bubble-gum phenomenon of the early 1970s, was left out, although perhaps there is an editorial statement to be found there. Larkin does have 29,500 headwords still waiting to have entries prepared, so expect either supplements (which would be more economical for libraries) or new editions in the years to come. Problems are certainly minor, in the end, given the enormous scope of this encyclopedia. Any library that can afford the hefty price tag should have this resource in its collection on music and popular culture. Those libraries in which the previous edition has received heavy use will want to update.


Library Journal Review

Originally published in 1992 as a modest four-volume set, this remarkable compendium of facts about all manner of popular music and culture, edited and largely written by Larkin (All-Time Top 1000 Albums), has in this fourth edition been fully revised and expanded to a ten-volume set with 6000 new entries. The first eight volumes feature alphabetical entries, the ninth volume presents an exhaustive bibliography and a discography, and the tenth is made up of indexes (by song and album title as well as a general index). There are entries on jazz, country, folk, reggae, rap, rock, film scores, musicals, world music, and other genres. Classical crossover composers, e.g., Leonard Bernstein and Philip Glass, are generously covered. A welcome addition is the inclusion of a five-star album-rating system. Larkin explains this rating system, as well as other editorial decisions, in an informal and witty but persuasive introduction to Volume 1, which also includes an excellent introductory essay. Larkin and his "small band of contributors" are based in the United Kingdom, thus, many of the obscure British pop musicians may be unknown to American readers. But to Larkin's credit, he is remarkably inclusive of little-known pop figures from the United States, Europe, and the rest of the world. Bottom Line The depth of most of the entries is highly impressive, especially given this project's ambitious scope. Those even remotely interested in any sort of popular music or popular culture in general will find this a treasure trove of information. Nothing remotely as comprehensive on the topic exists. A most enjoyable read and an essential purchase for all libraries. [Available online as a subscription product that is interactive with Grove Music Online; published in partnership with Muze; see Q&A with the editor on p. 110.-Ed.]-Larry Lipkis, Moravian Coll., Bethlehem, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up--The creation of this edition was clearly a monumental task and a labor of love for the editor, whose passion for and knowledge of popular music are first made evident in the introductory material. Within its alphabetical, cross-referenced arrangement, this ambitious work provides over 27,000 entries, including 6,000 that are new to this edition. Every aspect of popular music is covered, from Broadway show tunes and rap to heavy metal and big band, from the 1900s to today. The set provides information on artists and other important figures such as producers and songwriters. Entries encapsulate their subjects well even given length limitations. The six-page entry on the Beatles, for example, is concise yet comprehensive, as is the entry on Bob Dylan, which gives readers a clear sense of the man. Larkin and his contributors provide evaluations, using phrases such as "superbly crafted," to describe an album. The writing is always entertaining even when covering less-exciting career details. Each entry concludes with a comprehensive, rated discography covering all mediums and formats produced by the artist, and some also have further-reading lists. The main entries take up eight of this encyclopedia's volumes. The ninth volume provides a healthy quantity of selected album reviews, again presented alphabetically by artist, along with a bibliography, and the final volume is a set index. This title will be invaluable for research.--Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.


Choice Review

Larkin's set encompasses more than 27,000 articles covering primarily popular music of the US and Great Britain from the early 20th century to the present. This fourth edition (3rd ed., CH, Sep'99, 37-0020) includes updates, new articles, and the addition of appendixes and indexes. Articles on musicians, bands, and selected terms are unsigned and arranged alphabetically, but the encyclopedia includes some anomalies. For example, "Blues, The" appears after "Blues Traveler" and "Blues Brothers, The." Entries are accompanied by a bibliography, selected discography, and video and film listings. Larkin employs an interesting, if overly subjective, system of assigning stars to album titles as a reflection of their quality. The writing is largely anecdotal, yet lively and interesting. Entries generally lack an introductory statement to familiarize readers with the subject, and some basic knowledge is assumed. A volume with song and album title indexes proves quite useful, while the prefatory history of popular music is uneven. A separate volume of appendixes contains reviews of selected albums and an extensive bibliography. Although Larkin's work lacks the rigorous theoretical and historical underpinnings of many standard music encyclopedias, it is nevertheless a helpful tool for both casual and scholarly users. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers; general readers. B. Doherty Arizona State University