Cover image for The Virgin encyclopedia of popular music
The Virgin encyclopedia of popular music
Larkin, Colin.
Concise fourth edition, completely updated and revised fourth edition.
Publication Information:
London : Virgin Books, in association with Muze UK, [2002]

Physical Description:
x, 1430 pages ; 28 cm
General Note:
Previous ed.: 1999.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML102.P66 V57 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Reference-Music

On Order



This updated edition offers a reference for anyone who has a query about any aspect of 20th-century popular music, including rock, MOR, rap and R&B, as well as soul, country and folk.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Last updated in 1998, The Virgin Encyclopedia (VE) combines many of the strengths of its competitors to produce one of the best single-volume popular music guides available. For this fourth edition, 350 new entries were added and the whole text revised through October 2001. Like The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock'n'Roll (RSE), the VE combines artists from various musical genres into one alphabetical sequence. In covering important artists in the worlds of jazz, country, Latin, folk, blues, gospel, and rap, the VE is broader in scope than the RSE, though not as broad as the All-Music Guide: The Definitive Guide to Popular Music (AMG); nor is the discographical information as detailed as that in The Great Rock Discography. The biographical articles, ranging from a third of a column to a few pages, are followed by separate lists of new and compilation albums. Each album is rated on a scale of one to five stars, though individual reviews are not included. Unique to the VE are lists of videos and books by and about the artist, which are included in most entries. An index points readers to all references to the artist in the book, though it would have been nice to have the page number for the artist's article entry in bold. The VE strives for balance, but there is still a British bias; hence, one finds articles on the U.K.'s Levellers but not L.A. cult faves the Dickies. The VE packs more information than the RSE (more than 3000 entries), and may be more user-friendly than the AMG for general readers though the VE's hefty price tag makes the AMG a better value. Virgin also publishes companion guides to most of the genres included here. Recommended, barring budget constraints, for medium to large music collections. Lloyd Jansen, Stockton-San Joaquin Cty. P.L., CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.