Friday, December 14, 2012

The Book of Rock Lists

1981, first edition, from Dell/Rolling Stone Press
Dave Marsh and Kevin Stein
The Book of Rock Lists
Original price $9.95, purchase price $7.50
Worn paperback with covers torn off, a bit of my writing

This is obviously more focused than the Wallace/Wallechinsky collections, and it's an interesting general topic, here encompassing everything from bubble gum to punk, with a lot of soul.  Marsh, Stein, and their contributors have intelligent and sometimes witty opinions, so it's a good read, even when I disagree with them.  (I'm not even a Grateful Dead fan, and I think they're too hard on the Dead.)  The best lists are the quirky ones, like the one of '60s Psychedelic Band Names.  Unfortunately, I can't easily quote from this book, because it's too long to easily find things.

I have to deduct a notch for the lack of an index, which I think was also left out of The New Book of Rock Lists, which we'll get to in 1994.  As I recall, some lists were updated, others deleted, and somehow Ringo had moved up the list of great drummers.  This edition came out in the early days of rap and the same year that MTV debuted, so although I suppose it's always true that rock is in a time of change, it was particularly true then.

Back in the day, I found this book most useful in developing my bad-movie collection, using not only the list of worst rock movies (I seem to be the only person who didn't think Xanadu was enjoyably bad, so it got an X rather than a circle), but also their ratings of Elvis movies.  (Change of Habit is not a C+ and Spinout a D-, no matter what criteria you're using.)  This reading, I found that just the titles of songs would give me pleasant earworms.  Which brings me to our next book....

No comments:

Post a Comment