Library Journal - Library JournalThis six-volume encyclopedia by academics Scrivani-Tidd (music, SUNY at Fredonia) and Janosik (dean, Lancaster campus, Ohio Univ.) and music journalists Gulla, Smith, and Markowitz covers the gamut of rock'n'roll music from its inception in the early 1950s to the postgrunge of today. Each volume, averaging several hundred entries, starts with a time line and includes a brief explanation of the social context of the era and a discography of key recordings. Descriptions of the various rock'n'roll subgenres-e.g., surf music, the British invasion-are conveyed through biographies of the major artists, which generally extend from a paragraph to a few pages long. A dictionary of artists, recordings, events, and genres; a resource guide; and an index completes each volume. Unfortunately, this set is rife with problems. Its chronological arrangement requires readers looking for information on a particular musician to know the era in which she or he first performed. Despite a few topical chapters that cover concepts like the rock business, rock films, rock festivals, and rock television, the volumes degenerate into cursory artist descriptions that are repeated near the end of each book. Most rock genres receive coverage, but a few (e.g., progressive rock) are repeated in multiple volumes. Bottom Line Readers would be better served by Martin C. Strong and John Peel's amazing The Great Rock Discography (Canongate, 2004. 7th ed.) or the more conventional The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century (Fireside, 2001). Not recommended.-Dave Szatmary, Univ. of Washington, Seattle Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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