The Rough Guide to Punk

Overview

The Rough Guide to Punk casts a sneering glance at the musicians, fashions, icons and record labels behind the sub-culture that revolutionized pop music. The guide includes profiles of more than 250 artists, from legends such as the Sex Pistols and X-Ray Spex to contemporary stars like Green Day and Babyshambles. There are critical reviews of landmark albums and classic singles, plus the lowdown on everything from safety pins and bondage trousers to venues like The Roxy and CBGBs. The guide comes complete with ...

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Overview

The Rough Guide to Punk casts a sneering glance at the musicians, fashions, icons and record labels behind the sub-culture that revolutionized pop music. The guide includes profiles of more than 250 artists, from legends such as the Sex Pistols and X-Ray Spex to contemporary stars like Green Day and Babyshambles. There are critical reviews of landmark albums and classic singles, plus the lowdown on everything from safety pins and bondage trousers to venues like The Roxy and CBGBs. The guide comes complete with recommended playlists of the best, loudest and angriest slices of punk waiting to be downloaded to your iPod or MP3 player.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
To many music buffs, 2006 marks the 30th birthday of punk rock. Publishers are marking the event with a smattering of books, including these two reference titles, which could be the first such works on the genre. Londoner Spicer (editor, The Rough Guide to Rock, 2d ed.) divides The Rough Guide to Punk into three main sections: a time line (1965-85) of the movement, 250-plus A-to-Z entries (which make up the bulk of the book), and a brief "Punkology" media guide of further resources. At first, his young, loud, and snotty writing might seem too subjective, but one soon realizes that the amorphous nature of punk necessitates writing that conveys strong opinions alongside band lineups. Speaking of bands, all the usual suspects are here, from the Adverts and Blondie to the Sex Pistols and X-Ray Spex. Adding to the guide's appeal are the layout, visuals, and self-contained history. Perfect for the Hot Topic-haunting preteen, the crusty with the thinning mohawk, and all serious enthusiasts of the seedy underbelly of popular music. Encyclopedia of Punk Music and Culture is a somewhat more formal affair. Longtime punk fan, journalist, and academic Cogan (communication arts, Molloy Coll.) takes a highly catholic approach to what is and isn't punk, opting not to restrict the movement to a particular locale or time period. He tries to cover nearly every important band, taking in all manner of subgenres from hardcore to oi with an octopuslike reach. The book is structured like a typical A-to-Z encyclopedia; the entries (nearly 600) usually run a few paragraphs, and band entries include discographies. Unfortunately, this style of organization could pose a problem for punk neophytes, who may find themselves adrift in a sea of sound with no context and little supplementary information to help them navigate. Bottom Line These two books have different aims. Cogan's Encyclopedia is one to consult briefly and keep coming back to, while Spicer's Rough Guide could be read from start to finish, leaving one with a well-rounded knowledge of punk music. It should be noted that the Encyclopedia contains too many spelling errors, unseemly for a reference book. That said, there are also a few mislabeled captions and factual mixups in The Rough Guide. Still, The Rough Guide is the better of the two books and recommended for all libraries. The Encyclopedia would be better for academic and larger public libraries. Matthew Moyer, Jacksonville P.L., FL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781843534730
  • Publisher: DK Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/4/2006
  • Series: Rough Guide Reference
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.23 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Having paid his punk-rock dues on the barricades in Lewisham and as bass player (X-Films, 78-80), Al was later the editor of the second edition of The Rough Guide to Rock while also managing the first incarnation of the Rough Guides' online music site. He has since worked as a freelance writer and editor, and lives with his partner Jane and their three cats (Bustina, George and Tallulah) in South London.

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