This latest addition to the best-selling 1001 series offers more than ever— the world’s biggest and best playlist, referencing over 10,000 must-download songs. This book offers more than any previous book in the series. While each main entry profiles and illustrates 1,001 primary songs, it places that song into a contextual web of music history with references to other songs that are musically related. Thus, each entry points to alternate versions, covers, riffs, and influences effectively expanding the total number to 10,000. From the Beatles to Beyoncé, from Elvis to Elvis Costello, from Frank Sinatra to Rufus Wainwright, the full spectrum is covered chronologically and includes additional ancillary lists of "must-hear" songs grouped by subgenre and other special categories. Each song is analyzed by an international team of critics who explain why you must hear it. Included are key details such as lyricist, composer, producer, and label, making this a music treasure trove perfect for anyone into music, addicted to downloading, or those just getting started.
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1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
I can't think of any other way to say it: this is a weird list. It seems as if the editors have taken stock of comments made about other editions in their series (such as "1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die") that critique the representation as "too western." Well, non-western music is certainly well-represented on this list, as are non-Anglophone Europeans. The list is so diverse as to be a bit on the pompous side, which is exaggerated by the "10,001 You Must Download" addition in the back of the book. This appendix would be interesting if one already knew all the songs on it, but without further information on what styles they are in, the non-familiar names especially come off as just a list of foreigners whose songs you'll never likely get hold of, while the familiar names are good for little more than a game of "why isn't my favourite on the list?" The book also seems to have been composed solely or in the majority by British contributors, which skews the selections a bit. From a North American standpoint, one has to wonder why, if only one or two songs by a given artist were chosen, the team selected the ones they did. (Really? If you're only going to listen to one Spice Girls song ever, you'd pick "Spice Up Your Life?") Missing even from the supplementary list are such stand-outs as "Spill the Wine," "La Bamba," and "Crimson and Clover"... and yet, apparently, I need to hear not one, but TWO different versions of "If I Knew You Were Coming, I'd Have Baked a Cake." The book suffers from a lack of representation of East Asian artists in its main "1,001" section, as well as a seeming lack of favour for progressive rock, country, Celtic, and early big band standards. Some entries contain interesting tidbits such as songs that influenced the song in question, songs influenced by the song in question, and different cover versions of the song; however, it is not always clear to what extent the influences reflect information drawn from the artists themselves, and to what extent the editors simply think two songs sound similar (and surely, just because a singer sings quickly doesn't mean the song was necessarily influenced by "Surfin' Bird," does it?). All in all, this is a strange list which is very interesting to read if you are looking to expand your musical horizons to include things you've never listened to before, but which looks to me like little else than a contest between music journalists to see who could come up with the most obscure contributions.
Recommended for music lovers who are not "one dimensional". If you pick up the book you will have to go through it. It's a good education for all but particularly the younger music lovers to find out that their favorite songs today were written during their grandparents or greatgrandparents time. I purchased it for a 17 year old as a gift and he loved it. It's a great education in music. It goes through times when a person could actualy understand the words in the song..... right up to today.