The Biographical Dictionary of Popular Music" is an incredible and opinionated collection of celebrated cultural critic Dylan Jones's thoughts on more than 350 of the most important artists around the world--alive and dead, big and small, at length and in brief. This A to Z reference is the true musical heir to David Thomson's seminal "The New Biographical Dictionary of Popular Film." Jones writes entertainingly about bands that have inspired, bedeviled, and fascinated him over the years.
|Publisher:||St Martins Pr|
|Publish Date:||Oct 2012|
|Number of Pages:||882|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||1.42|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||5.57 x 1.59 x 8.28|
While it is by no means a reference classic, this title is a mocking, lively read. Music journalist Jones (Jim Morrison: Dark Star) has created a hefty book with more than 350 entries, some rewritten excerpts and others based on the author's actual interviews. The book is as much about Jones as his subject, not relying on facts and details but rather offering coverage that is shamelessly biased. As he comments in the introduction, "there are dozens of music encyclopedias and many cleverly written
[.] - They're obsessively objective and pathologically comprehensive [whereas] this book is idiosyncratic and opinionated tempered with a bit of objectivity". From Abba to Zappa, the author tracks down his own previous experiences, delving into a variety of artists both legendary and obscure, showcasing his familiarity with many of the entertainers, especially the British ones. The work is chock full of cunning observations, e.g., he quips that, "Hall and Oates had an image problem.
Hall looked like a market town hairdresser and Oates Super Mario's smaller brother". The book covers a wide range of topics including Sinatra, Dean Martin, spa music, singing in the shower, funeral music, successful bands with terrible names, and much more. Entry length varies, with George Harrison receiving one and a half pages, Shirley MacLaine garnering 13, and Keith Richard meriting a wordy 23. (Does Shirley MacLaine actually belong in this book?) Perhaps the disproportion is part of the charm. The e book version offers hyperlinks to the artists' pages on i Tunes. Though at times the book drags with meandering passages and banal trivia that is more autobiographical than biographical, the work is undeniably entertaining.
Verdict: While libraries will want to maintain more objective comprehensive resources in their music collections, this title could be considered an optional purchase offering humorous material and clever but subjective cultural analysis.-Bobbie Wrinkle, McCracken Cty. P.L., Paducah, KY
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The Biographical Dictionary of Popular Music is an incredible and opinionated collection of celebrated cultural critic Dylan Jones’s thoughts on more than 350 of the most important artists around the world—alive and dead, big and small, at length and in brief. This A to Z reference is the true musical heir to David Thomson’s seminal The New Biographical Dictionary of Popular Film. Jones writes entertainingly about bands that have inspired, bedeviled, and fascinated him over the years.
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