Rock Chronicles: A Visual History of the World's Greatest 250 Rock Acts

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9781844037063: Rock Chronicles: A Visual History of the World's Greatest 250 Rock Acts

This is a unique visual encyclopedia of rock and a must-have reference guide for any serious music fan. Documenting the development and impact of 250 of the world's most influential rock acts over the past fifty years and detailing the development of their sounds and line-ups, innovative colour-coded infographics outline each band's chart success and provide full details of every band member together with photographs and a biography. Beautiful and iconic images of the world's 50 biggest acts illustrate their defining looks and the huge impact that rock has had outside the music world. Written by renowned rock music authority David Roberts, Rock Chronicles is truly comprehensive, informative and compelling reference guide for everyone who enjoys and loves great rock music.

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About the Author:

David Roberts was Managing Editor on more than 20 music reference book projects at Guinness World Records including British Hit Singles & Albums and Rockopedia. In 2006 he was appointed consultant, writer and film maker to the British Music Experience visitor attraction at London's O2. He is the author of the British and Irish music locations book, Rock Atlas.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Introduction
by David Roberts

Rock Chronicles is a new way of telling the story of this powerful and enduring genre. More than 250 of rock's finest, spanning seven decades, get an in-depth examination, presented in a unique and revealing display that starts and ends with archetypal purveyors of classic rock: AC/DC and ZZ Top. Along the way, you'll be introduced to the personnel who created subgenres, from glam to grunge and psychedelia to punk.

A new kind of rock encyclopedia for the twenty-first century, the book features elements that give a visual overview of each act's long and winding career. A team of experts has compiled the essential biographies found at the core of each act's entry--together with the birth and, sadly, ever increasing death dates of the cast of many hundreds of rock stars.

So far, so traditional. But this is where the similarity to other rock encyclopedias ends. Rock Chronicles boasts at-a-glance graphic timelines of the comings and goings of group members set against the albums they made and the labels that signed them. These cleverly designed infographics will help you to pinpoint the key moments in rock history: when line-ups changed, breakthrough albums were released, record deals were brokered and singers departed. Want to know who played drums on Pearl Jam's debut album? Find out how many copies OK Computer has sold worldwide? Remind yourself what The Kinks' bassist in looked like or when Frank Zappa was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? You'll find all the answers to these and an unimaginable stack of other questions in the fact-packed pages of a very different kind of book.

Delving into Rock Chronicles, you will undoubtedly, like me, learn all sorts of trivia. Not facts that you would necessarily look up, but good-to-know, intriguing stuff like the simple story behind how Canadian stars Nickelback got their name and the bizarre fact that French progressive rockers Magma have invented their own lyrical language.

Away from these intriguing diversions, let's answer the big questions most of you will consider when using a rock encyclopedia. First, just how did we make the selection as to which acts are included? Not without a huge amount of thought, debate and argument is the unsurprising answer. The issue of what constitutes a rock act at all, as opposed to a pop outfit, is enough for starters, before determining who fits the bill.

At the heart of most decision-making was the symbol which very firmly dominates the front cover of this book: the electric guitar. Synths made a half-hearted attempt to usurp the guitar in the seventies and eighties, but the definition of a classic rock band is built around the six-strings of Chuck Berry through to present day Kings of Leon.

So, having established a very basic definition, who of the thousands of potential bands to choose and who to lose? Your list and mine will, I'm sure, have been different but there's no exact science in deciding who makes the final cut. Highest record sales and best chart statistics just won't do. That way leads to the omission of so much music that is commercially lacking but creatively inspirational. So, fear not, Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band, the Buzzcocks and Pavement all have their place. That said, all the British, Irish and North American rock heavyweights you'd expect to see are included, plus significant acts from across Europe, China, Japan, South America and Australasia.

To get the most out of the book, start by checking out the visual guide to Rock Chronicles overpage. Here you can get acquainted with the timelines that run throughout the book and the symbols and graphic devices used to reveal the vast amount of information at your fingertips.

Each timeline covers the period each act has been active, punctuated by core members (and, in the case of solo acts like Bowie, Elvis, and Neil Young, significant others), together with a full chronological rundown of studio albums. All compilations and soundtracks, and most live albums, have been excluded to keep discographies to manageable proportions, but exceptions have been made where the entries would be simply incomplete without them. Fear not, fans of the MC5, Dave Matthews, and Jane's Addiction: those live debut albums are in here. And in a few selected cases--notably Tangerine Dream and Frank Zappa--we have cherry-picked highlights of their huge back catalogs, including live albums (which fans of those acts regard as equally canonical).

All types of album--studio, live, and compilation--qualify for the big four sellers at the top of each double-page spread. A great deal of research has gone into establishing the most accurate estimate for each release. Record sales are often prone to much exaggeration but our figures are based on a combination of expert advice and record industry certifications for platinum, gold and silver sales or shipments. These certifications are given per disc, not per album release--so in the case of George Harrison's terrific triple album, All Things Must Pass, the often reported sales total of more than ten million is in fact 3.5 million.

The all-important rock stars highlighted in the biographies and on the timelines are pictured on each page for easy identification. For a selection of the more visually exciting and most enduring bands, there are picture features that show the visual changes undergone throughout the decades of fashion changing, hard rocking, touring and general debauchery associated with the "hope I die before I get old" brigade. These are color-coded to key albums, also pictured on those spreads.

Every decade since the seventies has seen predictions of the death of rock. However, although the twenty-first century has seen a slow-down in the production line and a lessening of the grip the recorded product has on us, rock is still a massive draw for the world's buoyant live performance sector. It's also pop music's most fascinating genre to read about--so immerse yourself in the astonishing wealth of fact that is Rock Chronicles.

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Book Description 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. This is a unique visual encyclopedia of rock and a must-have reference guide for any serious music fan. Documenting the development and impact of 250 of the world's most influential rock a.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 576 pages. 1.961. Bookseller Inventory # 9781844037063

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Book Description 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. This is a unique visual encyclopedia of rock and a must-have reference guide for any serious music fan. Documenting the development and impact of 250 of the world's most influ.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 576 pages. 1.961. Bookseller Inventory # 9781844037063

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