Rolling Stone Album Guide

Rolling Stone Album Guide

Infobox Book
name = The Rolling Stone Record Guide


author = Dave Marsh and John Swenson (Editors)
cover_artist =
subject = Music,Popular music,Discography,Sound recording,Reviews
publisher = Random House/Rolling Stone Press
release_date = 1979
media_type = Paperback
pages = 631
isbn = ISBN 0-394-73535-8
preceded_by =
followed_by =

"The Rolling Stone Album Guide", previously known as "The Rolling Stone Record Guide", is a book that, along with its sister publication "Rolling Stone" magazine, contains professional reviews of popular music. The guide can be seen at Rate Your Music.com, [ [http://rateyourmusic.com/~RollingStoneAlbumGuide album guide link] ] while a list of albums given a five star rating by the guide can be seen at "Rocklist".net. [http://www.rocklistmusic.co.uk/rs5star_ed1.htm 5-Star-Albums from the Second Edition (Published in 1983) of "The Rolling Stone Record Guide"] [http://www.rocklistmusic.co.uk/steveparker/rs_guide04.htm 5-Star-Albums from the Fourth Edition]

First edition

"The Rolling Stone Record Guide" was the first edition of what would later become "The Rolling Stone Album Guide". It was edited by Dave Marsh (who wrote a large majority of the reviews) and John Swenson, and included contributions from 34 other music critics. It is divided into sections by musical genere and then lists artists alphabetically within their respective genres. Albums are also listed alphabetically by artist although some of the artists have their careers divided into chronological periods. The first edition also included black and white photographs of several of the covers of albums which received five star reviews, although they were not listed in a separate section of the book. The edition also included reviews for many comedy artists including Lord Buckley, The Firesign Theatre, Richard Pryor, and Bill Cosby.

Table Of Contents

* Introduction
* Rock, Soul, Country and Pop
* Blues
* Jazz
* Gospel
* Anthologies, Soundtracks and Original Cast
* Five-Star Records
* Glossary
* Selected Bibliography

Rating System

The guide employs a five star rating scale with the following descriptions of those ratings: ref|1sted
*
** Indispensable: a record that must be included in any comprehensive collection
*
** Excellent: a record of substantial merit, though flawed in some essential way.
*
** Good: a record of average worth, but one that might possess considerable appeal for fans of a particular style.
*
** Mediocre: a record that is artistically insubstantial, though not truly wretched.
*
** Poor: a record where even technical competence is at question or it was remarkably ill-conceived.
*
** Worthless: a record that need never (or should never) have been created. Reserved for the most bathetic bathwater.

Reviewers

* Dave Marsh
* John Swenson
* Billy Altman
* Bob Blumenthal
* Georgia Christgau
* Jean-Charles Costa
* Chet Flippo
* Russell Gersten
* Mikal Gilmore
* Alan E. Goodman
* Peter Herbst
* Stephen Holden
* Martha Hume
* Gary Kenton
* Bruce Malamut
* Greil Marcus
* Ira Mayer
*Joe McEwen
*David McGee
*John Milward
*Teri Morris
*John Morthland
*Paul Nelson
*Alan Niester
*Rob Patterson
*Kit Rachlis
*Wayne Robbins
*Frank Rose
*Michael Rozek
*Fred Schruers
*Tom Smucker
*Ariel Swartley
*Ken Tucker
*Charley Walters ref label|1sted|1|a

econd edition

Infobox Book
name = The New Rolling Stone Record Guide


author = Dave Marsh and John Swenson (Editors)
cover_artist =
subject = Music,Popular music,Discography,Sound recording,Reviews
publisher = Random House/Rolling Stone Press
release_date = 1983
media_type = Paperback
pages = 648
size_weight =
isbn = ISBN 0-394-72107-1
preceded_by =
followed_by =

"The New Rolling Stone Record Guide" was an update of 1979's "The Rolling Stone Record Guide". Like the first edition, it was edited by Dave Marsh and John Swenson. It included contributions from 52 music critics and featured chronological album listings under the name of each artist. In many cases, updates from the first edition consist of short, one-sentence verdicts upon an artist's later work.

Instead of having separate sections such as Blues and Gospel, this edition compressed all of the genres it reviewed into one section except for Jazz titles which were removed for this edition and were later expanded and published in 1985 "Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide" (ed. Swenson).

Since the goal of this guide was to review records that were in print at the time of publication, this edition featured a list of artists who were included in the first edition but were not included in the second edition because all of their material was out of print. ref|2nded

Table Of Contents

*Introduction to the Second Edition
*Introduction to the First Edition
*Ratings
*Reviewers
*Record Label Abbreviations
*Rock, Soul, Blues, Country, Gospel and Pop
*Anthologies, Soundtracks and Original Cast
*Index to Artists in the First Edition

Rating System

The second edition uses the same rating system as the first edition. The only difference is that in addition to a rating, the second edition employs the pilcrow mark (¶) to indicate a title that was out of print at the time the guide was published. Many records had their ratings lowered as the book now offered a revisionist slant to rock's history. ref label|2nded|2|a

Reviewers

*Dave Marsh
*John Swenson
*Billy Altman
*George Arthur
*Lester Bangs
*Bob Blumenthal
*J.D. Considine
*Jean-Charles Costa
*Brian Cullman
*Dan Doyle
*Jim Farber
*Laura Fissinger
*Chet Flippo
*David Fricke
*Aaron Fuchs
*Steve Futterman
*Debbie Geller
*Russell Gersten
*Mikal Gilmore
*Alan E. Goodman
*Randall Grass
*Malu Halasa
*Peter Herbst
*Stephen Holden
*Martha Hume
*Scott Isler
*Gary Kenton
*Wayne King
*Kenn Lowy
*Bruce Malamut
*Greil Marcus
*Ira Mayer
*Joe McEwen
*David McGee
*John Milward
*Teri Morris
*John Morthland
*Paul Nelson
*Alan Niester
*Rob Patterson
*Kit Rachlis
*Ira Robbins
*Wayne Robbins
*Frank Rose
*Michael Rozek
*Fred Schruers
*Dave Schulpas
*Tom Smucker
*Ariel Swartley
*Bart Testa
*Ken Tucker
*Charley Walters ref label|2nded|2|b

Third Edition

Infobox Book
name = The Rolling Stone Album Guide


author = Anthony DeCurtis and James Henke, with Holly George-Warren(Editors)
cover_artist =
subject = Music,Popular music,Discography,Sound recording,Reviews
publisher = Random House
release_date = 1992
media_type = Paperback
pages = 838
size_weight =
isbn = ISBN 0-679-73729-4
preceded_by =
followed_by =

"The Rolling Stone Album Guide" was a complete rewrite of both the 1979's "The Rolling Stone Record Guide" and the 1983's "The New Rolling Stone Record Guide". The title change reflects the fact that by the time this edition was published in 1992, records were almost completely replaced by CDs. This edition employs three new editors and reduces the number of reviewers from more than 50 as seen in previous editions to a mere four. This edition also included reviews of Jazz albums, which had been removed from the previous edition for the sake of publishing a separate Jazz guide. Unlike both previous editions, this edition did not include comedy artists.

Table Of Contents

*Introduction
*Ratings
*Contributors
*The Rolling Stone Album Guide
*Anthologies
*Soundtracks
*Acknowledgments

Rating System

Like the first edition, it employed a five star rating scale but this edition had new definitions of what the number of stars meant and this edition employed the use of 1/2 stars in the reviews. The descriptions of the markings used in the third edition of the guide are: ref|3rded
*Rating|5|5
**Classic: Albums in this category are essential listening for anyone interested in the artist under discussion or the style of music that artist's work represents.
*Rating|4|5
**Excellent: Four star albums represent peak performances in an artist's career. Generally speaking, albums that are granted four or more stars constitute the best introductions to an artist's work for listeners who are curious.
*Rating|3|5
**Average to Good: Albums in the three-star range will primarily be of interest to established fans of the artist being discussed. This mid-range, by its very nature, requires the most discretion on the part of the consumer.
*Rating|2|5
**Fair to Poor: Albums in the two-star category either fall below an artist's established standard or are, in and of themselves, failures.
*Rating|1|5
**Disastrous: Albums in the range of one star or less are wastes of vital resources. Only masochists or completists need apply.

Reviewers

*Mark Coleman
*J.D. Considine
*Paul Evans
*David McGee ref label|3rded|3|a

Artists omitted from the third edition

Some of the artists who were included in the previous editions but were omitted in this edition include:

# Hawkwind
# Magma
# Oingo Boingo
# Olivia Newton-John
# Scorpions
# Steeleye Span
# Van der Graaf Generator

Fourth edition

Infobox Book
name = The New Rolling Stone Album Guide


author = Nathan Brackett with Christian Hoard (editors)
cover_artist =
subject = More than 10,000 of the best Rock, Pop, Hip-Hop, and Soul Records, Reviewed and Rated
publisher = Fireside
release_date = 2004
media_type = Paperback
pages = 838
size_weight =
isbn = ISBN 0-7432-0169-8
preceded_by =
followed_by =

Approximately 70 writers contributed to this edition. Here is a quote from the back cover of the fourth edition:

"For the first time since 1992, Rolling Stone's definitive classicreturns to the scene, completely updated and revised to include thepast decade's artists and sounds. When it comes to sorting the trulygreat from the merely mediocre, the enduring from the fleeting, TheNew Rolling Stone Album Guide provides music buffs and amateurs alikewith authoritative guidance from the best voices in the field. Filledwith insightful commentary, it not only reviews the most influentialalbums of all time, but also features biographical overviews of keyartists' careers, giving readers a look at the personalities behindthe music."

Artists omitted from the fourth edition

Some of the artists who were included in the previous editions but were omitted in this edition include:

# Joan Armatrading
# Louis Armstrong
# Captain Beefheart
# Nat King Cole
# Crowded House
# Deep Purple
# Duke Ellington
# Ella Fitzgerald
# George Harrison
# Incredible String Band
# Robert Johnson
# Wynton Marsalis
# Metallica
# Nine Inch Nails
# The Alan Parsons Project
# Soft Machine
# Tears for Fears
# Toto

References

Citations

# note label|1sted|1|a "The Rolling Stone Record Guide". Ed. Dave Marsh and John Swenson. New York: Random House, 1979. (Note 1, see p xiii) (Note 1a, see p xv-xvi)
# note label|2nded|2|a note label|2nded|2|b "The New Rolling Stone Record Guide". Ed. Dave Marsh and John Swenson. New York: Random House, 1983. (Note 2, see p 645-648) (Note 2a, see p xv) (Note 2b, see p xvii-xix)
# note label|3rded|3|a "The Rolling Stone Album Guide". Ed. Anthony DeCurtis and James Henke with Holly George-Warren. New York: Random House, 1992. (Note 3, see p vii) (Note 3a, see ix)


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