Russ's Reviews > Rock of Ages: The Rolling Stone History of Rock and Roll

Rock of Ages by Ed  Ward
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's review
Jul 13, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: 2007, favoritebooks, music, nonfiction
Recommended for: Any music lover
Read in March, 2007

This isn't the book to read if you want in-depth information about particular bands. If you like to read about history, music and business trends and get a good overview of important artists, this is a good read.

I found the first section of the book quite exciting and interesting. The author of that chapter begins by talking about the history of popular music in the United States, setting the foundation for the rock and roll to come. The information about the 40s and 50s wasn't as interesting to me, because many of the acts and songs are unfamiliar. I did, however, enjoy reading about the way the record industry worked back then.

Things get more interesting during the chapter about the 60s. You start reading faster as the "rock era" really begins to form. Familiar names start popping up and you learn about their place in the overall picture.

The book ends in the MTV era of the 80s. I think an updated version is needed, in order to cover the Grunge rock era. Personally, I would end the book with today's Indie Rock scene. That's where rock and roll is today.

Once you get through the 50s (although that may be interesting to you, depending on your age), this book is fascinating and informative.

Favorite part: The chapters about the 60s and 70s.

Favorite character: Alan Freed. He ruled popular music with an iron fist in the 1950s, but paid dearly for it. It's hard to imagine anyone doing such a thing today.
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