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Rock and Roll Cage Match: Music's Greatest Rivalries, Decided

3.22  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Music defines us. To return the favor, we’ll stick up with zealous passion for the performers and bands that we love . . . and heap aspersions and ridicule upon people who dare to place their allegiances above our own. In Rock and Roll Cage Match, today’s leading cultural critics, humorists, music journalists, and musicians themselves take sides in thirty of the all-time j ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 26th 2008 by Three Rivers Press (first published January 1st 2008)
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Stanley Booth
For starters, check out Richard Hell’s contribution to this anthology of essays, whose editor also gave us THE SHOW I'LL NEVER FORGET, an equally memorable compilation of fifty writers recalling "their most memorable concertgoing experience[s]." Hell’s chapter, perhaps the best in Manning's more recent effort, pits Lou Reed and the Velvets against the Rolling Stones.

An unprofessional interjection: I'm married to the poet Diann Blakely. Her affections for both bands are fiercely primal, and she
Feb 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, nonfiction, essays
For the type of person that loves to argue about the artistic merit of various bands and artists, this book will be adored. While I spent many hours fuming over some of the highly biased cage match victors (come on, Marilyn Manson is in no way more talented than Trent Reznor), this book is highly entertaining and worth checking out, if only to read the particular essays of bands you know or care about.
Feb 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing

my favorite book on rock since dickerson's colonel tom parker.

it's an anthology of smart-ass rock writers and comedians each pitting a pair of late-20th-century music acts against each other in mock contests of supremacy.

the most scintillating are:

the rolling stones vs. the velvet underground (by richard hell)
hall & oates vs. simon & garfunkle
the four tops vs. the temptations
parliament vs. funkadelic
john lennon vs. paul mccartney
nirvana vs. metallica
n.w.a. vs. wu tang clan

there are many other e
Jul 13, 2008 rated it liked it
Humorous and provocative, this book will be a welcome addition to any Public and High School Library.
Immensely entertaining, Sean Manning (The Show I’ll Never Forget: 50 Writers Relive Their Most Memorable Concertgoing Experience) has produced a book that is guaranteed to start more arguments than it settles. From the obvious (Joe Donnely on John vs. Paul; Jim DeRogatis on Blur vs. Oasis) to the reverent (Laura Cantrell on Patsy Cline vs. Kitty Wells; Dennis Lim on Ennio Morricone vs. Bernard H
Mohit Sharma
Feb 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2013
30 rivalries(out of which, one, Album vs. Single, is a cartoon strip). Some were brilliant, few were bad, one or two were outright stupid.
Jay-Z vs. Nas, Guided by Voices vs. Pavement, Radiohead vs. Coldplay, Lennon vs. McCartney, MJ vs. Prince were good. Led Zep vs. Black Sabbath and Blur vs. Oasis were the best, balanced, informative and interesting viewpoint in a historical perspective.
Bob Dylan vs. Bob Marley was an outright stupidity. There is no comparison. Both were spokesmen, but of dif
Kathy McC
Dec 29, 2009 rated it liked it
"Music defines us. We'll stick up with zealous passion for the performers and bands that we love." Premise for this book is that rock and roll lovers make choices between any number of groups and solo artists. It is a compilation of essays written about various rock and roll arguments. Many of the chapters were discussing groups and artists that I either did not care about or had never heard of. But, the chapters regarding topics such as McCartney or Lennon, Billy Joel or Elton John, Michael Jac ...more
DeAnna Rigney
May 15, 2009 rated it liked it
This is a compilation of musical dispute essays & articles decided by music critics, humorists and journalists. It was enjoyable, though I didn't agree with some of the "winners." I mean I love 'em both, but Lennon beats McCartney any day in my book. My faves included the Harvard Lampoon's comparison of Elton John & Billy Joel using the NFL's scouting combine, and Michael Showalter's comparison of Hall & Oates to Simon & Garfunkle...these were both quite hilarious. ...more
Nov 19, 2008 rated it liked it
I will admit I only read the articles in it that appealed to me (such as The Cure v. The Smiths and Phil Collins v. Sting, among others) and I found this book to be very fun! It is amazing how music can seep into someone and affect everything. My personal favorite was the Phil v. Sting article, mostly because the author was open about how his love of Phil Collins and hatred of Sting was impacted by his family life. Well, and because even though I don't hate Sting, Phil is better! ...more
May 03, 2009 rated it liked it
Despite the clever concept this would have been just a two-star book, mainly useful for reminding me why I don't consider most popular music criticism to be criticism in my sense of the term, if it didn't include one piece that transcends the rest, Richard Hell's brilliant take on the Stones vs the Velvets. ...more
Len or Len
Jul 26, 2010 rated it liked it
I was a little disappointed that most of the essays in this book were humorous attempts and didn't get into the music more. A girl who used to work for me at Crown Books, Sara Barron, has a funny take on Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. ...more
Michael Lee
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but the concept of "which artist is better" interested me. Overall, I was a little underwhelmed. This collection of essays was a mixed bag, and you really have to have an interest in the artists in question to get the most out of it. ...more
Sep 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Considers all genres of music. Avoids rolling stones v Beatles but includes McCartney v Lennon. Some of the funny parts were so good I shared them with others. Mainly for music fans, however non music fans can pick and choose what chapter they like.
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