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Books & Websites

RECOMMENDED FOR FURTHER EXPLORATION

Books – Narrative History and Criticism

Books – Individual Artist Reference and Biography

Books – Discography with Narrative

Books – Chronology with Narrative

Books – Reprints of Billboard Charts and Compilations of Chart Data

Books – Review Guides and List Collections

Books – Really Cool Books

Websites – Critical Reviews and Online Magazines

Websites – Artist and Genre Fan Sites

Websites – Bloggers

Websites – Music Lists

Websites – Streaming and Downloading Services

Websites – Really Cool Sites

Books – Narrative History and Criticism (+ D = includes discography)

Broven, John. Rhythm & Blues in New Orleans. Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing, 1983. +D Originally published in the U.K. in 1974 as "Walking to New Orleans." The comprehensive, definitive story of the labels, artists, clubs – the whole NOLA R&B scene – from the 1940s through the early 1970s.

Emerson, Ken. Always Magic in the Air: The Bomp and Brilliance of the Brill Building Era. New York: Penguin Books, 2006. +D Very well written, insightful and entertaining portraits of all the key people who brought a new level of professionalism to rock and soul songwriting in the early 1960s.

George, Nelson. Where Did Our Love Go?: The Rise and Fall of the Motown Sound. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2007. (first edition 1987) +D Unauthorized and definitive story of Motown the company as well as the performers, writers, and producers. Inside stories, pulls no punches, excellent writing.

George, Nelson. The Death of Rhythm & Blues. New York: Penguin Books, 2003. (first edition 1989) Deep analysis of black music and culture. Traces progress and triumph to mid-1970s, when, in George's view,crossover success and conglomerate control squeezed the lifeblood out of the music.

George, Nelson. Hip Hop America. New York: Penguin Books, 1999. Contextualizes rap music within hip hop, and hip hop within American culture. Music history with deep, sophisticated cultural analysis.

Gillett, Charlie. The Sound of the City: The Rise of Rock and Roll. New York: Da Capo Press, 1996. (first edition 1970, revised and expanded 1983) +D The original and still the best comprehensive history of where rock & roll came from and how it developed. Great integration of facts into a coherent story.

Groia, Philip. They All Sang on the Corner: A Second Look at New York City's Rhythm and Blues Vocal Groups. Port Jefferson, New York: Phillie Dee Enterprises, 1983. (first edition 1973) Intimate, detailed,sociological study drawing on personal interviews, featuring 36 pages of amazing photos.

Guralnick, Peter. Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom. New York: Harper & Row, 1986. +D Great writer telling a great story. The performers, the company men, the studio players, and the culture, all woven together into a beginning, an arc, an end, and overriding themes.

Hannusch, Jeff. I Hear You Knockin': The Sound of New Orleans Rhythm and Blues. Ville Platte, LA: Swallow Publications, 1985. +D Insightful portraits of thirty-one of New Orleans' most important artists.

Hirshey, Gerri. Nowhere to Run: The Story of Soul Music. New York: Da Capo Press, 1994. (first edition 1984) History of both city soul and southern soul based on scores of interviews. Hirshey masters the art of letting the great soul singers tell their stories in their own voices.

Kamin, Jonathan. Rhythm & Blues in White America: Rock and Roll as Acculturation and Perceptual Learning. Princeton University: Ph.D. Sociology dissertation, 1976. Brilliant, detailed analysis of how "cover" records made black music styles acceptable to white mainstream American audiences.

Marcus, Greil. Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1975. +D Landmark essays on artists who evoke particuarly American archetypes, including The Band, Sly & The Family Stone, and Elvis Presley, whose Sun records are mythologized as "ground zero" of rock & roll.

Marcus, Greil (Ed.), Stranded: Rock and Roll for a Desert Island. New York: Knopf, 1979. +D Essays from tweny rock critics on the one album they'd pick, plus Marcus' own extensively annotated discography.

Marsh, Dave. The Heart of Rock & Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made. New York: Da Capo Press, 1999. (first edition 1989) Antidote to commentary focused exclusively on albums. Stories about how each song speaks to Marsh, with recurring themes. The one book I return to most frequently.

Miller, James. Flowers in the Dustbin: The Rise of Rock and Roll 1947 – 1977. New York: Fireside, 1999. +D Uses dozens of "critical moments" over three decades to look with great intelligence and passion at the evolution of rock and roll as music and as a cultural force.

Palmer, Robert. Rock & Roll: An Unruly History. New York: Harmony Books, 1995. +D Ten chapters of "creative flashpoints" plus three essays on"ongoing traditions," together revealing "the music's transformative powers." As insightful as any narrative history I know of.

Werner, Craig. A Change is Gonna Come: Music, Race & The Soul of America. New York: Plume, 1999. +D A mind-stretching, comprehensive story of black music in its larger social context. Powerfully explicates the gospel (community), blues (individuality), and jazz (reinvention) impulses in black popular music.

Books – Individual Artist Reference and Biography (+ D = includes discography)

Aeppli, F. Heart of Stone: The Definitive ROLLING STONES Discography, 1962-1983. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Pierian Press, 1985. Includes all songs recorded by the group or its members "that found their way onto record or film," officially or otherwise, through December 1983. Organized by recording sessions.

The Beatles. Anthology. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 2000. Brilliantly designed and edited to integrate individual interview excerpts and 1300 illustrations into a reasonably coherent and utterly captivating story, as if the four lads were telling it themselves. In effect, The Beatles' autobiography.

Castleman, Harry, and Podrazik, Walter J. All Together Now: The First Complete BEATLES Discography 1961–1975. New York: Ballantine Books, 1975. Complete history of The Beatles (and solo works) on record through 1975, organized by release dates. Clearly marks first release of each track.

Cross, Charles R., and the editors of Backstreets Magazine. Backstreets: Springsteen: The Man and His Music. New York: Harmony Books, 1989. Great insider stories and photographs plus complete 1966-1988 sessionography and complete 1965-1989 catalog of live performances with occasional set lists.

Dundas, G. Tangled: A Recording History of Bob Dylan, Fifth Edition. Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada: SMA Services, 2004. Detailed documentation of every Bob Dylan recording session (every take) and public performance (complete set lists), all pro video, offical releases, dozens of exclusive photos, and more!

Gordon, Robert. Can't Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters. New York: Little, Brown, 2002. +D From beginning to end, in the studio and on the road, a comprehensive and enlightening biography.

Guralnick, Peter. Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley. New York: Little, Brown, 1994. Meticulously detailed research. Deep storytelling. The definitive biography of Elvis Presley up to his mother's death in 1958. A companion volume traces the last two decades of Presley's life.

Guralnick, Peter. Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke. New York: Little, Brown, 2005. +D Outstanding story of the man, his music, and his signficance in the history of R&B and black culture generally.

Jorgensen, E., Rasmussen, E., & Mikkelsen, J. Reconsider Baby: The Definitive ELVIS Sessionography 1954-1977. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Pierian Press, 1986. +D The ultimate reference on Presley sessions.

Lewisohn, Mark. The Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Abbey Road Studio Session Notes 1962-1970. New York: Harmony Books, 1988. (last republished 2006) Day-by-day diary of each session with commentary on who played what, how one take led to another, what was done and left undone, etc.

MacDonald, Ian. Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties, Third Edition. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2007. +D Unique, rigorous, brilliant analysis of both the 1960s cultural revolution and the music of all 241 Beatles tracks, masterfully interwoven to assess and explicate their mutual influence.

Marcus, Greil. Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes. New Yok: Henry Holt, 1997. +D Brings to life "the old, weird America" which The Basement Tapes harken back to. Beautifully written.

Marsh, D. Elvis. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1997. (first edition 1982) +D A large-format paperback with over 200 photos in addition to Marsh's biography, critique, and particularly thoughtful discography.

White, Timothy. Catch A Fire: The Life of Bob Marley. New York: Henry Holt, 1989. (first edition 1983) +D Deeply researched, very well written story of Marley's life and of reggae culture. Definitive biography.

Books – Discography with Narrative

Bianco, David. Heat Wave: The Motown Fact Book. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Pierian Press, 1988. Complete U.S. and U.K. singles and album discographies plus a comprehensive look at all the Motown acts.

Gribin, Anthony J. and Schiff, Matthew M. The Complete Book of Doo-Wop. Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications, 2000. Complete history, numerous essays, countless lists, breakdowns by geography, style, etc. and 210 (!) large-format pages listing (by artist) the label, number, and year of every doo-wop song ever recorded. Mind-blowing depth and detail.

Pavlow, Big Al. The R & B Book: A Disc-History of Rhythm & Blues. Providence, RI: Music House Publishing, 1983. Unique narrative history of R&B records 1943-1959 integrating deep year-by-year discographies with chart rankings, very well organized and indexed. Reprinted in 2007, available only from author at P.O. Box 2271, Edgewood Station, Providence, RI 02905. Send check for $23.95 incl. shipping.

Propes, Steve. Those Oldies But Goodies: A Guide to 50's Record Collecting. New York: Macmillan, 1972. Some material on rare records, record labels, sources, and publications, but mainly tons of artist discographies with label and number and year of release.

Propes, Steve. Golden Oldies: A Guide to 60's Record Collecting. Radnor, PA: Chilton, 1974. Some material on record collecting, themes in 60's music, and reissues, but mainly tons of artist discographies with label and number and year of release.

Stong, Martin C. The Great Rock Discography, Sixth Edition. Edinburgh: Canongate, 2002. Amazingly detailed histories of 1200 artists from James Brown and Johnny Cash to OutKast and Radiohead. Line-up changes, career milestones, chart positions, complete discograpies—you name it!

Tosches, Nick. Unsung Heroes of Rock 'n' Roll. New York: Scribners, 1984. Brief essays and matching discographies of 26 rock "forefathers." A very entertaining, irreverant and enlightening perspective.

Warner, Jay. American Singing Groups: A History 1940 – 1990. New York: Billboard Books, 1992. Group histories and extensive discographies of over 350 vocal groups from The Ink Spots through En Vogue.

Books – Chronology with Narrative

Cotten, Lee. Shake, Rattle & Roll: The Golden Age of American Rock 'n Roll, Volume 1, 1952 – 1955. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Pierian Press, 1989. Combines artist profiles with exhaustive research on precise dates of record releases and local artist performances, organized year-by-year and week-by-week.

Cotten, Lee. Reelin' & Rockin': The Golden Age of American Rock 'n Roll, Volume 2, 1956 – 1959. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Popular Culture, Ink., 1995. Continues the story from volume 1.

Cotten, Lee. Twist & Shout: The Golden Age of American Rock 'n Roll, Volume 3, 1960 – 1963. Sacramento, California: High Sierra Books, 2002. Continues the story from volumes 1 & 2.

Crampton, Luke & Rees, Dafydd. Rock & Roll year by year. New York: DK Publishing, 2003. Covers 1950 through 2002 in 600 graphically beautiful, photo-filled, large-format pages. Month-by-month, day-by-day news and celebrity-oriented blurbs on both musical milestones and trivia. A great coffee table book.

Ruhlmann, William. Breaking Records: 100 Years of Hits. New York: Routledge, 2004. Narrative history of pop music and the industry, organized by decades, integrating musical, commercial, and technological developments into a coherent story of how and when major shifts in focus and emphasis occurred.

Books – Reprints of Billboard Charts and Compilations of Chart Data

Brown, Tony, Kutner, Jon & Warwick, Neil. The Complete Book of the British Charts: Singles and Albums. London: Omnibus Press, 2000. Just what the title says, through the end of the 20th century.

Elrod, Bruce C. Your Hit Parade & American Top Ten Hits. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Popular Culture, Ink., 1994. The only source for the weekly survey results performed on "Your Hit Parade" on radio and TV from April 20, 1935 through June 7, 1958. Combined with Billboard chart results 1958 – 1994 in this book.

Whitburn, Joel. Top Pop Singles 13th Edition (1955 - 2010). Menomenee Falls, WI: Record Research, 2011.

Whitburn, Joel. Hot R&B Songs 1942 - 2010. Menomenee Falls, WI: Record Research, 2010.

Whitburn, Joel. Top Country Songs 1944 - 2005. Menomenee Falls, WI: Record Research, 2005.

Whitburn, Joel. Rock Tracks 1981 - 2008. Menomenee Falls, WI: Record Research, 2008.

Whitburn, Joel. Top Pop Albums Seventh Edition (1955 - 2009). Menomenee Falls, WI: Record Research, 2010. These five books compile Billboard data (entry date, peak position, total weeks) from charts listed in their respective titles. The R&B book includes hip-hop recordings. Each one is organized by artist and title entry date, and includes a wealth of indexes, summaries, and supplementary information. They are invaluable tools for any serious music history research.

Whitburn, Joel. Billboard Pop Album Charts 1965 – 1969. Menomenee Falls, WI: Record Research, 1993.

Whitburn, Joel. Billboard Pop Charts 1955 – 1959. Menomenee Falls, WI: Record Research, 1992.

Whitburn, Joel. Billboard Hot 100 Charts: The Sixties. Menomenee Falls, WI: Record Research, 1990.

Whitburn, Joel. Billboard Hot 100 Charts: The Seventies. Menomenee Falls, WI: Record Research, 1990.

Whitburn, Joel. Billboard Hot 100 Charts: The Eighties. Menomenee Falls, WI: Record Research, 1991.

Whitburn, Joel. Billboard Hot 100 Charts: The Nineties. Menomenee Falls, WI: Record Research, 2000.

Whitburn, Joel. Billboard Hot 100 Charts: The 2000s. Menomenee Falls, WI: Record Research, 2010. These seven books are direct reprints of original charts at somewhat reduced size. Each book includes an index of titles with each title's chart debut date.

Books – Review Guides and List Collections

Marsh, Dave & Bernard, James. The New Book of Rock Lists. New York: Fireside, 1994. (first edition 1981) Hundreds of great lists, often with attitude, updated to embrace hip-hop as well as rock and soul.

Plagenhoef, Scott & Schreiber, Ryan (Eds.). The Pitchfork 500: Our Guide to the Greatest Songs from Punk to the Present. New York: Fireside, 2008. Some would say the Pitchfork of today occupies the same cultural niche that Rolling Stone did once upon a time. The shift from albums to songs here says it all.

Books – Really Cool Books

Calamar, Gary & Gallo, Phil. Record Store Days. New York: Sterling, 2009.  A superb chronicle and celebration of independent record stores, filled with pictures and vignettes of iconic stores, cultural highlights, and priceless individual reflections.

Frame, Pete. Rock Family Trees. New York: Quick Fox, 1980. The first of his series of four meticulously researched and drawn "family tree" histories of rock groups and broader musical family connections.

Hilburn, Robert. Corn Flakes With John Lennon And Other Tales From A Rock 'N' Roll Life. New York: Rodale, 2009. A riveting memoir by the former Los Angeles Times critic, full of intimate, revelatory reflections of interviews with Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Bono, and many others.

Katz, Mark. Capturing Sound: How Technology Has Changed Music. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2004. From earliest phonographs through turntablism, sampling, and digital files, an intriguing study of how technology – and how we adapt to it – changes music and what it means to us. Includes a full CD of examples

Knopper, Steve. Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age. New York: Free Press, 2009. Effectively recounts all the missed opportunities, blunders, and blinders that pushed the music business into a downward spiral over the last decade.

Levitin, Daniel. J. This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession. New York: Plume, 2007. Rocker-turned-neuroscientist makes the case that music is fundamental to the human species.

Miller, Paul D., aka DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid. Rhythm Science. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004. A fascinating treatise on the art of mixing and DJ culture, including a full-length mix CD.

Milner, Greg. Perfecting Sound Forever: An Aural History of Recorded Music. New York: Faber and Faber, 2009. In his own words, "the story of what it means to make a recording of music--a representation of music--and declare it to be music itself." Includes a superb chapter on the Loudness War.

Ochs, Michael. 1000 Record Covers. New York: Taschen, 2001. A spectacular collection and juxtaposition of album cover art of the twentieth century, unexpurgated, with designer credits when known.

Peellaert, Guy (illustrations) & Cohn, Nik (text). Rock Dreams. New York: Popular Library, 1973. Out of print. Last republished by Taschen in 2003. A brilliant imaginative history told through colorful, surrealistic portraits of rock and soul icons as fantasized and fetishized by their audiences.

Weinberg, Max with Santelli, Robert. The Big Beat: Conversations with Rock's Great Drummers. Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1984.  Reprinted by Billboard Books, 1991. Just what the title says. A different perspective on rock musicianship and rock history. A fun read.

Websites – Critical Reviews and Online Magazines

Allmusic [ http://www.allmusic.com/ ] is the largest music database on the internet, featuring high-quality reviews and discographies of countless artists from just about every musical genre and era to date. As one of my first go-to sources, this website now supersedes its own All Music Guide books as well as older, excellent album review books from Rolling Stone editors and from Robert Christgau.

Billboard [ http://www.billboard.com/ ] is the music industry standard publisher of current music charts and basic music business news. A second site [ http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/index.jsp ] specializes in the music business and allows hard-copy Billboard subscribers access to all its music charts archives.

Robert Christgau [ http://www.robertchristgau.com/index.php ] has written pithy album reviews regularly as "Consumer Guides" since 1969. For over three decades he supervised the Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop critics' poll, which has been a mainstay of my music collecting research. Now all his reviews and essays, annual poll results, and more are available at this site.

Metacritic [ http://www.metacritic.com/music/ ] is the preeminent consolidator/aggregator of current album reviews, with music archives back to 2000. The site provides capsule scores, headlines, and links to reviews from a wide range of primary sources. It was my go-to source to browse new album releases and follow links for more information on promising ones, until it reinvented itself in summer 2010 and became much less user-friendly.

Paste [ http://www.pastemagazine.com/ ] editors have eclectic taste in music, with a solid alternative/indie slant. The magazine also covers books and movies.

Pitchfork [ http://pitchfork.com/ ] seems to be today's cultural equivalent of what Rolling Stone was Back In The Day. Full of music news, reviews, features, and lists.

Rolling Stone [ http://www.rollingstone.com/ ] covers movies and politics as well as music, with news, reviews, features, and extensive archives serving well the needs of its core Baby Boomer audience.

The Second Disc [ http://theseconddisc.com/ ] specializes in news and reviews of back catalog releases; in their words, "if it's reissued, remastered or expanded, you'll find it here."

Please pass on your experiences and suggestions for sites to add to or subract from this list in the Recommended Websites discussion. If not obvious, please mention which category of websites you're commenting on. Thanks!

Websites – Artist and Genre Fan Sites

60s Garage Bands [ http://www.60sgaragebands.com ] documents 1960s garage bands from the well-known to the most obscure, and provides news and information on the current scene for garage band fans.

Backstreets [ http://backstreets.com ] is the online home of Backstreets Magazine, the world's largest community of Bruce Springsteen fans.

Bobdylan.com [ http://bobdylan.com ] is the official Sony/Columbia Bob Dylan website, including a complete discography and song lyrics database, news, tour information, discussions, and (of course) a store.

Brucespringsteen.net [ http://brucespringsteen.net ] is the official Sony/Columbia Springsteen website. Thanks to a cooperative arrangement with Backstreets.com, the official site includes excellent running tour updates as well as the usual record company support, discography, song lyrics, etc.

Electric Dylan [ http://www.rdf.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk ] is devoted to the three great Dylan albums from 1965-1966, focusing on the many different versions that have appeared over the years. Roger Ford's articles are detailed and fascinating on a variety of topics, like differences between mono and stereo versions.

Expecting Rain [ http://expectingrain.com ] is one of the pioneer websites dealing with Bob Dylan, his influences, lyrics, records, and the latest concert reviews. Archives back to the previous century.

Surfmusic.com [ http://www.surfmusic.com ] features a comprehensive list of surf bands, internet surf music broadcasting, news, playlists, links to related websites, and products.

Please pass on your experiences and suggestions for sites to add to or subract from this list in the Recommended Websites discussion. If not obvious, please mention which category of websites you're commenting on. Thanks!

Websites – Bloggers

Blogcritics [ http://blogcritics.org/music/ ] is a good source for a variety of selected bloggers' album and concert reviews, with an easy way to search the site's complete archives on any act or topic of interest.

Blogs.com [ http://www.blogs.com/entertainment/music/ ] is a blog aggregator featuring top ten lists of other websites in a variety of music categories, such as "10 Great Music Blogs" and "10 Great Digital Music Blogs" (no overlap), as well as recent personal and newsy posts from a variety of bloggers.

Elder Music [ http://www.timegoesby.net/weblog/elder-music/ ] is Peter Tibbles' weekly feature on the Time Goes By website [ http://www.timegoesby.net/ ] that weaves together stories, pictures, and music, focusing on one artist, theme, or year into a highly entertaining column.

The Lefsetz Letter [ http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/ ] expresses the personal views of Bob Lefsetz, a music industry analyst with strong opinions about such issues as downloading, copy protection, pricing, and the music itself. He's been publishing it for over 25 years, as a blog since 2005. Always a good read.

I'd like to add at a few more individual bloggers to this list. Please pass on your suggestions in the Recommended Websites discussion. If not obvious, please mention which category of websites you're commenting on. Thanks!

Websites – Music Lists

Acclaimed Music [ http://www.acclaimedmusic.net/ ] synthesizes hundreds of lists of critics' ratings of songs and albums into consensus all-time lists, each then broken down by year and decade, and by artists. Intentionally weighted to give more recent music a boost, which may or may not make sense to you. A Herculean effort.

Both Sides Now Album Discographies [ http://www.bsnpubs.com/discog.html ] provides an amazing set of comprehensive album discographies of American record labels from A&M to Zephyr, including all but the largest companies, thanks to the original research of Mike Callahan and his colleagues.

DigitalDreamDoor.com [ http://digitaldreamdoor.nutsie.com/pages/music0.html ] contains dozens and dozens of well-done "greatest" lists of all musical genres and eras, compiled by the site's editors, together with a forum to discuss what changes you think should be made within each list.

The Heart of Rock and Soul [ http://www.lexjansen.com/marsh/index.htm ] is an interactive version of Dave Marsh's book. All the data about "The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made" and 100 of Marsh's essays are compiled into a database that lets you slice and dice lists by year, artist, label, writer, and more. You can also access several very cool lists of R&B and country songs from the same web page.

Rocklist.net [ http://rocklist.net/ ] is a massive compendium of end-of-the-year lists, personal lists from critics including Dave Marsh and Robert Christgau, and a great variety of genre lists, with a global site search to help you find particular artists, songs, or albums. A list-lover's dream. Beware of time suck danger!

Rubin's Rock n Roll Reference Discography [ http://www.rockmusiclist.com/ ] provides a comprehensive, searchable database of songs including artist, album, year, and occasional notes and quotes. If you know one of these facts and are looking for the others, this site aims to help you out. A labor of love.

Please pass on your experiences and suggestions for sites to add to or subract from this list in the Recommended Websites discussion. If not obvious, please mention which category of websites you're commenting on. Thanks!

Websites – Streaming and Downloading Services

Amazon.com [ http://www.amazon.com/ ] began previewing and selling mp3 files within its music store in 2007 and now competes aggressively with iTunes for digital market share.

Collector's Choice Music [ http://www.ccmusic.com/ ] is an especially well-organized online store where you can hear samples of and buy CD reissues of every genre and every era, including imports and custom releases.

iTunes [ http://apple.com/itunes ] is by far the leading retailer of digital music files. You must download iTunes software from the Apple.com site before you can shop at the store.

Last.fm [ http://last.fm ] recommends new music to you based on what you listen to. One of a pair of these sites, the other being Pandora.

Napster [ http://Napster.com ] is a subscription service where you "Listen to everything, buy what you want."

Pandora [http://pandora.com ] is an automated music recommendation and internet radio service. By extrapolating from the "musical DNA" of songs you like, Pandora generates streaming playlists customized to your taste. One of a pair of these sites, the other being Last.fm.

Rhapsody [ http://Rhapsody.com ] was the first online music service to offer streaming, on-demand access to a large catalog of music.

Please pass on your experiences and suggestions for sites to add to or subract from this list in the Recommended Websites discussion. If not obvious, please mention which category of websites you're commenting on. Thanks!

Websites – Really Cool Sites

Ace Records (U.K.) [ http://www.acerecords.co.uk/ ] is a company devoted to making musically rewarding and sonically beautiful reissues of classic rock and soul music and more. A wonderful site to visit.

Bear Family Records [ http://www.bear-family.de/ ] is famous for creating amazing box sets: nowhere in the world can you find more lavishly researched, documented, and musically faithful collections of an artist's complete recordings. They take the same top-of-the-line approach with all their products.

Future Rock Legends [ http://www.futurerocklegends.com/index.php ] aspires to be the focal point for discussion about who should be inducted into the official Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in the future.

Green Book of Songs by Subject [ http://www.greenbookofsongs.com ] is a searchable database of over 115,000 songs organized under 2200 searchable song topics. Start with a topic, find all the songs that fit. Unique and exhaustive. Requires an annual subscription. Last print version was published 2002.

Hypebot [ http://www.hypebot.com/ ] reports on "music. technology. the new music business." It might be the antithesis of Billboard in the view of the music business one gets from reading it.

Little Steven's Underground Garage [ http://www.littlestevensundergroundgarage.com ] features his radio show, archived shows, playlists, and other cool stuff related to garage-oriented rock & roll.

Record Research [ http://www.recordresearch.com/ ] is the website to learn about and purchase all of Joel Whitburn's books that compile Billboard chart data under his exclusive license with them. A fun site to visit even if you're not in the market for these books.

Top 40 Music on Compact Disc [ http://www.top40musiconcd.com ] is an easily searchable database of over 24,000 domestic CDs containing at least one Top 40 hit. Find which CD(s) contain(s) which song(s), with key details on all versions. Updated frequently and available only on a yearly subscription basis. Last print version was published 2004; it got too large for hard copy. I couldn't do my work without it.

Who Sampled [ http://www.whosampled.com/ ] is building the ultmate database of sampled music and cover songs. Constructed to help you hear precisely how and when each sample is used in the cover version – "exploring and discussing the DNA of music" – this site is highly interactive and educational.

Please pass on your experiences and suggestions for sites to add to or subract from this list in the Recommended Websites discussion. If not obvious, please mention which category of websites you're commenting on. Thanks!