Make us homepage
Add to Favorites
FAIL (the browser should render some flash content, not this).

Main page » Non-Fiction » The Rock History Reader

The Rock History Reader


Rock music has been with us now, by one name or another, for more than half a century. It is an utterly familiar presence. We hear it in commercials, movie soundtracks, and political campaigns, and we are constantly reminded of its privileged cultural status through frequent lists of the “100 greatest rock songs of all time.” The music even has its own Hall of Fame and Museum, populated by a cluster of towering icons, many of whom have had book-length academic studies devoted to their life and works. As it has become engrained in our environment, rock music has also become a subject deemed worthy of study in higher education. Browse the course listings for most universities and colleges and chances are good that you will find a “History of Rock” or “Rock Music” class listed somewhere in their catalog. Currently there are approximately half a dozen rock music textbooks in circulation, many of them on their fourth and fifth editions. Yet until recently instructors seeking an anthology of historically based readings as a supplement to these textbooks have looked in vain. This book aims to fill that gap.

The Rock History Reader is modeled after the types of annotated source reading collections that should be well familiar to scholars and teachers in the humanities. Within the realm of music history anthologies, the book follows most closely the purpose and design set forth by Oliver Strunk’s Source Readings in Music History and Piero Weiss and Richard Taruskin’s Music in the Western World: A History in Documents. These anthologies bring to life, via primary sources, the often contentious issues, arguments, conflicts, and creative tensions that have defined music as a social practice throughout the ages.



Section I The 1950s

Chapter 1 Chuck Berry: In His Own Words

Chapter 2 R&B: A Danger to the Music Business?

Chapter 3 Elvis Presley and “The Craze”

Chapter 4 “Elvis Defends Low-Down Style”

Chapter 5 “Experts Propose Study of ‘Craze’”

Chapter 6 The Rock ’n’ Roll Audience: “But Papa, It’s My Music, I Like It”

Chapter 7 Leiber & Stoller

Chapter 8 The History of Chicano Rock

Section II The 1960s

Chapter 9 Phil Spector and the Wall of Sound

Chapter 10 The Beatles, Press Conference, 1964

Chapter 11 “Beatlemania Frightens Child Expert”

Chapter 12 George Martin: On the Beatles

Chapter 13 “Understanding Dylan”

Chapter 14 Motown: A Whiter Shade of Black

Chapter 15 “An Interview with Wilson Pickett”

Chapter 16 James Brown: Soul Brother No. 1

Chapter 17 “Goodbye Surfing Hello God!—The Religious Conversion of Brian Wilson”

Chapter 18 Rock and the Counterculture

Chapter 19 “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test”

Chapter 20 “The Country Boom”

Chapter 21 Woodstock Nation

Section III The 1970s

Chapter 22 James Taylor, Singer-Songwriter

Chapter 23 “Cock Rock: Men Always Seem to End Up on Top”

Chapter 24 The Art of the Hard Rock Lifestyle

Chapter 25 “How to Be a Rock Critic”

Chapter 26 “Reggae: The Steady Rock of Black Jamaica”

Chapter 27 “Roots and Rock: The Marley Enigma”

Chapter 28 Dub and the Sound of Surprise

Chapter 29 Art Rock

Chapter 30 “Why Don’t We Call It Punk?”

Chapter 31 The Subculture of British Punk

Chapter 32 Disco: Four Critics Address the Musical Question

Chapter 33 “The Confessions of a Gay Rocker”

Section IV The 1980s

Chapter 34 Punk Goes Hardcore

Chapter 35 College Rock: “Left of the Dial”

Chapter 36 “Roll Over Guitar Heroes; Synthesizers Are Here”

Chapter 37 “The MTV Aesthetic”

Chapter 38 Post-Punk’s “Radical Dance Fictions”

Chapter 39 Molly Hatchet: Celebrity Rate a Record

Chapter 40 “The Cult of Violence”

Chapter 41 Heavy Metal and The Highbrow/Lowbrow Divide

Chapter 42 “The Real Thing—Bruce Springsteen”

Chapter 43 Hip Hop Nation

Chapter 44 “Madonna–Finally, a Real Feminist”

Chapter 45 “Can Madonna Justify Madonna?”

Section V The 1990s

Chapter 46 Is As Nasty As They Wanna Be Obscene?

Chapter 47 “Public Enemy’s Bomb Squad”

Chapter 48 “The Death of Sampling?”

Chapter 49 “Kurt Cobain and the Politics of Damage”

Chapter 50 “The Problem with Music”

Chapter 51 “Feminism Amplified”

Chapter 52 “Rock Aesthetics and Musics of the World”

Chapter 53 Fat Boy Slim Explains Electronic Dance Music

Chapter 54 Nü Metal and Woodstock ’99

Chapter 55 Indie Pop Goes Twee

Section VI The 2000s

Chapter 56 “My Week on the Avril Lavigne E-Team”

Chapter 57 “Punk’s Earnest New Mission”

Chapter 58 “Rip. Burn. Die.”: The Music Industry Sings the Blues

Chapter 59 “The Rap Against Rockism”


Purchase The Rock History Reader from
Dear user! You need to be registered and logged in to fully enjoy We recommend registering or logging in.

Tags: Reader, History, students, critics, music