|Subject||Albums, capsule review, discography, music journalism, popular music|
|Published||2000 by St. Martin's Press|
|Preceded by||Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s|
Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s is a music reference book by American music journalist and essayist Robert Christgau. It was published in October 2000 by St. Martin's Press and collects approximately 3,800 capsule album reviews, originally written by Christgau between 1990 and 2000 for his "Consumer Guide" column in The Village Voice . Text from his other writings for the Voice, Rolling Stone , Spin , and Playboy during this period was also featured.
Robert Thomas Christgau is an American essayist and music journalist. One of the earliest professional rock critics, he spent 37 years as the chief music critic and senior editor for The Village Voice, during which time he created and oversaw the annual Pazz & Jop poll. He has also covered popular music for Esquire, Creem, Newsday, Playboy, Rolling Stone, Billboard, NPR, Blender, and MSN Music, and was a visiting arts teacher at New York University.
St. Martin's Press is a book publisher headquartered in the Flatiron Building in Manhattan, New York City. St. Martin's Press is considered one of the largest English-language publishers bringing to the public some 700 titles a year under eight imprints.
A capsule review is a form of appraisal, usually associated with journalism, that offers a relatively short critique of a specified creative work. Capsule reviews generally appear in publications like newspapers and magazines, may be placed within the context of a cultural digest section of a publication, and can range anywhere from just a few sentences up to around 500 words.
The book is the third in a series of "Consumer Guide" collections, following Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981) and Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s (1990).
Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies is a music reference book by American music journalist and essayist Robert Christgau. It was first published in October 1981 by Ticknor & Fields.
Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s is a music reference book by American music journalist and essayist Robert Christgau. It was published in October 1990 by Pantheon Books as a follow-up to Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981).
As the music industry and record production expanded during the 1980s, Robert Christgau found himself overwhelmed by records to listen to and review for his "Consumer Guide" column in The Village Voice . In September 1990, he abandoned his original letter-grading scheme on a scale of A-plus to E-minus, which had B-plus records as the most commonly reviewed and grades rarely going lower than C-minus. Instead, he decided to focus on writing reviews for A-minus to A-plus albums, with A-minus becoming the most common and those that would have ranged from B-minus to C-plus largely ignored. This change was made because, as Christgau later said, "most of my readers—not critics and bizzers, but real-life consumers—used my primary critical outlet for its putative purpose. They wanted to know what to buy."
The music industry consists of the companies and individuals that earn money by creating new songs and pieces and selling live concerts and shows, audio and video recordings, compositions and sheet music, and the organizations and associations that aid and represent music creators. Among the many individuals and organizations that operate in the industry are: the songwriters and composers who create new songs and musical pieces; the singers, musicians, conductors and bandleaders who perform the music; the companies and professionals who create and sell recorded music and/or sheet music ; and those that help organize and present live music performances.
The Village Voice was an American news and culture paper, known for being the country's first alternative newsweekly. Founded in 1955 by Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher, John Wilcock, and Norman Mailer, the Voice began as a platform for the creative community of New York City. It still is kept alive online.
In this new format, B-plus records were only reviewed occasionally and most were filed under an "Honorable Mention" section, featuring one short phrasal statement for each album alongside its recommended tracks. Records he considered poor were relegated to a list of ungraded "Duds" or featured in a special November column dedicated to negative reviews (titled "Turkey Shoot"), with the highest possible grade a B-minus.
Christgau refined his new format further as the 1990s progressed, anticipating the decade's rapid increase in music recording and the diversification of the CD into longer album lengths and archival releases. In 1992, he started a "Neither" (or "neither here nor there") category denoting albums unworthy of an "honorable mention" but better than "duds". The following year, an argument with fellow critic Eric Weisbard persuaded Christgau to review in each column a "Dud of the Month", which, unlike the "Turkey Shoot", featured "a fair number of dull, disappointing, or overhyped B's". In the book, Christgau advises consumers to regard anything graded B and lower as a failure.
Eric Weisbard is an American music critic known for founding the Pop Conference, which is hosted annually by the Museum of Pop Culture. He also organized the conference for many years.
The book explains each grade as follows:
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.(April 2019)
Fellow critic Tom Hull, a colleague of Christgau and a resource for his previous 1980s record guide,later adopted the book's grading schema for his own database of primarily jazz-based records and reviews.
Decade of Aggression is a double live album by Slayer, released on October 22, 1991, through Def American Records and produced by Rick Rubin. The album was recorded in three separate places on three separate dates. Its working title was Decade of Decadence until Mötley Crüe registered the name. Three of the album's tracks were included in the box set Soundtrack to the Apocalypse. The album's reception was generally positive, with Entertainment Weekly and Robert Christgau both giving the album a positive rating. The album reached number 55 in the Billboard 200 and also charted on two other charts.
What's the 411? is the debut album by American R&B singer Mary J. Blige. It was released on July 28, 1992, by Uptown Records and MCA Records.
In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 is the second studio album by American rapper Jay-Z, released on November 4, 1997, via Roc-A-Fella and Def Jam. The album debuted at #3 on the US Billboard 200 chart and was certified Platinum by the RIAA. The album sold over 138,000 copies in its first week.
Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life is the third studio album by American rapper Jay-Z. It was released on September 29, 1998, by Roc-A-Fella Records and Def Jam Recordings. It went on to become his most commercially successful album, selling over 5 million copies in the United States. In the liner notes of the album, Jay-Z gives his thoughts on various tracks. The lyrics to the fast-paced "Nigga What, Nigga Who " are also included.
My Way is the second studio album by American singer Usher. It was released on September 16, 1997 by LaFace Records, in North America. The album features guest appearances from Monica, Lil' Kim, and Jermaine Dupri. The album was supported by three singles; including these platinum-selling singles with "Nice & Slow", "My Way", and "You Make Me Wanna...".
Change is the fourth album by The Dismemberment Plan. It was released on October 23, 2001 on DeSoto Records. It was recorded by J. Robbins at Inner Ear Studios in Arlington, Virginia and it was mixed by Chad Clark.
In the Beginning is the second live album by Stevie (Ray) Vaughan and Double Trouble. While the album was released about two years after Vaughan's death in 1990, the actual performance took place on April 1, 1980 at Steamboat 1874 in Austin, Texas, and was broadcast live on KLBJ-FM radio. A 25-year-old Vaughan, still more than three years away from the release of his first studio album, performs with his "Double Trouble" bandmates: Chris Layton, drummer, and Jackie Newhouse, bassist.
Attack of the Attacking Things is the debut album by American rapper Jean Grae. It was recorded at Da Crib of Hitz, H.A.H, and Project Heat Studios in New York City.
Jungle Fever is the 1991 soundtrack album by American R&B musician Stevie Wonder to Spike Lee's movie Jungle Fever. It was released by Motown Records on May 28, 1991.
There's a Poison Goin' On is the seventh studio album by American hip hop group Public Enemy, released July 20, 1999 on Atomic Pop Records in the United States. Its title is adapted from the title of Sly & the Family Stone's album There's a Riot Goin' On (1971). The album was originally made available through the Internet on May 18, 1999, via the now defunct Atomic Pop website.
C.M.B. is the debut album by American recording act Color Me Badd, released July 23, 1991, on Giant Records. It was produced by several record producers, including Dr. Freeze, Nick Mundy, and Howie Tee.
Ain't My Lookout is the fourth full-length album by Memphis indie rock band The Grifters, and their first for Sub Pop Records. While Sub Pop released the Compact Disc, the Grifters remained true to their old home, Shangri-La Records, which was able to receive the licensing for the vinyl release. The vinyl LP release is now out of print.
Going Back to Brooklyn is an album by American folk and blues singer Dave Van Ronk, released in 1985.
The Warm Up is the second official mixtape from Fayetteville, North Carolina rapper J. Cole. J. Cole produced the majority of the mixtape with help from Elite, and Syience. The mixtape has been viewed over 3,100,000 times, streamed over 451,000 times, and downloaded over 550,000 times on DatPiff.
Recycler is the tenth studio album by the American blues rock band ZZ Top, released in October 1990.
No Ceilings 2 is a mixtape by American rapper Lil Wayne, released on November 26, 2015. The mixtape was self-released now that Wayne parted ways with Cash Money Records. It features guest appearances from Baby E, Curren$y, Euro, Future, Gudda Gudda, Hoodybaby, Jae Millz, King Los, Lucci Lou, Mannie Fresh, Shanell, Stephanie Acevedo, T@, Turk, & Yo Gotti.
If Children is the debut studio album by Baltimore-based band Wye Oak. The album was originally released in 2007, but was re-released on April 8, 2008 by Merge Records.
Reviews and interviews about the book