Encyclopedia of Popular Music

Last updated
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music - 4th Edition (10 volumes)
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music - 4th Edition by Colin Larkin.jpg
Author Colin Larkin
CountryUnited Kingdom, United States
LanguageEnglish
Subject Music, Reference work
Genrenon-fiction
Publisher Oxford University Press
Publication date
2006
Media typePrint Hardback
Pages8876
ISBN 978-0-19-531373-4
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music - 5th Concise Edition
Author Colin Larkin
Country United Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Subject Music, Reference work
Genrenon-fiction
Publisher Omnibus Press
Publication date
2007
Media typePrint Hardback
Pages1600
ISBN 978-1-84609-856-7

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music was created in 1989 by Colin Larkin. It is the 'modern man's' equivalent of the Grove Dictionary of Music , which Larkin describes in less than flattering terms. [1] Described by The Times as "the standard against which all others must be judged". [2]

Contents

History of the encyclopedia

Larkin believed that rock music and popular music were at least as significant historically as classical music, and as such, should be given definitive treatment and properly documented. The Encyclopedia of Popular Music is the result. In 1989, Larkin sold his half of the publishing company Scorpion Books to finance his ambition to publish an encyclopedia of popular music. Aided by a team of initially 70 contributors, he set about compiling the data in a pre-internet age, "relying instead on information gleaned from music magazines, individual expertise and a hideous amount of legwork". [1] He financed and founded a new company, Square One Books, to publish the encyclopedia. The first edition of the encyclopedia "pushed Larkin to the brink of bankruptcy". [3] It was a four volume set and went into print in 1992.

There have been three further editions of the multi-volume encyclopedia and dozens of single-volume spin-offs of five concise versions of the main encyclopedia, including four editions of jazz. [1]

In 1995, Microsoft licensed the text for their CD-ROM, Microsoft Music Central, which sold 497,000 copies. [4]

In 1997, Larkin's company, along with the Encyclopedia, was sold to the data company Muze Inc. (the UK name was changed to Muze UK), because Larkin wanted "to guarantee its future" in the fast changing world of information and communications technology. He became full-time editor-in-chief on the project, running a "surprisingly small scale cottage industry", stating "There are now fewer than 10 contributors on the team...People don't believe it's done on such a small scale, but in terms of words we are producing an Agatha Christie novel a month..." [4]

Status

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music covers popular music from the early 1900s to the present day, including folk, blues, R&B, jazz, rock, heavy metal, reggae, electronic music and hip-hop.

"Each biography contains a thorough synopsis of the performer and their body of work, following their career from beginning to end. The 4th Edition is 10,000 pages long in 10 separate volumes with over 8 million words and 27,000 entries. The nature of popular music and jazz is such that it is ever changing, evolving and growing and therefore needs a new edition much more frequently than more static subjects." [5]

Guinness Publishing, Virgin Publishing and Omnibus Press have produced the spin-offs on each subject and Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums is produced as a companion volume. The large single volume of the Concise edition of The Encyclopedia of Popular Music is now in its 5th edition. [6]

The total sales of the EPM series since 1992 is over 650,000 copies.

In May 2011 Omnibus Press released the Amazon Kindle edition of The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. [7] The text for this edition has not been updated and the Kindle edition has the same content as the 2007 edition.

Editions

Concise Editions

Spin offs

Related Research Articles

<i>Traffic</i> (Traffic album) 1968 studio album by Traffic

Traffic is the second studio album by the English rock band Traffic, released in 1968 on Island Records in the United Kingdom as ILPS 9081T (stereo), and United Artists in the United States, as UAS 6676 (stereo). The album peaked at number 9 in the UK albums chart and at number 17 on the Billboard 200. It was the last album recorded by the group before their initial breakup.

<i>The Velvet Underground</i> (album) 1969 studio album by The Velvet Underground

The Velvet Underground is the self-titled third studio album by American rock band the Velvet Underground. Released in March 1969, it was their first record with Doug Yule, who was a replacement for John Cale. Recorded in 1968 at TTG Studios in Hollywood, California, the album's sound—consisting largely of ballads and straightforward rock songs—marked a notable shift in style from the band's previous recordings. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked The Velvet Underground at number 314 in its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, which was later moved up to number 143 in the 2020 edition of the list.

<i>His n Hers</i> 1994 studio album by Pulp

His 'n' Hers is the fourth studio album by English rock band Pulp, released on 18 April 1994 by Island Records. It proved to be the band's breakthrough album, reaching number nine on the UK Albums Chart, and was nominated for the 1994 Mercury Music Prize. In 1998, Q magazine readers voted it the seventieth greatest album of all time, while it was placed at number 110 in the book Virgin All-Time Top 1000 Albums.

Omnibus Press is the world's largest specialist publisher of music-related books. It publishes around 30 new titles a year to add to a backlist of over 250 titles currently in print.

<i>Giant Steps</i> 1960 studio album by John Coltrane

Giant Steps is the fifth studio album by jazz musician John Coltrane as leader, released in February 1960 on Atlantic Records, catalogue SD 1311. This was his first album as leader for his new label Atlantic Records. Many of its tracks have become practice templates for jazz saxophonists. In 2004, it was one of fifty recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. It attained gold record status in 2018, having sold 500,000 copies. It is considered one the most influential jazz albums of all time.

<i>Fleetwood Mac</i> (1968 album) 1968 studio album by Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac, also known as Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, is the debut studio album by British blues rock band Fleetwood Mac, released on 24 February 1968. The album is a mixture of blues covers and originals penned by guitarists Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer, who also share the vocal duties. It is the only album by the band without any involvement of keyboardist/vocalist Christine McVie.

<i>John Barleycorn Must Die</i> 1970 studio album by Traffic

John Barleycorn Must Die is the fourth studio album by English rock band Traffic, released in 1970 as Island ILPS 9116 in the United Kingdom, United Artists UAS 5504 in the United States, and as Polydor 2334 013 in Canada. It marked the band's comeback after a brief disbandment, and peaked at number 5 on the Billboard 200, making it their highest charting album in the US, and has been certified a gold record by the RIAA. In addition, the single "Empty Pages" spent eight weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 74. The album was marginally less successful in the UK, reaching number 11 on the UK Albums Chart.

Blyth Power are a British rock band formed in 1983 by singer and drummer Joseph Porter, formerly of anarcho-punk bands Zounds and The Mob. The band's music shows strong influences from punk rock and folk music and Porter's lyrics often centre on themes from mythology and history.

Lionrock was a British big beat group, comprising record producer Justin Robertson, MC Buzz B, and producer, engineer, programmer and synthesist Roger Lyons. Lyons replaced recording engineer Mark Stagg in 1995. Their biggest chart success came in 1998, when "Rude Boy Rock" reached the Top 20 in the UK Singles Chart.

BBM is the name of the short-lived power trio, formed in 1993 by long-established artists, bassist Jack Bruce, guitarist Gary Moore and drummer Ginger Baker(Who Was With Bruce A part Of Cream which was considered one of the first power trios). They released just one studio album, entitled Around the Next Dream, which was released on the Virgin record label. It reached Number 9 in the UK Albums Chart in the summer of 1994, but spent only four weeks in the listings. The track, "Where in the World" was issued as a single, reaching Number 57 in the UK Singles Chart in August 1994. Much of the work was written by Moore with contributions by Bruce and Baker. The album cover featured a picture of Baker.

<i>Tim Hardin 2</i> 1967 studio album by Tim Hardin

Tim Hardin 2 is the second album by folk artist Tim Hardin, released in 1967.

<i>Daydream</i> (The Lovin Spoonful album) 1966 studio album by The Lovin Spoonful

Daydream is the second album by The Lovin' Spoonful, released in 1966. It features two hits, "Daydream", which reached No. 2 in the U.S. Billboard Top 40 charts, and "You Didn't Have to Be So Nice".

<i>Sailor</i> (album) 1968 studio album by The Steve Miller Band

Sailor is the second album by American rock group The Steve Miller Band, released in October 1968 by Capitol Records. Like the band's previous album, Children of the Future, Sailor was produced by Glyn Johns. Unlike its predecessor which was recorded in London, England, Sailor was recorded in Los Angeles, California. It was the last Steve Miller Band album to feature contributions by original members Boz Scaggs and Jim Peterman. Scaggs went on to a successful solo career.

<i>Travels</i> (Pat Metheny Group album) 1983 live album by Pat Metheny Group

Travels is the Pat Metheny Group's first live album, released in 1983. It won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Fusion Performance.

Sad Café are an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1976, who achieved their peak of popularity in the late 1970s and early 1980s. They are best known for the UK Top 40 singles "Every Day Hurts", "Strange Little Girl", "My Oh My" and "I'm in Love Again", the first of which was their biggest hit, reaching number 3 in the UK Singles Chart in 1979. The band also had two US Billboard Hot 100 hits with "Run Home Girl" and "La-Di-Da".

A Good Feelin’ to Know is the fourth studio album by the American country rock band Poco. The title track became the band's most recognizable tune from its early days. However, the album did not do as well commercially as expected, discouraging Richie Furay, who would leave the band after the release of the band's next album Crazy Eyes.

<i>Genius + Soul = Jazz</i> 1961 studio album by Ray Charles

Genius + Soul = Jazz is a 1961 album by Ray Charles featuring big band arrangements by Quincy Jones and Ralph Burns. Charles is accompanied by two groups drawn from members of The Count Basie Band and from the ranks of top New York session players. It was recorded at Van Gelder Studio in two sessions on December 26 and 27, 1960 and originally released on the Impulse! label as Impulse! A–2.

The Vipers Skiffle Group – later known simply as The Vipers – were one of the leading British groups during the skiffle period of the mid to late 1950s, and were important in the careers of radio and television presenter Wally Whyton, coffee bar manager Johnny Martyn, wire salesman Jean Van den Bosch, instrument repairer Tony Tolhurst, journalist John Pilgrim, record producer George Martin, and several members of The Shadows.

Colin Larkin British writer

Colin Larkin is a British writer and entrepreneur. He founded, and was the editor in chief of, the Encyclopedia of Popular Music, described by The Times as "the standard against which all others must be judged".

All Time Top 1000 Albums is a book by Colin Larkin, creator and editor of the Encyclopedia of Popular Music. The book was first published by Guinness Publishing in 1994. The list presented is the result of over 200,000 votes cast by the public in record shops, universities, schools and the French music trade show MIDEM - and ranked in order. Each album's entry is accompanied by an annotation with a 100 word review, details of its creation and notes about the band or artist who recorded it.

References

  1. 1 2 3 The Times, The Knowledge, Christmas edition, 22 December 2007- 4 January 2008.
  2. This information was obtained from Hi-Arts.co.uk Archived 15 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  3. '"Who'd put the Everly Brothers above Elvis", Evening Standard, 20 December 2006.
  4. 1 2 The Collector, No. 20 COLIN LARKIN, Record Collector, Issue 314, September 2005.
  5. OUP online
  6. The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, concise 5th edition, pub. Omnibus Press July 2007.
  7. "The Encyclopedia of Popular Music eBook: Colin Larkin: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 28 December 2019.