The Album

A Guide to Pop Music's Most Provocative, Influential, and Important Creations

by James E. Perone, Editor


From approximately 1967 until the age of downloads, the album format was the primary focus of pop musicians in a wide variety of genres. From a music lover's perspective, what defined a "great album" didn't lie in its level of commercial success or critical acclaim. This multi-volume set chronicles the development of the album as an artistic form and provides insight into a stylistically diverse cross-section of popular music that spans half a century.

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October 2012


Pages 1256
Volumes 4
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Popular Culture/Music and Performing Arts

This four-volume work provides provocative critical analyses of 160 of the best popular music albums of the past 50 years, from the well-known and mainstream to the quirky and offbeat.

The Album: A Guide to Pop Music's Most Provocative, Influential, and Important Creations contains critical analysis essays on 160 significant pop music albums from 1960 to 2010. The selected albums represent the pop, rock, soul, R&B, hip hop, country, and alternative genres, including artists such as 2Pac, Carole King, James Brown, The Beatles, and Willie Nelson. Each volume contains brief sidebars with biographical information about key performers and producers, as well as descriptions of particular music industry topics pertaining to the development of the album over this 50-year period.

Due to its examination of a broad time frame and wide range of musical styles, and its depth of analysis that goes beyond that in other books about essential albums of the past and present, this collection will appeal strongly to music fans of all tastes and interests.


  • Provides brief sidebars on artists, record producers, and music production techniques
  • Includes essays designed for the lay reader but also include scholarly depth
  • Covers the widest possible spectrum of popular music genres from the past half century
Author Info

James E. Perone is the Margaret Morgan Ramsey Professor in Music at the University of Mount Union, Alliance, OH, where he teaches courses in music theory, American music, and popular music and society. He is the author of Praeger's Mods, Rockers, and the Music of the British Invasion and The Words and Music of Prince, as well as Greenwood's Music of the Counterculture Era.



"The set examines 160 albums, exploring the evolving nature of the album from 1960 to 2010. . . . This set should be in music history collections. Recommended."Choice

"While there are a number of competing works of the 'album guide' variety on the market, they tend to be superficial in their treatment of material. This title offers serious music criticism for those who wish to reach a deeper understanding of the meaning and message behind the memorable tunes and is highly recommended for purchase by all public and academic libraries."Library Journal

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