Sunday, September 30, 2012

David Barker (ed) 33 1/3 Greatest Hits vol 1 (Continuum, 2006)

It’s hard to get a handle on the 33 1/3 series.  Its rather free form structure means that you never know what to expect from any particular title.  The approaches range from detailed studio notes to memoir to more abstract critique.  In my own experience, I’ve found that my relationship to the music itself bears little relation to my enjoyment of a particular title.

The Greatest Hits is a way around this problem.  Volume 1 contains selections from each of the first 20 books in the series.  (For a full list, consult the publisher’s website.)  While the first 20 titles do skew a tad towards the classic rock canon, there are appearances by The Smiths, James Brown, Prince, ABBA, & Radiohead.

I enjoyed having samples of each of these titles.  In some cases, I plan on reading the entire volume, while in others I know that a particular author’s approach simply isn’t for me.   As with a buffet, the parts you prefer may be different from mine, but there’s sure to be something here to fill your belly.

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