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Sigur R¿s's ( )

by Ethan Hayden

Words like "inspiring," "expansive," and "moving" are regularly used to describe Sigur R�s's ( ), and yet the only words heard on the record itself are a handful of meaningless nonsense syllables. The album...


Fleetwood Mac's Tusk

by Rob Trucks

A prismatic�look at one of the most unusual albums ever released by a major rock band, with fresh�input from Lindsey Buckingham.


Slayer's Reign in Blood

by D.X. Ferris

Issued on America's premier rap label at the peak of the thrash metal movement, Slayer's controversial Reign in Blood remains the gold standard for extreme heavy metal, a seamless 29-minute procession of ten...


The Ramones' Ramones

by Nicholas Rombes

What could be more punk rock than a band that never changed, a band that for decades punched out three-minute powerhouses in the style that made them famous? The Ramones' repetition and attitude inspired a genre,...


Nine Inch Nails' Pretty Hate Machine

by Daphne Carr

Combining solid research into NIN's roots with compelling, emotional oral histories from fans, a fascinating account of a huge subculture.


R.E.M.'s Murmur

by J. Niimi

R.E.M.'s debut album, released in 1983, was so far removed from the prevailing trends of American popular music that it still sounds miraculous and out of time today. J. Niimi tells the story of the album's...


Steely Dan's Aja

by Don Breithaupt

Aja was the album that made Steely Dan a commercial force on the order of contemporaries like Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles and Chicago. A double-platinum, Grammy-winning bestseller, it lingered on the Billboard...


The Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street

by Bill Janovitz

Tracing the creation of Exile on Main Street from the original songwriting done while touring America through the final editing in Los Angeles, Bill Janovitz explains how an album recorded by a British band...


Wire's Pink Flag

by Wilson Neate

In contrast with many of their punk peers, Wire were enigmatic and cerebral, always keeping a distance from the crowd. Although Pink Flag appeared before the end of 1977, it was already a meta-commentary on...


Nazisploitation!: The Nazi Image in Low-Brow Cinema and Culture

by Daniel H. Magilow, Elizabeth Bridges & Kristin T. Vander Lugt

A brilliant line-up of international contributors examine the implications of the portrayals of Nazis in low-brow culture and that culture's re-emergence today.


Ween's Chocolate and Cheese

by Hank Shteamer

An in-depth study of a pivotal moment in Ween's development, as they became one of the world's most endearing, and enduring, cult bands.


Elvis Costello's Armed Forces

by Franklin Bruno

Thirty-Three and a Third is a series of short books about critically acclaimed

and much-loved albums of the past 40 years. Over 50,000 copies have been sold!

"Passionate, obsessive, and smart." �Nylon

"...an...


Johnny Cash's American Recordings

by Tony Tost

A superb investigation of what is arguably Johnny Cash's greatest album, focusing on his enduring mythology.


Nas's Illmatic

by Matthew Gasteier

Contradiction, the yin and the yang, the simultaneous existence of two competing realities, and the larger than life persona that depicts populist realism are at the core of Nas's debut album, Illmatic. Yet...


The Comic Offense from Vaudeville to Contemporary Comedy: Larry David, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, and Dave Chappelle

by Rick DesRochers

The Comic Offense from Vaudeville to Contemporary Comedy examines how contemporary writer/performers are influenced by the comedic vaudevillians of the early 20th century. By tracing the history and legacy of...


Elliott Smith's XO

by Matthew LeMay

Many albums could be cited to support the claim that great suffering yields great art. Elliott Smith's XO should not be one of them. Smith's 1998 major label debut defies the "tortured singer-songwriter" stereotype,...


Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's Facing Future

by Dan Kois

The remarkable inside story of the best-selling Hawaiian album of all time


Acoustic Territories: Sound Culture and Everyday Life

by Brandon LaBelle

A remarkable exploration of how sound permeates all aspects of life - from the streets to our homes, and from shopping malls to the underground.


Portishead's Dummy

by RJ Wheaton

A thoroughly researched exploration of one of the most original, unexpected, and durable British albums of the 1990s.


Big Star's Radio City

by Bruce Eaton

Released when ELP and Elton John were plodding from one packed stadium to the next, Radio City was a radical album influenced by records that were already deemed oldies and yet sounding like a lean electrical...