Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll

Completely updated with new entries and extensive revisions of the previous 1,800, The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia Of Rock & Roll is the authoritative volume on the world’s music makers—from the one-hit wonders to the megastars.

In 1983, Rolling Stone Press introduced its first Rock & Roll Encyclopedia.

Almost two decades later, it has become the premier guide to the history of rock & roll, and has been selected by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum as its official source of information. Giving full coverage to all aspects of the rock scene, it tells the story of rock & roll in a clear and easy reference format, including complete discographies, personnel changes for every band, and backstage information like date and place of birth, from Elvis Presley to Eminem.

Since the last edition, the music scene has exploded in every area, from boy-bands to hip-hop, electronica to indie rock. Here, the Encyclopedia explores them all—’NSync, Notorious B.I.G., Ricky Martin, Radiohead, Britney Spears, Blink-182, Sean “PuffyCombs, Portishead, Fatboy Slim, Fiona Apple, Lil’ Kim, Limp Bizkit, Oasis, Outkast, Yo La Tengo, TLC, and many, many more. The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll, Third Edition includes all the facts, phenomena, and flukes that make up the history of rock. Accompanying the biographical and discographical information on the nearly 2,000 artists included in this edition are incisive essays that reveal the performers’ musical influences, first breaks, and critical and commercial hits and misses, as well as evaluations of their place in rock history. Filled with hundreds of historical photos, The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia is more than just a reference book, it is the bible of rock & roll.


This latest incarnation of an authoritative encyclopedia first published in 1983 boasts over 100 new entries and many revisions to the 1800 entries found in the 1995 edition. The coverage increase was made possible by the omission of three kinds of “nonartist” entries: the Grammy Award boxes, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame boxes, and the style and genre definitions. As with the previous editions, the scope is excellent: few works can compete in terms of blanket coverage of the major rock’n’roll players, which dates from the 1950s to the present and includes names as diverse as Elvis, Chad and Jeremy, Britney, and Eminem. The alphabetically arranged entries contain birth and, when applicable, death dates; a discography; and an essay that attempts (usually successfully) to put the performer’s or group’s work in critical and historical perspective. The introduction by coeditor Romanowski cogently sums up the criteria and methodology, and though her reasons for featuring or deleting artists are subjective, they are hard to counter. This latest edition even offers an index of acts cut from the second edition. Useful, reasonably priced, and including well-written essays by respected music writers, this is highly recommended for any public or academic library.

About the Author

Holly George-Warren is an award-winning writer and editor who has contributed to more than forty books about rock & roll. She is the author of Punk 365, Grateful Dead 365, and Public Cowboy No. 1: The Life and Times of Gene Autry, among other books. She cowrote The Road to Woodstock and is coeditor of The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll, Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: A Musical Journey, and Farm Aid: A Song for America. Her writing has appeared in such publications as the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Mojo, and the Village Voice.

Jon Pareles is a rock critic for” The New York Times,” He lives in New York City.


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