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Home arrow Reviews arrow Books arrow "The Art of Classic Rock" - Rob Roth and Paul Grushkin
"The Art of Classic Rock" - Rob Roth and Paul Grushkin Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Monday, 14 December 2009

The Art of Classic RockPublished at the end of September 2009, "The Art of Classic Rock: Memorabilia, Tour Posters and Merchandise from the 70s and 80s" is the somewhat wordily-titled, but nevertheless spectacular new book from Goodman Books. The 256-page, large hardback book takes a look at the collection of Rob Roth, who has obtained rare examples of these items for forty years.

His collection is so vast that it has never all been put on public display, but now many of the pieces have been lovingly catalogued. With over 750 colour photographs, it promises a "lavishly produced presentation of some of the most vivid and exciting artwork from the rock world featuring bands such as The Rolling Stones, Queen, Pink Floyd, The Who, Led Zeppelin and every other major rock act of the era" - and it certainly delivers. Each chapter of the book focuses on just one band covering different tours and different albums to show how design and graphic styles changed and to provide an overview of rock history from the period. Within the chapter is a wide array of different memorabilia that Roth has managed to get his hands on over the years...

The first thing that strikes you on picking up the book, is how large, heavy, and well-printed it is, perfect for showcasing the absorbing items picked out of Roth's collection of more than 3,000 items. Other than the aforementioned five bands (including Pink Floyd), the book also looks at Elton John, Alice Cooper, and David Bowie. Coverage is self-contained within each chapter - whilst you'll learn much by reading the whole book, you can dip in to your favourite artists and wallow in the detail, and skip through the pages of those who you might not be that interested with, should you so wish.

Each chapter covers, indepth, things like promotional posters, rare tour programmes, film posters, tickets, backstage passes, unusual promo items, and much more - many of which have rarely been seen, particularly as some items were extremely limited even when originally produced.

The items within each artist's section tend to be arranged in chronological order, which proves a fascinating look at how the bands develop, and how their respective record company changes the presentation of their artist. Over the years this can be extremely marked, as can be seen clearly with The Rolling Stones for example. Accompanying the endless pictures is an intelligent and illuminating text talking about the band, with a focus on the development of the artworks shown.

The Pink Floyd section is a real treat. You get 32 pages of absorbing information and in many cases, mouthwatering items that most of us would love in our collections. Many of the items had never been seen by any of us at BD before, despite our combined collections covering reasonably wide ground!

"The Art of Classic Rock: Memorabilia, Tour Posters and Merchandise from the 70s and 80s" is a book we heartily recommend, particularly for all of you who love these sort of items, or for those who enjoy seeing variations on well-known cover artworks, so often used in tour materials. Beautifully presented and printed, it's the sort of book you can dip into and while away plenty of time - although it might result in you scouring the likes of eBay to pick up similar items to bolster your own collection!

The book can be ordered at a discount of up to 45% off the normal price (at time of writing) from Amazon UK, Amazon US/International, Amazon Canada, Amazon Germany, or Amazon France.

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