I received the perfect book for an obsessive/compulsive music junkie like myself ;), 1,000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die by Tom Moon. The book has been in print for 2 1/2 years now (August 2008). I’ve picked it up a dozen or so times at Barnes & Noble in the past, now I finally own a copy. It’s a great book to hunker down with and study. Its becoming an invaluable desk reference for the Microsoft Zune Web listening I love to do.
My perception was that as an avid music collector for 45 years I would probably own about 400 of the 1,000 recordings. I was quite surprised to learn I only own about 130 of what Tom has listed or 13%. Granted my collection is more focused on rock, blues and jazz as main genres, where Tom Moon’s book covers the following genres.
Jazz, Opera, Hip-Hop, Rock, Gospel, Musicals, Country, Classical, Blues, World, Heavy Metal, Vocals, Swing, Celtic, Samba, Pop, Songbook, Folk, R&B, Dance, Punk, Doo-Wop, Psychedelic, Fado (What’s Fado?, I learned something new today about a music genre I never knew existed…), Bluegrass, Zydeco, New Wave, JuJu, Electronica, Bossa Nova, Reggae, Soul, Rap, Rockabilly, Dub, Techno, Ska, Funk, Salsa, 39 genres in total.
This book will stretch my musical curiosity in many ways and directions. That’s my first pleasant surprise about one of the dimensions this book presents the reader. I find Tom’s book very well researched and coördinated.
I take issue with some of Tom’s choices of the “definitive” or “essential” recordings of certain artists. For example, he lists for R.E.M. Fables of the Reconstruction, Murmurs and Up as their essential recordings. He overlooks Automatic for the People which I find the most playable, durable recording in my entire collection.
Differences of opinion when it comes to personal musical taste comes with the territory. All in all its a great book Tom, thanks for authoring it and for the companion Web site where we can keep in touch with you.