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25 Classic Rock Books You Must Have

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When you’re a fan of bands, musicians, and artists, more than listening to their songs and music, there are times when you also want to know more about them. Sometimes you wonder how they lived their lives, how they were able to come up with the wonderful and popular hits, and more. If you’re a fan of classic rock, maybe you also want to know more about it. Maybe you want to know how your favorite artist felt during rock ‘n’ roll’s most exciting era.

If you’re looking for more information about classic rock, then you’ve come to the right place. Today we are giving you a list of the 25 classic rock books that you must have.

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Goodnight, L.A.: The Rise and Fall of Classic Rock--The Untold Story

Classic Rock: Photographs from Yesterday & Today

Classic Rock Stories: The Stories Behind the Greatest Songs of All Time

The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 2: 1964–1977: The Beatles, the Stones, and the Rise of Classic Rock

Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll

The Great Book of Rock Trivia: Amazing Trivia, Fun Facts & The History of Rock and Roll

Listen to Classic Rock!: Exploring a Musical Genre

Encyclopedia of Classic Rock

Fossils: Relics of the Classic Rock Era: Volume Two: The 1960s-'80s

A Concise History of Rock 'n' Roll

The Art of Classic Rock: Rock Memorabilia, Tour Posters, and Merchandise

Everything I Need to Know I Learned From Led Zeppelin: Classic Rock Wisdom

I Hate New Music: The Classic Rock Manifesto

 

1. Goodnight, L.A.: The Rise and Fall of Classic Rock

This book will show you a behind-the-scenes journey through the rise and demise of the ‘70s and ‘80s classic rock era. It is written by longtime music-business insider Kent Hartman. He filled this book with troves of never-before-told stories about the most creative and important period and place in rock ‘n’ roll history. It includes interviews with classic rock artists and famed record producers. It also reveals what went into the making of some of the best music of the past years.

 2. Classic Rock: Photographs from Yesterday & Today

This book features the original, high-quality performance photography of Jim Summaria, a veteran photojournalist. You will be able to see in this book a front-row view of lots of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers in performance as well as other artists that were often overlooked but whose contributions are captivating. The photos in this book are mostly full color. Aside from photographs, it also includes interesting facts, figures, trivia, and quotes which were researched by Mark Plotnick to give readers more enjoyment while seeing the photos.

3. Classic Rock Stories: The Stories Behind the Greatest Songs of All Time

This book is written by Tim Morse. It includes the stories of classic rockers about the process of creating popular songs that you can still sing aloud. These stories are in the own words of rockers like Pete Townshend, John Lennon, Elton John, Keith Richards, and Stevie Nicks. You will be able to read about the drugs, the pain, the love gone bad, and the accidents that resulted in their greatest hits.

 4. The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 2: 1964-1977: The Beatles, the Stones, and the Rise of Classic Rock

This book is written by Ed Ward. He weaves together a narrative told through colorful anecdotes. He shares here the behind-the-scenes stories of the megastars, the trailblazers, record executives, DJs, concert promoters, and producers who were at the forefront of one of rock’s most exciting eras. It includes stories about Bob Dylan, Bill Graham, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Byrds, Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, and many more. It reveals how the different sounds, players, and trends came together to create the music most of us know and love in the present time.

 5. Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll

The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia is more than just a reference book about rock and roll because it is the bible of rock & roll. This is the third edition which includes all the facts, phenomena, and flukes that make up the history of rock. It has the biographical and discographic information of more than 2,000 artists. It includes essays that reveal the performers’ musical influences, first breaks, and critical and commercial hits and misses. It is also filled with historical photos that you will enjoy looking at.

 6. The Great Book of Rock Trivia: Amazing Trivia, Fun Facts & History of Rock and Roll

If you are the type of rock fan who is not satisfied with simply listening to the radio and you want to know more about the lyrics, what they mean, or if they have some stories behind them, then this is the best book for you. This book is written by Bill O’Neill and it contains hundreds of riveting facts about the popular rock songs out there. You can read here about how your favorite rock and roll group got together. You can also find out through this book what your favorite musicians like to do in their free time and where they get ideas for their songs. To make it more fun, there are quizzes you can answer at the end of each chapter.

 7. Listen to Classic Rock! Exploring a Musical Genre

This book is written by Melissa Ursula Dawn Goldsmith. It provides an overview of classic rock for scholars and curious novices alike. It focuses on 50 must-hear musicians, songwriters, bands, and albums. This book also explains classic rock composition and songwriting techniques and as well as studio production values. It also includes often-overlooked contributors to classic rock such as Marvin Gaye, Tina Turner, The Ventures, and Jim Croce. This book offers historical context of the development of classic rock and it discusses its lasting impact on popular culture and its legacy.

 8. Encyclopedia of Classic Rock

This encyclopedia is created by David Luhrssen and Michael Larson. It examines one of the most popular and enduring genres of American music. It is an encyclopedia of classic rock from 1965 to 1975 which provides an indispensable resource for cultural historians and music fans. You will be able to read in this book the summaries of the careers of all significant rock artists during a peak period in the music’s history.

 9. Fossils: Relics of the Classic Rock Era: Volume Two: The 1960s – ‘80s

This book is written by Rev. Keith A. Gordon, an award-winning rock critic, and music historian. Through this book, he looks at the advertisements found in frayed and graying copies of a cherished old music magazine. It offers insightful and informative commentary on nearly four-dozen ads, and he explores this overlooked artistic aspect of the classic rock era. It will take you to the time when record labels didn’t have a network of blogs, artist websites, and social media to market new music. Back to the time when they only had FM radio and advertisements in a handful of music rags like Rolling Stone, Cream, and Trouser Press that help provide hype for new releases.

 10. A Concise History of Rock ‘n’ Roll

This book is written by Kevin W. Buck. It brings each decade of Rock to life. It also includes chapters about The Beatles, Elvis, Music in the Video Age, Women in Rock, Rock Festivals, and a lot of urban legends which are both true and mythic. This book is great for those who are looking into reading more about the history of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

 11. The Art of Classic Rock: Rock Memorabilia, Tour Posters, and Merchandise

This book is created by Paul Grushkin and Elton John. It is the ultimate collection of tour posters, memorabilia, and merchandise from the greatest classic rock bands of all time. It is a must-have for anybody serious about rock and roll. It has a foreword by Alice Cooper and afterword by Elton John. This book will tour you through rock’s visual history. It also includes commentary from rock historian Paul Grushkin. This book will take you through years with Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Queen, David Bowie, and many more.

 12. Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Led Zeppelin

This book is written by Benjamin Darling. You will be able to find deep wisdom and profound poetry in the lyrics featured in this book. It is part self-help, part anthology, and part philosophical essay. Through the band members’ lyrics and quotes, this book will provide you with minted aphorisms and maxims on the timeless topics about love, life, and happiness. All ofthe advice is wittily presented and cleverly illustrated.

 13. I Hate New Music: The Classic Rock Manifesto

This book is written by Dave Thompson. It is funny and relentlessly thought-provoking. This book is a movement against everything that is not what rock ought to be. The author of this book examines the sacred cows of the past 30 years from U2 to Days of the New, from Radiohead to The White Stripes. It includes his outrageous opinion, hilarious anecdote, and as well as wild accusations.

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Where to Buy

Classic Rock T-shirts: Over 400 Vintage Tees from the '70s and '80s by Sam Knee Abr Upd Edition (2011)

Rock Trivia Madness: 60s to 90s Rock Music Trivia & Amazing Facts (Volume 1)

Queen - Deluxe Anthology: Updated Edition

The Beatles Anthology

The Sound and the Fury: 40 Years of Classic Rock Journalism: A Rock's Backpages Reader

Inside Classic Rock Tracks: Songwriting and Recording Secrets of 100 Great Songs from 1960 to the Present Day

Classic Magnolia Rock: History of Original Mississippi Rock and Roll 1953-1970

Classic Rock, Woodstock And The Bands That Saved Us From The Beatles: Lessons From Z's School Of Hard Rocks

Classic Rock Posters

Jimi Hendrix: The Intimate Story of a Betrayed Musical Legend

The Eagles Faq: All That's Left To Know About Classic Rock's Superstars

THE ROLLING STONE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF ROCK AND ROLL, NEW UP TO DATE AND EXPANDED

 

 14. The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll

The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll: The Definitive History of the Most Important Artists and Their Musicis written by James Henke, Holly George-Warren, and Anthony DeCurtis. It contains eye-opening portraits and critical assessments of Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry, The Beatles and the Rolling Stones, James Brown and Bob Dylan, and many more. This book brings to life the evolution of a dynamic, revolutionary art form.

15. Classic Rock T-Shirts: Over 400 Vintage Tees from the ‘70s and ‘80s

This book contains more than 400 vintage classic rock t-shirts from the ‘70s and ‘80s. It will take you to memory lane when you go through the pages of this book. It features classic rock t-shirt designs of The Rolling Stones, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, and many more.This book is also a great addition to the collection of all classic rock fans out there.

 16. Rock Trivia Madness: 60s to 90s Rock Music Trivia & Amazing Facts

This book is written by Bill O’Neill. It is a great book for those who are eager to learn some of the crazy, random facts of rock. This book is a collection of rock stories from the 1960s to the 1990s. When you read this, you’ll be able to learn things about how The Beatles helped the Rolling Stones score their first hit, how David Bowie almost turned his back on fame and fortune, what Black Sabbath has in common with James Bond, and many other interesting trivia and facts.

 17. Queen – Deluxe Anthology: Updated Edition

This deluxe anthology by Queen is a piano, vocal, guitar, and artist songbook. It includes 35 hit singles from Queen featuring the vocal stylings of Freddie Mercury. You can find here popular hits such as Another One Bites the Dust, Bohemian Rhapsody, Don’t Stop Me Now, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Radio Ga Ga, and many more. This book is a must-have for all Queen fans out there.

 18. The Beatles Anthology

The Beatles Anthology has been made possible when Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starrdecided to tell their collective story,exclusively for this book. Each page of this book is brimming with personal stories and as well as rare vintage images. It includes snapshots from their family collections which will take you back to the days when John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Richard Starkey were just boys growing up in Liverpool. This book is a once-in-a-lifetime collection of The Beatles’ memories.

 19. The Sound and the Fury: 40 Years of Classic Rock Journalism: A Rock’s Backpages Reader

This book is created by Barney Hoskyns, a longtime music writer, and editor. He decided to build an archive of articles by his favorite rock writers through this book. It includes some of the articles by Al Aronowitz, Jon Savage, and Nick Hornby. It features contemporary and retrospective articles on The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, ABBA, Madonna, Otis Redding, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, and many more.

20. Inside Classic Rock Tracks

This book is written byRikkyRooksby. Itoffers an amazing selection of songs that range from vintage rock ‘n’ roll to the electronic dance music of today. It analyzes in fine detail the writing and recording techniques behind 100 selected singles and album cuts for you to see what makes a great track great. It is a unique combination of critical appreciation and hands-on insight. You will discover in this book how different sounds within songs are achieved and the different ways engineers throughout the history of popular music have recorded and arranged them.

 21. Classic Magnolia Rock: History of Original Mississippi Rock and Roll 1953 – 1970

This book is written by John Sumrall. It is a history of original Mississippi Rock and Roll music from 1953 to 1970 and its impact on the national music scene. It features stories from countless interviews with the artists and members of the various bands. With this book, the author aims to preserve the important part of the state’s musical heritage. This book will take you to a trip down memory lane to re-live the glory days of their teenage years. It is a wonderful addition to your collection and as well as a great way to celebrate the music.

 22. Classic Rock, Woodstock and the Bands that Saved Us from the Beatles

Classic Rock, Woodstock and the Bands that Saved Us from the Beatles: Lessons from Z’s School of Hard Rocksis written by Tom Zaleski, a television news anchorman and longtime rock and roll aficionado. This book will be eye-opening, nostalgic, and fun to graying baby boomer rockers out there. Compiled in this book are more than 100 stories about the bands, songs, and rock events. It will take you back to Ed Sullivan, Woodstock, and the Top-40 and FM radio songs that you grew up with. This book is a fun read that you won’t be able to put down.

23. Classic Rock Posters Sixty Years of Posters and Flyers, 1952 to 2012

This book features more than 500 classic music posters and a lot of them are unseen for years. These posters are chronologically organized from the 1950s to the present. It is a gallery of images from the very best illustrators of classic rock. It captures the interplay of music and art and it reveals how they both evolved over the years. This book shows the most famous names in music such asMuddy Waters, The Beatles, James Brown, The Who, Led Zeppelin, the Grateful Dead, the Sex Pistols, Pearl Jam, and many more.

 24. Jimi Hendrix: The Intimate Story of a Betrayed Musical Legend

This book is written by Sharon Lawrence. It talks about Jimi Hendrix, the genius we never understood, the man we never knew, the truth we never heard, and the music we never forgot. This is a revealing portrait of a legend which is created by a close and trusted friend.

 25. The Eagles Faq: All That’s Left to Know About Classic Rocks Superstars

This book is written by Andrew Vaughan, a music critic. In this book, he brings an insider’s view into the different chapters of the group’s fascinating history. It shows how The Eagles blended the best folk, rock, and country sounds of the ‘60s into a worldwide soundtrack of the ‘70s. You can find here the story of their rise, fall, and rebirth, and as well as the band members’ solo work and their triumphant reunion.

 

These are the 25 classic rock books that you must have. All of these books will surely give you lots of information about classic rock and as well as facts about your favorite rock ‘n’ roll bands and artists of all time.

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