Alongside the big names — Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac — are lesser-known but highly influential artists including Laura Nyro, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Captain Beefheart and The Stooges. An essay on each album accompanies reproductions of the original vinyl cover artwork, with rare variations from around the world (including the first-ever Beatles LP, valued at $5,000, and an alternate issue of Bob Dylan’s Freewheelin’, worth twice that amount.)
Also included are thought-provoking interviews with musicians who discuss the albums and artists who changed their lives.
Graham Nash describes meeting The Beatles at a 1959 talent show where they were billed as Johnny and the Moondogs and how, four years later, John Lennon and Paul McCartney sang him the just written Misery, “one voice in each ear.”
David Bowie speaks eloquently about the Velvet Underground’s influence, noting his band, Buzz, performed “I’m Waiting For The Man” as an encore at their last gig, and that “it was the first time a Velvet song had been covered by anyone, anywhere in the world. Lucky me.”
Iggy Pop writes of the profound impact upon hearing Van Morrison’s no-holds-barred performance on the first album by Them, and his admiration for Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention’s Freak Out, noting that opening for the Mothers “pushed me to be weirder faster.”
Contributions from Susanne Vega, Peter Buck (REM,) Johnny Marr (The Smiths), Nels Cline (Wilco), Devendra Banhart, Robyn Hitchcock, and more are also featured.
Special features include pictorial explorations of Jimi Hendrix’s personal record collection, and a survey of censored album covers from throughout the rock era.