Author: Vernon Joynson
Publisher: Borderline Productions
Contact: As above
This A4-sized book featuring closely typed text, has been created for the record collector, the music historian or the casual music fan with a broad-based interest in these genres.
It is a work of reference and not a story to be read from beginning to end. That said, there’s nothing stopping you if you feel so inclined because there is much to enjoy and inform here.
The layout is set in alphabetical order and each entry follows a template. Of course some entries are larger than others, depending on the output from that artist. Let’s take a sample from a popular band, The Animals. After telling us which part of the UK the band come from, we go through the band’s line-up and album listings (plus associated catalogue and label details).
There’s a host of detailed notes on each album including reissues in other countries, mono/stereo editions, US album releases and compilation information. Then the book does the same thing regarding EPs, then singles. Following is information on Animals’ tracks that have appeared on other, various artist, compilations. After that, we get a detailed history of the life of the band. A selection of record cover and band images are included too.
The Animals get around five pages of space but an obscure outfit like C Jam Blues only gets six lines plus a few extra details that talk about the outfit’s one and only 7” single. So the layout is varied and interesting.
Talking about ‘obscure’, Joynson has done an immense amount of work to unearth little known bands and their, even rarer, works. Some groups only released a lonely single, others are merely known for an unreleased acetate. All are worthy of attention, though.
Joynson himself added, “As well as psych and prog acts, artists releasing mainstream rock & pop, beat, R&B, folk, folk-rock, jazz-rock and glam-rock are all covered too. There is just a relatively short list at the end of the book of artists who recorded between 1963 and 1976 who are not included. These are mostly artists’ whose heyday was in the early sixties but who continued to record after 1963. So the book aims to document almost all UK artists who recorded between 1963 and 1976 that are likely to be of interest to record collectors.
First published in 1995 as a ‘mere’ 600 page edition, the current two volume version now spans an awe-inspiring 2,080 pages with over 5,000 entries! This is a book that you buy and, before you even open up, you walk around…as if it were a new car.
This is an incredible book that not only informs and confirms but inspires. Even a casual mooch through these pages will produce a gamut of interesting discoveries and further impetus to fuel your collecting fervour!