Sunday, March 8, 2009

Book Review: "The Encyclopedia of Punk" by Brian Cogan

This is an incredible resource for anyone even remotely interested in one of the great musical movements of the past 30 years. “The Encyclopedia of Punk” is a truly exhaustive compendium of all things Punk Rock. The main bulk is filled with band bios, literally hundreds of them, from all over the globe. I guarantee, no matter how big a Punk fan you consider yourself, you will find groups in here that you had never heard of before.

The bios/histories of each band are extremely well written, concise and accurate. In many cases you may discover things about bands you may not have been aware of before.
I found some of the other information in here indispensable as well, such as the sections on Scenes, covering hotbeds of activity around the world. There is also a great section covering notable Punk ‘Zines through the years. The section pertaining to relevant Punk and associated record labels is also invaluable.

This is a huge, 400 page coffee table sized book, with hundreds of archival photos, many published here for the first time. Legendary filmmaker Penelope Spheeris (The Decline of Western Civilization) wrote the introduction, which is a big thumbs up in itself.
For a book like this, it is priced very reasonably. Hats off to Brian Cogan and Sterling Publishing for this magnificent, informative, and highly enjoyable book.

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