Friday, December 06, 2002

Brought to book

We've always wondered why music has never yet spawned an equivalent of, say, Wisden's or The Bedside Guardian - a collection of stuff about the year that's just gone; perhaps padded with some statistics and a few pictures. There have been attempts, certainly - Virgin used to produce some sort of Rock Yearbook which was hobbled by aiming for the Christmas market, forcing it to run October to October, and editorially the product was lite. Smash Hits Yearbook first incarations do provide a sense of place, if you look back at them now, but they look through a small window and like their sire title, don't have the quality anymore. The year-end issues of the pop press provide a fairly reliable guide to albums released, but tend to strip them from the context of the year as a progression - although the Melody Maker's annual review did at least order the revisits chronologically and ran them aside headlines from the month; though not any more, of course.

The gap in the market may be plugged, a bit, by Best Music Writing. Now in its third year, this is a grab-happy collection of bits and pieces from a range of sources - including the Onion and I Love Music's message board mesh - which functions like a kind of Music 2002 Reader. It seems like it could be an answer, but still - we'd like something that added some sales pie charts and graphs. We like graphs.

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