Before I leave the topic of the Rolling Stone Record Guide, there were two more things I wanted to say here. First of all, when I said that omitting song titles kept people from properly using the book as an album guide, that's not just limited to little-known artists or one-hit wonders. The 1983 essay on George Harrison is fairly lengthy but doesn't include a single song title. If you pick up the book thinking you want to buy the George Harrison LP with "What Is Life" or "Crackerbox Palace" on it, you're out of luck, cuz. The only thing that can guide you toward which Harrison album you want is Marsh's own critical evaluation.
The other thing is, for all my cavils, I love this book, and have loved and re-read it for a long time. When I was younger, I used to read about the critical favorites that I had never heard before and hope that I could someday be able to hear their music. What could the Holy Modal Rounders possibly sound like? Or the Residents? Or the Bonzo Dog Band? You couldn't listen to a lot of new music with the book, obviously, but you could be exposed to it an another fashion, and get enthusiastic about hearing it, and that's really valuable.
Plus, Dave Marsh loves the Stylistics, and is put off by the Doors, and for that he deserves our respect.