Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Disappeared

The first Rolling Stone Record Guide came out in 1979. The second edition came out in 1983, and is the oldest one that I own. Tucked into the back of this, making up the final four pages of the book, is a list of the artists who appeared in that first book but not in the second one. The list is headed up by this note:

"The following artists, all of whose material is now out of print, have entries in the first edition of the Record Guide only:" [emphasis mine]

That's a lie. Porter Wagoner is listed, and he not only continued to have records in print but released several records in this time period, including a duet album with Dolly Parton that went to Number Nine on the C&W album chart in 1980. I bet plenty of other acts had their work remain in print as well.

More interesting than that is that there are some true worthies on the list. I mean, I love "Sky High" but I totally understand why Jigsaw is on the list. What is an album guide going to say about Jigsaw, except to point out which LP has "Sky High" on it? On the other hand, some big, recognizable names fell off the cliff between 1979 and 1983:

Frankie Avalon
Tommy Bolin
Boney M
Brewer and Shipley
Arthur Brown
Albert Brooks
Eric Burdon and War
George Clinton (!)
Dick Dale and the Del-Tones
Nick Drake (!!)
David Geddes
Philip Glass
Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds
Clarence "Frogman" Henry
Gabriel [sic] Kaplan
King Harvest
Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams (!!!)
Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.
Lee Michaels
Freda Payne
Chris Rea
Starland Vocal Band
Bonnie Tyler
The Undisputed Truth
Dennis Wilson
Johnny and Edgar Winter
Bill "Je Suis Un Rock Star" Wyman

...plus a whole bunch of Seventies one-hit wonders like the Hues Corporation and Pilot and David Essex and Silver Convention.

What I wonder is how many of these artists had enough of a second wind to get re-established in later editions of the Record Guide? Clinton, Drake, and Rea did, I'm sure. If I were getting paid big money to write this blog, I'd surely spend half a day or so checking that out.

6 comments:

Gavin said...

Did entries remain for Parliament and/or Funkadelic?

T. Nawrocki said...

Parliament and Funkadelic each got their own, separate entry, which is as it should be.

The funny thing is that George Clinton rebounded with a sizable solo entry in the 1992 edition, but had been disappeared again by the time of the 2004 book. So the scorecard is:

1979: George Clinton
1983: No George Clinton
1992: George Clinton
2004: No George Clinton

I bet he's the only artist with that inclusion pattern.

Gavin said...

Quickly flipping through the 2004 edition (the only one I have at hand), it includes Drake, but not Clinton and Rea. I believe the only other artist on your list to make it back in to that edition was Dick Dale.

T. Nawrocki said...

Chris Rea is in the '92 edition (with two four-star albums, yet), so he's apparently on the Clinton plan.

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