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Cover for Appetite for Definition

Appetite for Definition

An A-Z Guide to Rock Genres

Ian King


List Price: 15.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Part reference book, part history, and part road map to the connectivity of popular music, this book is a must for all rock ‘n’ roll fans as it brings together a compilation of over two hundred genres of rock music—an entertaining, enlightening, knotty family tree of America’s favorite musical genre.

In the six decades since rock ’n’ roll stole America’s soul, the single genre has produced over two hundred sub-genres. The days of being able to walk in to a Tower Records and seek out recommendations from an aloof, all-knowing staffer has been relegated to a long-lost Generation X paradise preserved in John Hughes films. From iTunes to Spotify, listeners now regularly turn to algorithms instead of human advice to develop relationships with the music they love.

The essential companion for any rock lover’s collection—be it on vinyl or Spotify playlists—Appetite for Definition breaks down algorithms into their human stories and interconnected histories.  It provides and pulls up recommendations from a deeper well of consideration and gives you the tools to do the same. Operating on a macro level it surveys the myriad microlevel movements into an accessible map that readers can use to navigate the vast, craggy terrain of rock music and take their rock knowledge—whether casual or obsessive—to the next level.

Praise For Appetite for Definition: An A-Z Guide to Rock Genres

“King brings an informative voice that will enlighten all fans of rock music in its many permutations. This encyclopedia of rock is sure to spark many heated conversations.”
Publishers Weekly

“Recommended to all interested in the history of rock music, those looking for new music recommendations, and anyone who wants to improve their rock and roll vocabulary.”
Library Journal

“Works as casual reading, a handy reference tool, inspiration for listeners stuck in a musical rut, and a welcome addition to library music collections.”

Harper Perennial, 9780062688880, 528pp.

Publication Date: November 6, 2018

About the Author

Ian King is a music writer and publishing professional who has contributed to Nylon, Slice magazine, Stereogum, The Line of Best Fit, PopMatters,KEXP, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn, as well as other music media. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and their son.