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Education » Literary
Bakers Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990: Two-volume set screenshot
English | Publisher: Thomson, 2004 | 405+473 Pages | PDF | 19+20 MB
An excellent companion to the 2001 expansion of Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, this two-volume set deals with popular musicians from around the world who have been active since 1990. Readers will find the likes of late rhythm-and-blues star Aaliyah, Mexican pop idol Juan Gabriel, and bluegrass darling Dolly Parton, as well as tenor Luciano Pavarotti, Broadway's Bernadette Peters, and grizzled rocker Neil Young. Senior editor Stephen Wasserstein oversees a panel of 24 writers (many of them academics) who contributed 583 essays ranging from 500 to 2000 words.

All are accessible and include biographical details, critical analysis of the artists' work, a discography, and (when applicable) an official web site, a filmography, and a bibliography.

Some entries contain black-and-white photographs and "Spotlight" sidebars that delve more deeply into a notable album, song, event, or cultural context. The editors have included entries for musicians whose greatest impact was before 1990 (e.g., the Grateful Dead and Lou Reed), but they focus on answering the question, "What has this artist done lately?"

The appendix contains four essays that chart the development of key musical movements since 1990 (e.g., grunge, rap's mainstream arrival, corporate radio, and the file-sharing crisis), and the index is thorough. Given the broad spectrum of musical styles covered here, this would make an excellent reference for public and academic libraries.

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