From folk to avant-garde to world music, this fun-to-browse book easily guides readers to more than 20, 000 great recordings by over 4, 000 artists through thorough reviews and ratings. Arranged by genre (the book covers 16 styles in all), each section provides informed essays on how the music evolved and its various styles, intriguing artist biographies, and insightful reviews and ratings of the top recordings. The lives and work of major artists are described in depth. Easy-to-read "music maps" chart the development of each genre, its key players, and their influences. Now in its fourth edition, this authoritative reference highlights "essential collection" albums as well as "first purchase" recordings to help listeners buy CDs.Nearly 1, 500 info-packed pages!"Makes you delirious with knowledge.", Entertainment Weekly"The most useful single volume your money can buy.", Mojo. 1496 pages.