the lists:









the index ("the list")

the annex

The Rock Annual: Popular Music of the Rock Era, Year by Year:
The Landmark Albums, Singles, Deep Cuts, and More...

Introductory essays:

Archive Fever? Ready Reference Setpoint?

The Rock Annual, an Imaginary Publication

A Different Kind of Yearbook

Not sure which of the many deluxe and super-deluxe reissues (if any) is the best? Or perhaps you would like handy recommendations of what to listen to by certain artists or from certain eras. Do you prefer pop-music criticism that focuses on the music itself instead of personalities and represents more than the social cliques of which the critic is part? Or do you simply love-hate discographies and lists? Consider supporting the Rock Annual project with a donation. Even one dollar per essay would be very helpful. Write me [] if you prefer an alternate method of payment. Also let me know if you have specific artists whose discographies would benefit from review, or give me some feedback regarding the essays and lists presented here. You may even want to contribute your own content.

Collectors! View the Rock Annual collection of hype stickers. There are hundreds more to come. Access larger, higher-definition files at the Internet Archive back-up location.

Essays arranged by date:

You may prefer brief notes about C.D reissues. Check out the continually-updating Reissue—Denote—Repackage column.


June 2021 ‘On Second Note—Not Taking Things Seriously: Pavement: Wowee Zowee

May 2021 ‘Playlist: The Doors

April 2021 ‘Box Set Key: The Smiths: Complete

March 2021 ‘The Almost-Album: Promoted as a Major Product Yet Mostly Comprised of Recent Singles: The Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady

February 2021 ‘Singles and Swindles: Morrissey

January 2021 ‘Alternate Histories: Pavement: Brighten the Corners


December 2020 ‘Box Set Key: Neil Young: Archives Vol. II (1972-1976)

November 2020 ‘True Examples: What Is Missing and Not Missing From Lists of a Music Artist's Best Albums: Talking Heads: True Stories; Naked

October 2020 ‘Less Would Have Been More: The Byrds: Dr. Byrds and Mr. Hyde; Ballad of Easy Rider

June 2020 ‘Box Set Key: Ray Charles: Pure Genius - The Complete Atlantic Recordings (1952-1959)

May 2020 ‘Clarence White Takes the Lead: The Byrds: Byrdmaniax; Farther Along

April 2020 ‘Remember It Better: Michael Jackson: Thriller

March 2020 ‘Sometimes the B Side Is Just That: B-Grade. A Never-Ending Serial: The Byrds: Mr. Tambourine Man; Younger Than Yesterday

February 2020 ‘Definitely a Project, Hardly an Object: Frank Zappa: The Crux of the Biscuit: An F.Z Audio Documentary Project/ Object

January 2020 ‘The Byrds, Over- and Under-Rated: Sweetheart of the Rodeo; The Notorious Byrd Brothers

Nine new essays debut each year: monthly, January-June, October-December.