make the most of Lovereading book price comparison
Search our site
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Pop Music And The Press by Steve Jones

Pop Music And The Press

Part of the Sound Matters Series


Pop Music And The Press by Steve Jones

Since the 1950s, writing about popular music has become a staple of popular culture. Rolling Stone, Vibe, and The Source as well as music columns in major newspapers target consumers who take their music seriously. Rapidly proliferating fanzines, websites, and internet discussion groups enable virtually anyone to engage in popular music criticism. Until now, however, no one has tackled popular music criticism as a genre of journalism with a particular history and evolution. Pop Music and the Press looks at the major publications and journalists who have shaped this criticism, influencing the public's ideas about the music's significance and quality. The contributors to the volume include academics and journalists; several wear both hats, and some are musicians as well. Their essays illuminate the complex relationships of the music industry, print media, critical practice, and rock culture. (And they repeatedly dispel the notion that being a journalist is the next best thing to being a rock star.) Author note: Steve Jones is Professor of Communication at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Among his books are CyberSociety: Computer-Mediated Communication and Community (editor) and Rock Formation: Popular Music, Technology, and Mass Communication.


This fascinating new volume...fill[s] a significant gap in popular music scholarship...the book is an essential text for any scholar of popular music....a major contribution to the academic literature on popular music in part because it provides a foundation, heretofore absent, for future investigations of the world of music journalism and the cultural significance of the same. -The Journal of Communication A compilation of essays from scholars and professional music critics, this is a highly academic look at the practice of music criticism, the craft's brief history, and the trends that shape the opinions of American and British music writers. While the history lesson and excerpts by highly regarded protocritics like Lester Bangs and Robert Christgau are enjoyable, the book truly shines when it examines ongoing industry issues such as giving equal opportunity to women musicians and how to cover properly the death of a musical legend. Editor Jones (communications, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago) and his contributors aren't afraid to criticize the critics, but in doing so they sometimes sink to the methods they're denouncing. Missing are in-depth meditations on the importance of underground music fanzines and the sudden rise of Internet rock criticism. Overall, however, this book provides a thought-provoking and inspiring look at the practice of music criticism. -Library Journal Warning, my people (that is to say, rock and rap critics): read these pages and find yourselves subject to all-too-partial observation, someone else's critical agenda, and a bit of misplaced envy. Seem familiar? You've been doing it to musicians for years. And now the tables are turned... -Eric Weisbard, Experience Music Project Pop Music and the Press will be a necessary addition to the collection of anyone interested in the study of popular music. These essays, written from a variety of academic disciplines and perspectives, explore and even sometimes capture the variability, the passion, and the frustration of writing and reading music journalism. This book really does add something to the mix that is popular music studies. -Lawrence Grossberg, Morris Davis Distinguished Professor of Communication Studies and Cultural Studies, University of North Carolina As one of the gatekeepers, I stopped reading reviews and music criticism in the press nearly ten years ago. Cold Turkey. Steve Jones's book offers the history and perspective to show why I was both right and wrong to do so. -Paul Marszalek, Vice President/Music Programming, VH-1

About the Author

Steve Jones is Professor of Genetics at University College, London and has worked at universities in the USA, Australia and Africa. He gave the Reith Lectures in 1991 and presented a BBC TV series on human genetics and evolution in 1996. He is a columnist for the Daily Telegraph.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

13th August 2002


Steve Jones

More books by Steve Jones
Author 'Like for Like'


Temple University Press,U.S.


280 pages


Rock & Pop music
Press & journalism



A well laid out site, I love the fact that is separates paranormal fiction from fantasy and horror, which other sites don't.

Jen Rainbow

I love the newsletter with reviews of all the new books coming out. Can't wait to open it when it arrives in my inbox.

Rachel Aygin

I love Lovereading because of its ability to connect people that love books & unite them in a friendly, stimulating & interesting community.

Megan Olwen William

Thanks to Lovereading I have discovered new writers and read books I would never had looked twice at - and enjoyed them.

Angela Rhodes

Lovereading is like booking a holiday, you don't know what it will be like and it is a whole new experience.

Sue Burton

Hooked on books? Give Lovereading a go - for the chance to discover brilliant books, and to see why our members love it so.

Claire Hill

I read new, exciting writers and established authors before publication and there is a great website full of brilliant books and opinions.


Lovereading is a world of books. It has everything you need from new to old and much loved classic books. It even give you recommendations!

Kate Thurston