The Virgin Encyclopaedia of the Blues is a complete handbook of information and opinion about the history of the most classically simple, enduring and inspiring genre in the history of popular music.
All entries have been created from the massive database of The Encyclopaedia of Popular Music, which has swiftly and firmly established itself as the undisputed champion of contemporary music reference books.
Brand new research ensures that the 1000 entries are bang up-to-date and cover everyone - the musicians, bands, songwriters, producers and record labels - who has made a significant impact on the development of the blues. It brings together pioneers like Robert Johnson and Blind Lemon Jefferson, the influence of Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon on the blues boom of the 1960s, and the most recent blues resurgence featuring Keb'Mo, Larry Garner and Jonny Lang.
As well as the giants of the blues, this encyclopaedia has the range and depth to include performers who flew the blues flag during fallow periods, the 1980s band Roomful of Blues for example, or acts like Paul Butterfield, Chicken Shack, Stevie Ray Vaughan, who took the music to a wider, whiter, audience. Some blues musicians, including John Lee Hooker and Taj Mahal, seem to last forever. Others simply defined the genre, like Lead Belly, Bessie Smith and Howlin' Wolf.
Whomever you remember or want to know more about, each entry gives the essential elements - dates, career facts, discography and album ratings - as well as a sense of context, striking a balance between the extremes of the self-opinionated and the bland.