In addition to other rock and roll books, including biographies of The Who, Pink Floyd and Rick Wakeman (!), Sierra i Fabra had some ten years earlier also written a reference work called La Historia de la Musica Pop, so we can assume a name for the new project came fairly easily for them.
Each magazine was made up of 20 ad-free glossy pages, and featured text by Sierra i Fabra, full-color photos, and an illustrated discography by someopne named Alex Mosley. The magazines were published weekly by Orbis, a British printing house who kept an office in Barcelona. Once the series was complete in its 100 issues, it was reissued in 6 hardbound volumes of about 200 pages each, and nothing of its like on rock 'n' roll had ever been seen in the Spanish language before.
Of course, Lillian Roxon's English language Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock had outlived its original editor and gone into its second or third edition by this time, so Prado's large encyclopedia might have remained of limited interest to an Anglo like myself . . .
Had it not been for the records. See, each of the magazines had been issued in conjunction with an LP, usually a Greatest Hits compilation* manufactured by Polydor Italy, and while the books and the magazines de la Historia Rock never really made it stateside, the albums most assuredly did.
Anyone who spent any time at all in the cutout bins and in the import sections of record stores in the 80's is sure to have come across these records, and, really, they're not all that uncommon even now.
'Course, none of this really shares the joke, none of it really gets at the ironical reason Pussy Galore named their album what they did. In my telling thus far it all seems admirable. . . .
And it is. But dig the 100-entry series discography, and see if you don't crack a smile.
And I don't even think that Poco is part of the joke. We might have been guessing that the country rock thing wasn't going to age well by 1983 or so, but keep in mind Poco was once actually called a supergroup.
No, it's more the inclusions of Johnny Nash and Gilbert O'Sullivan that get me. Yeah, they got Dylan and The Beatles and The Kinks and The Stones, but looks like they left out Neil Young so they could find room for The Righteous Brothers. They skipped Yes to make sure Aphrodite's Child could fit.
And for some reason they gave Roger Daltrey a record after having already given one to The Who? What was it, the McVicar soundtrack?
Anyway, it's the juxtaposition, and who's put in at the expense of who else that's funny. Pussy Galore played that up big time on the back of their album, and I had some fun with it on one of my homemade CDs a few years back, as well. I'll publish both those 100-item lists soon.
*But not always. The David Bowie album is a reissue of Another Face; the Amboy Dukes record is a repackaged Survival of the Fittest - Live. I think the REO Speedwagon LP is actually Hi Infidelity. (Return)
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