Since rock ‘n’ roll took America’s radio waves and bandstands by storm over sixty years ago, the genre has spawned more than 200 sub-genres. But how do those ever-evolving categories trace their origins back to the rock originals? In “Appetite for Definition,” on sale now from Harper Perennial, music writer Ian King untangles that web, breaks down rock’s extensive taxonomy, and explores the interconnected histories of our most beloved bands.
In an age when most listeners find new music by recommendation algorithms rather than by word of mouth, “Appetite for Definition” reminds rock fans where the songs on their Spotify playlists came from. The book works as a reference tool, a bit of casual reading or as inspiration for readers stuck in a musical rut. Publishers Weekly said, “This encyclopedia of rock is sure to spark many heated conversations.”
Ian King is a music writer and publishing professional whose work has appeared in Nylon, Stereogum, Slice, Vol. 1 Brooklyn and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn.