Academic and group subscriptions
“No student of popular music interested in doing substantive research can afford to be without Rock's Backpages. It's an invaluable tool and above all else a great treasure trove of sophisticated writing.”– Jason King, New York University
Rock's Backpages is the biggest online database of music writing in the world. It is a unique resource unavailable elsewhere online.
Sourced from the pages of the music and mainstream press, it is a massive library of articles (reviews, interviews, features and more) from the early 1960s right up to the present day. In addition to our archive of text articles, we also provide exclusive mp3 audio files of original source interviews.
This archival database is of great value to media businesses, and university, college, school and public libraries.
Subscribe via Consortia
Rock's Backpages can currently be subscribed to via the following consortia:
- Amigos Library Services – South Western States
- Califa – California
- Colorado Alliance – Colorado
- OhioNET – Ohio, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania
- SCELC – California
- WALDO – North East
- WiLS (Wisconsin Library Services) – Wisconsin
- CAUL (Council of Australian University Librarians)
Details of the database
- There are over twenty-three thousand articles on the site. These feature over two thousand five hundred artists and range from 500-word album (or concert) reviews to 15,000-word interviews and features.
- The articles are full text and fully searchable (by artist, date, genre, keyword etc.) including a sophisticated "advanced search" option.
- Written by over 550 of the biggest names in music journalism, they are taken from the widest possible range of publications in the US and UK: from Creem and Trouser Press to Rolling Stone, and from New Musical Express and Melody Maker to MOJO.
- The archive covers all types of popular music from the 1950s to the present: from Abba to Zappa, the Stones to the Stone Roses and from Elvis to Eminem. There are, for example, 160 articles on the Beach Boys and 250 on the Rolling Stones.
- The library includes previously unpublished pieces about The Beatles (by Michael Lydon in 1966), The Doors (by Lester Bangs in 1975), and seminal interviews with major artists from Bob Dylan to Radiohead.
- The library is currently increasing in size by 50 new articles a week.
- All the material in the database is presented with the full agreement and permission of the copyright holders – freelance writers and journalists – or of their estates, and the vast majority of this material is exclusive to Rock’s Backpages for online distribution.
Subscription services and costs
They can also receive a weekly email informing them of the latest additions to the library.
Access to the site is usually arranged via a specific IP address which enables users to access the library through the group intranet without the need for a specific site password. We also provide access via Shibboleth. Please refer to our Librarians' info page for the full access options.
The Next Step
If you are interested in subscribing to this invaluable resource, please click here and complete the form. We will then provide you with free access to the site for a limited period so that you can find out how valuable it could be for your staff and students.
We will also propose a subscription charge at a substantial discount to individual subscription charges.
PLEASE NOTE THAT A FREE TRIAL IS NOT AVAILABLE TO INDIVIDUALS
“Rock's Backpages has become an invaluable resource to students studying music, media and communication at the University of Leeds. On our popular music BA the archive provides material to support study on, for example, genre, politics and subcultures, for essays at all levels, all the way through to final dissertations, and as a library for primary sources for the popular music journalism module I run it is perfect.”– Simon Warner
Senior Teaching Fellow
Director, PopuLUs, the Centre for the Study of the World's Popular Musics
School of Music
University of Leeds, UK
“I have made extensive use of Rock's Backpages over the past couple of years. Not only am I impressed by its ease and speed of access, but also by the way that it is constantly improving and updating its archive. I consider it an invaluable asset to any researcher or serious fan of the subject.”– Dr Ron Moy
Senior Lecturer in Popular Music Studies,
Liverpool John Moores University, UK.
“For anyone exploring the history of popular music, Rock’s Backpages is a gold mine. Its vast yet constantly expanding database of hard-to-find primary materials is high in quality, wide in scope, easy to access, and fully cross-referenced. Whether you’re a student or professor, journalist or archivist, researcher or fan, Rock’s Backpages puts you in the front row.”– Dale Carter
Associate Professor of American Studies
University of Aarhus, Denmark
“Rock’s Backpages has been an invaluable addition to the Syracuse University library. I frequently search its holdings for my own research. Beyond that, we teach a number of classes - ranging from the History of Rock survey to the Popular Music Studies seminar - where students have used Rock's Backpages to aid with paper projects and presentations. In addition, our numerous Arts Journalism students have found the site to be an amazing resource and introduction to the history of rock music criticism. I highly recommend this database.”– Theo Cateforis
Author of The Rock History Reader (Routledge, 2007)
Assistant Professor of Music History and Cultures
Department of Fine Arts, Syracuse University