About Rock's Backpages
Rock's Backpages is the biggest online database of pop music writing in the world. It is a unique resource unavailable elsewhere online. The database contains an ever-expanding collection of primary-source, full-text music writing. Sourced from the pages of the music and mainstream press, it is a library of articles (reviews, interviews, features and more) from the early '60s up to present day and includes a growing collection of exclusive audio interviews.
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Details of the database
- There are over twenty-five 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 600 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- The library includes previously unpublished pieces about the Beatles (by Michael Lydon in 1966), the Doors (by Lester Bangs in 1975), and seminal interviews with major artists from Bob Dylan to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 over 40 new articles per 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.
“RBP is an essential acquisition for large public and academic libraries serving serious students a wide range of music, from blues and country to jazz, reggae, and, of course, rock and roll.” – Library Journal, April 2014
“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 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
“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
To read more testimonials please visit our Librarians’ info page.