The amount of reference material and bizarre, obscure, or specialized information that's available on the web continually amazes me. I clearly have too much time on my hands, but looking at some of these sites I can only scratch my head in wonder and admiration ... I wish I had such dedication (and that much spare time).
Anyhow, this listing is by no means complete, but reflects some of the more entertaining websites I've come across. I occasionally go back and check to make sure the links are operational, but if you come across one that doesn't work let me know.
Biographical info, discographies, and reviews
- 45vinylvidivici - Entitled 'Encyclopedia of French 45 and EP releases of foreign artists' this French site is a true labor of love. It features over 17,000 French releases 45s. The catch is the material focuses on non-French artists. Full of obscure picture sleeves.
- G45 Central - You'll need to join this online forum to take advantage of the resources, but it should delight 45 collectors (particularly garage fans) out there.
- Stars on 45 - Interesting German site with lots of artist and record label discographies. Much of the material is also in English.
World wide coverage
- 700 West label - Yeah this one is extremely specialized, but if you're into any of the label's obscure but enjoyable acts, this is the place to start.
- AllMusic.com - The bibliographical material is frequently inaccurate (don't even bother trying to feed them corrections) and some of the reviews are just downright goofy, but this may be the best place on the web to get biographical and review-type information on popular music.
- All Things Deep (including Deep Groove Encylopedia) - couple of hundred short bios focusing predominantly on soul artists, though there are some odd exceptions such as Chaz Jankle.
- Band To Band - interconnections taken to the nth degree - fascinating website
- Both Sides Now - Mike Callahan, David Edwards, Patrice Eyries and Randy Watts are responsible for this extensive record company discography. You won't find any kind of bibliographical information on the bands themselves, or descriptions of the releases themselves (other than song listings), but it's an incredibly useful reference for dozens of big and small label releases.
- Global Dog Productions - 1950s and 1960s Australia, Canadian and UK label discographies
- Gullbye - New Sound Review records, singles, CDs
- In the 70s -
- In the 80s -
- In the 90s -
- JazzDisco.Org - This one's a product of three dedicated Japanese collectors - Nobuaki Togashi, Kohji 'Shaolin' Matsubayashi, and Masayuki Hatta and is described as: "A collector's guide to jazz music CDs, DVDs, MP3s and vinyl records (LPs/EPs/45s/78s, etc.): Blue Note, Prestige, Riverside Records (the big three labels of modern jazz); bebop, cool/west coast, hard bop/mode, free jazz musicians; Miles Davis' personal connections, and more."
- Music Critic.com -
- Pius rock - This is the product of German collector Pius (Peter) Weichert. Here's the description of the project. "Global Rock Discography" shall be different from the books which record collectors and dealers have known for a long time. The mass of artists who have published albums in the area of Rock over decades is gigantic and almost incredible. I have already been working at this project for years and spent innumerable hours designing the book as extensively as possible. But I recognize faults all the time. Doesn't look like it's finished.
- Popsike -
- Rate Your Music -
- Scram magazine - "SCRAM is a magazine dedicated to rooting out the cashews in the bridge mix of unpopular culture. Since 1992 we have chronicled the neglected, the odd, the nifty and the nuts."
- Shindig magazine -
- Soundtracknet -
- Swamp Records -
- Vinyl History -
- Wilson and Alroy's Record Reviews - David Wilson and John Alroy have put roughly 3,500 reviews; on their website. Can't say I agree with all of them (c'mon only giving Otis Redding's "Love Man" three stars is a crime), but many are quite entertaining ...
Country Specific sites
- Milesago - 1960s and 1970s Australian and New Zealand bands
In 1976 my father took a job with NATO. As a 16 year old who had just started driving, much to my horror the family packed up and left Northern Virginia for Brussels, Belgium. As it turned out it was a once in a lifetime experience. Besides the lifelong friends I made, and an affection for Belgian beer, chocolate and frites (not necessarily together), the thing I remember the most is music. Not just American Forces Network and Radio Caroline, but the local music. I only wish I'd been bright enough to spent more time checking out the local scene as opposed to American top-40 and Brit-pop. So here are links to a series of on-line Belgian music links:
- The Belgian Pop and Rock Archives - This site was original developed by Dirk Houbrechts who 'retired' in 2002 and transferred ownership to The Flanders Music Centre (which s apparently a government supported organization. Great reference with listings of 262 groups.
- Belgian Metal History - Yeah the subject coverages sounds kind of narrow, but it's a fascinating site.
- Hard Rock and Heavy Metal In Belgium in the 1980s - Another niche area, but interesting material
- Dreams Fantasies & Nightmares - This is a bootleg copy of the wonderful Borderland book. It's one of the older versions so is missing quite a bit of information. Do yourself a favor and located and buy a legitimate copy of the book.
- Quebecbands - Nice site focusing on Quebec-based bands. It's in French, though you can use the translation feature to get a semi-coherent English version of the write-ups.
- Retro Jeunese 60 - Another Quebec focused sight with discographies. Also in French.
- Karma Music - Danish bands
European (1960s - 1970s)
Scented Gardens of the Mind -
Dag Erik Asbjørnsen's invaluable reference work. cover most of Western
Europe (excluding German). Some of the reviews are too brief to be
of much value, but still worthwhile. This is a bootleg copy that
someone posted to the web. Please buy a copy of the book. Not
cheap, but worth the effort.
- 45vinyldivinci - An amazing encyclopedia of French issue 45s with 12,540 picture sleeves
- Exagon Rock,com -
- Neospheres -
- Cosmic Dreams at Play (A Guide to German Progressive & Electronic rock)
- The Crack In the Cosmic Egg (light version) -
- Good Times - German rock
- GermanRock ev -
- Irishrock.org -
- Kiwi Music "Discography of New Zealand popular music, 1960-1990: rock, jazz, folk, blues, bluegrass"
- New Zealand 45s -
- Scottish band biographies - Nice link to Scottish 1960s and 1970s era beat and rock outfits.
- The South African Rock Encyclopedia - Credited to Brian Currin and Stephan Segerman this is a fascinating repository covering 1950s - 2000 era South African rock. As far as I know, it's also the only on-line reference covering the region.
- Swiss Beat Scene -
- Brum Beat - Several hundred bios (some quite extensive) on 1960s West Midlands UK groups
- Calyx - Canterbury bands biographies
- Marmalade Skies -
- The Musician's Olympics - Great site by Miguel Terol with a focus on 1970s UK bands
- Bay Area Bands - Bios on about 100 San Francisco bands reflecting a mixture from the 60, 70s and beyond (Tuck and Patti)
District of Columbia
- D.C. Soul - Great reference source for District of Columbia labels and releases.
- Indiana 45s (and LPs)
- Buckeye Beat - George Gellincludes short bios and discos on several hundred Ohio bands (1950s through late 1970s)
- Wisconsin Rock -
Genre specific sites
- Lance Monthly - The Internet Source for '50s Rockabilly, '60s Garage Band Music, and Surf and Modern Guitar Instrumentals
- Soybomb.com -
- Teen A-Go-Go -
- Glam Rock -
New Wave and Punk
- 30 Under DC (Punk Rock In DC 1975 - 2002)
- Axiom of Choice - Jurriaan Hage's site with some 1500 reviews largely within the progressive rock genre
- Cosmic Slop -
- Gnosis -
- Ground and Sky -
- Thomas Haynes - interesting reviews and bios
- Heavy Phrogg -
- Planet Mellotron -
- Progrograph -
- Progressor -
- ProgPlanet -
- ProgNotFrog -
- Strawberry Brick Guide To Progressive Rock - Charles Snider wrote the "Strawberry Brick" book. His website has brief discographies (with LP covers) for about 100 groups; mostly UK but a scattering of international offerings. Interesting time line with psych/progressive LPs and narratives listed by year.
- VintageProg.Com - Nice collection of brief, but insightful progressive oriented LP reviews.
- The Acid Archives - Patrick Lundborg's website (and hard copy reference book) are invaluable reference guides to anyone interested in 1960s and 1970s US garage, acid-folk and psych LPs. All praise to the Lama !
- Psychemusic.org - includes international reviews
- Swamp Record - This one's a mixture of interesting looking obscurities ('Lyle Swedeen's "Sunshine Inside") and well known releases (not much logic to the selections. Unfortunately it's in Japanese.
Soul and Funk
- Flea Market Funk -
- Funk45.com -
- Soulwalking -
- Soul Sides -
- Soul Strut -
- Ampnoise -
- Dead Flowers -
- Ezhevika Fields -
- Obscure Sound -
- PlayItAgaiSam -
- Pop 45 -
- Pure Pop -
- PVAc To 44.1 kHz -
- Redtelephone66 - Several hundred brief reviews with a focus on 1960s and 1970s releases - includes quite a few BadCat reviews; some credited, some not.
- RockAnthology -
- Terminal Boredom -
- Time Has Told Me -
- Vinyl Collective -
Sellers (companies I've been happy with)
Used records seems to be one of the few growth areas in the economy. There are literally thousands of outfits selling albums online. Unfortunately, the majority don't seem to have a clue. Concepts such as clear descriptions, accurate grading, basic packing skills, and realistic pricing appear to be total mysteries to the vast majority of these folks. So here are a handful I've dealt with who know their business.
- 45s.com - This one's actually an Ohio-based vendor with a large stock of popular singles. Don't bother looking for the obscure, but if it's top-40 type stuff they probably have it.
- Aeon Music - "A progressive rock catalog with a great selection of collectibles and rare imports, LPs, CDs, and singles." This outfit always has items that are incredibly obscure to look at and ponder. Accuate grading and quick delivery. What's not to like?
- Arcania International - These guys specialize in reissuing obscure Virginia garage, rock and soul releases. Not for everyone, but I live in Virginia and find their releases fascinating.
- Bongos - "The coolest in primitive vinyl" Not the biggest on-line collection, but eclectic and always worth checking out. Accurate grading and quick delivery.
- Delirious Music -
- Groove Collectors - French sales site
- Industrial Silence (obscure 60's & 70s' vinyl) -
- Last Vestige - "Specializing in Rare Previously Owned Vinyl Records & CDs. We have literally 1,000's of vinyl records albums in stock in almost every catagory! " - they do !!!
- Solid Viper - Large on-line catalog which is well designed and easy to use. Very quick delivery as well.
- Underground Records - Jerome Tomko updates his interesting list roughly four times a year. Lots of obscure rock, psych, and progressive material with lesser amounts of soul and R&B. He's not the cheapest dealer on the web, but his stuff is always in great shape; he ships quickly, and he has a knack for uncovering some great obscurities.
General music sites
- Beyond the Beat Generation - music library
- Jerry Osborne -
- Record Collectors Guild (International Records Collector's Online)
- Vinyl Collective -
Posters and Album art work
- Bad Banana Blog - Nothing to do with muscic rather focuses on psych artwork, including lists of psych-styled artists, including Rick Griffin's catalog. Unfortunately there are very few images.
- Dream Chimney -
- Gigwise.com - Oddest LP covers
King's poster site - Nobody knows more about Bill Graham and Family
dog concert posters and paraphinalia. Also includes material on
Houton's Vulcan Gas Light
- Hans Pokora 2001 (US pressings) - Hans Pokora's a well known Austrian record dealer who's published a series of books on highly collectable record LPs (1001, 2001, 3001, 4001, and 5001 Record Collector Dreams). Anyhow, someone in South Korea has taken the time to scan in at least some of his work
- Record Weirdo - Another person with way too much time on their hands. Fascinating and the fact I've looked through this site is obviously a reflection on my own life !
Plain strange and intriguing musical sites
- Gordon Polatnick's Dead Musicians Directory - The title says it all … talk about a growth industry
- Hippyland -
- Musical Taste - interesting on-line community with some 2,000+ members who recommend their favorite songs to one another. There are about 4,200 song recommendations covering all sorts of musical genres.
- Retro To Go (A Guide To All Things Hip and Cool) -
- Vinyl Tourist -
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