So the postal; service employee JUST delivered the "360 Sound" book (the
Wilentz one; I already discussed the Dave Marsh volume.
No I haven't read it yet but I can tell you this... It's a lot more great
graphics and illustrations and sidebar texts than a text-based book. Since
it's covering 125 years the genres and timeline are wide but a quick scan
through the 336-pages (on HEAVY paper. The book weighs 5 pounds, 3 ounces!)
shows that we don't hit the pop and rock of the 60s until page 174. BTW, I
just passed the photo of Miles Davis in the studio and they DID NOT airbrush
out the cigarette! The label scans on the cover are clean and original. I
thought the print for the Index pages was tiny till I turned the page. On
ONE page - the last one - they list the source of the "Trademarks" of the
artists (Led Zeppelin, Philadelphia Orchestra and Bruce Springsteen are
trademarked name). The font size requires a magnifying glass - not included
with the book - to read it.
Anyway, I looked at the acknowledgements and Wilentz acknowledges that he
gathered a lot of the history from Gary Marmelstein's 2007 book "The
Columbia Story" and the "Sony 100: Sounds of A Century" project as well as
"articles on Columbia's history by Tim Brooks". Credits from images include both
John Tefteller and Colin Escott so these knowledgeable folks were included
as well. I'm feeling a lot more comfortable in recommending this volume
(over the Marsh one) based on my cursory review. This is more of a GRAPHIC
history than a reference book. For that, you'll probably turn to Marmelstein.