Rock ‘n’ Roll has a long, complex history that can’t possibly be collected into one, definitive book. However, writer Mark Paytress does a pretty good job of filling us in on the main stuff. The app is packed with information, images and even video clips of some of the most popular musicians of our time. Think of it as a fancy interactive coffee table book that fits on your iPad.
Starting with the birth of Rock n Roll in the 1950s and ending in 2009, this digital book spans 60 years of the life of rock music. Each decade has a “chapter” that includes general information about various genres that became popular at that time, as well as specific bands and musicians that hit the top of the charts. Each “subchapter” includes an article about the subject, like Glam Rock or Nirvana, and a few images to match.
At the bottom of each decade’s chapter is a timeline that points out some of the most relevant events to take place in each individual year. For example, in the 1950s decade, the timeline offers a snippet of important information regarding stereo recordings. “In 1958, RCA becomes the first major record company to introduce the stereo vinyl LP.”
While the content of this book is no more in-depth than a special issue of Rolling Stone Magazine, it is beautifully laid out and includes plenty of interactive features. Not only can you watch YouTube videos of Elvis Presley singing to the ladies, but there are links to songs, albums and artists in iTunes so you can download music right after reading about it.
What I liked: The layout and design of this digital book is well done. It makes it more than just a PDF copy of the physical book.
What I didn’t like: Quite honestly, there isn’t a whole lot of meat to the articles. They gloss over a lot of information. That is probably because it is hard to get into too much detail when your book covers 60 years of music.
To buy or not to buy: At the price of free, this is a must have app for any music lover. It is worth the download. When the app reverts to its full price of $5.99 after February 17, the song may not sound the same. However, the physical book is nearly three times as much, so there is also that to consider.
- App Name: History of Rock
- Version Reviewed: 1.0
- Category: Books
- Developer: ditter.projektagentur GmbH
- Price: Free until Feb. 17. Regularly $5.99