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(480 pages, Edizioni Applausi)
There haven't been all that many encyclopedias dedicated to progressive rock available, but one of the publications that have been around is Galia's book "Prog 40". Last year a new edition of this book appeared, adding a further 50 pages to this reference work. What we have here isn't a strictly factual, objective encyclopedia however. This book contains artists picked by Galia and his chosen collaborators (Claudio Aloi, Guiseppe Di Spirito, Roberto Vanali, Franco Vassia and Donato Zoppo), which have then been sorted under the headings Kings, Knights and Troopers. The ones at the top given a more elaborate presentation, as in the context of an encyclopedia, while the artists residing in the latter categories are presented in a more abbreviated manner. All artists are given a review, selected albums are noted when there are several to choose from, and a review of the artist and the discography as such is given. With at times sharp, subjective comments. The opinions of the authors are less important than the book itself though. Even ardent fans will find artists in here he or she will never have heard about, and those not all that familiar with the genre will have a field day (or decade) looking up all the artists referenced here. Not everything is quite up to date, and I suspect quite a few will find either artists that are missing or artists that are placed in what they feel is the wrong category, one way or the other. The book itself, and all the artists referenced, makes this production a good starting point for progressive rock fans though, and a hard copy alternative to websites such as Progarchives. Those with an interest in an encyclopedia like this can track it down through the well known internet web stores, and the book is available in both Italian and English editions.
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