Rolling Stone Record Guide 1979

See Also: 1983 & 1992 Editions

Rolling Stone Record Guide First Edition (1979)

“In rock’s twenty-five-year existence, hundreds of books have attempted to define the music or some part of the experience of hearing it. But until now rock has lacked a basic reference work keyed to its central unit of consumption: the LP. Here at last is the first critical guide to rock records by the people best qualified to write it – the editors of Rolling Stone.

The Rolling Stone Record Guide not only reviews 10,000 albums currently available but assigns a rating to each one – from five stars (Indispensable) to one (Poor), down to a bullet (Worthless). For the neophyte rock ran whose budget is limited, this book is a must. If you want to own one record by the Beach Boys or the Rolling Stones, the Guide with tell you which to buy – and which to avoid. Hard-core enthusiasts will turn to it for evaluations or performers too often dismissed or ignored, and for re-evaluations of the most celebrated stars. As the editor, Dave Marsh, writes in his introduction: “We hope that we have uncovered a certain number of unsuspected gems, and we have been compelled to deflate the reputations of certain overestimated performers”

Since rock influences, or has been influenced by, so many musical forms, the book also reviews and rates a rock-related selection of country & western, mainstream pop, blues, gospel and jazz records. Other features are a decidedly critical bibliography of books on rock music, a glossary of rock terms, and a separate listing of the 300-odd five-star albums – a basic library of rock.

The Guide to the spirit of Rolling Stone, the world’s most authoritative rock magazine: witty, opinionated and, above all, knowledgeable”.

Rock & Pop

The following are all the‘5 star’ albums from the rock and pop section of the first guide that didn’t get included in the second. Mainly due to Dave Marsh’s hatred of the Doors and Yes!

Beatles – Help
Beatles – Hey Jude (US compilation)
Beatles – Live at the Hollywood Bowl
Beatles – Something New
Beatles – Yesterday and Today (US compilation)
Collins, Judy – Who Knows Where the Time Goes
Doors – LA Woman
Doors – Strange Days
Doors – Doors
Doors – 13 (1970 compilation)
Edmunds, Dave & Love Sculpture – the Classic Tracks 1968-72
Four Tops – Anthology
Haggard, Merle – Best of the Best
Holly, Buddy – Buddy Holly
Holly, Buddy – Legend
Holly, Buddy – Chirping Crickets
Jordan, Louis – Greatest Hits
Reed, Lou – Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal
Reed, Lou – Street Hassle
Sinatra, Frank – What is This Thing Called Love? (twinned with Night we Called it a Day? aka Where Are You) [1970, Capitol]
Wagoner, Porter – Best of
Yes – Close to the Edge
Yes – Yes Album
Young, Neil – Everybody Knows This is Nowhere


Complete list of albums that received a 5-star rating in the blues section of the guide. Most of these are included in the second guide.

Carter, Bo – Greatest Hits 1930-40
Carter, Bo – Twist it Babe
Hooker, John Lee – Greatest Hits of (Kent)
Hooker, John Lee – It Serves you Right to Suffer
House, Son – Son House (Arhoolie – Library of Congress recs)
Howlin’ Wolf – Evil
Howlin’ Wolf – Original Folk Blues
Jacobs, Little Walter – Boss Blues Harmonica (Chess)
Jacobs, Little Walter – Little Walter (Chess)
James, Skip – Devil Got My Woman
James, Skip – Today!
Johnson, Robert – King of the Delta Blues Singers
Johnson, Robert – King of the Delta Blues Singers Vol 2
King, BB – Live (Kent)
King, BB – Live at the Regal
King, BB – Live in Cook County Jail
King, BB – Back in the Alley
King, BB – From the Beginning
King, BB – On Stage (Kent)
King, BB – Pure Soul
King, BB – Underground Blues
Muddy Waters – McKinley Morganfield (Chess)
Muddy Waters – Sail On
Robinson, Fenton – I Hear Some Blues Downstairs
Robinson, Fenton – Somebody Loan Me a Dime
Rush, Otis – Right Place, Wrong Time
Smith, Bessie – Any Woman’s Blues
Smith, Bessie – Empty Bed Blues
Smith, Bessie – Nobody’s Blues But Mine
Smith, Bessie – the Empress
Smith, Bessie – World’s Greatest Blues Singer
Walker, T-Bone – T-Bone Walker (Blue Note)
Wells, Junior – Hoodoo Man Blues
Williamson, Sonny Boy – This is My Story (Chess)


Complete list of albums that received a 5-star rating in the jazz section of the guide. Hardly any of these are included in the second and third guides, as the first edition was the only one to have a separate jazz section.


Adderley, Cannonball – Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
Armstrong, Louis – Genius of Vol 1 (CBS)
Armstrong, Louis – Louis Armstrong Vol 3 (CBS French import)
Armstrong, Louis – Louis Armstrong Vol 4 (CBS French import)
Armstrong, Louis - & Earl Hines 1928 (Smithsonian mail order only)
Armstrong, Louis - & King Oliver (Milestone)
Armstrong, Louis – July 4, 1900 – July 6, 1971 (RCA)
Armstrong, Louis – Sidney Bechet with the Clarence Williams Blue Five
Armstrong, Louis – Story: Vols 1-4 (CBS)
Armstrong, Louis – Young… (RCA)
Art Ensemble of Chicago – with Fontella Bass
Art Ensemble of Chicago – les Stances à Sophie
Art Ensemble of Chicago – People in Sorrow
Ayler, Albert – New Wave in Jazz
Ayler, Albert – Vibrations
Ayler, Albert – Witches & Devils


Basie, Count – Best of (MCA)
Basie, Count – at the Savoy Ballroom
Basie, Count – Good Morning Blues
Basie, Count – Super Chief
Bechet, Sidney – Jazz Classics Vol 1 (Blue Note)
Bechet, Sidney – Jazz Classics Vol 2 (Blue Note)
Bechet, Sidney – Master Musician (RCA)
Benson, George – It’s Uptown
Blakey, Art – A Night at Birdland with the AB Quintet Vol 1
Blakey, Art – A Night at Birdland with the AB Quintet Vol 2
Blakey, Art – Jazz Messengers at the Café Bohemia Vol 2
Blakey, Art – Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk
Blakey, Art – At the Jazz Corner of the World Vol 2
Blakey, Art – A Night in Tunisia
Blakey, Art – Jazz Messengers! (Impulse)
Blakey, Art – Thermo
Blakey, Art – Free for All
Bley, Carla – Escalator Over the Hill
Braxton, Anthony – 3 Compositions of New Jazz
Braxton, Anthony – Trio & Duet
Braxton, Anthony – Creative Orchestra Music 1976
Braxton, Anthony – New York, Fall 1974
Brown, Clifford – In Paris
Brown, Clifford – Quartet in Paris 1953
Brown, Clifford – Quintet Vol 1
Brown, Clifford – Quintet Vol 2
Brown, Clifford – Beginning and the End
Burton, Gary – Crystal Silence


Carter, Betty – Betty Carter (Bet-Car)
Carter, Betty – Album (Bet-Car)
Cherry, Don – Complete Communion
Cherry, Don – Old and New Dreams
Christian, Charlie – Solo Flight: Genius of…
Coleman, Ornette – Change of the Century
Coleman, Ornette – Free Jazz
Coleman, Ornette – Best of (Atlantic)
Coleman, Ornette – Shape of Jazz to Come
Coleman, Ornette – This is Our Music
Coleman, Ornette – To Whom Who Keeps a Record
Coleman, Ornette – At the Golden Circle Stockholm Vol 1
Coleman, Ornette – Science Fiction
Coltrane, John – Blue Train
Coltrane, John – Coltrane Jazz
Coltrane, John – First Trane
Coltrane, John – Giant Steps
Coltrane, John – John Coltrane (Prestige)
Coltrane, John – Lush Life
Coltrane, John – Art of (Atlantic)
Coltrane, John – Best of (Atlantic)
Coltrane, John – Trane’s Reign (Prestige)
Coltrane, John – Afro Blue Impressions
Coltrane, John – A Love Supreme
Coltrane, John – Coltrane’s Sound
Coltrane, John – His Greatest Years Vol 1 (Impulse)
Coltrane, John – His Greatest Years Vol 2 (Impulse)
Coltrane, John – Impressions
Coltrane, John – Live at Birdland
Coltrane, John – Live at the Village Vanguard
Coltrane, John – My Favorite Things
Coltrane, John – Transition
Coltrane, John – Expression
Coltrane, John – Live at the Village Vanguard Again
Coltrane, John – Meditations
Corea, Chick – Piano Improvisations Vol 1 & 2
Corea, Chick – Return to Forever
Corea, Chick – Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy (with Return to Forever)
Coryell, Larry – Introducing the Eleventh House


Davis, Miles – Big Fun
Davis, Miles – Bitches Brew
Davis, Miles – In a Silent Way
Davis, Miles – Kind of Blue
Dolphy, Eric – Eric Dolphy (Prestige)
Dolphy, Eric – Far Cry
Dolphy, Eric – Jitterbug Waltz
Dolphy, Eric – Magic
Dolphy, Eric – Out There
Dolphy, Eric – Out to Lunch
Dolphy, Eric – Outward Bound


Ellington, Duke – 1938 (Smithsonian mail order only)
Ellington, Duke – 1939 (Smithsonian mail order only)
Ellington, Duke – Mood Indigo
Ellington, Duke – Music of Ellington (CSP)
Ellington, Duke – Piano Reflections
Ellington, Duke – Rockin’ in Rhythm Vol 3
Ellington, Duke – Such Sweet Thunder
Ellington, Duke – Bethlehem Years Vol 1
Ellington, Duke – Carnegie Hall Concerts: January 1943
Ellington, Duke – Carnegie Hall Concerts: December 1944
Ellington, Duke – Carnegie Hall Concerts: January 1946
Ellington, Duke – Carnegie Hall Concerts: December 1947
Ellington, Duke – Ellington Era Vol 1 (1927-40)
Ellington, Duke – This is… (RCA)
Ellington, Duke – Newport 1956
Ellington, Duke – Pure Gold (RCA)
Ellington, Duke – Echoes of an Era (with Louis Armstrong)
Ellington, Duke – First Time! (with Count Basie)
Ellis, Don – Electric Bath
Evans, Bill – Peace, Piece & Other Pieces (incs Everybody Digs… )
Evans, Bill – Spring Leaves (incs Explorations)
Evans, Bill – Village Vanguard Sessions (incs Waltz for Debby)
Evans, Bill – Montreux III
Evans, Bill – Tokyo Concert
Evans, Gil – Out of the Cool


Getz, Stan – Focus
Getz, Stan – Chick Corea/Bill Evans Sessions
Gillespie, John Birks ‘Dizzy’ – and His Big Band (GNP)
Gillespie, John Birks ‘Dizzy’ – Bahiana
Gillespie, John Birks ‘Dizzy’ – Big 4
Gillespie, John Birks ‘Dizzy’ – In the Beginning (Prestige)
Gillespie, John Birks ‘Dizzy’ – Development of an American Artist (Smithsonian mail order)
Goodman, Benny – Carnegie Hall Concert
Goodman, Benny – Complete Vol 1 (1935)
Goodman, Benny – Complete Vol 2
Goodman, Benny - Complete Vol 3
Goodman, Benny - Complete Vol 4
Goodman, Benny - Complete Vol 5 (1937-38)
Gordon, Dexter – A Swingin’ Affair
Gordon, Dexter – Dexter Calling
Gordon, Dexter – Go!
Gordon, Dexter – Our Man in Paris
Gordon, Dexter – Montmartre Collection Vol 1 (Black Lion)
Gordon, Dexter – Panther


Haden, Charlie – Closeness
Haden, Charlie – Liberation Music Orchestra
Hancock, Herbie – Empyrean Isles
Hancock, Herbie – Maiden Voyage
Hancock, Herbie – Quintet
Hancock, Herbie – V.S.O.P.
Hawkins, Coleman - & the Trumpet Kings
Hawkins, Coleman – Duke Ellington Meets…
Hawkins, Coleman – Sirius
Holiday, Billie – God Bless the Child
Holiday, Billie – Lady Day
Holiday, Billie – Story Vol 1 (Columbia)
Holiday, Billie – Story Vol 2 (Columbia)
Holiday, Billie – Story Vol 3 (Columbia)
Holland, Dave – Conference of the Birds
Hubbard, Freddie – Breaking Point
Hubbard, Freddie – Freddie Hubbard (Blue Note)
Hubbard, Freddie – Goin’ Up
Hubbard, Freddie – Hub Tones
Hubbard, Freddie – Ready for Freddie


Jarrett, Keith – Solo Concerts
Jarrett, Keith – Staircase
Johnson, James P – Yamekraw (Folkways)
Jones, Elvin – Re-evaluations: Impulse Years


Lake, Oliver – Heavy Spirits
Lake, Oliver – Holding Together


McLean, Jackie – Destination Out
McLean, Jackie – Let Freedom Ring
McLean, Jackie – One Step Beyond
McLean, Jackie – Source (with Dexter Gordon)
Mingus, Charles – Better Git It in Your Soul (incs Mingus Ah Um)
Mingus, Charles – Tijuana Moods
Mingus, Charles – Wonderland
Mingus, Charles – Mingus Revisited
Mingus, Charles – Stormy Weather
Mingus, Charles – Great Concert
Mingus, Charles – Town Hall Concert (Fantasy)
Mingus, Charles – Right Now
Mingus, Charles – Black Saint & the Sinner Lady
Mingus, Charles – Changes One
Mingus, Charles – & Friends in Concert (CBS)
Mingus, Charles – Let My Children Hear Music
Mitchell, Roscoe – Congliptious
Mitchell, Roscoe – Old/Quartet
Mitchell, Roscoe – Sound
Modern Jazz Quartet – Best of (Atlantic)
Modern Jazz Quartet – European Concert
Modern Jazz Quartet – Fontessa
Modern Jazz Quartet – Modern Jazz Quartet (Atlantic)
Modern Jazz Quartet – Modern Jazz Quartet (Prestige) (First Recordings/Plays for Lovers)
Modern Jazz Quartet – One Never Knows
Modern Jazz Quartet – Pyramid
Modern Jazz Quartet – Third Stream Music
Monk, Thelonious – Complete Genius (Blue Note) (incs Genius of Mod. Music Vol 1 & 2)
Monk, Thelonious – Thelonious Monk (Prestige)
Monk, Thelonious – Brilliance
Monk, Thelonious – Misterioso
Monk, Thelonious – Pure Monk
Monk, Thelonious – In Action
Monk, Thelonious – & John Coltrane
Montgomery, Wes – Small Group Recordings
Morgan, Lee – Cornbread
Morgan, Lee – Search for a New Land
Morton, Jelly Roll – 1923-24 (Milestone)
Morton, Jelly Roll – New Orleans Rhythm Kings (Milestone)


Navarro, Theodore ‘Fats’ – Prime Source
Nichols, Herbie – Third World


Oliver, Joseph ‘King’ – Immortal (Milestone)
Oliver, Joseph ‘King’ – King Oliver’s Jazz Band 1923 (Smithsonian mail order)


Parker, Charles ‘Yardbird’ – Bird at the Roost
Parker, Charles ‘Yardbird’ – Charlie Parker (6LP) (Dial Recordings – complete)
Parker, Charles ‘Yardbird’ – Volumes 1-5 (Archive of Folk)
Parker, Charles ‘Yardbird’ – Echoes of an Era (with Dizzy Gillespie)
Parker, Charles ‘Yardbird’ – Encores
Parker, Charles ‘Yardbird’ – First Recordings (Onyx)
Parker, Charles ‘Yardbird’ – Giants of Jazz (Hall)
Parker, Charles ‘Yardbird’ – One Night at Birdland
Parker, Charles ‘Yardbird’ – Summit Meeting at Birdland
Parker, Charles ‘Yardbird’ – Takin’ Off
Parker, Charles ‘Yardbird’ – Savoy Recordings: Master Takes
Powell, Earl ‘Bud’ – Greatest Jazz Concert Ever
Powell, Earl ‘Bud’ – Amazing… Vol 1 (Blue Note)
Powell, Earl ‘Bud’ – Amazing… Vol 2 (Blue Note)
Powell, Earl ‘Bud’ – Genius of… (Verve)


Redman, Dewey – Old & New Dreams
Revolutionary Ensemble – People’s Republic
Rivers, Sam – Crystals
Rivers, Sam – Dave Holland/Sam Rivers
Rivers, Sam – Dave Holland/Sam Rivers Vol 2
Rivers, Sam – Streams
Roach, Max – Clifford Brown &… at Basin Street
Roach, Max – Clifford Brown &… Inc
Roach, Max - + 4
Rollins, Sonny – A Night at the Village Vanguard
Rollins, Sonny – Freedom Suite Plus (incs Freedom Suite)
Rollins, Sonny – More From the Vanguard
Rollins, Sonny – Newk’s Time
Rollins, Sonny – Saxophone Colossus & More (incs Saxophone Colossus)
Rollins, Sonny – Vol 2 (Blue Note)
Rollins, Sonny – Tenor Madness
Rollins, Sonny – Three Giants
Rollins, Sonny – Way Out West
Rollins, Sonny – Worktime
Russell, George – Ezz Thetics
Russell, George – New York, N.Y. & Jazz in the Space Age
Russell, George – Outer Thoughts
Russell, George – Essence of…/Concept


Schuller, Gunther – Jazz Abstractions
Shepp, Archie – Four for Trane
Shepp, Archie – Mama Too Tight
Shorter, Wayne – Native Dancer
Shorter, Wayne – Speak no Evil
Shorter, Wayne – Super Nova
Shorter, Wayne – All Seeing Eye
Silver, Horace – Blowin’ the Blues Away
Silver, Horace – Finger Poppin’
Silver, Horace - & the Jazz Messengers
Silver, Horace – Stylings of Silver


Tatum, Art – Art Tatum (Capitol)
Tatum, Art – God is in the House
Tatum, Art – Masterpieces (MCA)
Tatum, Art – Masterpieces Vol 2 (MCA) (incs James P Johnson recs)
Taylor, Cecil - Conquistador
Taylor, Cecil – Nefertiti, the Beautiful One Has Come
Taylor, Cecil – Unit Structures
Taylor, Cecil – Silent Tongues
Taylor, Cecil – Spring of Two J’s
Tolliver, Charles - Impact
Tolliver, Charles – Live at Slugg’s Vol 1
Tolliver, Charles - Live at Slugg’s Vol 2
Tolliver, Charles – Music Inc
Tyner, McCoy – Echoes of a Friend
Tyner, McCoy – Enlightenment
Tyner, McCoy – Expansions
Tyner, McCoy – Sahara
Tyner, McCoy – Supertrios
Tyner, McCoy – Trident


Vitous, Miroslav – Mountain in the Clouds


Weather Report – I Sing the Body Electric
Weather Report – Mysterious Traveller
Weather Report – Heavy Weather
Webster, Ben – Tenor Giants (with Coleman Hawkins)
Webster, Ben – Atmosphere for Lovers & Thieves
Weston, Randy – Little Niles


Young, Lester – Story Vol 1 (Columbia)
Young, Lester – Pres at His Very Best (Trip)
Young, Lester – Classic Tenors (Fly)
Young, Lester – Pres/Complete Savoy Recordings
Young, Lester – Aladdin Sessions
Young, Lester – Bird & Pres: the 1946 Concerts
Young, Lester – Pres Lives (Savoy)
Young, Lester – Pres and Teddy and Oscar


Complete list of gospel albums with 5 star reviews. All of these were in the 2nd guide.

Dixie Hummingbirds – Best of (Peacock)
Jackson, Mahalia – 1911-1972 (Kent)
Soul Stirrers – Featuring Sam Cooke
Supreme Angels – Supreme (Nashboro)