The Online Library of Rock and Roll

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  • Rock’s Backpages at
  • is the largest database of rock journalism online, featuring over 14,000 articles on artists from Elvis Presley to Eminem, the Rolling Stones to the Stone Roses, and Amy Winehouse to the White Stripes.
  • Rock’s Backpages writers
  • Rock’s Backpages features the work of many of the world’s best-known music journalists past and present, including Lester Bangs, Paul Morley, Danny Baker, Nick Kent, Lenny Kaye, Nick Tosches, Carol Cooper, Dave March, Penny Valentine, Ben Fong-Torres, Charles Shaar Murray and Jon Savage.
  • Rock’s Backpages archive
  • Rock’s Backpages archive draws on numerous publications from Creem and Trouser Press to Rolling Stone, and from New Musical Express and Melody Maker to MOJO.
  • The archive is fully searchable by artist, genre, writer or keyword (allowing search by album or single title, date etc).
  • Rock’s Backpages audio
  • Rock’s Backpages also features a library of over 100 audio interviews, including classic conversations with Jimi Hendrix, Mick Jagger, Morrissey, Little Richard, Arthur Lee, Joni Mitchell, Johnny Cash, Nick Cave and Tom Waits.
  • Audio files are in 128kbs mp3 files.
  • Rock’s Backpages academic
  • Rock’s Backpages has proved to be of enormous value to university, college and school libraries, providing an invaluable resource for all students of music, media, cultural history, journalism and many other subjects.
  • Here are just a few of our Academic Subscribers in the UK, USA, Australia, Oslo, Finland, Denmark and New Zealand…there are many more!
  • Rock’s Backpages currently holds over thirteen thousand articles. These feature over two thousand artists and range from 500-word album (or concert) reviews to 10,000-word interviews and features.
  • Written by over three hundred of the biggest names in rock journalism - it’s worth taking a closer look…
  • Rock’s Backpages library
  • …Search by ARTIST… like every search in Rock’s Backpages it couldn’t be easier, just use the A-Z drop down menus!
  • Captain Beefheart will find you over 40 articles on the artist, also known as Don Van Vliet, including Reviews & Interviews from Rolling Stone, Melody Maker, NME, ZigZag, Creem, and much more…
  • Rock’s Backpages library
  • …Quick Search by WRITER… the drop down menu will take you to the homepage for that writer, usually with a brief biography of the scribe in question.
  • Jon Savage brought us articles on Bowie, Buzzcocks, Clash, Elvis Costello, REM, Bjork, Joy Division, Kraftwerk, Nirvana, Lou Read, Iggy Pop and
  • more…
  • Rock’s Backpages library
  • …Quick Search by SUBJECT… to find articles on a particular genre or subject.
  • Read about Americana, Britpop, Bubblegum, Doowop, Art Rock, Payola, Riders, Groupies, Politics, Festivals, the fascinating Rock’s Backpages own ‘Best of’ Lists and
  • more…
  • Rock’s Backpages library
  • …Quick Search by MEDIA… for all Publications featured in the library.
  • The extensive list of Publications includes the International Times, Crawdaddy, Rock Australia, Radio Times, NME, Dazed & Confused, Rolling Stone, Mojo, Kerrang, Seattle Weekly, The Times, New Yorker, The Scotsman and of course
  • more…
  • Rock’s Backpages library
  • …Advanced Searching allows you to filter results by artist, subject/genre, writer, publication and date, in addition to your keyword search.
  • In this instance we searched for articles written by Paul Morley in the NME that contain the text ‘Joy Division’.
  • At the bottom of every page you will find a ‘Search Again’ box!
  • Rock’s Backpages feedback
  • At Rock’s Backpages we love to hear any kind of feedback, be it praise or ideas for improvement!
  • Here are some testimonials from a few of our Academic Subscribers.
  • “Rock’s Backpages has become an invaluable resource to students studying music, media and communication at the University of Leeds. On our popular music BA the archive provides material to support study on genre, politics and subcultures for essays at all levels. As a library for primary sources for the popular music journalism module I run it is perfect.”
  • Simon Warner, Senior Teaching Fellow, School of Music,
  • University of Leeds
  • “For anyone exploring the history of popular music, Rock’s Backpages is a goldmine. Its vast yet constantly expanding database of hard-to-find primary materials is high in quality, wide in scope, easy to access, and fully cross-referenced.”
  • Dale Carter, Associate Professor of American Studies,
  • University of Aarhus Denmark
  • “I have made extensive use of Rock’s Backpages over the past couple of years. Not only am I impressed by its ease and speed of access, but also by the way that it is constantly improving and updating its archive. I consider it an invaluable asset to any researcher or serious fan of the subject.”
  • Rock’s Backpages endnote!
  • Rock music journalism is a unique niche, and a peculiarly self-referential and exclusive one. The barrier to entry is low, especially in the era of filesharing, podcasting, and blogging, but with any given article, essay, polemic, or review, the observer maybe almost as interesting as the observed…To look back on the rock writing of yesteryear is to see how the attitudes of the audiences, as well as those of musicians, have changed – and how they have remained the same.”
  • - Williams, Genevieve, Music Library Association (Notes- Volume 63, Number 1, September 2006, pp. 155-157)
  • “Rock’s Backpages is as comprehensive as a Google search, but with less insane liars.”
  • - Lauren Laverne
  • “There’s no finer website for the Archivalist snob than Rock’s Backpages.”
  • -
  • “Rock’s Backpages is as important to my research in writing books as Graham Green.”
  • - Andrew Loog Oldham
  • “Rock’s Backpages is an invaluable tool to remind me of what was really going on in the ’60s and ’70s when I started out in this wonderful business.”
  • - David Enthoven (Manager, Robbie Williams)
  • The Online Library of Rock and Roll
  • Find out more about the
  • Rock’s Backpages team at
  • To request a free trial email
  • or call
  • Paul Kelly: +44 (0)7590 317 326
  • Tony Keys: +44 (0)7721 437 516

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