The criteria for ranking the songs is strictly from author Rusty Southwick's assessment, with no direct influence coming from chart history, sales, radio play or other critical review. The entire list was compiled exclusively by Southwick, who personally listened to and critiqued all 5000 of the ranked songs and over 12,000 of the honorable mentions (with some other content being included primarily for its historical value). Various components of song quality are taken into account through systematic analysis, including melody, songwriting, vocals, lyrics, virtuosity, originality, guitar presence, keyboard interplay, drum backup, other instrumental contributions, and more. A graded point system per song is used as a guide for ranking the albums, along with general album cohesiveness, and the combined song and album ranking is used as a guide to formulate the artist rankings.
There are no shortcuts to compiling a list such as this. The only way it was possible was to individually sample these and many thousands of other songs, make cross-comparisons using a consistent set of criteria, and then meticulously pare them down to a select group. What a lot of music fans don't realize is that the pop charts are merely the beginning of the discussion, and there's a lot more music out there than the charts can adequately promote. Rock Omnibus helps you find what you've missed if you've relied on the purveyors of the almighty smash hit single to educate you. Culturally speaking, they bend with the trends in order to reap short-term benefits, but it doesn't necessarily reflect the best material available. This is where Rock Omnibus comes in — an indispensible resource for filling in the gaps in your playlist, whether it be from current tracks or earlier eras. Even online radio stations are not going to be this thorough and this deep.
Rock Omnibus: A one-of-a-kind book
423 pages packed full of artist anthologies, the perfect gift for any music fan. The premiere 2011 edition of Rock Omnibus was published in January 2011. To get all the information about Rock Omnibus, go here to the Fact Sheet
. Our extensive, no-nonsense list was culled from listening to songs based on recommendations from hundreds of websites, bringing it all together and placing Rock Omnibus at the center of significant rock n' roll listings from the 1950s to now. The Rock Omnibus Project begins here with our first edition, encompassing music from 1950 to 2010. Readers will be able to submit listing recommendations online, in preparation for future editions. Rock Omnibus will continue to evolve into an even greater resource as time goes on. To learn about popular and rock music from 1950-2010, this is the reference that gives you access to the most important listings, without having to wade through entire catalogs one artist at a time. This will be the resource used by serious music buffs to get their collections up to date in their chosen area, be it classic rock, pop, folk, progressive, R&B, jazz, hard rock, metal, easy listening, country or others.
See our Complete Artist Listing
In the book's first section, the 17,800 songs are grouped in artist anthologies for easy referencing. Album and track time are included for each of the top 5000 ranked songs. There are also rankings of the top 1000 artists and the top 1000 albums. Breakdowns of top songs and albums by year/decade, as well as top artists by decade. Also charts showing trends through the years. Click here
if you'd like to refer any of your friends to Rock Omnibus.
The above graph gives a representation of the number of songs by year in the Rock Omnibus Top 17,800 Rankings. The hot spots shown also take into consideration how high the rankings of the songs are for each period, with the highest being between 1967-1979 and 1983-1987. Find out in the book how this curiously mirrors the pattern of the quantity of #1 songs on the charts within a given year. For example, a year where songs commonly go a couple months at #1 and there are only about 10-15 #1's that year may have a correlation to the lack of high level material out there at the time, with the premise being that there is lower competition to challenge the #1 songs. Conversely, in fertile times, #1 songs change over on a regular basis because there's much to supplant the current #1 with.
Genres Included in Rock Omnibus
Incorporating rock, pop, jazz, folk, country, and related genres, with the main focus being on rock and then pop, Rock Omnibus spans the full gamut of rock and related styles, also sampling genres and subgenres such as progressive, metal, blues, reggae, R&B, easy listening, soundtracks, new age, electronica, and others.
Note: Due to considerable sentiment by rock aficionados to maintain a distinction between rock styles and the rap genre, as well as to provide a counterbalance to the more recent chart trends highlighting a sizable percentage of rap styles, our listings do not include strictly rap/hip-hop artists or songs. This is also to further establish Rock Omnibus as a purely rock-based listing.