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When you bring books and Rock & Roll together, magic can happen.  

Books have served as inspiration for many Rock & Roll songs. Here are just a few: Led Zepplin’s “Ramble On” references elements of The Lord of the Rings series.  The Police’s “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” was inspired by Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. Then there’s the lyric from Red Hot Chili Peppers’s “Yertle The Turtle” inspired by Dr. Seuss’s book of the same name. 

With a comprehensive Rock & Roll themed coffee table book, our guests can take a deep dive into specific elements of the genre.  These books help shine a light on the legacy of artists and bands through stunning imagery and essays. Often it can be a walk down memory lane, while still surprising us with glimpses of life beyond the stage lights and recording studios. 

The good news is there are many Rock & Roll themed coffee table books available today that are the perfect addition to your home and a great conversation piece.  We’ve compiled a list of 13 that could be ones you might want to have in your collection.

  • 1) History of Rock in the 1970s: The Complete Story of a Momentous Musical Decade

    Oh, what a decade it was!  The Rolling Stones, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, The Eagles, and many more are featured in this book from UK magazine Uncut.  You’ll find articles and interviews from the archives of NME and Melody Maker inside as well as hundreds of photographs, album covers, and posters.

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  • 2) Ultimate Star Guitars: The Guitars That Rocked the World, Expanded Edition

    Guitar journalist, Dave Hunter, brings us the stories behind more than 140 guitars and 120 guitarists including Kurt Cobain: 1969 Competition Series Fender Mustang, Edward Van Halen: “Frankenstrat“, and Neil Young: 1953 Gibson Les Paul, “Old Black.”

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  • 3) Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll

    The authors of this tome come with some pretty impressive credentialsDobney is Frederick P. Rose Curator in Charge of the Department of Musical Instruments at The MET and Inciardi is curator and director of acquisitions at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, OHGet the inside scoop on all from Louis Jordan’s alto saxophone and John Lennon’s Rickenbacker to the drum set owned by Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, Lady Gaga’s keytar, and more.

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  • 4) Women Who Rock: Bessie to Beyonce. Girl Groups to Riot Grrrl

    Showcasing more than 100 female musicians spanning genres ranging from rock & roll to country and folk to hip hop, this 416-page book celebrates women who have influenced popular musicSome of the talented artists featured include Big Mama Thorton, Carole King, Janet Jackson, M.I.A, Amy Winehouse, and many more.

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  • 5) Immortal Axes: Guitars That Rock 

    Photographer, Lisa S. Johnson, gives us not only brilliant images of guitars belonging to B.B. King, Kurt Cobain, St. Vincent, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and more than one hundred and fifty icons of rock, she also tells us about the history of these amazing instruments. This book would hit the right note with any guitar fan.

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  • 6) The Beatles: Get Back

    This NYT bestseller takes the reader on a journey through the recording of the album Let It Be with hundreds of images from photographers Ethan A Russell and Linda Eastman (the future Mrs. McCartney).  It’s a Must Have for any Beatles fan.

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  • 7) The Rolling Stones: Unzipped

    This one is a solid gift idea for fans of the bad boys of rock & roll. Inside this 288-page book, you’ll find commentary by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ronnie Wood along with images of stage outfits, artwork, notebooks, stunning photos and so much more.

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  • 8) Rock Covers. 40th Ed.

    We each have our favorite album covers. Many are serious works of art. Rock Covers is a compilation of more than 750 remarkable album covers. From Elvis to The Cure and hundreds in between, each cover is accompanied by a fact sheet listing giving you fascinating details.

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  • 9) KISS: 1977-1980

    If “Rock and Roll All Night” and “Detroit Rock City” are among your favorite songs and you’re a member of the Kiss Army, this is the book for you.  Thanks to the iconic pictures by award-winning photographer Lynn Goldsmith, KISS: 1977 – 1980, this 340-page book takes us back to a pivotal time in the band’s history.

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  • 10) David Bowie All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track

    Author Benoît Clerc has created a catalog of every album and every track ever released by David Bowie. Want to know details behind Bowie’s songs like how it was written, recorded, who was playing what instrument and more?  Then this 692-page tome is a Must Have. 

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  • 11) Summer of Love: Art, Fashion, and Rock and Roll

    Published in association with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, this coffee table-worthy book could be a conversation starter at your next party. Change was in the air during the summer of ‘67 that would change art, fashion, music, and politicsThis 344-page book combines essays with compelling images that capture the magic of that important time in our history.

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  • 12) Alfred Wertheimer. Elvis and the Birth of Rock and Roll

    In 1956, photographer Alfred Wertheimer was asked to photograph a young man who would go on to become The King of Rock & Roll.  This book features 300+ of the nearly 3,000 photographs Wertheimer took of Presley in ‘56 and ‘58.  Through his lens, we see an artist on verge of life-changing success.

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  • 13) Booze & Vinyl Vol. 2: 70 More Albums + 140 New Recipes

    LOVE the idea behind this bookGreat music paired with fun drink recipes that match the mood of the albumFor each of the 70 albums spotlighted, you’ll be treated to topical cocktail recipes. For example, Rumours from Fleetwood Mac, Side B, is paired with a recipe for a Black Velvet and The Blueprint from Jay-Z, Side B, is paired with a recipe for a Cognac Old-Fashioned. Cheers!

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