Vinyl-loving hipsters (redundant!) looking for a healthy dose of self-fulfilled prophecy, take heed: 101 Essential Rock Records ($40) is the perfect opportunity to simultaneously read up on your favorite retro music format and eschew the mainstream e-book fad. Gracing 260 pages, this compendium’s 300 record cover illustrations chronicle the “Golden Age” of vinyl — that bygone era bookended on one side by Beatlemania and the advent of Sony’s Walkman on the other. That the book includes record royalty like The Who, CCR, and The Allman Brothers Band is expected, but fascinating groups like The 13 Floor Elevators and The Incredible String Band also get plenty of play.
Essays by Iggy Pop, Graham Nash, Yoko Ono, David Bowie and myriad other vintage rockers compliment detailed, two-page layouts for each first-stamping original record cover. Other interesting extras include a pictorial tour of Jimi Hendrix’s personal record collection and a bonus photo essay, “Censored”, which shows off a smattering of album covers that were too risqué to hit shelves without a buzzkill-sized helping of political correctness.