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2006: What's New in Non-Fiction?

Science DetectivesFlat-Out Rock: Ten Great Bands of the 60s, by Mike Tanner - ($14.95Cdn, Annick Press).

The 1960s were the arguably the most important period in the history of rock. It was when rock stopped being greasy kids' stuff and became a real cultural force for change.

Flat-Out Rock celebrates that era: naming ten of the most important performers of the 1960s.

Author Mike Tanner discusses the usual groups that any rock writer would mention. There are The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin . . . these are all bands your parents, or your grandparents, likely have in their CD collections. Also, ten great "bands" isn't totally correct since many of them were solo performers, like Bob Dylan.

He tells the reader about the big events that put many of their songs in perspective. He even shows what it was like to see The Who in a sweaty London club.

Most of Tanner's choices are good (if a bit safe), but he makes some mistakes. For instance, he never even mentions James Brown, who many have called the most influential performer in 20th century popular music.

If you're getting interested in rock n'roll, Flat-Out Rock is a good place to start. But once you read other books, you'll start to see its weaknesses

The author: Mike Tanner is a writer, musician and song writer Canadian magazine for kids aged 9 to 14.

Guest Reviewer: This book was reviewed by Dominic von Riedemann, a Toronto-based writer and musician.