Originally published in 2001, Reason to Rock is a complete book about rock music that begins where other works end. This is not an encyclopedia of facts and dates and names, but the story of the rise and fall of an artistic movement.

Within these pages we will first isolate the elements of rock music: those aesthetic components that make rock music a distinct and worthy art form. Then we will talk about some of the artists and their unique contributions to the development of the form. Then, for each artist discussed, we will look at one of their key recordings in detail, and analyze what makes it work as a great work of art — classics such as “All Along The Watchtower,” “Like A Rolling Stone” and “Sympathy For The Devil.”

Finally, in closing, we will talk about the forces that have sadly contributed to the decline of the form.

And oh, by the way, the entire book is available here, on the Web. And it’s completely free, without even any advertisements, other than links to Amazon.com to allow you to purchase the recordings I recommend.

Read on, and discover for yourself why teachers, students and fans have said things like: “your language and insights are extraordinary” and “I've been trying to find a site like this for years.”

And once done with the book, check out the blog for Herb's more recent writings on music, film and art.

Next: Epigraph