Rock’s Backpages


Rock’s Backpages, which I co-founded in 2000 with Mark Pringle and Martin Colyer, is the largest online database of pop music writing in the world. The database contains an ever-expanding collection of primary-source, full-text music writing. Sourced from the pages of the music and mainstream press, it is a library of articles (reviews, interviews, features and more) from the ’50s to present day and includes a growing collection of exclusive audio interviews.

There are now over 36,000 articles on the site and over 600 audio interviews. These feature over 5,000 artists and range from 500-word album (or concert) reviews to 15,000-word interviews and features.

Written by over 650 of the biggest names in music journalism, they are taken from the widest possible range of publications in the US and UK: from Creem and Trouser Press to Rolling Stone, and from New Musical Express and Melody Maker to MOJO.

The archive covers all types of popular music from the ’50s to the present: from the Stones to the Stone Roses, Elvis to Eminem, and Aaliyah to ZZ Top. There are, for example, 160 articles on the Beach Boys and 250 on the Rolling Stones.


“Reading rock articles was a crucial part of my education and formation and inspiration. It’s about more than fandom, it’s about personal politics. The great thing about Rock’s Backpages is that it’s been done by experts, by people who’ve got a feeling for it. For me it’s definitive.” – Johnny Marr

“RBP is an essential acquisition for large public and academic libraries serving serious students a wide range of music, from blues and country to jazz, reggae, and, of course, rock and roll.”Library Journal, April 2014

No student of popular music interested in doing substantive research can afford to be without Rock’s Backpages. It’s an invaluable tool and above all else a great treasure trove of sophisticated writing.” – Jason King, New York University

More on RBP here.