They Could Have Been Bigger Than EMI: A Discography of Now Defunct Independent R: By Joachim Gaertner, 567 pgs. By Todd Taylor

With respect to my own lot in life—a writer who loves punk rock—no matter what anybody writes about punk rock, it will never eclipse the music itself. Vinyl is the lifeblood of punk. It’s its monetary, artistic, and psychic currency. Something doesn’t “really exist” in punk if it’s never been released on vinyl. That’s just the facts. The other fact is that some German punks have great databasing, cataloging, and organizational skills. This book, in accompaniment with the Flex! book, are exhaustive, itemized (alphabetically) lists that any punk historian shouldn’t be without. This book is 567 pages of names of labels, graphics from covers, and a list of each piece of vinyl released by every label between 007 Records and Zyzzle Records, along with the release date. If you’re looking for narrative or a critique of the music, look elsewhere. If you’re looking to find out what, say, Rabid Cat Records put out in 1984 and what the matrix number of the record is—or any information on tens of thousands of releases that are scattered far and wide on the internet (if even that)—this is the tome for you. A cross-referencing punk’s delight. –Todd (Pure Pop For Now People. Order directly from Joachim: [email protected])