Compiler of genre-specific music guides / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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MusicHound (often stylized as musicHound) was a compiler of genre-specific music guides published in the United States by Visible Ink Press between 1996 and 2002. After publishing eleven album guides, the MusicHound series was sold to London-based Music Sales Group,[1] whose company Omnibus Press had originally distributed the books outside America. The series' founding editor was Gary Graff,[2] formerly a music critic with the Detroit Free Press.[1]

Subtitled "The Essential Album Guide", each publication typically contained entries providing an overview of an artist's career and dividing their work into categories such as "what to buy", "what's next", "what to avoid" and "worth searching for".[3] Among the MusicHound album guides were titles dedicated to rock, blues, classical, jazz, world music, swing, and soundtrack recordings. Further to the canine analogy in the series title, albums were graded according to a "bone" rating system: five bones constituting the highest score, down to a bold-rendered "woof!", signifying "dog food".[4]

Graff has said that he had envisioned the books as buyer's guides, specifically: "something akin to a good record store clerk or that fellow shopper you meet while you're looking through the racks and with whom you strike up a spontaneous conversation".[1] Gale-owned Visible Ink also published a series of VideoHound film guides, beginning with 1996's Golden Movie Retriever.[5]