What is a 33 1/3?

33 1/3 is a series of short books about a wide variety of albums, by artists ranging from James Brown to the Beastie Boys. Launched in September 2003, the series now contains 122 titles and is acclaimed and loved by fans, musicians and scholars alike.

Nice things people have said:

The range of the series, especially in its second 50 titles, is not just broader, but bolder, as the writers challenge the accepted Boomer notion of a “rock classic.” There’s something incredibly subversive and compelling about the notion of elevating They Might Be Giants and Dinosaur Jr to the same level as Pink Floyd and the Band. A new title on Koji Kondo’s music for Super Mario Bros. not only expands how we define the concept of an album but reconsiders the very notion of what constitutes pop music itself. The 33 1/3 series has revealed a way that we can save the album: by dislocating it from history and letting a new generation develop their own canon. –Stephen M. Deusner, Pitchfork

It was only a matter of time before a clever publisher realized that there is an audience for whom Exile on Main Street or Electric Ladyland are as significant and worthy of study as The Catcher in the Rye or Middlemarch…The series is freewheeling and eclectic, ranging from minute rock-geek analysis to idiosyncratic personal celebration–The New York Times Book Review, 2006 

A growing Alexandria of rock criticism – Los Angeles Times, 2008

Ideal for the rock geek who thinks liner notes just aren’t enough–Rolling Stone

One of the coolest publishing imprints on the planet–Bookslut

These are for the insane collectors out there who appreciate fantastic design, well-executed thinking, and things that make your house look cool. Each volume in this series takes a seminal album and breaks it down in startling minutiae. We love these. We are huge nerds.—Vice

A brilliant series…each one a word of real love—NME (UK)

Passionate, obsessive, and smart—Nylon

Religious tracts for the nock ‘n’ roll faithful—Uncut (UK)

For those of you who really like to know everything there is to know about an album, you’d do well to check out Continuum’s “33 1/3” series of books.”—Pitchfork


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