How to locate compilations.

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  • Updated 5 years ago
How do I locate compilation albums of a certain genre, say 60's San Francisco sound?
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Ron McElroy

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Posted 5 years ago

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Andy DeNardi

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(disclosure) I have no affiliation with AllMusic, I just like to answer random questions

Try the Advanced Search at the top of the page.
  • Select Pop/Rock and choose Acid Rock as a sub-genre.  
You can check Psychedelic/Garage too, it's multiple choice.  But that category adds in a lot of stuff that isn't what you're looking for as well as what you want.  You can click on the filter names at the top of the list to cross them out.  They don't have a sub-genre for Sixties West Coast Rock, so you're out of luck there.  There are also some releases that are mis-filed under other categories.
  • Although SF rock would typcally be 1967 to 1970, leave the Release Dates field blank.  Compilations are listed by date of release rather than era covered
  • All Music Ratings are multiple choice.
Not every album is rated though, so you could miss some good ones.  They really need a "no rating" choice there so that you get both the highly rated and the non-rated.  You'll have to experiment with Recording Types.  Various Artists seems logical but some albums are mis-categorized.  Then there are live compilations, and some compilations mis-filed under Main Albums.  It sometimes is tricky.

  • I don't trust the Moods or Themes categories and would leave them blank. The folks here feel it's vital so I just humor them.
Using the criteria above, I get two pages of semi-relevant material.  Not too impressive, but I honestly think that within those results you've got the core of the San Francisco sound.  Barring a few obscure compilations, that's the best you'll do without going to collections by specific artists.

Ultimately, I think your search is too specific for the definitions that AllMusic has defined.  Your best bet would be to ask around on forums and blogs and to google "San Francisco Sound".  Wikipedia has a good listing of bands under that search string; just in case you're too young to have lived through the period.  I dislike that style of rock so I can't offer any suggestions but one...The Golden Age of Underground Radio, while not strictly SF Rock, is a good sampler of what was going on out there.  It's too bad that Time-Life Music never did a West Coast Series; although expensive, they always did a good job.
(Edited)
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Zac Johnson, Official Rep

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Thanks Andy.
I got pretty good results looking at these filters:
Styles: ( Acid Rock or Psychedelic Pop or Psychedelic/Garage ) 
Recording Types: Various Artists 
Moods: ( Hypnotic or Spacey or Trippy )

Another option is to take a look at the lists of Albums for the styles mentioned:

http://www.allmusic.com/style/acid-rock-ma0000012327/albums
http://www.allmusic.com/style/psychedelic-pop-ma0000011915/albums
http://www.allmusic.com/subgenre/psychedelic-garage-ma0000002800/albums

Also, I know Andy mentioned that he wished we had a "no rating" setting, and in fact if you leave all of the AllMusic Rating boxes un-checked, it will return albums with or without ratings.

Additionally, once you have some albums coming back in the results, you can click on the headings at the top of each column to re-sort your selections by Year, Artist, Album, or AllMusic Rating.
(Edited)
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Andy DeNardi

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Also, I know Andy mentioned that he wished we had a "no rating" setting, and in fact if you leave all of the AllMusic Rating boxes un-checked, it will return albums with or without ratings.
What I'd like to see is an "unrated" box that can be checked.  If I leave everything unchecked, I'll get 1 and 2 star albums.  I don't want those, they're crap; at least in AMG's opinion.  I want to see highly rated albums (4s and 5s) AND albums that you're never going get around to rating because there otherwise would be dozens (I'm being kind here) of records that would be missed.  Some broad searches return fifteen or twenty pages and I don't want to have to toggle back and forth on the sort order for the ratings column.

But I'm not in a hurry, you should get that Bryan Adams discography up first.