Fans Rock Out to Online Music Reviews

Were the Beatles a better band before they released "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band?" Were 1980s "indie-rock" band the Replacements a better band after they signed to a major label? Is Led Zeppelin the most overrated band in history?

If these topics can keep you and your friends engaged for hours at a time, then face it, you are a rock music geek.

Don't be ashamed. Many long, tall, cold ones have been downed during these sometimes heated debates. But when it comes to the Internet, geeks tend to agree on the music Web sites that satisfy their adenoidal tendencies.

They aren't digital download sites. They don't offer slick live footage and they aren't run by billion-dollar media conglomerates. They are sites that offer vast databases of information and have built their fan base mostly through word-of-mouth.

The best example is the All Music Guide (http://www.allmusic.com), which is one of the most comprehensive searchable databases of artists, albums, songs, labels and individual musicians.

Each entry includes a comprehensive biography of the artist and reviews of most records in that artist's catalog with details on the dates of release and Billboard chart positions.

The site, which garners 4 million visitors a month, ranks No. 8 in the music category, as compiled by Web site measurement service Hitwise, behind behemoths Launch Yahoo, MTV and VH1, but ahead of such luminaries as Rolling Stone magazine's Web site (http:/www.rollingstone.com) and Billboard magazine's site (http://www.billboard.com).

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News source: Yahoo!

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