The Heart of Rock and Soul by Dave MarshRead about another book on the list.
Marsh celebrates the 7-inch single, listing what he considers to be the 1,001 greatest 45s in order (I won't spoil it by telling you what's number one). I love the intriguing, unlikely connections he makes to show how the story of pop can be seen as a whole: Nolan Chance's eerie doo-wop hit The Wind is described as "a prophecy of Michael Jackson 20 years before he came along … if it had arrived in a meteorite shower it couldn't have been any spookier". The only thing wrong with the book is its clunky title, but then it was written in the mid-80s when pop was a dirty word.
Also see: Greil Marcus's five top books on rock music, Nile Rodgers's top ten music books, Samuel Muston's ten best music memoirs, and Kitty Empire's ten best rock autobiographies.