So, hands please: Who assumed Pitchfork had already put out, like, a million books? It’s basically the oldest Web site on the Internet. Considering how little it takes these days, you’d think they’d have seized on the branding opportunities much sooner. But, no: Turns out Pitchfork—for the uninitiated, a hugely influential music site that has been spiritedly covering indie music and shaping hipster consciousness since it appeared in 1995—is just now getting ready to publish its first professional book.
According to Pitchfork editor in chief Scott Plagenhoef, the book will be a paperback guide to the 500 best songs released since 1977. It’ll be out in November from the Touchstone/Fireside imprint of Simon & Schuster, and will feature contributions from Pitchfork writers past and present.
Pitchfork’s president and founder Ryan Schreiber will co-edit the book with Mr. Plagenhoef. The two of them chose the songs covered in the book, Mr. Plagenhoef said in an e-mail, “with a bit of advice and assistance from a handful of staffers.”
Asked why they decided to do a list of songs instead of albums or artists, Mr. Plagenhoef respectfully cited the culture. “Listeners are increasingly engaging with songs outside of their parent albums, and some of the most influential and exciting music of the past three decades was released on 7” and 12” records or EPs rather than on LPs—not just in stereotypical ‘singles’ genres such as pop, hip-hop, dance, and dancehall, but in punk and indie as well.”
Jud Laghi, a young agent at LJK Literary Management, negotiated the deal. Mr. Laghi has previously repped Robert Lanham’s The Hipster Handbook, John Sellers’ Perfect From Now on: How Indie Rock Saved My Life and Jason Bitner’s Cassette From My Ex, a book about love and “the lost art of the mixtape.”