American Record Guide

Founded in 1935; American Record Guide is America’s oldest classical music review magazine.

In 1992 it absorbed the editorial side of Musical America, so it also covers important concerts, orchestras, and musicians on the American scene.

We cover only classical music. There are up to 500 reviews in every issue, written by a freelance staff of over 80 writers and music critics. Many issues have an “Overview”, an extensive survey of recordings of one composer or one area of the repertoire, such as “Guitar Music”.

“Independence” is a guiding principle: in an industry dominated by advertising, ARG remains free of advertiser influence, which results in few ads and no puff pieces for record labels or artists.

ARG is no longer sold in most stores. A few independent stores still carry it, but distribution thru the large chains (like Barnes & Noble) has become too much a money-loser for us. Statistics show that the internet is not killing off magazines in general; more people are reading them than ever. But we hope you will subscribe. Subscribers are what keeps us going.
Can’t afford to subscribe?

Most Americans can certainly afford anything they really care about, but we know that people can be stuck in a difficult period financially–perhaps loss of a job or illness or retirement. We have a fund to support subscriptions for such people–a fund supplied by generous readers, partly in memory of Ralph Lucano. We don’t think giving ARG away is generally a good idea, because it costs us to produce it. But this fund will enable you to read it even if you are unable to afford the cost of a subscription or renewal. Do let us know by mail, phone, or e-mail.

CD disposal
Used CDs that you want to throw away can be recycled.

No Need to Log-in
Anyone can see most of this website without logging in. There is no need for passwords and such. Log-in is required for the cumulative index and for the current issue. Only current subscribers can log in. Follow directions. Past issues cannot be read here, but you can order them without logging in.

No Voice-Mail at ARG
The purpose of the telephone—and its glory—is instant communication. If we are here, we answer the phone. To let a machine answer the phone is to delay the communication, thus defeating the very purpose of the telephone. Our phone number is 513-941-1116. You will not get a machine.

“Every magazine that deserves the name has a character, a style, a point of view, a circumscribed area of concern, a conception of how discourse ought to be conducted; if it lacks these things, it is not a magazine but a periodical anthology of random writings.”
—Norman Podhoretz