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The Essential Rock Discography 1st Edition: v. 1 [Paperback]

Martin C. Strong
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Oct 2006
The Essential Rock Discography Vol 1 is the ultimate concise reference guide to the biographical titbits, evolving band lineups, anecdotes and track listings of modern pop and rock bands. Updating and encapsulating all the crucial information from the formidable Great Rock Discography, this new tome retains a wide spectrum of facts perfect for the ardent music lover, pub-quiz devotee and general pop fan.

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The Essential Rock Discography 1st Edition: v. 1 + The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll: Completely Revised and Updated
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Product details

  • Paperback: 1264 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books (4 Oct 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841959855
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841959856
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 541,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A killer tome... this one can be safely filed under 'unbelievable'." Fred Dellar, NME "There isn't a better guide on the market" Guardian "An essential for music obsessives everywhere." Mojo "Insanely meticulous" Independent "A music fan's Bible." Daily Record"

About the Author

MARTIN C. STRONG has been researching and compiling discographies for around 25 years, among them The Great Metal Discography, The Great Alternative and Indie Discography, The Great Psychedelic Discography and, of course, The Great Rock Discography and The Essential Rock Discography. He is currently working on the second installment of Lights, Camera, Soundtracks which focuses on classical soundtracks and film scores. He lives in Falkirk, Scotland. BRENDON GRIFFIN has worked sporadically on The Great Rock Discography series since the late 90s. His work has also appeared in Songlines and Record Collector, and he's a regular contributor to HMV Choice. When not fielding exacting calls from Martin, he's often wandering abroad for Rough Guides, contributing to the West Africa, Central America, Bolivia, Spain and Portugal titles, and writing Spain: 25 Ultimate Experiences. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife Erika.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what it was 30 Dec 2006
Format:Hardcover
A quick gander at my music collection reveals numerous artists I found through previous versions of this book. It was rightly entitled "Great Rock Discography" thanks to exhaustive track listings, expansive comments and the author's personal scores for albums. This "Essential Rock Discography" is the eighth edition and it retains his distinctive approach whilst making improvements to the overall appearance of the book.

All this is good, but the word "Essential" belies a hatchet job. Over 400 entries have been hacked from the previous edition to create a purer "rock" category. It seems that all remaining Jazz and Blues artists and much of Rap, Dance, Folk and Country have been excised, even if the artist concerned was also a rock musician. Rock and Roll stems from Blues and Country and many artists are influenced by genres outside of rock. So, for me, a more inclusive approach would be appropriate. Pre-Beatles Rock is very poorly represented here and greater emphasis has been placed on keeping things "contemporary" which is not necessarily of great import for music collectors. I fear the only reasoning behind this is the intention to increase the frequency of new editions to generate more income.

Why remove entries for many of the architects of the music we know today? Quite apart from the great blues artists we have also lost Bo Diddley, Dick Dale, Woody Guthrie, the Last Poets, Hank Williams and Duane Eddy all of whom are likely to be more significant than the latest NME-hyped band. And more recent innovators like Aphex Twin, DJ Shadow and Talk Talk are also given the axe.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Another narrow collection of personal views. 18 Jun 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Once again, Strong has missed a golden opportunity to put together a really excellent, indispensible piece of work. He still lets his own opinions get in the way of the facts - unforgivable in what is meant to be a work of reference. Also, despite being Scottish myself, I really have to say there are far too many Scottish acts in here who really don't merit the attention. I also can't agree with the earlier reviewer regarding the practice of referring readers to earlier editions of the book. At this price, not everyone will buy every edition, and it is very frustrating when the precise information you need is not included in the new edition. This practice also alienates new readers - can you imagine buying a dictionary which refers you to earlier editions for the meaning of a word ?
I am trying not to be too negative, because I want Strong to get it right - he is nearly there - a decent editor would really help!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference guide for all ages 30 Nov 2000
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I had been looking for a book like this for many years and was overwhelmed when I first picked it up in the shop. An hour later and I was still reading it and just had to buy it!! Now this book has enlightened me as to what CD to buy for any band worth listening to (even bands I had never heard of!) The information is so well set out and easy to digest with every album & single released by the included artists. Great for newbies who would like to purchase some of the "Classic" albums of all time, just look for the 10/10 ratings and you will not be disapointed. The hardback is a bit weighty and cumbersome but worth it never the less. Just one complaint......nothing on the great man himself Frank Sinatra!!
Well worth the asking price, a must for all music enthusiasts
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Josh
Format:Hardcover
`The Bible for all music fans'. That's a statement which, even if you tried, couldn't be more accurate. The Essential Rock Discography (or, maybe as I'll refer to it in future, TERD), consists of 1250 pages...a lot, yes. The amount could give the actual Bible a run for its money. But every single one of these pages is, literally, stuffed with information. Have you ever wanted to find out a colossal amount of biographical information on your favourite bands, and anonymous bands too? Now's your chance. If you buy TERD you're, guaranteed, going to be overwhelmed at the fact of how filled with information it is. It also, as mentioned on the blurb, contains over 100 full page photographs...which is a good thing if you want to recap on exactly what a specific band looks like. The depth Martin C. Strong goes into about every single rock band / artist on the planet is peculiarly mindblowing, if you fully understand what I mean by that phrase. It's not a negative one, by the way.
If you're wondering why this review, probably, seems a bit vague and rather slurred it's because it's just such a good book I'm a bit stuck on what to tell budding purchasers about it.
It's simply fantastic, that's a factual remark. For music enthusiasts I, for the life of me, can't think of a single volume that would be of more use or more interesting & joyous to read (joyous? Sounds a bit of a weird phrase, yeah...but it is, seriously).
So there we have it. My review on TERD, The Essential Rock Discography. My advisement would be to GABIN (Go And Buy It NOW).
Here's a certainty: you won't be disappointed.
And, er, did I just say that was a certainty?

5 Star *****
Definitely.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab Encyclopaedia Of Vinyl
A REAL COLLECTORS (VINYL) MUST!
Published 1 month ago by Angela
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Superb
Published 2 months ago by Waasley
3.0 out of 5 stars A few gaps in it
It isn't the encyclopaedia Britannica ,but for a couple of pounds second hand I can put up with the author's overt opinions and omissions.
Published 6 months ago by Angus P. Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of its type available
Having bought one of the earliest editions, as well as one of the last, there is always disappointment that some favourites have disappeared and been replaced by newer, lesser... Read more
Published 10 months ago by 5Ash
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive
This item that was bought for me awhile back- and very pleasing it is too. It is an exhaustive discography of numerous artists. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Snow
4.0 out of 5 stars A mine of essential music trivia and hard facts.
If you are serious about your music then this veritable grimoire of rock magic is a complete must, but buy the latest edition.
Published 16 months ago by Stephen Wallace
5.0 out of 5 stars A great birthday present for a music fan!
We bought this a present for a friends 60th.He is a great music fan, and he loves the book. We were undecided which edition to buy, and decided to go for this older one, as we... Read more
Published on 11 Mar 2012 by C. Peters
5.0 out of 5 stars Great by name, great by nature ...
I have been looking for the very first edition of this excellent book for a long time as I have read / have several of the others. Read more
Published on 11 Sep 2011 by wranglerjeans
4.0 out of 5 stars The rock discography
I quite enjoy the detail within this book but it does have some short comings, if I had known of these it may have swayed my decision to buy, but the price it was offered at said... Read more
Published on 2 May 2011 by Smooth_pierre
4.0 out of 5 stars Could be of better content! Where are the 60's groups?
I already have Mr. Strong's "The Great Rock Discography". "The Essential Rock Discography" is of well known content but I do prefer the 60's artists which this item doesn't... Read more
Published on 3 Jan 2011 by Foxy
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