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The Great Rock Discography Vol. 6 (Essential Rock Discography) Paperback – 7 Oct 2002

4.4 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1185 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; 6th Revised edition edition (7 Oct. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841953121
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841953120
  • Product Dimensions: 29.9 x 20.8 x 5.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,043,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"It's a killer tome... this one can be safely filed under unbelievable."

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.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was drawn like a magnet to this tome when it first went on sale back in 2000. The lure of the writing on the front cover mentioning "Complete discogs listing every track recorded by more than 1000 groups" was an offer I could not refuse, so after having a quick look inside, I just had to have it. I guess I was a bit harsh when I reviewed Martin C Strong's metal discog. Had every reason to cos he made a right balls up of it; and wondered about the glaring omissions from the psych one; but with the Great Rock Discography, you just cannot find fault with it. You don't just get the approximate month/year a recording was released; you get a complete track listing and US/UK catalogue no's too. In addition to all sorts of trivia like line up changes and the D.O.Bs of many of the musicians listed. Prior to my "discovery" of this book, I had never come across a music reference publication like it before.
As for the acts listed in the book. I know the term "rock" has generally applied to most popular music's from the post rock & roll period onwards; but the inclusion of some pre-rock blues acts like Leadbelly and Robert Johnson is for a good reason. mainly cos of the pivotal influence those acts, and other blues artists listed in the tome (Like Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker for example) had on many of the rock groups that were to follow.
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Format: Hardcover
It's obvious that a great deal of research went into this book, but it is badly let down by a few things:

1. As another reviewer points out, this streamlined version of what was once The Great Rock Discography no longer includes artists such as Gong, Talk Talk, Kirsty MacColl or even Abba, so it's much less comprehensive than you might have hoped, despite stretching across 1,250 pages. Yet space was somehow found for The Kaiser Chiefs, Kasabian, Keane, The Killers, The Kooks, Korn, Lenny Kravitz, and so on.

2. It's in desperate need of proof-reader:

- The commas and apostropes are all over the place - for example: 'you're answers please on the back of a postage stamp' (p.472), 'This Years Model' (p.243), etc

- There are silly typos such as 'the The Smiths' (p.996) and spelling errors such as 'punk sterotypes' (p.388) and 'Blur mainman Damon Alborn' (p.605)

- There are factual errors: Morrissey's book was called James Dean is Not Dead, not 'James Dean Isn't Dead' (p.996). The Fall's Levitate album was released in September 1997, not February 1998 (p.393). And in the same entry, keyboard player Marcia Schofield has been renamed 'Marsha Schofield' (p.390).

If these mistakes can be found on a first glance through the pages, then what else is incorrect? The usefulness of a reference work of this kind depends on you being able to trust the information it offers.

3. By the end of the book, the printing has gone askew. The last few pages have been sliced in such a way that text is right up against the edge of the page and very difficult to read. On p.1,153, the caption 'Lou Reed of The Velvet Underground' is also sliced off midway through the text.
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