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The Essential Rock Discography: Complete Discographies Listing Every Track Recorded by More Than 1,200 Artists Paperback – October 10, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: Essential Rock Discography
  • Paperback: 1200 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate U.S. (October 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841958603
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841958606
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.2 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,113,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It took Strong 10 years to compile this discography, and the rock music world is in his debt. More accurate and comprehensive than other books attempting to accomplish the same ends, more readable and better organized, The Great Rock Discography title may toot its own horn, while Strong calls his opus "the ultimate rock book of all time," but it's entirely merited.

It starts at A with ABBA and spends over a page on them (and these are rather large pages, with very small print), describing the history of the band and their albums, then compulsively listing their every recorded musical output from October '73 until October '96, including a jungle of code notations (you can refer back to the formats-and-abbreviations page whenever needed) with catalog number and recording label, whether the A- or B-sides differ in their U.K. and U.S. versions, which are essential to your collection, and whether the vinyl was a long player, a double-long player, a colored long player, or a mini-long player. Covering Adam & the Ants, Bootsy's Rubber Band, Tom Petty, Linda Rondstadt, and Muddy Waters on up through the Zombies and ZZ Top, Strong lists every track by more than 1,000 groups. --Stephanie Gold --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Amply covering both the British and American rock scenes, Strong's fifth updating of his very successful reference work will find a warm reception. Although its wealth of data is presented in eyestrain-inducing small print, this book is still fun and worthwhile to read. Record collectors will especially delight in the myriad facts that Strong, an English rock writer, has unearthed. You may think, for instance, that you know everything about Aerosmith until you read the entry. The work's major feature and the main reason to buy it lies in its extensive chronological discographical listings in each entry. These can get complicated, what with the international coverage and various formats and other permutations that Strong does not shy away from covering. It's essential to read the short "How To Read the Book" section that follows the introduction. As in the past, a straight A-Z format serves as the massive tome's layout, with Strong having tucked in 250 new entries since the 1998 edition. Any library fielding rock music questions, particularly of the discographical bent, will find this a useful title to have on the shelf. David M. Turkalo, Suffolk Univ. Law Sch. Lib., Boston
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By T-Ro on December 28, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Martin C. Strong gives us an excellent discography covering most of the artists important to us. Equally as important, though, is the fact that he rates most of the albums covered. His 1-10 point system is straightforward, and frequently quite accurate. He is judicious in his assignment of 10 points; there are only a handful of them among thousands of albums rated. His perspective is also very British, with certain prejudices following. While compilations by Chuck Berry, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Little Richard, etc., receive at best 9 point ratings, Oasis seems to have produced two 10 point albums. (It might make sense if he felt 'best of' collections did not warrant perfect scores, but such collections are nearly the only means of collecting those early artists mentioned above, and anyway, he gave 10 points to both The Byrd's and Simon and Garfunkel's 'Greatest Hits' - so there.) In fact, among the few 'perfect' (10 point) albums found herein are 'Close to the Edge' by Yes, and - of all things - 'Bat Out of Hell' by Meat Loaf. If the latter deserves 10 points, then Bruce Springsteen's 'Born to Run' deserves 1,000 points (it only got 9). He takes a realistic view of Eminem (no 10 point albums) while feeding into the overestimation of Nirvana (two 10 point albums). As for Dylan, some adjustment is called for, like swapping the 10 points bestowed upon 'Desire' with the mere 6 point given to 'John Wesley Harding'. Anyway, this could go on, but the point is, buy it for the excellent discographic information (including UK and US chart positions) and background essays, not so much the reviews. That said, at least this book DOES include Metallica, George Harrison and Joan Armatrading, unlike another new review guide we could mention....
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ham On Wry on September 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
I love this book. I go back to it time after time to compare notes on my favorite bands, discover new bands, or just pick up some quirky trivia tidbits. Compare it to the latest reissue of the Rolling Stone guide - or try to, because there's no comparison. While some of these guides try to please everybody by delicately balancing rock, blues, pop, rap, etc., Strong mostly sticks with the mainstream of rock and its various alternative and indie offshoots. My only objection is that it is a British creation, and as such I tend to rely less on the evaluations of British bands, which he tends to overrate. The Brits, after all, don't even know who Dave Matthews is! But it's fun to read, the ratings are valuable and realistic (it's not necessary that you agree with them), and the discographies are all-inclusive. I look forward to every new edition of this book, and it's already started to date itself, so I hope the new one comes out soon.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mark D Burgh on July 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is an amazing work - a telephone book of people you might actually want to call, a lost gnostic text to a doomed civilization's pizza delivery places, a total compendium of where all the effort spent in conquering the world went after the fall of the British Empire. God love them, these British folks are serious about that Rock and Roll music!
As for the work itself, it's thorough, fair, and fun to browse through in any time or place. I can become lost for hours, and find myself jonesing for some of the groups Strong knows but about which I've never heard. Some things are a trifle annoying, like which bands are labelled Psychedelic and which are not, but to hell with it; stand back and let the man do his work. I slaver for the second edition of the Pschedelic Discography. When Stong says Great, he means it. The Great Pyramids, the Great War, Great Coats, and Alexander the Great come to mind.
Everyone should have one of these in his or her homes. Or a bottle of Xanax. I'll take the great maroon book with a glass of water before meals and bedtimes.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brian Asquith on November 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
Having read the various criticisms aimed at Strong's efforts I would suggest that folks look at it from the opposite angle of what Strong has achieved. It is a colossal piece of work and I'm sure Strong is painfully aware of what bands have been left out. But those omissions result from publishing considerations not Strongs myopism. For the money I'd say you would be very, very hard pushed (possibly impossible) to find another tome that covers so many bands in such a comprehensive manner. Yes the author is a Brit (and so am I) so there is obviously going to be a tendency for him to give greater coverage to British bands - he's more familiar with them. A way for this issue to be addressed is for someone in the US to compile a similar work, there is obviously demand. For me, I'd say that the book would be a worthy (if not essential) addition to a music lovers library. Indeed it has flaws but they are more than compensated by what he has included. For the price of little more than a cd this is an excellent investment. 100% Recommended.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By P Magnum HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Despite some of the criticism of this book including the exclusion of artists, release information and inaccurate biographical information, this is as good as any musical reference book you'll find. The origins of bands, top 50 chart positions for all singles and album on both the US & UK charts and track listing for all albums are included. There are always omissions and errors in books this size and breath, but they are miniscule and greatly overshadowed by everything else the book has to offer. You will find yourself referring to this book time and time again.
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