Martin C. Strong

Martin Charles Strong (born 1960 in Musselburgh) is a Scottish music historian known for compiling discographies of popular music including The Great Rock Discography. Strong has been described in broadsheet newspaper profiles as a "compiler of acclaimed mammoth discographies"[1] and "a man who knows more about rock music than is healthy for one individual".[2]

Martin C. Strong
BornMartin Charles Strong
1960 (age 61–62)
Musselburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
OccupationMusic historian


Strong has researched music extensively since the early 1980s, dedicating 70 hours per week to his craft as of 2004.[3]

He is perhaps best known for The Great Rock Discography, with the 7th edition being published in 2004; the foreword was penned by disc jockey John Peel.[4] The book has garnered acclaim,[5] with United States music critic Robert Christgau recommending it as one of the three best rock music encyclopaedias, and the one with the "maddest completism".[6] Author Ian Rankin named it as one of the "5 Books Every Man Should Read", calling it "a great book" that "would keep [him] happy on any desert island".[7] It was re-released as The Essential Rock Discography, a condensed version, in 2006.[8]

Strong has also authored The Great Metal Discography (2 editions), The Great Psychedelic, The Great Alternative & Indie (2 volumes) and Lights, Camera, Soundtracks (with Brendon Griffin). Along with The Great/Essential Rock Discography – on which Griffin also worked sporadically[5] – these titles have been published by Canongate Books.[9] Mercat Press published a history of Scottish contemporary music, The Great Scots Musicography, in 2002.[10] Strong's final tomes were two volumes of The Great Folk Discography, published by Birlinn in 2010 and 2011; a third part of the trilogy, The Great Folk Discography: The Celtic Connections, has been shelved. He maintains the online resource, The Great Rock Bible.

Aside from his books, Strong has written for The List,[11] Record Collector, Songlines, HMV Choice and the Rough Guides series.[5] He served as researcher for Jimmy Cliff's 2003 Anthology release.[12]

Personal lifeEdit

Strong lives in Falkirk[3] and has three daughters.[13]


  1. ^ Gilchrist, Jim (22 November 2002). "Top of the pop Scots". The Scotsman. Johnston Press. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  2. ^ Taylor, Alan (17 December 2000). "Disc man's latest hit of musical history". Sunday Herald. Newsquest.
  3. ^ a b Jamieson, Teddy (9 October 2004). "Life lines". The Herald. Newsquest.
  4. ^ The Great Rock Discography at
  5. ^ a b c "The Essential Rock Discography". Fishpond. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000). "Albums of the '90s: Acknowledgments". Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  7. ^ Budak, Bertan. "Ian Rankin: 5 Books Every Man Should Read". AskMen. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  8. ^ Guthrie, Sean (11 November 2006). "The Essential Rock Discography". The Herald. Newsquest.
  9. ^ Martin C. Strong at
  10. ^ Johnstone, Doug (21 December 2002). "Delving into the valley of musical heritage". The Scotsman. Johnston Press. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  11. ^ "Articles by Martin C. Strong". The List. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  12. ^ "Anthology - Jimmy Cliff". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  13. ^ "Martin C. Strong". Birlinn. Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2014.

External linksEdit