Martin C. Strong

Martin C. Strong
Born Martin Charles Strong
1960 (age 59–60)
Musselburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
Occupation Music historian
Children 3

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]


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][11] 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,[12] Record Collector, Songlines, HMV Choice and the Rough Guides series.[5] He served as researcher for Jimmy Cliff's 2003 Anthology release.[13]

Personal life

Strong lives in Falkirk[3] and has three daughters.[14]


  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. ^ Kyle, Tom (24 January 2003). "Music Stars - Major and Minor: The Great Scots Musicography". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers.
  12. ^ "Articles by Martin C. Strong". The List. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  13. ^ "Anthology - Jimmy Cliff". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  14. ^ "Martin C. Strong". Birlinn. Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2014.

External links