The Great Indie Discography
The definitive history of independent music - updated and revised In his usual opinionated but deeply knowledgeable way, Martin C Strong has chronicled the careers of those musicians who positioned themselves outside the mainstream of conventional 'pop'. From the Americans like The Velvet Undergound and Captain Beefheart who offered something different to the flower power'n'peace of the 60s, through the filth and fury of punk, to the acid house culture that spawned the Happy Mondays and Primal Scream, and onto the ascension of American grunge and Nirvana, this provides another dizzying feat of research. For those with more discerning tastes there really is no alternative.
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I think--as an indie musician who was influenced to a lesser or greater degree by many of the bands in this book--that the reviews available online are overly anal-retentive about detail, to the point of just degenerating into vapid assholery. Look, ANYONE who can tackle several decades of independent music (in more than one nation) during a time when garage bands were recording EP's on inexpensive 4-tracks and releasing vinyl and cassettes while seeing the music biz and recording technology change around them deserves a f*cking gold medal. Oh, boo hoo. Strong made a mistake or two, or didn't include YOUR favorite band (or maybe its your band that didn't get the space in the book you think you are due...is that it?)...think about how many genuinely great bands played during this time period. We saw the birth OF "indie" music (and the independent record companies that supported them) at the same time. I think the author tackled an almost impossible subject with grace, clarity, and authority. This belongs on any music lover's bookshelf, despite the fact that it isn't perfectly comprehensive (a feat that would probably take two books this size, and then...oops! You forgot The Kittens!) Buy it or don't, but give the guy a break.
The author has obviously not listened to most of the bands in this book, nor did he do any research. Wrought with errors, he continually misses the mark and relies on hearsay and rumors.
A monumental waste of time for any serious music fan. I cannot believe someone would put so much work into a steaming heap of shit like this.