Thommy Ford Reads

A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library

The Big Book of Hair Metal by Martin Popoff

Ratt cannot be exterminated! Last year Ratt took you “Round and Round.” This year Ratt lays it down. Ratt’s new album, Invasion of Your Privacy, includes the hit new single “Lay it Down.”

As a straight-out text, The Big Book of Hair Metal is a disjointed and confusing oral history of hair metal that features a few fun stories from the musicians themselves, and that’s about it. But as a book for flipping through—forwards, backwards, let it fall open where it may—it’s as great a guilty pleasure as the music it chronicles.

Author Martin Popoff has collected hundreds of awesome images, not just album covers and concert photos, but ads, flyers, press releases, ticket stubs, magazine covers, t-shirts and more. It’s a visual feast for newbies and casual fans, and for anyone who grew-up with pages torn from Hit Parader, Circus, or Metal Edge on their walls, it’s a long awaited walk down memory lane.

This Beauty is a Beast. When it comes to rock you either take the lead or get the hell out of the way. Follow the new Lita. The threat is over. The album is here. LITA, featuring the first single “KISS ME DEADLY.”

The best parts, by far, are the ads and press releases. Their language is so spectacularly over the top you’ll find yourself laughing out loud at first, then irresistibly reading them out in your best monster-truck-voice-over voice.

JUDAS PRIEST. “TURBO.” FUEL FOR LIFE!!! JUDAS PRIEST slams shifts into hyperdrive: “TURBO!” “TURBO”—supercharged performances from Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton, K.K. Downing, Dave Holland and Ian Hill!

Sure, if you’re not a fan, or not open to being a fan, The Big Book of Hair Metal is the most trite stuff imaginable. But for those of us about to rock this is the perfect salute. Look for it with our music books.

Review by Matthew

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This entry was posted on November 5, 2014 by in Book Review, Non-Fiction.
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