Tag Archives: martin popoff

“Dio: Evil Or Divine” by Martin Popoff

Artist: Martin Popoff
Title: “Dio: Evil Or Divine”
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date:
Genre: Heavy Metal Biography
Rating: 4/5

Once again Martin Popoff has delivered a tome that becomes a required point of reference for the ardent fan of the performer being discussed. In “Dio: Evil Or Divine” he presents us with an album by album chronological history of the career of the one and only Ronnie James Dio. While Rob Halford may very well be “The Metal God”, I feel that it is truly safe to say that Dio is one of the most respected elder statesmen in the genre. To many fans his public career began with the band Elf and continued upward when he joined Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. However, it wasn’t until he formed the band Dio that he really came into his largest level prominence. The book lines out Ronnie’s early years in brief as its prime focus falls to the band that bears his name. Shoud you require deeper answers into his time with Rainbow and Elf you are advised to seek out a copy of Popoff’s Rainbow history book called “English Castle Magic” to get them.
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“The Collector’s Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 3: The Nineties” by Martin Popoff

Artist: Martin Popoff
Title: “The Collector’s Guide To Heavy Metal: The Nineties”
Label: Collector’s Guide Publishing
Release Date: 8/1/2007
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

And so we have arrived at Martin Popoff’s “Final Chapter” in his trilogy of “Collector’s Guide’s to Heavy Metal” tomes that have both enlightened and informed us for a number of years. The first volume focused on the 70’s as Heavy Metal music began to draw up its strength and morph from the Blues-based Hard Rock that Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple delivered while the sound first introduced by Black Sabbath began to inspire scores of bands after them. Volume 2 focused on the 80’s – a decade that was loaded with big hair and even bigger music. It was all about Glam Rock for many during this decade and even the beginning of Power Metal to some extent. At the end of the day this remains an era that many music fans pine for in terms of overall output and creativity. The closing volume brings us back into focus on the 90’s which was a very interesting decade in Metal’s history to say the least. The traditional sound became mixed with Grunge and Industrial while new doors to Black and Death Metal were opened and took up a serious rise while some others such as Glam Metal and Power Metal seemed to take a hiatus in some parts of the world. For those of us who live in the States, it seemed as though the Grunge movement led by Nirvana, Alice In Chains and others were the the death knell for true Heavy Metal music. Yet around the world we found the birth and rise of bands such as Nightwish, EdGuy, Sonata Arctica, HIM and many more while Black Metal experts such as Immortal, Emperor and Dimmu Borgir all showed that they meant business and each of them was worthy of attention.
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“Black Sabbath: Doom Let Loose: An Illustrated History” by Martin Popoff

Artist: Martin Popoff
Title: “Black Sabbath: Doom Let Loose: An Illustrated History”
Label: ECW Press
Release Date:
Genre: Rock Music History
Rating: 5/5

Everyone has a story, some get told, some never get told. One of the long overdue stories that needed to be told is the history of Black Sabbath as musicians. There has not been a really thorough chronicling of Black Sabbath’s influential career based on the music and the band. Until now, with Black Sabbath Doom Let Loose An Illustrated History by Martin Popoff
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“Run For Cover, The Art Of Derek Riggs” by Martin Popoff

Author: Martin Popoff
Title: “Run For Cover: The Art Of Derek Riggs”
Label: Aardvark Publishing
Release Date: 11/01/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

Fans of the Heavy Metal historian Martin Popoff know very well that he always manages to keep you informed as well as entertained with his writing in every book he issues. In most cases we find that the author delivers books that are veritable encyclopedias about the subject matter and these same books become a continual point of reference to those bands if you are a fan who likes to get into super levels of detail on them. This time around his latest endeavor would find him veering from that which we are accustomed and be an art book focused on the creations of the one and only Derek Riggs. Mr. Riggs is well known to the members of the Metal community as not only is he the artist for every single Iron Maiden album cover, but he is the father of “Eddie” (a figure and face we all know and fear). If you grew up as a Metal fan in the eighties then it goes without saying that you purchased Iron Maiden records. You probably even remember the first time that you saw the imposing face of Eddie on the cover of the bands debut. Perhaps it was the second or third album, but either way at first glance, Eddie is unforgettable and over the years we have traveled worlds with him as he transformed with each and every release. Given this is the biggest part of his work – the bands official mascot takes up a majority of the book and who are we to argue with his presence on so many pages.
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“Rainbow: English Castle Magic” by Martin Popoff

Author: Martin Popoff
Title: “Rainbow: English Castle Magic”
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date:
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

Rainbow would be the creative outlet that Ritchie Blackmore launched after he found himself continually discontent with the way things were going as a result of being a member of Deep Purple. He decided to start again fresh with new people and felt this was better than being at odds with the group and from this his first order of business would be to team up with the young but enigmatic Ronnie James (then a member of Elf). The music the pair would create would not be as steeped in the Blues as Purple was but instead be a Hard Rock exposition filled with images of dungeons and dragons and mysticism as that was what both Dio and Blackmore were interested in. From the onset of the group’s creation the lineup would be a revolving door of talented individuals and this book by Rock Historian Martin Popoff is loaded with the details on all of them and the times that they served as members of this truly incredible, but short-lived group. It’s a band that put the talents of musicians like Cozy Powell (drums), Graham Bonnet (vocals) and Joe Lynn Turner (vocals) into the limelight and helped launch their own careers that had levels of acclaim to them based on their endeavors in Rainbow.
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