“The Collector’s Guide To Heavy Metal: Vol. 1 – The Seventies” by Martin Popoff

Artist: Martin Popoff
Title: “The Collector’s Guide To Heavy Metal: Vol. 1 – The Seventies”
Label: Collector’s Guide Publishing
Release Date: 10/1/2003
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 8/10

Martin Popoff took his massive “Collectors Guide To Heavy Metal” book and decided that it would be best split into three volumes. Each volume would focus on a particular decade and as a result be more informative on the releases from that time period. After observing Popoff’s reviews on websites for many years, I consider him more a Music Historian than a critic of the various releases he lends his views to. The historian status is what makes a to me like “Collector’s Guide” so interesting and important to one’s bookshelf. The edition on the 70’s truly makes for some interesting reading as well as deeper musical discovery. Being born in the mid-sixties, I found myself personally finding music during this era and getting my first tastes of Pink Floyd and David Bowie. The tastes were later expanded into harder music: what was being done by Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and KISS. The decade itself was full of amazing music and for the most part Hard Rock was slowly morphing into the newly branded genre of Heavy Metal. In this guide one finds a large quantity of Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Nazareth, and Uriah Heep albums listed. There are also fine listings on Sweet, KISS, and Judas Priest as well as the first couple of Van Halen presentations. Fans of the 80’s Metal sound were all following bands that grew up on these groups and were often cited as influences in the many interviews presented in Circus Magazine or Hit Parader (remember these?). The book not only gives you a better understanding of a lot of the albums that were issued in Hard Rock and Metal, but also gives you a chance to compare your own opinions on this against that of the author. Your favorite memory of the decade might not be his and of course that is what makes enjoying music so much fun. If you are too young to recall this decade and come from Rocker Parents, then this book is a great guide to a lot of the records that they might still have stashed someplace in the house. I recommend you go digging in the basement or attic for them if you discover this to be the case.

Included with the book is collection of rarities courtesy of Monster Records that includes a large number of bands that I can honestly say are a mystery to me. The songs are listed for your reference but I have not yet given it a listen. It is still a nice inclusion for the price of the book to get a bonus CD. This book which holds at 344 pages was a lot of fun, very interesting to leaf through, and honestly was a great piece of reference material. I never followed certain bands that were listed and felt it interesting to get a better idea of them and their contributions to the genre. It’s the kind of information that can potentially find one looking into some anthology collections for their music shelf. The other aspect I took from the 70’s Guide was the fact that it reminded me of how fresh and interesting Hard Rock and the beginnings of Metal were at the time.

Bands that found influence back then had a longer career due to this vitality. I feel that groups that form today and are influenced by three years ago are on the wrong page and need to dig far deeper in order to achieve the same impact. Find yourself a copy of this book and see where Metal truly began and prepare to start buying some CD’s as a result.

Track Listing:
1. Poohbah – “Jump Through The Golden Ring”
2. Truth and Janey – “Down The Road I Go”
3. Cain – “Bad Side”
4. Ultra – “Mutants”
5. Survivor – “Decieve Me”
6. Poobah – “Bowleen”
7. Sorcery – “Arachnid”
8. Amulet – “Gemini”
9. Impeccable – “Call Of The Wild”
10. Negative Space – “Sunflower”
11. Truth and Janey – “Tunnel Of Tomorrows”
12. Winterhawk – “Free To Live”

Official Website: www.MartinPopoff.com

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