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Martin Popoff “The Collector’s Guide To Heavy Metal: Vol. 2 – The Eighties” - Metal Blade Records - 2005

Martin Popoff follows his successful "Collectors Guide To Heavy Metal" with a second volume that focuses exclusively on the Eighties. Metal fans will in most cases agree that this particular decade was seminal for the genre and perhaps the most productive in terms of band signings, record and video releases as well as bombastic shows from some of the industries greatest bands. With “The Collectors Guide To Heavy Metal V2: The Eighties” you will find 3700 reviews in it’s 540 pages. There is not much in the way of photographs with the exception of some albums being represented but by excluding this they are able to keep the book at a reasonable size. Those that enjoyed the first volume of this guide will appreciate the fact that many reviews not present in the 1st book have representation in this one. As a matter of fact, Popoff even has given an update to many of the ones that made their way to this volume. This ties the whole idea together a little better.

This is not a book that you can expect to read from beginning to end in a single sitting but instead something that you can enjoy comparing his views on the releases against your own and taken as a valid reference point on the decade. Of all the vast and varied artists included you will find a good sampling of releases by KISS, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Savatage and Ozzy Osbourne. In addition to these giants you will also find many cult favorites such as Vandenberg and others who while releasing killer recordings somehow missed the audience that they deserved. If you bought a lot of Metal vinyl or cassettes during this period then you have a good chance of finding a lot of what you spent your money on in this book. My thanks go out to Martin for reminding me of how few of some of my cult favorites remain on vinyl and never getting the CD treatment. I feel that a lot of readers will go digging through the vinyl in their basements after reading this book.

Included with the book is collection of rarities that will most probably sate the appetites of the discriminating Metal head due to the eclectic nature of the selections. I have included them for reference and outside of Slayer, Flotsam & Jetsam and Fates Warning the rest will be stuff you have to use the book to get a better recap of. This book was a lot of fun and very interesting to leaf through. I admit it brought me back to a time when Metal seemed set to convert everyone to its cause. It was also interesting to note that 25 years after the decade began that some of the larger acts represented in these pages are still together, still rocking and still raising the horns for Metal. This book is a recommendation not only for the discerning collector of vintage Metal and long time fan but also for those younger fans who wish they were old enough to have remembered this time.

Rating: 8/10

Track Listing:
1. Bitch – “Saturdays”
2. Demon Flight – “Dead Of The Night”
3. Slayer – “Black Magic”
4. Obsession – “Only The Strong Will Survive”
5. Slayer – “Captor Of Sin”
6. Fates Warning – “Valley Of The Dolls”
7. Cirith Ungol – “Fire”
8. Flotsam And Jetsam – “Desecrator”
9. Lizzy Borden – “Me Against The World”
10. Nasty Savage – “Unchained Angel”
11. Masi – “Foggy Day In Hollywood”
12. Hallows Eve – “Rot Gut”
13. Helstar – “Baptized In Blood”

Official Website: www.MartinPopoff.com

Written By: Ken Pierce (copyright 2005) for PiercingMetal.com

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



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INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE
Martin PopoffMartin PopoffFrank Hill10/15/2004


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