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Big book of big hair. Heavy Metal's debauched decade is celebrated

What hair!
What hair!
Author's collection

Hair today, bald tomorrow?
In The Big Book of Hair Metal: The Illustrated Oral History of Heavy Metal's Debauched Decade (Voyageur Press, $30), acclaimed heavy-metal journalist Martin Popoff examines hair metal in an all-encompassing oral history jacked up by a kaleidoscope of outrageous and previously unpublished quotes, anecdotes, photos and memorabilia.
The Big Book of Hair Metal features the observations of dozens of musicians, producers, promoters, label execs and hanger-ons in examining hair metal's rise and fall as well as all the bands that kept Aqua Net in business through the Reagan recession: Twisted Sister, Bon Jovi, Poison, Mötley Crüe, Ratt, Warrant, Great White, Whitesnake, Cinderella, Vixen, Skid Row, L.A. Guns, Guns N' Roses and dozens more.
n crafting a narrative of hair metal, Popoff also examines the factors that contributed to the movement's rise (including MTV, Reagan's "morning in America," and a general move toward prudish morals); the bands that inspired it (the Sweet, New York Dolls, Alice Cooper, and KISS, for a start); and the scenes that nurtured it (the Sunset Strip, anyone?). The ride finally ended circa 1991, when hair metal was replaced by grunge, but what a ride it was. Here it is in all of its primped-up glory.
The hirsute tome features more than the obvious and usual suspects. The superstars and also-rans are included, and with 580 (!) photos, the depth and the number of bands and musicians featured is staggering.
Nothing is left out—its big, bold and loud like the music, telling the complete history of the music you know you still love.

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