Journalist Martin Popoff has written about some of the biggest and baddest acts in heavy metal, such as Megadeth, Black Sabbath, Dio, and Judas Priest along with many other books on the genre. His latest book “The Big Book of Hair Metal: The Illustrated Oral History of Heavy Metal's Debauched Decade” focuses on an era filled with hairspray, spandex, and lots of make up. The book does a respectable job at providing some background on the sub-genre and tracing its roots back to glam rock. While it briefly talks about rock music in the '50s. '60s, and '70s, its main focus is the '80s and rise of hair metal. It's full of tantalizing color photos and great facts straight from the era's biggest players, like Nikki Sixx, Joe Elliot of Def Leppard, Kevin Dubrow, Stephen Pearcy, and Dee Snider among many others. The quotes are taken from several of Popoff's past interviews. Because of this sometimes the quotes seem random and out of place. They're still enjoyable to read, but it's easy to lose track of who's talking.
Great insight about the death of hair metal is also provided at the book's end. Many fans will learn how greedy record companies, MTV, overexposure, and grunge all helped to put an end to the genre. While this part is enjoyable you expect more by the end. Popoff could've easily gone into how bands like Motley Crue tried their best to stay relevant through the '90s. He even could've touched on modern acts who take some influence from the genre. Despite this, the book is a fun read full of interesting facts and great pictures to satisfy any music fan.
To get a copy of the book, visit Martin Popoff's website where you can view and purchase his other works.