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on 19 May 2014
It's still so sad to see the one star reviews left by people that must have been upset by Popoff somewhere along the line as the reviews are worthless and don't think they have read his books, just maybe a one off review of an album somewhere. Anyway, I can't praise his books enough as although I don't agree with many of his reviews, he mostly nails his analysis and has encouraged me to to be a bigger fan by listening to bands I would have otherwise not bothered with. The 80's was the high point of hard rock/metal and years like 1980 and 1985/6 are left strong in the memory making you wonder how on earth so many classics could come all at once. Popoffs preferences are obvious but he does justice to all areas of the scene and the sheer mass of reviews is once again breathtaking. Well done Martin and on a personal note, thanks for answering emails when I had geeky questions about certain things, you are a great person writing about what I love...
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on 14 November 2001
Not another guide to rock music, you think? Well, that's where you're wrong, because this guide is very different in format from the other books you might be thinking about, and as a result much more useful (and interesting). Instead of being a list of the same old band biographies, this volume concentrates instead on the important thing, the music. It provides reviews of several thousand metal albums, all written from the personal experience of the author. It's the only book of its kind to give you real information on the sound of every album, a must for anyone who wants to decide what to buy next.
As he's written all the reviews himself, the author doesn't guarantee to cover _every_ album by _every_ metal band, but he comes closer than you might expect. And in contrast to most guides to metal, it's not an offshoot of a larger series, so it's not written by people who don't really like metal or understand it. One caveat only; it doesn't go very deep into the underground, particularly in the death/black/grindcore areas.
This is truly outstanding reference work. If, like me, you're building a metal collection, it's indispensible.
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on 13 December 2011
Looking at the other reviewers here and they all seem to be complaining because the author is giving his own opinion and possibly giving negative reviews to artists or albums that they like. Well guess what guys that what's reviewers do, from Haliwells classic film guide to Mark Kermode's great rants and I could name a 100 more writers who give opinionated reviews. I don't always agree with this author, some of the albums he says are classics are in my opinion truly poor but I like his style and comments. So much so that I have all 4 guides from the 70's to the 00's and I would recommend these books to anybody who likes metal of any genre. If nothing else than as a good reference guide to the mainstream metal scene over the years, Read the reviews, agree with his or go "the man an idiot" but remember any review including your own is subjective.
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on 3 April 1999
Mr.Popoff is the man. As a collector of all things Metal:300cds&some400tapes,I have to say he has written the book I have longed to see published for years. I may not personally agree with every review but at least he took the time to acnowledge some well deserving and long forgotten bands (Helstar,220volt) In short I have worn this book to pieces in the space of three months,and will be needing a new copy soon. Any open minded fan of Heavy Metal can appreciate the significance of this book thanx Mr.P
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on 31 May 2008
Martin Popoff's book 'The Top 500 Heavy Metal Albums Of All Time' really was great. Yes, his snippy, sarcastic, grandiose and sometimes unwanted reviews of each album could grow tiresome, but on the whole '...500 Albums...' was killer.

Here, he falters slightly; the scope is very broad. Too broad. To try and condense the entire 1980's Heavy Metal movement into one book is daunting. Popoff nearly succeeds in doing so, yet there are vast passages of this book that some will find surplus to requirements.

Also, his personal reviews of some albums are, quite naturally, biased. However, several albums he slates are, in fact, considered classics. The most obvious and glaring example of this is Def Leppard's mega-album 'Hysteria', which Popoff gives 0/10... my God.

On the whole, this does exactly what is says on the tin and is quite comprehensive. A few flaws, but if you're into the Heavy Metal of the 1980's, give this book a try.
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on 24 March 1999
If you are looking for an actual refernce book for hard rock and heavy metal, there are several good books on the market. Look for The Encyclopedia of HR by Garry SHarpe who used toi write for Metal Forces. Older is the HR&HM encyclopedia by Tony Jasper. Also Germany's Rock Hard has a book (hard cover ) out which alphabetically rhymes FACTUAl information - NOt reviews. BTW, I haven't really delved into popoff's work, but the few instances seem contrived or should I say pompous??
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on 6 July 2007
The number of artists & albums reviewed here to me make this an essential guide to the best - and less good - metal of the 80's. Back then metal was not the same as it is now but magazines like Kerrang did use to feature many of the bands in this book. Today most people would laugh at Bon Jovi being called metal - back in the day before the huge success thats where they were pigeonholed - I remember I was there. I dont agree with all of Popoff's ratings - he totally dismisses Trust who I think had a number of great releases and who I once saw blow Iron Maiden, who were headlining, well off stage. There are albums reviewed and mentioned in here that I never thought anyone else would ever have heard of - e.g. Limelight's excellent self titled album. I shall certainly be getting hold of part 1 and part 3 when it comes out.
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on 23 March 1999
A) How can it be a guide if it's so incomplete? B) How can it be a guide if the incomplete and short list of discographies are all wrong? C) More importantly this is just a bunch of subjective reviews - as a book??? I can write reviews myself - and they'd be written in non-poser English as well!!
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on 8 June 1999
Me thinks that show off/ zero subsatnce books are an insult to the environment...We killed trees so this guy who used to work for commercial pop kerrap like R.I.P and that other phony 'hard music' mag that like evrything else this guys does went under can write books.
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on 18 November 2000
He seems to be giving bad reviews about GENRES that he doesn't like to any bands within than genre. That seems very close minded. Come to think about it, the only thing worthy about the book is the Century Media sampler. Alot of missing gaps too. Check out Extreme Metal, a much better reference book.
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