TURN THAT CRAP DOWN
Goldmine's Heavy Metal Record Price Guide
by Martin Popoff
Reviewed by the Ancient Metaller
It seems appropriate that my first review for Rough Edge is a "record" price guide. Records, for those of you who grew up thinking that Rob Zombie invented heavy metal, are those plastic vinyl discs with the hole in the middle that you play on something called a turntable. CDs are great: they're compact and the sound quality is incomparable; but there's something about the way a vinyl record sounds. It sounds warmer somehow. More like music should sound.
And I'm not the only one who believes that. Why do you think so many bands today still release vinyl copies of their latest albums? Obviously, there's a market for them.
There's a lot of metal out there on vinyl. A lot. Bands like Black Sabbath, KISS, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Motorhead were recording on vinyl before CDs were even a glint in the eye of the guy who invented them. But it wasn't just those dinosaur bands, either (and I use "dinosaurs bands" here lovingly). White Zombie actually released a vinyl record or two as did Iced Earth, Sepultura and Angel Dust.
How do I know all this? Because I just finished reading through a copy of Martin Popoff's Heavy Metal Record Guide, a new trade-sized book published by Goldmine (the world-famous collectible audio magazine) and Kruase Publications. Packed with over 11,000 individual listings and featuring over 300 photographs of album covers, the Heavy Metal Record Guide is a history lesson, a treasure hunt and an indispensable collector's guide all rolled into one.
Popoff lists literally thousands of bands, from AIIZ to ZZ TOP, and gives a brief history of most in a usually fascinating paragraph or two. Then, he lists the band's vinyl releases, whether an LP or an EP. Occasionally, he also lists an important CD release.
True collectors, of course, will reap the real benefits from the Heavy Metal Record Price Guide. For example, I discovered that my copy of Motley Crue's "Too Fast For Love" on Leathur Records is worth about $110. I also discovered that my original copy of Metallica's "The 5.98 EP: Garage Days Re-Visited" is worth about $30.
Unfortunately, I also discovered that the copy of Bang Tango's "Live Injection" that I was so proud of is only worth about $6.00.
As I mentioned, collectors will be get the most benefit from this guide. But it's also great too for fans who aren't sure if they've got all of their favorite bands' vinyl recordings. For example, there's a page and a half of Deep Purple releases; probably 50 or more. The same applies to KISS, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and any of the aforementioned "dinosaur" bands. Readers and fans can use the guide as a check list to make sure their library is complete. Popoff even offers the occasional critical comment. For example, he calls Alice Cooper's "Zipper Catches Skin" a "dimwit attempt at new wave" and says Katatonia's "Discouraged Ones," is "well regarded, weepy black metal." If appropriate, he also lists the number of records pressed and identifies cover varieties.
Finally, at least once on every page, Popoff picks a particular band and gives you a brief paragraph about it. For example, he says of Keel, "Good ol' Ron made a name for himself, fronting this stadium rock mistake which was like Ratt with better guitarists but a low Great White IQ." The real beauty here isn't Popoff's often caustic comments, but his recommendation of often obscure bands. For example, he says of Torch: "Probably my most oft' played underground band during those magical early days of metal. Torch made two quite different records, a universally revered gatefold debut called "Torch" and a quizzical, much slower stack by the name of "Electrikiss." Popoff gives you just teasingly enough to make you want to go out and find a Torch album.
Hard rock and heavy metal fans who still collect vinyl or who prefer its less sterile sound will find the Heavy Metal Price Guide a priceless tool. Those who just want to brush up on their rock'n'roll history will also find it fascinating reading.
But wait, there's more! Also included are interviews with Brian Slagel of Metal Blade Records and Jess Cox of Neat Records. And, as a special bonus, free 18-track sampler CD from the legendary Metal Blade Records (featuring such bands as ARMORED SAINT, SIX FEET UNDER, RIOT and CANNIBAL CORPSE) is also included. Popoff also offers his Top 300 Metal Records of all time (interesting reading, at the least).
My only complaint? The book's gonna cost me a lot of money. After thumbing through its pages, I realize that my vinyl collection is in need of some serious replenishment.
For more information or to order a copy of the book from amazon.com, please click here.
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Revised: 31 Jul 2018 23:38:09 -0400.