In the 1980s, heavy metal went mainstream. The dark themes and brain-busting riffage of bands like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple suddenly fell out of favor--replaced by a new legion of metalheads whose themes of girls, partying, girls, drugs, and girls were presented amid shredding solos and power ballads and who were, for some reason, more acceptable to the masses. In this ultimate guide to the subgenre, 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Popoff examines hair metal in an all-encompassing oral history jacked up by a kaleidoscope of outrageous and previously unpublished quotes, anecdotes, photos, and memorabilia.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. In 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.
At approximately 7,900 (with over 7,000 appearing in his books), Martin Popoff has unofficially written more record reviews than anybody in the history of music writing across all genres. Additionally, Martin has penned 57 books on hard rock, heavy metal, classic rock, and record collecting, including 2004’s Contents Under Pressure: 30 Years of Rush at Home and Away, Rush: The Illustrated History, and Rush: Album by Album. He was Editor In Chief of the now retired Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles, Canada’s foremost heavy metal publication in print for 14 years, and has also contributed to Revolver, Guitar World, Goldmine, RecordCollector, bravewords.com, lollipop.com and hardradio.com. Martin has been a regular contractor to Banger Films, having worked on the award-wining documentary Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage, the 11-episode Metal Evolution, and the 10-episode Rock Icons, both for VH1 Classic. Martin currently resides in Toronto and can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org or www.martinpopoff.com.
Martin Popoff has been described as "the world's most famous heavy metal journalist." At approximately 7,900 (with over 7,000 appearing in his books), he has unofficially written more record reviews than anybody in the history of music writing across all genres. Additionally, Martin has penned 44 books on hard rock, heavy metal, classic rock, and record collecting. He was editor in chief of the now-retired Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles, Canada's foremost metal publication for 14 years, and has also contributed to Revolver, Guitar World, Goldmine, Record Collector, www.bravewords.com, www.lollipop.com, and www.hardradio.com, with many record label band bios and liner notes to his credit as well. Additionally, Martin worked for two years as researcher on the award-winning documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage and on Metal Evolution, an 11-episode documentary series for VH1 Classic, and is the writer of the original metal genre chart used in Metal: A Headbanger's Journey and throughout Metal Evolution episodes. Martin currently resides in Toronto and can be reached via email@example.com or www.martinpopoff.com.