Ye Olde Metal: 1968 to 1972
Power Chord Press
9/19/2008 - Review by: Raising Iron
2007 saw the first book of a new series entitled "Ye Olde Metal" by author, musicologist extraordinaire, Martin Popoff. According to the author, the theory behind these books is to pick releases by some of the more obscure bands, or in some cases, less celebrated albums by well-known artists whose orbits revolved around Metal's sun, albeit many light years away in some cases, and give them their moment on our collective radar. The first two books in the series cover multiple years, the one at hand dubbed, "Ye Olde Metal: 1968 to 1972", the next one being called "Ye Olde Metal: 1973 to 1975", and thereafter focusing on one year at a time, i.e. 1976, 1977, etc. So, you're getting a fresh look from the author at some of these ancient archives, and, in many cases, getting new, present day interviews with those involved in the creation of these releases.
This one has been my favorite of the series so far, as Popoff's choice of album's here are linked more directly to metal than some of his later obsessions. You get Blue Cheer's debut, "Vincebus Eruptum", with bassist Dickie Petersen as candid and illuminating as one could hope for. Also, the mighty Uriah Heep's oft overlooked early release "Look At Yourself" gets taken apart song by song, and two of the most distressingly under-rated, heavy bands of the very early 70's, Sir Lord Baltimore and Dust, get their moment to reconvene and recollect about their album's "Kingdom Come", and "Hard Attack", respectively. Other highlights include Mountain's progressively overtoned, "Nantucket Sleighride", long-forgotten Warpig and their self-titled issue, Captain Beyond's continually revered first release, and MC5's adulated "Kick Out The Jams". Rounding out the platter are: Nitzinger's self-titled, Humble Pie's "Smokin'", Buffalo's "Dead Forever", Cactus' "One Way...Or Another", Bloodrock's self-titled, and Trapeze's "You Are The Music...We're Just The Band".
Some band members are particularly lucid, bringing up all kinds of fun war stories of what life was like to be in a heavy band in this characteristically drug-infused era of heavy rock. It's also interesting to get two or three completely different takes from the guys on why certain things turned out like they did, i.e. band fights/breakups, inclusions/exclusions of certain songs or styles, and the good ‘ol, "It was managements fault it happened that way"!
So, if you're looking for an in-depth, entertaining read about some of those rarities collecting dust on your record shelves, start picking these up right away, as each book is personally autographed by the author, numbered, and strictly limited to 1000 copies. For ordering info on these and some of the author's other books, visit www.martinpopoff.com.
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