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"Fade To Black" by Martin Popoff with Ioannis (2012) review

"Fade To Black" by Martin Popoff with Ioannis (Sterling Publishing, 2012)

Packaged in a thick vinyl cover to reflect the subject matter, "Fade To Black" is a coffee table sized tome involving hard rock and heavy metal album sleeves. Concentrating on the years 1965 to 1990, the hefty book not only features eye-popping photos of the albums presented, but the history surrounding these artifacts as well as personal commentary from the authors.

Arranged in order by release date, "Fade To Black" opens with "The Rolling Stones, Now!" by The Rolling Stones and closes with Megadeth's "Rust In Peace." Stuffed between these profiles we're handed a nice balance of certified classics and long forgotten gems. Obvious platters such as Deep Purple's "Machine Head," Aerosmith's "Toys In The Attic," Iron Maiden's "Iron Maiden," Quiet Riot's "Metal Health," Black Sabbath's "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath," Led Zeppelin's "Houses Of The Holy," Rush's "Farewell To Kings," UFO's "Lights Out," Blue Oyster Cult's "Fire Of The Unknown Origin," Motley Crue's "Shout At The Devil," ACDC's "Highway To Hell," Judas Priest's "Sad Wings Of Destiny," Metallica's "Master Of Puppets," "Blackout" by the Scorpions, Van Halen's "Van Halen," and Emerson, Lake and Palmer's "Brain Salad Surgery" share space with lesser recognized efforts from The Godz, the Boyzz, Quartz, Russ Ballard, Savatage, and Legs Diamond. An ample number of Iron Butterfly, Nazareth, and Uriah Heep albums are examined, along with cob-webbed caked goodies from Angel, Starz, Grand Funk, The Rods, Golden Earring, Budgie, and Dust. Offerings from The Runaways, The Sweet, Mott The Hoople, The Damned, Hanoi Rocks, Cheap Trick, Hawkwind, ZZ Top, Free, and The Ramones are further spotlighted.

Although you can't always judge a record by its cover, some of these albums are so attractive that the graphics alone probably generated sales, or they're so hideous that they never stood a chance in the first place. Containing a staggering mix of panoramic winners and losers, "Fade To Black" encourages readers to revisit these high-decibel delights by either combing through their collections or hitting the local used record store. Smartly-selected entries, combined with witty and knowledgeable  text make this the great book that it is. Pump your fist in the air and rejoice!

Review made by Beverly Paterson/2015
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