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Heavy Metal | Record Price Guide | Martin Popoff | review | book | Lollipop
Heavy Metal Record Price Guide
by Martin Popoff
by Craig Regala
Here it is. People have been collecting metal seriously, even if the pop culture focuses on whatever else, whether it be very "popular" music (chart toppers) or the flavor of the month (often selling a tenth of many work-a-day metal units included herein). Much like his massive metal tome, The Collectors Guide To Heavy Metal, Mr. Popoff has focused on metal from a wide-eared metalist's point of view. All the over-hyphenated wha-hoo is here; your death, speed, trad, black, roots, NWOBHM, thrash, techno, hardcore, power, Euro, party, poser, retro, viking, AOR, folk, funk, urbancore, biker, Southern, stoner, and any other marketing and/or descriptive term glooped onto metal, both fore and aft.
Meaning the heavier punk bands, grungemeisters, and other weighty contenders tangential to metal "proper" (at least in its traditional marketing) get checked because they're relevant to the music, germane to its discussion, and rock. Look: The Dictators (!) are one of the guy's favorite bands, and he rates the Pistols' LP as one of the top metal releases of 1977. Really, # 9, right after Rainbow's Long Live Rock and Roll. So you find Tad along with Testament and Black Flag on the page with Blitzkrieg. The reallllly poppy hair stuff like Enuff Z'Nuff sidles up to heavy, powerful poppers Nirvana* and leaves a little lipstick on its cheek, as it should be. Bands not often viewed through the steel lens but definitely part of the culture (say, Mudhoney) are lodged firm and pink right next to Judas Priest.
The layout is alphabetical with a forward about what metal is, what is qualified for entry, and how to use the damn thing. Also, about every third page has a couple black and white reproductions of the LP covers. This is really valuable 'cause if you weed through the stacks after flipping through the guide, the visuals will often kick in when you don't remember names. But hey, would you pass up any dollar record with partially naked chicks, flying horses, a storm brewing on the horizon, and a couple swords stuck somewhere? The guide will tell you if you may wanna lay out a little or a lot for that Jag Panzer Ample Destruction LP ($80 US, if near mint, chief -- that beer can ring's gonna cost ya).
Also: A free CD! No bullshit either! Just like his Collector's Guide, the disc comes from a specific label, in this case Metal Blade Records. It's in two thematic parts. Firstly, a requiem for the vinyl-era, nine classic steamers starting with Warlord's "Lucifer's Hammer" ('83) through Lizzy Borden's "Be One Of Us" ('89), to nine Metal Blade releases from the past two years from Labryrith's "Moonlight" to Cannibal Corpse's "Pounded Into Dust." Sprinkled through the listing (a couple each page) are blurbs and explanations about the some of the contenders, their worth and place in history. I did wonder if anyone else had a Legs Diamond record...
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* If you wanna see lipstick applied to Nirvana, watch it being applied by Ms. Kim Gordon on The Year Punk Broke video. Just keep that fast-forward button clearly-marked. You'll need to FF through Thurston Moore's continual idiot tourspiel.