Released: 2006, ECW Press
As part of an informal, three-month series (March, April, May of 2011) I am getting ‘caught-up’ reviewing some books by Metal’s #1 journalist, Martin Popoff. Last month (March 2011) I reviewed his COLLECTORS GUIDE review series, this month I am going to look at a half dozen of his biographies including titles on UFO (2005), Rainbow (2005), Dio (2006) Black Sabbath (2006), Judas Priest (2007) and Deep Purple (2008 & 2009) Next month we will look at his on-going Ye Olde Metal series. Please feel free to enjoy my other book reviews in the overview of Popoff’s work.
This is the grand-daddy of them all, Black Sabbath. What would possess Martin to write a book on Black Sabbath? At the time of publication of DOOM LET LOOSE in 2006 there were already at least a dozen books about Black Sabbath on the market. Since then there have been another dozen, excluding all those tab books and Ozzy-related crap. Hell, almost every bloody Metal journalist has written a bloody book on bloody Sabbath; Sharpe-Young, McIver, Wall, Marsh, the list goes on. Well, a quick search on Amazon has DOOM LET LOOSE at the #1 spot with 80% (12) of the 15 customer reviews giving it a perfect score out of five. The people have spoken so let’s have a look.
This is a big beautiful, oversized paperback over 350 fully loaded pages on nicer glossy paper. Visually DOOM LET LOOSE is a treat as well with dozens, actually probably hundreds of full-colour images of album covers, ticket stubs, brochures, flyers, posters, live shots, singles, 8-tracks (!) and much more. Lots and lots to look at while you enjoy the text.
The text follows Martin’s now familiar pattern of each chapter consisting of an in-depth analysis of each album. Each chapter is loaded with quotes from his many first hand interviews as well as a track-by-track analysis of each album. Never has their been such an in-depth analysis. Popoff also consulted several world-renowned experts on the band who donating memorabilia, time and energy to the cause.
A major selling point of this weighty tome is that Martin doesn’t discriminate against any one era of the band. Every album gets the same energy, attention and enthusiasm, even the less popular eras. He tackles the issues that seemed (at the time) so very important, such as, were various members fired or did they quit? Or, why did the band collaborate with Ice-T of all people? I’m glad to see guys like Tony Martin get equal face time and lesser-known curios like the Cross Purposes-Live CD/DVD get some love. Popoff even touches on some of the many tributes as well.
Why should you want to get DOOM LET LOSE? Frankly of the two-dozen books on the market about Sabbath, this one is the best.