Saturday, April 18, 2020

The Spectacular Rise, Fall and Rebirth Of Hair Metal- Christopher P. Hilton

The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of Hair Metal by [Christopher P. Hilton] 

   The cover of this book states hair metal was an era not to be forgotten. That's certainly true now with countless arena package tours doing good business. Heck even Ratt are in the new Geico commercial. It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of most of what is termed "hair metal" and like the author I hate the term because it lumps all bands from that era into something that had more style then substance. Winger are in my top 5 bands of all time and those guys can really play.

   This is a big book over 400 pages and it traces the lineage of the genre from the early 80s (rise), the wilderness years (90s) and its resurgence (00s to now). It goes year by year with each chapter titled after the biggest release with an introduction on what in general happened followed by a breakdown of other releases and in closing the author picks his favorite albums. He's an uber fan of the genre, has self-published this book and isn't afraid to criticize bands or albums he didn't like, it's not an "all of the bands were great and never did anything wrong" book, there's enough of that crap in Facebook groups. He recommends music released in the wilderness years that I might even revisit or have never heard at all. He likes Motley Crue with Vince and still thinks the Corabi album is fantastic. I like the guy.

   There are bands he completely left out or didn't cover as much as I would have liked. There's no mention of Europe's worldwide smash The Final Countdown at all in his 1986 chapter, Dokken and WASP are barely mentioned yet there's ton on The Quireboys , Pretty Boy Floyd and The Electric Boys. He picks the bands he likes and there are a lot of them, I suppose if he put them all in the book would be 800 pages.

   In closing there's a chapter on the newer hair metal bands with Steel Panther being the biggest. I know most of them but have to say I don't own a ton of newer hair metal, I'm more akin to buying newer product from older established names. In closing the book is well written, features a ton of bands and albums from a much maligned yet important genre of music. If you want to gain some extra knowledge, find some band to (re)discover or even say to yourself the author is out of his fucking mind for liking or disliking an album this is the book for you.


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