Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Eddie Trunk’s Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal
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on July 13, 2011
I follow That Metal Show and listened to Eddie Trunk's radio show, I have to give the man credit because he really knows his music inside out. When it comes to metal this guy has been following the genre since its beginnings and he's met Hard Rock and Heavy Metal's biggest legends and talents, he certainly has experience on the topic. Now Eddie releases his own book. I guess I wasn't too sure what to expect but since it was a book on Hard Rock and Metal and that Eddie Trunk was the author of it, that was enough a reason for me to buy it. I was curious enough that I wanted to see for myself what Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal had to offer.

I won't argue with the author's picks and I'll agree that most of these bands are essential listening for a true fan. In fact, I would probably have included many of these bands in my personal "essentials" list. As always some fans are going to criticize and say this or that band should have been included (normal and perfectly understandable) but there was only so much room in the book even if some great bands have been overlooked. I'm not surprised at the picks and there are obviously a lot of Eddie's favorites like KISS, UFO, Thin Lizzy, Dio and so on. However it seems that there's little room for new bands in Eddie's idea of Hard Rock/Metal. While I myself prefer the classic bands over the ones of today there are still some good bands and musicians that make great music these days that should be talked about. I feel that it would only be normal to also spend some time on bands that carry on this genre of music, just my opinion. Trunk goes by favorites here which is typical and no big deal, I feel that fans would agree that the bands selected are essential and are deserving of a spot here. I think that there could have been room for more bands and more pages, Eddie's knowledge of the genre and these bands is huge I must say and that's why I feel this book could have given fans more. Eddie Trunk's Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal is basically an ok introduction and not much more, hardcore fans won't be finding much new here (I know I didn't).

This book is about the music and the bands but it's also a LOT about Eddie. He mentions whenever he met one of the bands and which occasion and how these guys are great friends and he has some interesting stories to tell. Sometimes it actually gets in the way of the band's bio. Even if this is not a biography there's a lot of his own story thrown in along with some highly opinionated comments which are a lot of times really accurate and he speaks for the whole Metal community (like when he talks about Def Leppard losing touch with their Hard Rock roots and how he doesn't listen to a whole lot of Leppard after Hysteria) but there are also times when his comments and opinions are a bit less valuable. This goes to show how everyone has their own opinion on music.

On the good side there are some great pictures in there, quite a few I had never seen before (as you may have guessed there are also a few of Eddie with the artists in here as well some which are taken when he was in his teenage years!) and while I wouldn't say they're worth buying the book alone they're certainly nice looking. As a nice personal touch that I enjoyed were Eddie's own playlist for each of the bands selected, it's interesting because these playlist tend to avoid most of the artists' hits and go for some excellent obscure song. This is where Eddie shows why he is a true fan, it would have been easy to only pick the popular songs but he went one step further here. The discographies are mostly complete, as Trunk states in the book he didn't include the live releases that he felt weren't supported by the bands therefore the discographies are fairly accurate while they don't always include everything (like Iron Maiden's live releases of which there are plenty). The Did You Know? Section is fun but I already knew a lot of these and the even slightly hardcore Metalhead would know about most of these trivias. For a new fan these would be more suitable and they would benefit from them. Eddie also includes a Classic Lineups section which lists the members of what would generally be considered every band's classic lineup as well as a Key Additional Members section which concentrates on other musicians who have played with the bands.

I know Eddie can do better than this and I'd like to see him release a second book that would be much bigger and that would feature more bands and stories. With all of Eddie's knowledge on this music I just expected better. For a new fan, the person who doesn't know all the band names, albums etc. or someone who's just getting into metal Eddie Trunk's Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal would be a passable introduction to the genre, good yet nothing special. The foreword by the one and only Metal God Rob Halford is also a nice touch worth mentioning. Eddie Trunk is really a fan who got to meet his idols and someone who dedicated his life to this genre of music, his opinions as a fan are often very valid and right on the money and the fact that he's so honest and opinionated justifies his fandom. 3/5, I was hoping for more and was a bit deceived, therefore I can only recommend this as a general introduction to Hard Rock/Heavy Metal book and not much more. I still think a second book done properly would be an excellent read.
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on May 14, 2011
I thought I'd enjoy this more, being a huge hard rock and metal fan. I'd never heard of Eddie Trunk before this, but I discovered he did have the credentials for such a book. Sadly though, the basis for this project appears to be just an outlet for Eddie to tell us all how friendly he is with famous rock stars. It's okay to do this here and there, but on almost EVERY page we have to hear how "great a friend" (insert-famous-name-here) is. Really tedious and amateurish. Makes what could have been a nice book really difficult to sit through. I did enjoy his lists of favorite tracks by each artist. I would suggest any books by Martin Popoff or Chuck Eddy, as they can dish heavy metal as well as anyone, but without the self-promotion (and they don't see Bon Jovi as a viable "hard rock" act).
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on May 29, 2011
I love hard rock/metal and I watch That Metal Show every week. I haven't missed an episode since the beginning, so obviously I like the guys and what they are about. That said, this book is more about Eddie and less about "essential" hard rock and metal. Seemingly every chapter has a way of being about Eddie as much as it is about the bands themselves. Yes, some of that is necessary but it just never ends and gets old fast. I would've liked to read more about the bands and their history and not so much about their history with Eddie.

The book does have excellent photos (Eddie's in a lot of those too) and a good bit of trivia.

Eddie's Playlist for each band is interesting, but he doesn't explain if those are his favorites in that order or what he believes to be the general opinion as the band's best. Probably his favorites, but that's a guess.

I don't regret pruchasing it, I just wish it would have been written with less use of the word "I" by Eddie.
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on May 17, 2012
This book is very, very light on anything compelling about music and very, very heavy on ass-kissing anecdotes included to show what a cool guy Eddie thinks he is. If you're already into hard rock & metal, save your money. You probably already know anything of merit here. And if you're just getting into this kind of music, you can find much better resources. Even allmusic.com would be way more useful.
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VINE VOICEon February 27, 2014
Ever watch Beavis and Butthead and there's that neighbor kid who wears the Winger shirt? Well, the best way I can put it is that he's grown up and written a book about metal. People make all kinds of comments about how this book is all about Eddie and his ego but I don't get that impression at all-I think he's just a metal nerd who is stunned to find himself in the center of things and doing what he loves-so he writes about it. But that's really, other than his knowledge of band trivia, his only frame of reference. I think he's surprised as hell that he's met and hung out with the people in the book.
That said-the book is ok. The best part are the little stories about the bands and that he brings a degree of insight to the bands and has some great trivia. BUT, Eddie's teenage years were very formative for him so most of the bands were popular in the 80s. Which is fine for me-I loved the 80s and I get that and I enjoy some of the autobiographies of 80s band members but...maybe not for everyone. Personally, I don't see anyone enjoying this book who was a teenager in the 90s but who knows.
Also, if you get this book on kindle, I was frustrated to find that the formatting was odd- there are sidebars in the book (who knew Freddie Mercury and Billy Squier recorded together?!) but even if you change the font size these don't come up any larger on the kindle fire and are a challenge to read in <8 pt font. On the other hand, the book is a super quick read and not very deep.
I found myself adding some of his songs to my playlists but the book was a quick read and, frankly, some of the bands were just plain embarrassing (although Winger wasn't listed-whew!).
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on May 8, 2014
I've owned and read Eddie Trunk's Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal several times now. He obviously knows
hard rock and heavy metal. This book is done in vivid color and the band info and Eddie's playlist are helpful.
One thing I liked about this book are the cool stories about each band. There's a lot of things I didn't even know
about some of these bands. I would recommend this book to any true hard rock and heavy metal fan out there.
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on October 22, 2013
On urbandictionary.com they define humble brag as "Subtly letting others now about how fantastic your life is while undercutting it with a bit of self-effacing humor or "woe is me" gloss." Eddie Trunk's book is the epitome of a humblebrag.

I went in wanting to learn more about the forefathers of the genre. The negative reviews of the book were pretty critical of Eddie's writing and how the book was more about him and the bands vs the bands themselves. I honestly thought there was no way it could be that bad, but it was. About 40% of the way through the book became more about the humor found in reading each new chapter and seeing how Eddie Trunk would weave his self promoting way into the band. Three or four chapters later I just found myself getting more depressed as the same general story revealed itself for most bands. I haven't picked it up since and probably won't.

Save your money and venture elsewhere, maybe even Wikipedia, if you want to learn something about the metal genre.
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on November 6, 2013
Since I reviewed Volume Two I figure I might as well go back & review Volume One. Host of That Metal Show on VH1 Classic, NYC Radio and Sirus/XM Eddie Trunk is the Hard Rock and Heavy Metal savant. Being a fan of "That Metal Show" on VH1 Classic is how I got introduced to Eddie Trunk. Not all bands he likes are my favorites but life would be boring if everyone liked the same music. Eddie is a big UFO, KISS and RUSH fan. When he put this book out he tried to list as many bands as he could w/ limited pages. He gives my favorite Alice Cooper a good number of pages. He starts off admitting he didn't know much of Alice's music but as the article goes on he comes to realize the work Alice Cooper put out from music to theatrics that influenced a number of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal bands.
If you enjoy watching "That Metal Show" this book is just an extension of the TV series. A lot of the bands in this book are the ones that are talked about on VH1 Classic. Eddie discusses 35 bands in limited detail. This isn't an extensive background on these bands but it gives you some ground work and if you are interested maybe it'll give you chance to listen to some of these bands. Eddie list 35 bands mostly the staple ones besides Alice Cooper like AC/DC, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Kiss, Judas Priest, Motley Crue, Rush, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen to name a few. There is an ending chapter titled "More Essentials" which Eddie covers a few more bands in a paragraph or 2.
Also good to point out the many rare photos taken from Eddie's friend Ron Akiyama. Forward by Judas Priest Rob Halford.
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on June 6, 2012
EVEN THE BANDS I DIDN'T CARE FOR I READ JUST FOR MUSIC KNOWLEDGE. A FAST READ BOOK BUT IT'S WHAT HE THINKS ABOUT THE BANDS HE SAW SO MAY DISAGREE WITH SOME OF HIS OPINIONS. I LIKED THAT SOME BANDS THAT WEREN'T BIG WERE MENTIONED AND THERE CONTENT WAS SHORT BUT LISTED. OTHER POPULA BANDS HAD A FEW PAGES. SO IF YOU LOVED ONE OF THE BANDS THERE ARE THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE KNOWN. I PURCHASED A 2ND COPY FOR A GIFT TO MY FRIEND WHO IS ALSO DISABLED AND HE ALSO ENJOYED IT AND WE HAD PLENTY TO SPEAK ABOUT ON OUR DAILY PHONE CONVERSATION. LIKE EDDIE AND HIS OPINIONS OR NOT YOU GOT TO ADMIT HE WAS THERE.
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on January 10, 2012
Being a fan of That Metal Show, I figured I'd go ahead and buy this, and give it a try. I have to say the book is OK, I like maybe 2/3 of the bands in it, but was looking for maybe a tad more about included bands. I will say this Trunk really enjoys putting himself over, and gushing about how influential HE was in some of the bands successes, so that gets a bit annoying, but not as annoying as the god awful comics that are on the show with him. Good thing I downloaded their stuff first so I did not waste my cash on it, just awful stuff. If that is what today's comedians are about, count me out.
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