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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
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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56 of 69 people found the following review helpful
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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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
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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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
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 would be way more useful.
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44 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2011
There's no doubt that the world of Metal and Hard Rock is a MUCH BETTER place because of Eddie Trunk. His radio show here in New York City on Friday Nites (104.3, WAXQ FM) is the only remaining opportunity for people to hear rock music on terrestrial radio in the Tri-State Area. His work on Vh1 Classic and XM is also vital in keeping this type of music in the limelight.

This is a good book for people new to this genre. However, those already familiar with it have no business buying or reading it, because Eddie rehashes most of the same stuff about the bands he always talks about on the radio. In fact, that's my only real beef with Eddie - he's oblivious to most of the underground metal acts that are just as relevant as the big names (Dio, Priest, Maiden, etc. etc.) That's also a major complaint of his radio show...he generally plays the same 20-30 bands every week and very rarely takes any chances on newer or more obscure acts ...the ones he does are generally not even considered "OBSCURE" to the knowledgable metal fan (Saxon, etc).

It would be great, with the vehicle he has via his radio and TV shows, if Eddie could step away from the same old bands and start to champion some newer acts, so this genre can live on another 40 years. Because what's going to happen in 10 years when all the tried and true superstars (Ozzy, Priest, etc) wither and die? Who will carry on the torch? Dio's passing was an ominous sign.

I am starting to get away from the point - the book - in summary, there's nothing in here that a self-respecting metal fan would really stand to gain from reading it - especially, someone already familiar with Eddie's radio and TV shows.

For those looking for a deeper, more intellectual review of heavy metal, check out books from Joel McIver or Martin Popoff.
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20 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2011
If you're a fan of classic heavy metal from the 1980's, this book is for you! Eddie Trunk is the popular, charismatic host of the VH1 classic "That Metal Show." He combines the perspective of a professional journalist with that of an enthusiastic fan. Eddie covers what he considers the essential metal from the era. This includes AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Poison, Rush, and Slayer to name a few. He highlights funny and entertaining stories from his personal experiences with the bands that gives new insight and keeps the reader interested and turning the pages. The book is filled with amazing pictures and cool trivia. It includes suggested play lists for every band which dig deep into each artist's catalog. I included some of these on my ipod and they sound amazing together. He also has a "Did You Know" section for every band which points out little known facts and opens you up to new bands or recordings you may have overlooked. Reading this book made me remember lots of bands I hadn't thought about for a while and excited to re-visit their music. A must read for any metal fan!!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2013
So I read all the whiny reviews by people who said this is a book about Eddie knows this guy and Eddie knows that guy.

Let's see Eddie Trunk has a radio show where he has interviews with band members he knows and "Shock" he has a TV show where he interviews a bunch of musicians that for the most part he knows. This is what Eddie Trunk does and for the most part he is the only guy out there doing it! Therefore for him to make mention of the fact that he knows, or has seen or is familiar with the majority of artists in this book comes as no surprise to those of us that are familiar with him. It is basically a verbal presentation of what he is already doing on radio and television.

It is informative and entertaining without being over the top and encyclopedic. Are there better yes, worse, oh yes.

This is a book by a guy who has been there and done that in the metal world, a true fan of the genre and the book is reflective of that as are his other shows. He has put together a list of Heavy Metal bands that both are responsible for creating and maintaining the genre and is a great starting point for someone unfamiliar or an interesting walk through his experiences for someone who has been there also. It's like sitting down with a mutual fan at a bar and listening to stories . Recommended.

For those out there that think they could do better, get a laptop and an editor and let the rest of us know when your book is done!
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17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2011
I catch "That Metal Show" every now and again so I pretty much knew what to expect of an Eddie Trunk book simply from what he puts in his little "lists" during the show. He should have just named this "my favorite bands" and be done with it. Drop the "essential" part because he left out hugely influential metal bands who are more relevant at the time of the books pressing than what he listed. If you want to write a book and heavy metal, include all the subgenres. Like others have said, only someone comatose from an unfortunate skiing accident in 1969 would not know the bands he listed here, so I am not sure what the point of the book is. If you are in anyway interested in the history of hard rock/heavy metal, there are way better books on amazon than this one.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2012
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