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The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 1: The Seventies Paperback – October 1, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

It’s a pretty sick book, really, in my opinion, the best source out there for actually figuring out what really did rock hard in the ‘70s, what sorta did, and as importantly, just how heavy all those cool name-dropped bands from the rare end of things really were. So yeah, there’s a lot of pretty tame stuff included, but like I said, I’ve given you a grade, a cold single number, to figure out that side of it! And again, the second number looks at sheer quality of the damn record, with the actual review, of course, waxing poetically about all of that, heaviness, history, relative greatness, personnel, trivia… maybe much more info/factual-packed than you might recognize from my reviews. That’s it… I think you now know whether you need this thing or not!

About the Author

Martin Popoff is a freelance music journalist and the author of several books on pop culture, including Riff Kills Man. His articles have appeared in numerous publications and web sites, among them Chart, Guitar World, Lolipop, Goldmine, and

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Collector's Guide Publishing, Inc. (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1894959027
  • ISBN-13: 978-1894959025
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #612,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Periodical Journalism:

Editorships: HardRadio - Reviews Editor and Writer (Hard Reviews), Interviews Editor and Writer (Hard Views); Senior Editor.

Contributing Writer: Goldmine,

Past Work:,,,, CMJ, Chart,, Outsider,, Glass Eye, Maximum Guitar, Guitar World, Lollipop, Record Collector, Revolver, Live Wire, Enrage, Radio, Juggernaut, Classic Rock,,,, interview radio show called BraveWords Radio at internet station VirtuallyCanadian '96 - '98, BBC doc on heavy metal, long-form reviews and features for special edition metal Hammer mags on AC/DC and Iron Maiden, Foreword in Neil Daniels' book, All Pens Blazing: A Heavy Metal Wwriters Handbook, Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles ('94 - '08): Editor In Chief and Writer, Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage feature film and DVD - Researcher, Metal Evolution (11 episode series on metal genres for VH1 Classic), a Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen production - Researcher.


Riff Kills Man! 25 Years Of Recorded Hard Rock & Heavy Metal (1993)
-1,945 album reviews, 440 p.

The Collector's Guide To Heavy Metal (1997)
- update of Riff Kills Man!: 3750 album reviews, 540 p., 600,000 words, full-length CD sampler, in fourth printing

Goldmine Heavy Metal Record Price Guide (2000)
- 11,800 entries, 300 photos, 368 p., best of list, essays, full-length CD sampler

Heavy Metal: 20th Century Rock And Roll (2000)
- part of series, themed as The Fifty Most Influential Bands In Heavy Metal, essays, interview segments, discographies, best of lists, 190 p.

Southern Rock Review (2001)
- 410 southern rock record reviews, 150 album cover shots, 200 p., 10 tr. CD sampler, appendices

The Top 500 Heavy Metal Songs Of All Time (2003)
- poll winners, reviews of each, artist quotes for approx. 460 of them, singles shots, artist lists, 486 p.

The Collector's Guide To Heavy Metal - Volume 1: The Seventies (2003)
- 1162 reviews of '70s hard rock albums, most not in original '97 source book (and those that were, expanded/rewritten), 188 album cover shots, seven appendices, 12 tr. rarities sampler, 344 p.

The Top 500 Heavy Metal Albums Of All Time (2004)
- Like the Songs book but better, longer quotes and reviews, longer overall, due to 7" x 10" page size (450 p.). New appendices etc. Winners from a poll, reviews by me, artist quotes for almost all entries.

Blue Oyster Cult: Secrets Revealed (2004)
- A 193 p. bio of the band (focus on albums and songs); original interviews with Buck, Eric, Albert, Joe, and Bobby, plus Greg Scott, Ioannis, Murray Krugman, Sandy Pearlman, Richard Meltzer, John Shirley, Helen Wheels and David Roter.

Contents Under Pressure: 30 Year of Rush At Home & Away (2004)
- a 230 page book with 270 photos (most quite rare) authorized by the band, with fresh interviews, to be sold in bookstores and on tour; full colour throughout, 7" x 10" format.

The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Singles (2005)
- 580 reviews, 424 pictures of rare singles, prices, catalog #s, dates, label info, 192 p.

UFO: Shoot Out The Lights (2005)
- album by album, song by song "bio" of the band, much new interview footage, 257 p.

Rainbow: English Castle Magic (2005)
- album by album, song by song "bio" of the band, much new interview footage, 228 p.

The Collector's Guide To Heavy Metal - Volume 2: The Eighties (2005)
- 2,528 reviews of '80s albums, Metal Blade CD, album cover shots, two appendices, 432 p.

Dio: Light Beyond The Black
- album by album, song by song "bio" of the band, much new interview footage, 207 p.

Black Sabbath: Doom Let Loose
- all eras covered in detail, full colour throughout, large format, 1 kg of doom, 355 p.

Run For Cover: The Art Of Derek Riggs (2006)
- full colour, large format, high quality art book, with loads of chat from Derek, 180 p.

Ye Olde Metal: 1968 to 1972 (2007)
- full trade 6" x 9" format, 231 pages, essays with interviews on classic old hard rock albums.

The Collector's Guide To Heavy Metal - Volume 3: The Nineties (2007)
- 3,073 reviews of '90s albums, Metal Blade CD, two appendices, 518 p.

Ye Olde Metal: 1973 to 1975 (2007)
- full trade 6" x 9" format, 232 pages, essays with interviews on classic old hard rock albums.

Judas Priest: Heavy Metal Painkillers (2007)
- album by album, 541 pictures, 8" x 10", full colour throughout, 380 p.

Ye Olde Metal: 1976 (2008)
- full trade 6" x 9" format, 241 pages, essays with interviews on classic old hard rock albums.

Ye Olde Metal: 1977 (2008)
- full trade 6" x 9" format, 247 pages, essays with interviews on classic old hard rock albums.

All Access: The Art And History Of The Backstage Pass (2008)
- full colour, hardcover, with nearly 1000 photos of passes.

Gettin' Tighter: Deep Purple '68-76 (2008)
- my 250 page book looking at all the records through Mk. IV; lots of pictures too

Ye Olde Metal: 1978 (2008)
- 250 action packed pages on Starz, Boyzz, Godz, DMZ... all the "z" bands.

Blue Oyster Cult! Secrets Revealed! (2009)
- new 2009 edition: new cover, 100 more pages, 174 pictures.

Worlds Away: Voivod & The Art Of Michel Langevin (2009)
- hard cover, full colour throughout, a mammoth compendium.

Goldmine Price Guide To 45 RPM Records, 7th. Ed. (2009)
- front essays, collectible info, 700-odd pages of listings, lots of pictures

Goldmine Record Album Price Guide, 6th. Ed. (2009)
- front essays, collectible info, 700-odd pages of listings, lots of pictures

A Castle Full Of Rascals: Deep Purple '83 - '09 (2009)
- book on Purple covering second half of career; tons of new interviews

Goldmine Standard Catalogue of American Records, 7th Ed. (2010)
- front essays, collectible info, 1344 pages, lots of pictures

The Collector's Guide To Heavy Metal - Volume 4: The '00s (2011)
- 3,367 reviews, 572 pages, Metal Blade sampler included

Black Sabbath FAQ (2011)
- 400 pages of trivia, odd topics, cool interview footage, memorabilia shots

The Deep Purple Royal Family - Chain Of Events Through '79
- 280 pages of detailed timeline and 542 memorabilia shots

The Deep Purple Royal Family - Chain Of Events Through '80 - '11 (2011)
- 294 pages of detailed timeline and 513 memorabilia shots

Fighting My Way Back: Thin Lizzy 69 - 76 (2011)
- my 280 page history of the early years, with 238 graphics

We Will Be Strong: Thin Lizzy 76 - 81 (2012
- my 256 page history of the classic mid-years, with 262 graphics

It's Getting Dangerous: Thin Lizzy 81 - 12 (2012)
- the 248 page finale to my Thin Lizzy trilogy, with 236 images plus discography

Fade To Black: Hard Rock Cover Art Of The Vinyl Age
- my swanky hard cover coffee table book of album covers plus reviews of them

Epic Ted Nugent
- my 292 page book focusing on Ted's Epic years albums; 220 graphics


Record Label biographies: approximately 72.

CD liner notes: approximately 30, including work for Dio, Danzig, Testament, Montrose, Molly Hatchet, Love/Hate, Mahogany Rush, War Babies, Badlands, Moxy, Razor, Anvil, Twisted Sister, Blind Vengeance, Nasty Savage, Love/Hate, Kraken, Trouble, Nevermore, Stuck Mojo and various metal and southern rock compilations

Interviews completed, fully transcribed: 1475

Rhino/Warner Heavy Metal Box liner essay: My contribution is approximately 75 or 80, 100-word "reviews" pertaining to the track selection.

AC/DC - High-Voltage Rock 'n' Roll: The Ultimate Illustrated History. Contribution of long-form reviews of The Razors Edge and Black Ice. In production is a similar coffee table book on Aerosmith, for which I contributed reviews of Draw The Line and Rock In A Hard Place.

Metal Blade box set: one 5000 word history of Metal Blade

My Sabbath, Rainbow and UFO books are available in German. The Sabbath is also available in Czech. The two Deep Purples will soon be out in German. These are all through Matthias Mader and Iron Pages, at The Dio book will soon be issued in a Bulgarian edition.

In A Previous Life:

Born and raised in British Columbia, Canada., B.A. In English, M.B.A. in Marketing, Xerox Corp. (Rookie Of The Year in '88: Yay!), nine years as co-owner of The Perfect Page, graphic design, print brokering.


Martin Popoff,
P.O. Box 65208
358 Danforth Ave.
Toronto, Ontario
M4K 2Z2 (PayPal also accepted with that address)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Ulrey on October 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
A few years back Martin compiled all the reviews that he'd written (and could still find) and published them under the title "The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal". And while he may have missed a few items he hit all the essentials and more, all the while earning himself a somewhat ambiguous reputation due to his praised inclusions of various grunge and punk albums not to mention his unabashed distaste for entire sub-genres of heavy metal.

After a few "fluff" books over the years ("The 500 Greatest Heavy Metal Songs"? Talk about dragging a magazine article out for far too long) he's finally back to update what may be his only seminal work in the genre. This time "The Collector's Guide" is being broken down by decade to allow for the inclusion of more obscure groups Taking full advantage of this, Popoff is now including anything remotely connected with hard rock, let alone heavy metal. I'm not sure this is such a bad idea on the evidence of "Coll. Guide: 70's", but then there was a much more blurry line between plain vanilla hard rock and dyed in the wool heavy metal in those halcyon days. To his credit, Popoff does trot out some true obscurities, but as per his previous volume these obscurities lean heavily toward Canadian artists. But, when you have to rely on the efforts of one man to get the job done no one out there has done a finer job for the genre than Martin Popoff (I may have to amend this statement when AMG finally puts out their own metal guide). His musical prejudices notwithstanding, I've always felt that musical criticism should be taken with a grain of salt, and assuming you're one of the wise ones who consults more than one critic before rushing out to buy an album you should be able to enjoy "The Collector's Guide..." for exactly what it is: one very informed man's opinion.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Todd M. Pence on April 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
What can be said? Martin Popoff has written not only the greatest and most comprehensive guide to seventies hard rock, but also one of the greatest and most comprehensive record guides in any genre period. There have been a handful of books in recent years published about the history of metal (Ian Christe's, for one) and after the superficial research and lack of knowledge about metal's early days which characterize those tomes, it is refreshing to have a work like this.
I am a huge Uriah Heep fan, and so I was pleased to see that Popoff finally gives them the credit they deserve as being one of metal's most important founders along with Purple, Sabbath and Zeppelin.
The most impressive thing about this book is the scope. It has everything - and I mean everything. There probably wasn't a hard-rock record released during the period that isn't covered here. I was pleased to see the inclusion of such Heep-related rarities and unknowns such as The Gods, Toe Fat, and even-the ultra-rare Weed album Ken Hensley did under a pseudonym (the Weed album even has a photograph of the cover image - wow!) Even Hensley's solo albums, which are extrememly mellow and cannot be considered metal by any stretch of the definition, are included.
Another of my favorite unknown bands Popoff covers is Stray. I was suprised to hear that he didn't review the first Stray album because he couldn't find a copy. I was amazed by this because Stray's debut is the ONLY Stray album I've been able to find a copy of, seeing as how it was released as a bonus disc to an anthology which was availible a couple of years ago. I would have loaned Popoff my copy for free.
Yes, there are indeed albums and bands included in here that are so rare and obscure their very existence borders on the mythical.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
It's great that someone would love hard rock and heavy metal so much that they'd do a guide like this, and include obscure groups. But this guide also falls short on a number of levels.
Number one, Popoff is not a top-flight rock critic or writer, and these reviews offer little insight into how any of these albums actually SOUND. More often, they're his attempts at creative writing -- usually trying to be clever but sounding contrived. A good rock critic, like say Nick Tosches, Lester Bangs, Dave Thompson, or even Robert Christgau (who I almost never agree with), will be able to not only divulge his opinion, but tell you if you'll like the record. Popoff is not in their league at all.
But from a more selfish standpoint, I have to wonder if this guy likes '70s hard rock much. He implies that Captain Beyond (debut album = classic) is overrated, but praises corporate wimps like Foreigner (yeah, they rock REALLY hard). He underrates cool bands like Earth Quake, Toad, Coloured Balls, Marcus, and Blue Cheer. He leaves out some great hard rock bands, like Damnation and Chicken Shack and others (too many to list, actually), saying they're "not heavy," yet includes pop like Artful Dodger and Nick Gilder, Coven (a terrible Midwest bar band), plus more AOR crap.
But on a more positive note, he knows his stuff, and this book could be useful as a discography for beginners. And indeed, a project like this is a difficult task given the breadth of material to cover. It's WAY better than that egocentric waste of pulp by Chuck "I'm Smarter than You" Eddy, 'Stairway to Hell.' If Popoff proves anything in the long run, however, it's that knowledge and fandom will only get you so far. You also have to have something compelling to say, and too often, he doesn't.
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