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Review: The Top 500 Heavy Metal Songs Of All Time
Book Review
The Top 500 Heavy Metal Songs Of All Time
Publisher: ECW Press
Author: Martin Popoff
Year published: 2003
ISBN: 1-55022-530-8
Pages: 486

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: May 30, 2003
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
The Top 500 Heavy Metal Songs Of All Time

Rated 3.82/5 (76.36%) (11 Votes)

Martin Popoff strikes again with another metal book, this time cataloguing the 500 best heavy metal songs... Not according to him, but according to 18,000 individual voters (that must have been a hellish job to compile.) Unsurprisingly, some non-metal stuff made its way into the list, which was to be expected - at least just a couple of nu-puke songs made their way in, so I'll live. :) The majority of the songs have quite a few years under their belt, which I believe makes perfect sense since it confirms that the songs in question have withstood the test of time. Lots of expected and a good number of unexpected in that list, which makes it all the more interesting to read.

Of course, Martin has such a way with words that there's no way he'd just have printed a bland list and released it as a book. :) Each and every song is accompanied by Martin's comments, which are often almost as long as some of his album reviews on - in other words, his comments go much further than "uh yeah.. cool song!" ;) Many of the songs also include comments by one of the band's members, either about the song itself (most common) or about the band in general (the comments from Metallica are mostly geared toward defending themselves and their turning into shit.) The comments vary in length and quality but are usually a pretty good read, minus a few exceptions. Definitely a worthwhile addition to Martin's comments, and just collecting these must have taken forever. Good thing he's a well-known writer, because I'm not sure anybody could have reached all the bands listed in there!

Also included are a few band members' top 10 songs list (scattered here and there throughout the book). Interesting at times, pathetic for some (I wonder if he did specify METAL songs to some of them. :)) To complement all of this, the book ends with some comments on vote splitting (which explains why some songs or bands didn't make the 500, or sometimes why we end up with a government no one wanted - lol.) Also included are a few lists: Top 500 At A Glance (list without the comments), Top 500 Sorted By Band, Points by Country (Top 10), Points by Band, Points by Album, Points By Year (Top 10 - the most recent is 1990) and finally Martin's Top 25.

Sure thing is, no one will agree with the entire list - after all it all comes down to taste and opinion. Reading this, I often found myself wondering how the hell this or that song made it in there, but overall there's a majority of songs that DO belong in there. This book was quite an overtaking and the result is impressive - I must admit that when I first heard of the book, I thought this couldn't possibly be good, but now that I've read it, I can only give Martin two thumbs up for a job well done. This is a must for all metalheads, and the price is right, at US$19.95/C$24.95. Go git it.

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