My favorite era of music is the so called, 80’s Hair Metal scene. Of course, back then it was just rock and didn’t yet have a label, but that was the music for me. I know a lot about that era and the bands so any time I can get my hands on a book about that time, I am all over it. I took a chance on this one called ‘The Spectacular Rise, Fall and Rebirth of Hair Metal by Christopher Hilton. The book had a 4.4 rating so I thought I would give it a shot.
The book goes chronologically through each year of the scene and goes all the way up to 2019/20. When it gets to the 90’s and 2000’s, the chapters start to cover more than one year as it would be too much. I was expecting some great stories and maybe interviews from people of that era and from those involved in the scene, but that is not what I got at all. The author went through and talked mostly about the biggest bands of the era including Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Poison, L.A. Guns, Faster Pussycat and the like and he went through each album and the best songs on the album. At the end of each year he ranked the best album. Honestly, it felt like I was either reading wikipedia or maybe even something I would have written with my limited knowledge of these bands. It was rather pedestrian.
The stories about the bands were the same old stories we’ve heard all the time, there was really nothing new at all. No interviews, no real thought provoking insight, no real meat at all. He always focused on the biggest bands and seldom if ever brought up bands that were lesser known that were completely overlooked. The only good thing is he did follow the music in to the 90’s (and he mentioned Paul Laine of Danger Danger) and how the bands changed their sound and style and then went in to the 2000’s where the 80’s Rock scene saw a major resurgence. He even went as far a talking about the new bands in the 21st Century that have taken up the 80’s glam scene and how a lot of them come from Europe, especially Scandinavia. A good list of bands to check out. Most of them I already knew about, but for newbie’s that part is worth checking out.
I guess the only thing I really got out of it was the band Beautiful Creatures that I hadn’t heard about before and let me tell you they kicks ass. The self-titled debut came out in 2001 and another album in 2005 called “Deuce”. That album is the one I’ve heard so far and I love it. Maybe I’ll do a review and give you all the detail as this isn’t the place.
I wish I had good things to say about this, but I really don’t. You can skip it and move on to better books as there are plenty out there. If you want to read better stories on it, go check out all the rock blogs on WordPress as those guys write better stuff and will give you more insight in to that scene. I only give it a 2.0 out of 5.0 Stars as at least he took it up to basically, now. To say I was disappointed, is an understatement. Now, if you know nothing about the scene, this book might be a good place to start to find out the biggest bands of the time and the best albums to check out. If you know anything about the era at all, this is a boring rehash of the same old, same old.