Prolific rock author Martin Popoff [writer of more than 45 books on everybody from Thin Lizzy and Deep Purple to Blue Oyster Cult and Black Sabbath] traces the development of heavy metal from the opening riffs by bands like Budgie through the early '90s, with bands like Guns N' Roses and Alice Cooper.
Popoff has interviewed all the key players involved in the metal genre, including Sammy Hagar, Tommy Lee, David Coverdale, Dave Davies, Adrian Smith, Zakk Wylde and many, many more. Here is an excerpt from Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones talking about one of the band's classic songs.
I remember 'Stairway to Heaven' was done kind of around the fire, a big fireplace, sitting around drinking cider. Page had a few things worked out on the guitar. He had these different sections, and he was just playing them through and I remember picking up...I had brought all my recorders and my bits and pieces and I picked up the bass recorder and started playing that rundown with the guitar."
Popoff's interview quotes are succinct and entertaining and provide a beautiful light to shine on the various artists responsible for this metal music. The photos here and remarkable and include album covers and classic black-and-white and color shots both live and studio.
There are dozens of books out there on heavy metal, but Popoff's is amongst the best. It is a pleasurable read and will teach you everything you ever wanted to know about metal.