Reviewed: April 2018
I’m often treasure hunting for Hard Rock and Metal related titles and this month I came across an interesting title about Black Sabbath. There have been a ton of books written about the band but in our eternal quest to catalogue and review every Metal book ever, I grabbed this book at the used book store.
Several years ago an American publisher called Enslow Press published a series of small, hard cover books called Rebels of Rock. There are at least a dozen books in the series including titles on (listed alphabetically) AC/DC, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Def Leppard, Kiss, Judas Priest and more. Essentially, from what I can gather these books are like introductions to these bands, intended for a young audience, perhaps pre-teens. It looks like they were designed to be sold to middle school, or Junior High schools.
BLACK SABBATH-PIONEERS OF HEAVY METAL is a little over 110 pages long, printed on nice glossy paper, with tons of photos and an easy to read presentation, aimed for a younger audience. There are many features, a useful Timeline, List Of Tours, Bibliography, and so on. The author Aberback did his research as he quotes, Popoff, McIver, Wall and other titans of Metal publishing. Another clue that leads me to believe this series is for kids is the inclusion of a Glossary with words like, ‘apprentice’, ‘hippie’, ‘riff, and ‘subpoena’.
This is a nice and compact overview of the band history and a section on Ozzy solo stuff as well. It would be pointless to criticize this title for all the stuff that is missing. For what it is worth, the author skips everything post-Dio until the first Reunion, but Aberback did a solid job of hitting the critical highlights for any reader who has never heard of the band. It’s engaging.
This book is great, considering it’s intended audience. I wish I had books like this at my school library when I was just a lad! It is a cool little series, but not really worth owning unless you are a die-hard book collector like me, or a Sabbath nut that has to have it all. If I was solely rating this book based on it’s merit and, again, considering the intended audience, I’d rate it pretty highly. However, I’m defaulting a neutral/average rank of 2.5 out of five. The more books about Black Sabbath the better I suppose!