Made Of Metal (Book Review)
Released: 2014, Neil Daniels
Neil Daniels, one of the world’s leading experts on Judas Priest has just published his fourth Priest related title, a book about Rob Halford. This is another in his series called ‘A Causal Guide to the Music of…” and this time the Metal God himself gets the call. This is not a bad idea because often Halford solo work get’s overlooked for obvious reasons.
The paperback is 286 but the font is large, the spacing wide and there is a quite a lot of extra information. Not to be negative but of you cut out all the little extras and had conventional spacing and font the real core of the book would be about 75 pages long. I’m not suggesting there is a lot of filler it’s just that a 286 page read about Halford’s seven solo albums is not as intimidating as one might think.
Daniels does a brief intro and explains the concept; this is not the Rob Halford autobiography, nor is it about Judas Priest, nor is it meant to be extremely comprehensive, as the title suggests it is a causal guide to his solo work. Despite only having seven solo albums, there is an enormous amount of spin-off material as well, live albums, EP’s, reissues, etc. Despite Daniels claim of not being comprehensive, MADE OF METAL is very comprehensive in my estimation, there is only one thing that I noticed was not included, a very minor discography item, otherwise he covers all the bases very well.
The book has an extensive discography, a timeline, some trivia, some quotes from Rob and others, reviews, a bibliography, and a few photos scattered around and as is becoming a tradition, Daniels solicited quotes from various famous rock scribes to talk about Halford’s solo career. There is a ton of information in this book and it is easy to read and access for quick reference.
The book is anchored by the first section where Daniels goes through solo album by solo album with a detailed history, from the early days to Halford leaving Priest in the early 90’s (in the now infamous, on-stage, motorcycle accident in Toronto) to the myriad of live albums, reissues and Christmas album! He covers Fight, Two and his solo career proper while as mentioned has resulted in three very different projects of varying quality over two decades. No one has really done this before and it the story needed to be told.
MADE OF METAL is a excellent guide to the long, sometimes magnificent, sometimes frustrating, sometimes downright horrible solo career of the Metal God.