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Allison, John
Heavy Metal - The Vinyl Years (Book Review)
January 2002
Released: 1996, Independent
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Both of my book reviews for the Library of Loudness this month are going to be of interest to older fans, audiophiles, collectors and fans of vinyl. Both books are non-fiction encyclopedia style pieces based on the world of heavy metal vinyl.

To the best of my knowledge Allison’s book, was the first of it’s kind. HM: The Vinyl Years looks and feels like an independent effort which is not a big deal but does diminish from the impact of a bigger budget publication.

This is essentially a metal discography from 1970-1990. It is an excellent reference guide and I have found myself dipping into over the years for tidbits of trivia or information. This small paperback was independently published and is very affordable.

Unfortunately that is where the book stops. It is about 185 pages of small type style text that is just pages and pages of discographies, nothing more, nothing less. There are about 60 small black and white pictures of rare album covers, all of which are very neat to see in print.

This is truly an academic reference guide which has many errors and omissions but it is an excellent effort by Allison who’s passion and dedication to metal are readily evident by the number of rarities documented.

As I mentioned in my review of Popoff’s vinyl guide, if you are a metal archivist like me or a vinyl collector this guide is truly essential. If not it might not be worth your time to track down this limited pressing as there are a number of other, more comprehensive collector guides out there.
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