Artist: Martin Popoff
Title: “Dio: Evil Or Divine”
Label: Metal Blade Records
Genre: Heavy Metal Biography
Once again Martin Popoff has delivered a tome that becomes a required point of reference for the ardent fan of the performer being discussed. In “Dio: Evil Or Divine” he presents us with an album by album chronological history of the career of the one and only Ronnie James Dio. While Rob Halford may very well be “The Metal God”, I feel that it is truly safe to say that Dio is one of the most respected elder statesmen in the genre. To many fans his public career began with the band Elf and continued upward when he joined Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. However, it wasn’t until he formed the band Dio that he really came into his largest level prominence. The book lines out Ronnie’s early years in brief as its prime focus falls to the band that bears his name. Shoud you require deeper answers into his time with Rainbow and Elf you are advised to seek out a copy of Popoff’s Rainbow history book called “English Castle Magic” to get them.
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Artist: Led Zeppelin
Title: “Origin Of The Species”
Label: Music Video Distributors
Release Date: 8/8/2006
Without question, modern Rock as we know it comes to us as a direct result of the influences and musical experiments of Led Zeppelin. Historically, they are one of, if not the most referenced band among the Hard Rock circles. Outside of Black Sabbath, Led Zep is the band that many of the legends of today found their original inspiration from and that which they brought to the table so many years ago. Given that premise, one would think that a historical biography DVD would be one of the most outstanding releases of the year. Sadly, this is not the case, as while it is interesting it is more like its title cites – an origin story.
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Author: Martin Popoff
Title: “Rainbow: English Castle Magic”
Label: Metal Blade Records
Genre: Hard Rock
Rainbow would be the creative outlet that Ritchie Blackmore launched after he found himself continually discontent with the way things were going as a result of being a member of Deep Purple. He decided to start again fresh with new people and felt this was better than being at odds with the group and from this his first order of business would be to team up with the young but enigmatic Ronnie James (then a member of Elf). The music the pair would create would not be as steeped in the Blues as Purple was but instead be a Hard Rock exposition filled with images of dungeons and dragons and mysticism as that was what both Dio and Blackmore were interested in. From the onset of the group’s creation the lineup would be a revolving door of talented individuals and this book by Rock Historian Martin Popoff is loaded with the details on all of them and the times that they served as members of this truly incredible, but short-lived group. It’s a band that put the talents of musicians like Cozy Powell (drums), Graham Bonnet (vocals) and Joe Lynn Turner (vocals) into the limelight and helped launch their own careers that had levels of acclaim to them based on their endeavors in Rainbow.
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