Elmslie and I were leafing through some of the newly arrived rock music books in our Arts Department at the Toronto Reference Library, having a chuckle at the pictures and remembering our younger days when many of these singers and bands were new.
Encylopedias like this one are very engrossing, full of pictures and information about our favourite bands, and also about some we had NEVER heard of!
While Queen's heavy metal credentials are, the Encyclopedia says, 'beyond question', they have also worked in many styles that other heavy metal bands would 'as soon' soak themselves in gasoline and then 'light a match' than perform. As for me, I am glad they did so, utilizing Freddie Mercury's amazing vocal abilities to beautiful effect. Photo by Mick Rock.
The Runaways are also included in the Encyclopedia, not the least because the band launched the careers of Joan Jett and Lita Ford, but also because of its trailblazing impact for 'all female' bands. These two photos (left by Claude Van Heye, right by London Features) show both the early band and their later incarnation towards the end of their career. Can you pick out the young Joan Jett and Lita Ford?
Loudness, a hugely popular band in their native Japan known for their non commercial heavy metal sound, signed with the North American label, Atlantic Records, in the mid 80's in hopes of conquering a foreign market. Somehow, back in the day, neither Elmslie nor I got to hear their popular Thunder in the East album (where were we?) and since they returned to Japan after a short 6 years (to the joy of their loyal Japanese fanbase) we totally missed out. However, like the Runaways for "all female" bands, they were an inspiration to the Japanese metal bands that followed in their wake. Photo by Ebet Roberts
This book is loads of fun for any connoisseur of (Michael) Jacksonesque. It follows his whole career from beginning to end from the perspective of his iconic style! Elsmlie and I had a blast checking out all the pics. Here are a few favs:
Michael the boy, already a person of great fashion and style. Already embodying the confident look of a star. Photo by Getty Images
This photo by Matthew Rolston moves me every time I see it. There is something intensely sad and private here, yet nonetheless full of Michael's own magnificence.
And here he is with John Landis, his wonderful sense of playfulness on full display from the Thriller days, in this photo by Steven Vaughan.
Our Arts Department is always getting in new music books, rock, punk, metal, hip hop. Here is a sampling of what is available. Why not come in yourself and check them out?