Metal Express Rating: 8.5/10
Release Date: 2014-09-16
by: SCOTT JESLIS
Email: scott (at) metalexpressradio (dot) com
Anyone that’s taken the time to invest in reading about Metal in the last several decades is probably no doubt familiar with Canadian author Martin Popoff. Mr. Popoff has penned forty-five books on Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Classic Rock and record collecting. He was also editor-in-chief for Canada’s premiere Metal publication of Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles (a.k.a. BW & BK) as well as writing for other medium like Revolver, Guitar World, Bravewords.com, HardRadio.com and several others.
Martin’s current work, which hit the market at the end of 2014, is entitled Steal Away The Night: An Ozzy Osbourne Day-By-Day which focuses on key events in the life of Ozzy Osbourne during his “post-Sabbath” years all presented in a unique “diary format”.
First things first, the book’s physical characteristics are such that this one might not make a favorable choice for a daily telecommuter’s reading material on train rides. Its dimensions are a somewhat hefty 252 pages sized at 8.5” x 11” (22cm x 28cm) with a weight of 2 lbs, 11 oz (1239 gm). The list price of this tome comes in at a hefty price tag of $39.99 USD, with good reason! The binding and hard cover on this work of art is made of extremely durable, glossy, heavy duty cardboard. The pages within are full of quality, colored pictures printed on thick, glossy stock paper so thick that at times you’ll find yourself checking to make sure you’re not flipping more than one page.
The book itself starts off with an introduction written by Popoff and then jumps into a chapter focused on events prior to 1980. In fact the largest portion of the book focuses on five chapters: the ’70s and prior, the ’80s, the ’90s, the ’00s and the ’10s. Each chapter starts off with an introduction of that decade then continues with “diary like entries” by specific dates for that decade. Interspersed among these diary entries are beautiful photographs and further commentary by key individuals regarding the dates and events currently being discussed. This includes commentary by Ozzy himself, Sharon Osbourne, Bob Daisly, Lee Kerslake, Bill Ward, Zakk Wylde, etc. The commentaries are lengthy quotes pulled from discussions Popoff was involved with or culled from other reliable sources throughout history. What’s nice about Popoff’s diary approach is that he goes so far as including specific dates for events that had a place in, or effect on, Ozzy’s history at some point time, if even so slightly of an impact. For example, “September 5, 1987 – Lizzy Borden issue their third album, Visual Lies. One of the two guitarists is future Ozzy axeman Joe Holmes.” Diary entries in the book range from April 2, 1920 through June 10, 2013.
The book is capped off by a discography, which for the most part won’t be a big surprise for Ozzy fans, and of course, a list of sources. Closing the book is a small bio about Martin Popoff and a complete Popoff bibliography, for those interested in reading other works by Martin.
When all is said and done, Popoff has put together a premiere, durable, great edition of Ozzy Osbourne’s life events. While the book’s size and printing materials won’t make for the easiest travel on daily train rides, it will make a great coffee table book. The quality of the printing is well worth the price tag and the information contained within will surely divulge something that even a die-hard Ozzy fan doesn’t know!