When reading through this book, I think it is abundantly clear that 1) the author obviously loves this type of music, 2) he apparently has a LOT of free time, 3) he most likely lives in his parents' basement, and 4) he lost a bet of some sort and had to write this book! I mean, come on...who else has the time or drive to sit and listen to hundreds of songs all in a quest to determine if a song is truly a power ballad, and then whether or not said song is any good? And to then come up with a system to determine whether or not a song is a power ballad based on butt-rockability (among other things) requires a dedication that I am not sure a lot of people possess!
All kidding aside, I found this book to be pretty entertaining, actually, and while I disagree with the author's stance on the quality level of some of the songs, and the inclusion or exclusion of certain songs into the "winners" or "losers" category, I have to admit that I kept turning pages to find out where some of my favorite songs were slotted. Were all the best tracks by Great White included? Was there too much Bon Jovi and Poison and not enough Winger and Whitesnake? Does Bad English rate higher than Journey or Foreigner? What about Shark Island??? (You need to read the book to understand this reference.) Why do Motley Crue's "Home Sweet Home" and Cinderella's "Don't Know What You've Got..." rate so highly, while Giant's "(I'll See You) In My Dreams" suffers so mercilessly? And where the hell are Mass, Shy, Keel...or The Cult (again, you need to read to find out about The Cult)?! And NO UNRULY CHILD?! My first dance at my wedding was to an Unruly Child power ballad! At least I think it was a power ballad...I may need to test that theory now that Minneci has given me the absolute and definitive power ballad criteria.
This is a self-produced effort, with no pubisher's backing, no book company to help promote the effort, and, as is obvious in some spots, no editor (or at least no budget for a professional editor...Minneci admits he had to have friends help edit for free). These things don't distract from what I found to be an extremely entertaining read that had me laughing out loud at times, firing off emails of protest and complaint (Minneci's not a real fan of this, I'm sure...), and discussing my own personal opinions of THE AUTHOR'S opinions with my wife (who has no opinion about either my or Minneci's opinions). It's a fun read and one that I hope he follows up, which I think he somewhat hints at by referring to this edition as "Volume One".
This book definitely belongs in your rock reading collection, even if it's simply to start your own compilation of songs, your own list of tracks to hunt down, or your own book to counter Minneci's. A lot of fun and well worth the few hours it takes to read. To pick up your own copy, jump over to Amazon here.
(315 Pages, Paperback)