MARK WEISS – The Decade That Rocked

June 5, 2020, a month ago

(Insight Editions)

Aaron Small

Rating: 10.0

review heavy metal hard rock mark weiss

MARK WEISS – The Decade That Rocked

Wow! The sheer enormity of The Decade That Rocked is awe-inspiring. 378 pages weighing in at a hefty five pounds, measuring 9.25 inches by 12.75 inches, to quote Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen, it’s “the perfect time capsule” of ‘80s hard rock and metal. Bands featured on these eye-popping pages include: Guns N’ Roses, Van Halen, Metallica, Twisted Sister, Mötley Crüe, Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith, Dio, Bon Jovi, KISS, Quiet Riot, Dokken, Iron Maiden, Cinderella, Skid Row, and many more.      

To put these photographs into perspective, all captured by the incredibly brilliant Mark “Weissguy” Weiss, in the 1980s, the World Wide Web did not exist; there was no Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. The same goes for digital cameras and smart phones. Photographs were shot on film, which had to be developed, and then printed. You couldn’t simply preview, upload, or download. Way before the phrase social media was even coined, monthly rock magazines such as Circus, Creem, Hit Parader, Faces, and Rip were the only gateway fans had to their favourite bands. Mark Weiss was one of a very select few whose photographs graced the pages of these publications, and he was well aware that “In the ‘80s, the visuals were just as important as the music.” You can look at each photograph from The Decade That Rocked for ages. So full of detail, it’s like the images are speaking to you. Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford concurs in his foreword saying, “A photograph must convey the personality and character of the subject.”

Each year gets its own chapter, featuring an impressive combination of live and backstage photos, as well as promo pictures, in both black and white, and colour. Some of these snapshots have become iconic images, while others have never been seen before. Alongside the photographs are blurbs of text placing them in context, as well as artist testimonials explaining how phenomenal Mark is with a camera. Much more than a fabulously talented lensman, Weiss became an unofficial member of so many of the bands he photographed. “Trust is the most important factor that Mark has brought to his work,” says bassist Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot, Ozzy, Dio). “Mark always had a free pass to do whatever he wanted because I trusted him. He was one of us,” reveals Sammy Hagar (Van Halen). Skid Row guitarist Dave “Snake” Sabo sums it all up, “Consider Mark an historian of sorts of an era that had to be lived to be believed. It was the era of excesses.” Now, all those wonderful excesses can be relived in The Decade That Rocked. An absolute must-have for fans of that era.       


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