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Heavy Metal Thunder: Album Covers That Rocked the World [Paperback]

Scott Ian , Neil Aldis , James Sherry
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

16 Mar 2006
An extensive overview of the best-loved heavy metal album covers of all time based on interviews with key designers and performing artists. Based on interviews with key designers and musicians, this book will explore the story of heavy metal covers from the early days of legendary bands such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath through to today's rising nu-metal stars like Slipknot and Limp Bizkit, and covering all bases in between. Chronological thematic chapters will include topics such as: The Birth of Metal '79-84; Here Come The Americans - Hair Metal and Sex; Fist Bangin' Mania: Metal gets a conscience; Punk takes effect, Grunge's day has dawned; and Requiem For Metal, Death Metal opens the casket lid, among others.

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Mitchell Beazley (16 Mar 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3283005311
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845331955
  • ASIN: 1845331958
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 17.4 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 366,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

James Sherry has been writing about rock music since starting his own fanzine in the mid-80s, securing his first job on Metal Hammer in 1989, where he worked as a staff writer until 1993. During this period he was also reviews editor for Indiecator magazine, and contributed to Rock World. In 1996 he started work as a freelance contributor to Kerrang! He has also contributed to numerous other magazines and websites along the way. Neil Aldis began writing about rock music in the early 90s as a staff writer for Metal Hammer. He went on to freelance for Indiecator and Rock World as well as writing features for the UK extreme metal publication Terrorizer. He currently writes about music in video games for music4games. com. Between them they have over 20 years experience in writing about music and music culture.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the best cover art released!! 20 May 2007
Heavy Metal Thunder: Album Covers that Rocked the World is for anyone who loves heavy metal. The book has cd covers from lighter NWOBHM all the way up to Death and Black Metal.

The book is filled with album covers that have been around for the past 30 years. Bands included are: Iron Maiden and Saxon all the way up to Cannibal Corpse and Darkthrone.

Some of the covers are an interesting look including some that were banned due to the nature of their content (i.e: Cannibal Corpse's Butchered at Birth). The book is filled with albums and their covers every metal fan should own.

There are descriptions on the covers and why they rocked the world.

In the foreword by Scott Ian (Anthrax) he admits that some of the albums he owns he bought because of the cover. I'm sure we've all done that once or twice.

All in all this was a very good book and a good read for anyone who wants to improve their knowledge in music.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good reference book 2 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are younger heavy metal afficionad I would recommend this book as reference for learning a bit of music history and hard to find now vinyl records covers.
Also nice for me as sentimental return to old good days.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great! 22 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A great overview of metal histoy through a lot of mithycal album covers. It is a must for all metal lovers ;)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE POWER AND GLORY OF HEAVY METAL 24 Dec 2006
By Tim Janson - Published on
Heavy metal music is not only defined by its look and sound, but also by the album cover art which often did as good, if not a better job, of selling the album as any other aspect. Heavy Metal Thunder from Chronicle Books takes a look at the proud and often controversial history of heavy metal album artwork. In today's world of CD's, iPods, MP3 players, and file sharing, cover art has become a relative lost art. Such was not the case twenty or twenty-five years ago as record companies and bands new the importance of producing a cover which could catch the eye of potential buyers. Having lived through the heavy metal years myself, I can truthfully admit to buying many albums based solely on the cover art, without ever having heard the band's music. Sometimes this worked out as in the cases of bands like Grim Reaper and Exciter...other times it didn't, but even if it didn't, you still had that great album cover art.

Writers James Sherry and Neil Aldis trace the history of heavy metal album art from that first, foreboding cover to Black Sabbath's first album in 1969, right up to the present say's nu-metal and black metal releases. But this isn't just 250 pages of pictures; the pair also look at the music that inspired the art and how the art was a reflection of the band's music and personality. There were the hard-edged bands like Iron Maiden , Armored Saint, Manowar, and Black Sabbath that often subscribed to the swords & sorcery/gothic approach.

Then there were the glam/hair metal bands who, more often than not, put themselves front and center on the cover, clearly trying to appeal to the female metal fans yet still reeling in the guys with sexually suggestive covers and scantily clad women. But these bands were labeled as poseurs by the more hardcore metal heads who turned their attention to speed and thrash bands like Metallica, Anthrax, and Megadeth, and to black metal bands like Venom and Slayer.

Some of the most notorious album covers in history wait inside the pages of Heavy Metal Thunder including Twisted Sisters "Stay Hungry" showing Dee Snider munching on a bloody leg bone, Black Sabbath's gothic "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath", Carcass' disturbing "Reek of Purification" and Marilyn Manson's "Mechanical Animal". Special sections are devoted to Iron Maiden's covers depicting zombie mascot Eddie, painted by Derek Riggs.

This was like taking a stroll back in time and revisiting old friends you haven't seen in a long time. If you're a metalhead, you'll enjoy paging through the book and seeing just how many of these albums that you owned, or perhaps still own. There are literally hundreds of album covers pictured here covering every sub-genre of heavy metal including grindcore and grunge. Sometimes funny, sometimes shocking, and sometimes repulsive, Heavy Metal Thunder is a book that any metal fan must have.

Reviewed by Tim Janson
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A really unique and useful book! 5 Jan 2009
By Future Watch Writer - Published on
I don't know of any other book like this. In one place you can get some of the most creative metal album covers. For example, on page 118 there is a very interesting article on Derek Riggs who did Iron Maiden's legendary album covers. There is a definite connection between the art of some of the album covers and science fiction art. Certain aspects of heavy metal are related to ancient paganism and this is reflected in the artwork of various bands. I would highly recommend this book to both metal fans and fans of science fiction art.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific, compact collection of metal's best cover artwork 3 May 2010
By Justin G. - Published on
James Sherry and Neil Aldis have come up with a metal must-have with Heavy Metal Thunder, a collection of amazing cover artwork from some amazing metal albums. Since this is a collection of artwork and not a self-described "encyclopedia" there isn't any need to include everything, though Sherry and Aldis definitely cover the basics. From Sabbath to the NWOBHM to the hair metal era to thrash, death, black and even nu metal, Heavy Metal Thunder looks at classic imagery spanning decades, crossing national borders and covering just about every sub-genre metal has to offer (progressive and power metal are conspicuously absent). The covers included here also range from the iconic (Maiden, Priest) to the obscure (Acid Reign, Excel) to the grotesque (Cannibal Corpse, Fleshcrawl).

My only complaint - and it's more of a wish than a complaint - is that a large format version isn't available. I'd love to have seen a 13x15 hardcover book that would be a true "coffee table". This paperback is more of an "end table" book.

I'd absolutely recommend Heavy Metal Thunder to any metal fan, whether casual or utterly committed. It's just a great way to appreciate some of metal's most memorable covers.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cool for casual fans, Not enough covers for metalheads 24 Jan 2007
By PIECEMAKER - Published on
I'm a huge metal fan, and was expecting more covers to be included.

Book is new 2006, but I didn't notice hardly any covers from after year 2000. Also appears they shied away from the more explicit stuff.

Some covers are included more than once (waste of space) and it would have been nice to have a banned covers section- showing the banned versions.Also some albums have received updated covers and this would have been good to show also.
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Graphics! 24 Feb 2012
By Reaper658 - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has an awesome collection of Heavy Metal art(CD covers,Record sleeves).
I truly enjoyed reading about the various genres and on how
each cover represented a particular kind of Metal and what the
band stood for.
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