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Justice for All: The Truth About "Metallica": The Truth About "Metallica" [Paperback]

Joel McIver
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

9 Jan 2006
In two decades, Metallica have sold over 85 million albums, making them one of the biggest extreme metal bands in American history. This new edition has been updated to include details of Metallica's "Some Kind of Monster" film and subsequent world tour. Author Joel McIver has interviewed more than 75 prominent musicians, producers, writers, band associates, and Metallica family members to get the truth behind what really happened in the world of Hetfield and co.

Product details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Omnibus Press; 2nd Revised edition edition (9 Jan 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184449828X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844498284
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 13 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 664,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joel McIver (born 1971) is a British author. The best-known of his 21 books to date is the bestselling Justice For All: The Truth About Metallica, first published in 2004 and selling close to 50,000 copies in nine languages since then. McIver's other works include biographies of Black Sabbath, Slayer, Ice Cube and Queens Of The Stone Age. His writing also appears in many newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian, Classic Rock and Rolling Stone, and he is a regular guest on music-related BBC and commercial radio.

In the introduction to a 2009 collection of rock writing, McIver was described as "probably the top [rock] scribe in the world", and in a book review in April 2012, Classic Rock magazine labelled McIver "by some distance Britain's most prolific hard rock/metal author".

As well as writing his own books, McIver also co-writes the memoirs of rock musicians, notably that of sometime Deep Purple bassist Glenn Hughes, whose autobiography was published in May 2011, and of Max Cavalera (Sepultura, Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy), whose book will appear in 2013.

Contact Joel at or

Product Description


'engaging biography...a fascinating account.' Uncut.

About the Author

Joel McIver is a writer and journalist specialising in rock and metal. One of the editorial team at Record Collector magazine, his work extends from biographies of Slipknot and Queens of the Stone Age as well as articles for various magazines to liner notes for classic albums. He lives in Buckinghamshire.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A book of two halves 14 Mar 2006
If you are a fan of Metallica, you should read this book, even though it is heavy going in places. A lot of research has been carried out, but it is clear that James and co. did not have any personal input themselves. Where the book fails is the authors obvious hatred, yes, hatred of all things Metallica post 'Black' Album. At times, he lets his personal opinion get in the way of facts. None the less, an interesting read and a must for fans of Rock Music bios.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 10 Jun 2006
By Soze
A fascinating, well researched and entertaining book about metal`s biggest band. The first 1/3rd is as much a history of thrash metal as anything with obvious bias on Metallica and Megadeth ( the band Mustaine formed after he was fired by Metallica ). It does get opinionated and those with an affection for Metallica`s latter albums will disagree with a lot of what McIver has to say. A must read either way.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Big On Detail 10 Oct 2006
This is a really solid bio of Metallica which covers their career well. It's main flaw is the lack of access to the main participants, but otherwise McIver does a good job covering every phase of their career. He perhaps thinks less of their later work than some might like but his partisanship shows honesty and taste. For any fan of Metallica, it's well worth purchasing.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Will do for now 9 Jan 2009
By Asko
(Disclaimer: I've only read the Finnish version of this book. There is always possibility that something got lost in the translation!)

This is the best and most complete book on Metallica right now, no question about that. Then again, that is almost like me saying, "I'm the best 34-year old footballer living in my flat"; there isn't too much competition at the moment.

The book rather pompously claims to tell the truth about this and that, but in my opinion, it is often the author's truth, and I for one disagree with him quite a few times. For instance, when McIver reviews Load and ReLoad records, I think he really goes too far by basically concluding that there are only 3 songs (out of 27) worth listening to on those albums. Hmmm, not so. It may have been better if the author was a little less of a disappointed fan, so the book would be slightly more objective.

The biography is unauthorised, which McIver sees, of course, as being a positive thing, since it gives him much more freer hand to also critisize Metallica when needed. Fair enough, but this also means that we don't get to hear, for instance, how masterpieces like Creeping Death, One, Master of Puppets etc., etc. were put together (who wrote what and so forth), and that's the sort of information that would have been interesting - for me at least. Instead we get long ponderings on things like, "who invented thrash metal?" and, "which one is the better album: Master of Puppets or (Slayer's) Reign in Blood?" I personally couldn't care less about those.

On the positive side, the writer has interviewed many contemporaries/friends/close associates who give some interesting insights.
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Had this for Xmas, not a lot that I didn't already know about Metallica but still well written.
I enjoyed the reference to the NWOBHM and Bay Area Thrash scenes as a whole, and also that the author is not hopelessly in love with the band, and is unafraid to criticise at times.
Lot's of cool stuff on both Burton & Newsted.
Certainly worth the money, alongside 2 other books; Some Kind Of Monster & So What (My personal favourite).
Currently on loan to a mate, who is enjoying it but is getting increasingly riled by just how spoilt Lars was as a kid!
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