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The Truth About Metallica: Justice for All Hardcover – 10 Apr 2004

4.0 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 472 pages
  • Publisher: Omnibus Press; 01 edition (10 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0711996008
  • ISBN-13: 978-0711996007
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.6 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,177,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Very professional - I get asked to sign copies of this book all over the world.' Lars Ulrich, Metallica'McIver has left no stone unturned to discover the truth - exactly the weighty tome Metallica deserve.' Record Collector'McIver is exhaustive in his research - a book for the [Metallica] obsessive.' Q --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Author

For over two decades Metallica have been testing the boundaries of speed, heaviness and volume with their music, selling over 85 million albums in the process and becoming the seventh biggest musical act in American history. Their early years were a blur of drunken club dates, endless tours and on-the-road misdemeanours; later they became one of the world's most respected extreme metal acts despite the tragedy of losing their bass player, Cliff Burton; and later still they settled comfortably into the stadium-rock mainstream, attaining a level of radio-friendly popularity that no-one could have believed possible 20 years before. The early years of the new century have seen Metallica engage in the infamous legal tussle with Napster, lose a longtime member and go through rehab and therapy to emerge from the other side a new and wiser band. Theirs is a story like no other. But there are many grey areas in that story: areas which the public has never really known about until now. Fans have always asked the following questions: Were Metallica the first thrash metal band? What was Cliff Burton's real role in Metallica? What really happened on the night of the 1986 coach crash which killed Burton? What's the truth behind Metallica's 'alternative' (read: dull) mid-1990s albums, Load and Reload? Were Metallica right to sue Napster? Are Metallica the world's greatest heavy metal band? But there have been no answers -- until now. Justice For All: The Truth About Metallica is no simple biography. As well as telling Metallica's story with a level of detail and eyewitness veracity which has never been attempted before, the author has exposed the biggest myths about the band and told the simple truth about how they originated and what the real facts are. He has interviewed over 75 prominent musicians, producers, writers, band associates and other related personnel to get to the truth behind what really happens in the world of Hetfield, Ulrich and Co. Giving praise where it is due but pulling no punches when necessary, The Truth About Metallica is the book that Metallica deserve, and makes an eye-opening read for anyone who likes their music brutal and their facts straight.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
There is a great book to be written about Metallica but this isn't it. It starts off promisingly with a plethora of facts and information about the band, their roots (musical and otherwise) as well as a very tight chronology of the development of the band through the years. This is all conveyed in a pleasant though bland style which is rather at odds with the genuinely monumental tale it is trying to convey.
Where the book falls down big time is the author's attempts at analysis of either the band members, their motivations or the band's songs themselves. For instance, rather than investigating the meaning or motivation behind songs and albums, most analysis concentrates on the speed and complexity of the guitar parts or how the songs were recorded. So, rather than in depth analysis of songs such as 'god that failed' or 'mama said' the reader is left with a quick description of how the song sounds and what pretty much sounds like extended production notes.
Even worse, where some analysis is attempted this is often simply the author's opinions on the songs or developments in the bands career. This can often be as little as whether he likes it or not (since 1996 mostly not). For a book claiming to be the 'truth' about metallica this is pretty poor. This sometimes goes to absurd levels when the author attempts to prove (or not) so called myths about the band. In these sections the previous plodding prose morphs into an extremely tedious drone as opinion and counter opinion is spouted to no particular end.
The overall impression I had of the book was that it was the work of an over earnest disgruntled ex-fan. A lot of it reads like either a fanzine or the letters page of the metal mags of old. Even this would be fair enough if the story had been conveyed with a certain amount of style and a sense of excitement about the subject matter. Unfortunately it has not.
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Format: Hardcover
Considering how exciting Metallica are as a band, one would expect their story to be similarly frenetic. It's a shame, therefore, to see their tale turned into a list of achievements chronicled in much the same way as a phone directory, with a turgid narrative that more than occasionally touches on inspid blandness. It's revealing to learn that McIver is Production Editor on specialist anorak-zine Record Collector, and that he has previously penned a tribute to the equally bland Erykah Badu - this may go some way to explaining why the book fails as a narrative and would, in fact, have worked better as a series of features (in the hands of the right editor).
This, I'm afraid, is one of those occasions where it's best to reach for something authorised, as this tome has all the flavour of a late-night easy-watching 30-minutes biopic, in which people who once met the band's tea-lady are called upon to dispense their 'wisdom'. A shame indeed, and a rather expensive shame.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book starts off really well. The first half of of this book isreally informative espcially the chapter about Cliff. It did contain somethings I didn't know about Metallica. The second really lets this bookdown, it is called "The Truth About Metallica" not "My opinion aboutMetallica". There are less interviews in the second half so the authorhas filled it up with his opinions on the band and there later records,but if your a fan of Metallica (which if your buying this book you mustbe) then you'll already have opinions on these later records.
Its a real shame about this, if the second half was as good as the firsthalf then I would recomend this book, but as it is, only buy if you canget it in a sale.
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Format: Hardcover
I'll start by saying, as a 80's aging metalhead who's still into all the old favourites cited in this book, reading through the first half of the book covering the early years, I felt like I was back in the days of leather liquor and Tommy Vance. I remember fondly the underground tape trading network (even in Belfast) when all those Bay Area thashers like Slayer, Anthrax, Metallica and Death Angel first emerged as a worldchanging phenomenon. Back then thrash metal was cool, and this book accuratly relives the early days of this amazing evolutionary time for music. The writer is obviously a fan, and like me, has his own special fondness of those early days, but he tries to be unbiased in his opinions by casting all situations through many viewpoints. It's great to read comments by the musicians that made the thrash scene what is was back then, and see where they all are today as a result. I feel this book is a must see for all stalwart Metallica fans, but beware, if you're not an out and out thrasher, veering more towards the Load Re-Load stuff in preference, then you're in for a harsh bit of criticism (which I personally agree whole heartedly with). Metallica are an amazing band, but the decline of their real musical roots since Metallica shows us no one is safe from the plague of today's commercial calling, or the pressures of the post 90's rat race world. It's great to see the boys getting it back, and with St. Anger showing some progress (except for awful mixing and drum sound and uninspired bass plating by Bob Rock) I think we're in for an eventful few years. Read this book, remember the early days, follow the history of Metal and see why it's like it is today - all told with a primary focus on the world's favourite metal band. I enjoyed this book and I hope you do too.
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