Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal

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The definitive history of the first 30 years of heavy metal, containing over 100 interviews with members of Black Sabbath, Metallica, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, Slipknot, Kiss, Megadeth, Public Enemy, Napalm Death, and more.

More than 30 years after Black Sabbath released the first complete heavy metal album, its founder, Ozzy Osbourne, is the star of The Osbournes, TV's favourite new reality show. Contrary to popular belief, headbangers and the music they love are more alive than ever. Yet there has never been a comprehensive book on the history of heavy metal - until now. Featuring interviews with members of the biggest bands in the genre, Sound of the Beast gives an overview of the past 30-plus years of heavy metal, delving into the personalities of those who created it. Everything is here, from the bootlegging beginnings of fans like Lars Ulrich (future founder of Metallica) to the sold-out stadiums and personal excesses of the biggest groups. From heavy metal's roots in the work of breakthrough groups such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin to MTV hair metal, courtroom controversies, black metal murderers and Ozzfest, Sound of the Beast offers the final word on this elusive, extreme, and far-reaching form of music.

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About the author

Ian Christe grew up in the metal strongholds of Switzerland, NewMexico, Indiana, Germany, and Washington. He moved to New York Cityin 1992, and has covered emerging technology and fringe culture forReuters, Wired, and Salon.com. His hundreds of articles on heavymetal have appeared in Spin, AP, CMJ, Metal Maniacs, and the Trouser Press Guide to '90s Rock and been cited by The New York Times.

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4.5
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Additional Information

Publisher
Harper Collins
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Published on
Sep 7, 2010
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9780062042989
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Language
English
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Genres
Music / Genres & Styles / Heavy Metal
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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DIVIn the 1980s, heavy metal went mainstream. The dark themes and brain-busting riffage of bands like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple suddenly fell out of favor—replaced by a new legion of metalheads whose themes of girls, partying, girls, drugs, and girls were presented amid shredding solos and power ballads and who were somehow more acceptable to the masses./divDIV/divDIVIn this ultimate guide to the subgenre, acclaimed heavy-metal journalist Martin Popoff examines hair metal in an all-encompassing oral history jacked up by a kaleidoscope of outrageous and previously unpublished quotes, anecdotes, photos, and memorabilia. The Big Book of Hair Metal features the observations of dozens of musicians, producers, promoters, label execs, and hangers-on in examining hair metal’s rise and fall as well as all the bands that kept Aqua Net in business through the Reagan recession: Twisted Sister, Bon Jovi, Poison, Mötley Crüe, Ratt, Warrant, Great White, Whitesnake, Cinderella, Vixen, Skid Row, L.A. Guns, Guns N’ Roses, and dozens more. In crafting a narrative of hair metal, Popoff also examines the factors that contributed to the movement’s rise (including MTV, Reagan’s “morning in America,� and a general move toward prudish morals); the bands that inspired it (the Sweet, New York Dolls, Alice Cooper, and KISS, for a start); and the scenes that nurtured it (the Sunset Strip, anyone?)./divDIV/divDIVThe ride finally ended circa 1991, when hair metal was replaced by grunge, but what a ride it was. Here it is in all of its primped-up glory./div
'Absolutely hilarious' - Neil Gaiman

'One of the funniest musical commentators that you will ever read . . . loud and thoroughly engrossing' - Alan Moore

'A man on a righteous mission to persuade people to "lay down your souls to the gods rock and roll".' - The Sunday Times

'As funny and preposterous as this mighty music deserve' - John Higgs


The history of heavy metal brings brings us extraordinary stories of larger-than-life characters living to excess, from the household names of Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Bruce Dickinson and Metallica (SIT DOWN, LARS!), to the brutal notoriety of the underground Norwegian black metal scene and the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. It is the story of a worldwide network of rabid fans escaping everyday mundanity through music, of cut-throat corporate arseholes ripping off those fans and the bands they worship to line their pockets. The expansive pantheon of heavy metal musicians includes junkies, Satanists and murderers, born-again Christians and teetotallers, stadium-touring billionaires and toilet-circuit journeymen.

Award-winning comedian and life-long heavy metal obsessive Andrew O'Neill has performed his History of Heavy Metal comedy show to a huge range of audiences, from the teenage metalheads of Download festival to the broadsheet-reading theatre-goers of the Edinburgh Fringe. Now, in his first book, he takes us on his own very personal and hilarious journey through the history of the music, the subculture, and the characters who shaped this most misunderstood genre of music.

“Bang your head! Metal Health’ll drive you mad!”
— Quiet Riot

Like an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music on steroids, Bang Your Head is an epic history of every band and every performer that has proudly worn the Heavy Metal badge. Whether headbanging is your guilty pleasure or you firmly believe that this much-maligned genre has never received the respect it deserves, Bang Your Head is a must-read that pays homage to a music that’s impossible to ignore, especially when being blasted through a sixteen-inch woofer.

Charting the genesis of early metal with bands like Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden; the rise of metal to the top of the Billboard charts and heavy MTV rotation featuring the likes of Def Leppard and Metallica; hitting its critical peak with bands like Guns N’ Roses; disgrace during the “hair metal” ’80s; and a demise fueled by the explosion of the Seattle grunge scene and the “alternative” revolution, Bang Your Head is as funny as it is informative and proves once and for all that there is more to metal than sin, sex, and spandex.

To write this exhaustive history, David Konow spent three years interviewing the bands, wives, girlfriends, ex-wives, groupies, managers, record company execs, and anyone who was or is a part of the metal scene, including many of the band guys often better known for their escapades and bad behavior than for their musicianship. Nothing is left unsaid in this jaw-dropping, funny, and entertaining chronicle of power ballads, outrageous outfits, big hair, bigger egos, and testosterone-drenched debauchery.
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