Heavy Metal: The Music And Its Culture

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Few forms of music elicit such strong reactions as does heavy metal. Embraced by millions of fans, it has also attracted a chorus of critics, who have denounced it as a corrupter of youth—even blamed it for tragedies like the murders at Columbine. Deena Weinstein argues that these fears stem from a deep misunderstanding of the energetic, rebellious culture of metal, which she analyzes, explains, and defends. She interprets all aspects of the metal world—the music and its makers, its fans, its dress code, its lyrics—and in the process unravels the myths, misconceptions, and truths about an irreverent subculture that has endured and evolved for twenty years.
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About the author

Deena Weinstein is a professor of sociology at DePaul University in Chicago. Her numerous books, chapters, and articles in professional journals range from the sociology of rock to postmodern theory. She also writes music reviews and features for numerous magazines, alternative weeklies, and websites.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Da Capo Press
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Published on
Aug 5, 2009
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9780786751037
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Language
English
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Genres
Music / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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In 1974 the British progressive rock group Genesis released their double concept album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. The story was described by Genesis's then front-man Peter Gabriel as a 'moral fable' about Rael, a half-Puerto-Rican New York City street tough who is engulfed by a solid cloud into a series of strange adventures in a metaphysical realm. The album is a surreal allegory drawing its material from religious, literary and psychological themes. More than thirty years after its release, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway still enthralls listeners, earning the distinction of being Genesis's most consistently selling back-catalogue release. Kevin Holm-Hudson analyses The Lamb within the context of Genesis's recorded output, within the progressive rock genre as a whole, and within the context of social and political changes of the mid 1970s. The Lamb marked a conscious shift in their story setting to America, and for the first time the songs were oriented to the present rather than the past or future. Significantly, while 1974 marked the peak of music industry growth and consolidation through corporate mergers, it was also the year in which America was confronted with its limits: through the first of the OPEC energy crises, the resignation of Richard Nixon, the withdrawal from Vietnam, and the effects of runaway inflation. Genesis's native Britain was also to feel the effects of the energy crisis, intensified by a period of economic slowdown that ultimately led to the rise of Thatcherism. The Lamb is set in New York City during this time of uncertainty. Within a few years the economic constraints would affect the industry as a whole and as a result progressive rock would suffer a precipitous drop in industry support. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway thus makes a particularly rich subject for detailed study, providing compelling intersections between the musical, textual and socioeconomic aspects of an album.
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