As Led Zeppelin was for hard rock and the Sex Pistols were for punk, Metallica became the band that defined the look and sound of 1980s heavy metal. Inventors of thrash metal—Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth followed—it was always Metallica who led the way, who pushed to another level, who became the last of the superstar rockers.
Metallica is the fifth-largest selling artist of all time, with 100 million records sold worldwide. Their music has extended its reach beyond rock and metal, and into the pop mainstream, as they went from speed metal to MTV with their hit single "Enter Sandman". Until now there hasn't been a critical, authoritative, in-depth portrait of the band. Mick Wall's thoroughly researched, insightful work is enriched by his interviews with band members, record company execs, roadies, and fellow musicians. He tells the story of how a tennis-playing, music-loving Danish immigrant named Lars Ulrich created a band with singer James Hetfield and made his dreams a reality. Enter Night follows the band through tragedy and triumph, from the bus crash that killed their bassist Cliff Burton in 1986 to the 2004 documentary Some Kind of Monster, and on to their current status as the leaders of the Big Four festival that played to a million fans in Britain and Europe and continues in the U.S. in 2011.
Enter Night delves into the various incarnations of the band, and the personalities of all key members, past and present—especially Ulrich and Hetfield—to produce the definitive word on the biggest metal band on the planet.
Girls to the Front is the epic, definitive history of the Riot Grrrl movement—the radical feminist punk uprising that exploded into the public eye in the 1990s, altering America’s gender landscape forever. Author Sara Marcus, a music and politics writer for Time Out New York, Slate.com, Pos, and Heeb magazine, interweaves research, interviews, and her own memories as a Riot Grrrl front-liner. Her passionate, sophisticated narrative brilliantly conveys the story of punk bands like Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, Heavens to Betsy—as well as successors like Sleater-Kinney, Partyline, and Kathleen Hanna’s Le Tigre—and their effect on today’s culture.
The Rest Is Noise takes the reader inside the labyrinth of modern sound. It tells of maverick personalities who have resisted the cult of the classical past, struggled against the indifference of a wide public, and defied the will of dictators. Whether they have charmed audiences with the purest beauty or battered them with the purest noise, composers have always been exuberantly of the present, defying the stereotype of classical music as a dying art.
Ross, in this sweeping and dramatic narrative, takes us from Vienna before the First World War to Paris in the twenties, from Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia to downtown New York in the sixties and seventies. We follow the rise of mass culture and mass politics, of dramatic new technologies, of hot and cold wars, of experiments, revolutions, riots, and friendships forged and broken. In the tradition of Simon Schama's The Embarrassment of Riches and Louis Menand's The Metaphysical Club, the end result is not so much a history of twentieth-century music as a history of the twentieth century through its music.
One of the finest music writers today, Michael Azerrad has catalogued the shortcuts, lazy metaphors and uninspired prose that so many of his beloved colleagues all too regularly rely on to fill column inches. In 2014, he began his wickedly droll Twitter feed @RockCriticLaw to expose and make fun of this word-hash. Now, he consolidates these "Laws" into one witty, comprehensive and fully illustrated volume.
Rock Critic Law includes timeless gems such as:If a band pioneered something, you must say they are "seminal." That is the Seminal Law of Rock Criticism.If a recording features densely layered guitars, then you MUST use the phrase "sonic cathedrals."Even when it’s easy to find out with research, by all means ask a band how they got their name.Please feel free to deny an artist’s individuality and say they are "the new [x]."If two guitars play a melodic line in harmony, you MUST say they are "twin lead guitars."
All 101 Rock Critic Laws are accompanied by original illustrations from Ed Fotheringham, beloved Seattle scenester and highly regarded artist who has created album covers for everyone from, well, seminal grunge band Mudhoney to iconic jazz label Verve Records, as well as illustrations for The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and more, making this book a must-have for music lovers everywhere. A unique appreciation of music writing from one of its own, Rock Critic Law irreverently captures all the passion and furor of fandom.