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There has never been a hard rock band like Metallica. The California quartet has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, won nine Grammy Awards, and had five consecutive albums hit number one on the Billboard charts. But Metallica’s story, epic in scope, is a tale about much more than sales figures and critical acclaim, and their journey from scuzzy Los Angeles garage There has never been a hard rock band like Metallica. The California quartet has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, won nine Grammy Awards, and had five consecutive albums hit number one on the Billboard charts. But Metallica’s story, epic in scope, is a tale about much more than sales figures and critical acclaim, and their journey from scuzzy Los Angeles garages to the world’s most storied stadiums has been dramatic and painful, their gigantic successes often shot through with tension, tragedy, loss, and controversy. Birth School Metallica Death is the definitive story of the most significant rock band since Led Zeppelin. Volume 1 covers the band’s formation up to their breakthrough eponymous fifth album, aka “The Black Album.” The intense and sometimes fraught relationship between aloof-yet-simmering singer, chief lyricist, and rhythm guitarist James Hetfield and the outspoken and ambitious drummer Lars Ulrich is the saga’s emotional core. Their earliest years saw the release of three unimpeachable classics—Kill ’Em All, Ride the Lightning, and Master of Puppets—genre-defining masterpieces that took hard rock to a new level, both artistically and commercially. During these tumultuous times, the band persevered through line-up changes when guitarist Dave Mustaine was replaced by Kirk Hammet, and their bass player, the beloved Cliff Burton, was tragically killed in a bus crash while on tour in Europe. But it was the breakthrough of …And Justice for All that rent the fabric of the mainstream, hitting the top of the charts without benefit of radio airplay or the then-crucial presence on MTV. And finally in 1991, with the release of their fifth studio album, nicknamed “The Black Album,” Metallica hit the next level—five hit singles including their best-known songs “Enter Sandman” and “Nothing Else Matters”—and their first album atop the Billboard charts. In Birth School Metallica Death, veteran music journalists and Metallica confidants Paul Brannigan and Ian Winwood detail this meteoric rise to international fame in an epic saga of family, community, self-belief, the pursuit of dreams, and music that rocks. Told through first-hand interviews with the band and those closest to them, the story of Metallica’s rise to the mainstream has never been so vividly documented.


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There has never been a hard rock band like Metallica. The California quartet has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, won nine Grammy Awards, and had five consecutive albums hit number one on the Billboard charts. But Metallica’s story, epic in scope, is a tale about much more than sales figures and critical acclaim, and their journey from scuzzy Los Angeles garage There has never been a hard rock band like Metallica. The California quartet has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, won nine Grammy Awards, and had five consecutive albums hit number one on the Billboard charts. But Metallica’s story, epic in scope, is a tale about much more than sales figures and critical acclaim, and their journey from scuzzy Los Angeles garages to the world’s most storied stadiums has been dramatic and painful, their gigantic successes often shot through with tension, tragedy, loss, and controversy. Birth School Metallica Death is the definitive story of the most significant rock band since Led Zeppelin. Volume 1 covers the band’s formation up to their breakthrough eponymous fifth album, aka “The Black Album.” The intense and sometimes fraught relationship between aloof-yet-simmering singer, chief lyricist, and rhythm guitarist James Hetfield and the outspoken and ambitious drummer Lars Ulrich is the saga’s emotional core. Their earliest years saw the release of three unimpeachable classics—Kill ’Em All, Ride the Lightning, and Master of Puppets—genre-defining masterpieces that took hard rock to a new level, both artistically and commercially. During these tumultuous times, the band persevered through line-up changes when guitarist Dave Mustaine was replaced by Kirk Hammet, and their bass player, the beloved Cliff Burton, was tragically killed in a bus crash while on tour in Europe. But it was the breakthrough of …And Justice for All that rent the fabric of the mainstream, hitting the top of the charts without benefit of radio airplay or the then-crucial presence on MTV. And finally in 1991, with the release of their fifth studio album, nicknamed “The Black Album,” Metallica hit the next level—five hit singles including their best-known songs “Enter Sandman” and “Nothing Else Matters”—and their first album atop the Billboard charts. In Birth School Metallica Death, veteran music journalists and Metallica confidants Paul Brannigan and Ian Winwood detail this meteoric rise to international fame in an epic saga of family, community, self-belief, the pursuit of dreams, and music that rocks. Told through first-hand interviews with the band and those closest to them, the story of Metallica’s rise to the mainstream has never been so vividly documented.

30 review for Birth School Metallica Death, Volume 1: The Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Howard

    5 Stars for Birth School Metallica Death, Volume 1 (audiobook) by Paul Brannigan and Ian Winwood read by Ray Porter. This is a wonderful account of the early years of the biggest metal band in the world. This book covers from the forming of the band all the way to their commercial success. I really enjoyed the writing and the narration worked well too.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Allan

    This is a biography that I picked up in an Audible sale, and having been partial to a bit of Metallica in my youth - in fact still being partial to some of their early work while at the gym - I didn't think twice about purchasing. The well written biography takes in the early years of the band - up to 1991, when they released their Black album and really hit the big time - more of less mirroring the time when I had an interest in the band. The best Rock biographies tend to be warts and all accoun This is a biography that I picked up in an Audible sale, and having been partial to a bit of Metallica in my youth - in fact still being partial to some of their early work while at the gym - I didn't think twice about purchasing. The well written biography takes in the early years of the band - up to 1991, when they released their Black album and really hit the big time - more of less mirroring the time when I had an interest in the band. The best Rock biographies tend to be warts and all accounts and this one fits the bill, detailing the highs and lows of the band's rise to prominence, pulling no punches when it comes to detailing the single mindedness of its two main members, James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, in propelling the band to leaders in their field, where they remain a generation later. I doubt that I'll go out of my way to listen to Volume 2 (unless it's on sale of course) but definitely a biography worth checking out if you've even got a passing interest in the band.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Zac Stojcevski

    It's very difficult to rate this book. From a literary perspective sections of this book are nothing more than a fanzine. There will be no Pulitzer in the pages contained in the appropriately liveried black jacket. However as a fan I struggled to dislike it. Reading this collaboration I found I hummed and rocked out quietly and aloud to songs and riffs both rehearsed and nearly forgotten. It was a wonderful journey back in time to pick up the new and reacquaint myself with the old. The most tell It's very difficult to rate this book. From a literary perspective sections of this book are nothing more than a fanzine. There will be no Pulitzer in the pages contained in the appropriately liveried black jacket. However as a fan I struggled to dislike it. Reading this collaboration I found I hummed and rocked out quietly and aloud to songs and riffs both rehearsed and nearly forgotten. It was a wonderful journey back in time to pick up the new and reacquaint myself with the old. The most telling result has been the increase of iPod action for the old and ultimately of the Black Album which has in a convoluted and unforgettable way played a part in my marriage and spawning of a quartet of rocking offspring. Nothing else matters!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I must preface this review by admitting that I am a fan of Metallica and I don’t imagine anyone who isn’t would want to read this biography. As noted in the title, this is a review on Volume 1, with Volume 2 now also released. Volume 1 covers the conception of the band and its founding members through to the eve of the release of their self titled ‘Black Album’ in 1991, detailing changes in line-up along their journey. The book covers Metallica’s beginnings in LA, to San Francisco, New York and t I must preface this review by admitting that I am a fan of Metallica and I don’t imagine anyone who isn’t would want to read this biography. As noted in the title, this is a review on Volume 1, with Volume 2 now also released. Volume 1 covers the conception of the band and its founding members through to the eve of the release of their self titled ‘Black Album’ in 1991, detailing changes in line-up along their journey. The book covers Metallica’s beginnings in LA, to San Francisco, New York and the wider world, and their musical influences including the ‘New Wave of British Heavy Metal’. A short biography on each band member is included, along with their individual idiosyncrasies, and interesting and humorous anecdotes are peppered throughout. Whilst some of the many details of concerts and recording can become a little monotonous, along with the quotes of Lars Ulrich in particular, and the volume contains the odd spelling and grammatical errors, this is still a fascinating and enlightening read. The authors of the biography are both respected music journalists having written for Rolling Stone and Kerrang! magazines, to name a few. The egos of the band members, along with their music, may not be to everyone’s taste but you can’t discredit Metallica’s longevity and business decisions. I am looking forward to reading the next instalment.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I looked forward to reading this book, because I have listened to Metallica on and off through my entire life, and I wondered how the band members met and how the group got started and took over the world. That part of the book was loaded with information I never knew. This is the first book of a two-book series,written by two English music journalists who have written about Metallica and other such bands for their whole careers. If you are a Metallica fan, you might not find out new things you d I looked forward to reading this book, because I have listened to Metallica on and off through my entire life, and I wondered how the band members met and how the group got started and took over the world. That part of the book was loaded with information I never knew. This is the first book of a two-book series,written by two English music journalists who have written about Metallica and other such bands for their whole careers. If you are a Metallica fan, you might not find out new things you didn't know about. If you are considering reading this book, I have to warn you the sentences in the book are the longest ones I've ever come across. Some sentences are thirty-five or more words! I've never read a book with such long sentences in my life. And let me tell you, I've read a lot. The second book in the series is slated to come out sometime late this year, and if I have a chance to read it, I'll read it, but I hope the sentences won't be as long. Or, at least, there will be a break-up of sentences, like long-short-short-long. I'm surprised their editor let them get away with it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Carnivorous Mower

    An unauthorised biography of Metallica. Tried reading it initially when I got it for Christmas 2013, but the writing style was too annoying. Raced though it at second attempt though. I don’t really like unauthorised biographies much, especially after reading the Ozzy Osbourne one, which really lacked any substance whatsoever. Being unauthorised only skirts over the surfaces, and you never get in touch with the real person. This book was created from interviews these two had conducted with Metalli An unauthorised biography of Metallica. Tried reading it initially when I got it for Christmas 2013, but the writing style was too annoying. Raced though it at second attempt though. I don’t really like unauthorised biographies much, especially after reading the Ozzy Osbourne one, which really lacked any substance whatsoever. Being unauthorised only skirts over the surfaces, and you never get in touch with the real person. This book was created from interviews these two had conducted with Metallica over the years, along with a few of fringe characters in the band’s circle. Liked the interview with Flemming Rasmussen in particular. Learned a few facts and things (the tracklisting to No Life Til Leather), but overall, this was a bit light, and was padded like fuck. Somehow, these guys managed to stretch to a second volume, which I must get some time. However, the padding and editorialising just gets fucking ANNOYING! I’ll get the second book but will probably dislike it as much as this one. Mick Wall’s Enter Night is better, even though it’s still unauthorised. The biographies by both the Megadeth Daves, and all the Gunner biographies are better than this one.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    A book as frustrating to me as the band itself. While this book purports itself to be a biography of the early years of Metallica’s career, it often reads more like a chronicle of partying and hearsay with some nuggets of studio recording detail sprinkled in. Needless to say, no one comes off well (except Cliff & Jason) and I didn’t really learn anything that wasn’t already known. Revisiting the circumstances of Cliff’s death was painful; as was the clearly circumscribed desire by the band to co A book as frustrating to me as the band itself. While this book purports itself to be a biography of the early years of Metallica’s career, it often reads more like a chronicle of partying and hearsay with some nuggets of studio recording detail sprinkled in. Needless to say, no one comes off well (except Cliff & Jason) and I didn’t really learn anything that wasn’t already known. Revisiting the circumstances of Cliff’s death was painful; as was the clearly circumscribed desire by the band to completely & utterly sell-out with The Black Album, the chapter of which is an apologia by the author for the band’s decision. I still think it’s a good album but for a band who once wrote “Kill Bon Jovi” on their guitars to then turn around and hire Bon Jovi’s producer to help them make a radio rock album, well... its lucky the songs were good. I have no intention of reading Vol. 2 of this bio as the band died for me with Load.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Steele Dimmock

    This book will make you listen to Metallica's first 5 albums with completely new ears. I put this book down with a better understanding of the influence of Cliff Burton and chasm that Jason Newstead could never fill. I like finding out that Metallica were just like any other group of kids dreaming big, and that Lars Urlich is really the linchpin of the band. His single minded focus is what broke the band through each progression milestone - and he also owns the rights to the name. The authors writ This book will make you listen to Metallica's first 5 albums with completely new ears. I put this book down with a better understanding of the influence of Cliff Burton and chasm that Jason Newstead could never fill. I like finding out that Metallica were just like any other group of kids dreaming big, and that Lars Urlich is really the linchpin of the band. His single minded focus is what broke the band through each progression milestone - and he also owns the rights to the name. The authors write with the flair and grandiose effect often found in scene magazines, which is a little kitschy in book form, but works for the most part. I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. Get it if you want a new appreciation of some old school metal.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Louie Reynolds

    Fantastic read, very informative yet really enjoyable at the same time. Quite surprised at the bad reviews, the authors have done a brilliant job at researching and interviewing over the last few decades and put together this great book of Metallica knowledge as well as some really funny stories. If your a fan well worth a read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Neil Quinney

    Great read, even if, like me, you've drifted away from them over the years. Brutally honest in places (Their treatment of Jason Newsted, the lousy mixing on "...And Justice For All"). Treads the line well between their enthusiasm for the band while most certainly not being a puff piece. Looking forward to volume 2. Great read, even if, like me, you've drifted away from them over the years. Brutally honest in places (Their treatment of Jason Newsted, the lousy mixing on "...And Justice For All"). Treads the line well between their enthusiasm for the band while most certainly not being a puff piece. Looking forward to volume 2.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jack

    Was delightfully surprised with the amount of time that was dedicated to the members of Metallica before they even joined the band. It spanned their introductions to music, their childhoods and then how they got to be in Metallica. Was also impressed with the amount of history and everything that was presented in regards to their early years. I was surprised to learn that they were as popular as they were, as early as they were. I always thought that ...And Justice for All was the album that star Was delightfully surprised with the amount of time that was dedicated to the members of Metallica before they even joined the band. It spanned their introductions to music, their childhoods and then how they got to be in Metallica. Was also impressed with the amount of history and everything that was presented in regards to their early years. I was surprised to learn that they were as popular as they were, as early as they were. I always thought that ...And Justice for All was the album that started to bring them into the public’s view, but then their self titled album was the one that really catapulted them. Seems like even with Kill ‘Em All, they were already rapidly gaining in popularity, and were a pretty big commercial success even with Master of Puppets. Also enjoyed reading about Cliff, and learning much more about him. Was surprised to learn that Lars (at least initially) was considered to be the weakest link in the band. I was always under the impression that he was a pretty good drummer, just had some questionable sound choices. A lot of the information in this book I was already familiar with being a pretty big fan of the band and watching things like their “Behind the Music” and “Murder in the Front Row,” but there was enough content that I wasn’t familiar with, combined with it being told in an interesting enough way to keep me interested and entertained. Really enjoyed this book!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    Facinating and often times surprising look into the most influential and divisive metal band. I did not become a fan of Metallica until 1989 at the age of 19. A friend who knew how I listened to music suggested I keep an open mind and listen to "To Live Is To Die" from "...And Justice For All". It was right around the 4 min, 30 second mark, where metal met classical in my brain, then the break... and my mind was blown. I was a metal head after that. If you are a fan either die hard or casual, or Facinating and often times surprising look into the most influential and divisive metal band. I did not become a fan of Metallica until 1989 at the age of 19. A friend who knew how I listened to music suggested I keep an open mind and listen to "To Live Is To Die" from "...And Justice For All". It was right around the 4 min, 30 second mark, where metal met classical in my brain, then the break... and my mind was blown. I was a metal head after that. If you are a fan either die hard or casual, or any interest in the history of music and metal, this is a must read/listen. It sheds so much light on that period and how the most unlikely of individuals came together to defy the odds. My only gripe would be that writing at times is overly embellished. The narrator was very good, just read really fast. So often throughout the listening of the book, I would have to rewind because there was just so much colorful descriptions going on, I would loose where the narrator was in the context of the section he was on.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Paris

    this is a decent book. don’t get me wrong. some of this ish is too flowery - “... while just shy of a quarter of a million homes were visited and plundered by unwelcome guests” just say “robbed”. “on the continent to the right”, what are you? dickens? were you getting paid by the word? also i’m fairly sure calling Japan et al “the Orient” is pretty outdated. and the damned epithets! they were oftentimes harder to follow than actually naming the people! (the Dane, the Blonde, the American, his cou this is a decent book. don’t get me wrong. some of this ish is too flowery - “... while just shy of a quarter of a million homes were visited and plundered by unwelcome guests” just say “robbed”. “on the continent to the right”, what are you? dickens? were you getting paid by the word? also i’m fairly sure calling Japan et al “the Orient” is pretty outdated. and the damned epithets! they were oftentimes harder to follow than actually naming the people! (the Dane, the Blonde, the American, his countryman, my Orange Cat, my arse...) aside from that, this seems reasonably well-researched, one of the fewer Metallica books that actually has sources (!). an easy read if you’re a fan and can get past the annoying writing. (i mean, jeez, if i wanted prose and sentences that are way too long i’d go read tolkien.)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Metallica is such an amazing entity but it is also polarizing. I would say this book, and volume 2, are great companions for those watching the documentary some kind of monster. They are fast reads that are perfectly balanced with stories and some pretty specific details surrounding each member and the recording process. Great idea to read this if you are going to see Metallica live soon or have recently gotten into the music and are seeking insight into how the Metallica machine is always manuf Metallica is such an amazing entity but it is also polarizing. I would say this book, and volume 2, are great companions for those watching the documentary some kind of monster. They are fast reads that are perfectly balanced with stories and some pretty specific details surrounding each member and the recording process. Great idea to read this if you are going to see Metallica live soon or have recently gotten into the music and are seeking insight into how the Metallica machine is always manufacturing.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Wayne Merritt

    Anyone who knows me knows that I love Metallica. I've read several books which either feature or reference their influence and music, as well as watched some YouTube documentaries on them. After reading this book, I still learned some things about them and their early days which haven't been as widely covered elsewhere. I would very much recommend this book to any hard-core Metallica or heavy-metal fan. Metallica may not be the hardest of metal bands, but they have a lot of layers and complexity Anyone who knows me knows that I love Metallica. I've read several books which either feature or reference their influence and music, as well as watched some YouTube documentaries on them. After reading this book, I still learned some things about them and their early days which haven't been as widely covered elsewhere. I would very much recommend this book to any hard-core Metallica or heavy-metal fan. Metallica may not be the hardest of metal bands, but they have a lot of layers and complexity to their music, lyrics, and history.

  16. 4 out of 5

    sarah

    the chapters were a little long for my liking and he likes the word ‘chutzpah’ A LOT, but it did retell the story of Metallica really interestingly and added some detail that the average obsessed Metallica fan would enjoy. My main gripe would only be that Cliff Burton’s death is rather glossed over and quickly diverted into a rumour about Cliff and James possibly conspiring to kick out Lars prior to Cliff’s death. Definitely should have been in different chapters.

  17. 5 out of 5

    John Hart

    I enjoyed the information presented but all I can say is the writing style doesn't match the subject matter. It seems like the authors were paid by the word. They used 4 or 5 sentences to say what could have been said in a few words. The book could have probably been 100 pages shorter. Just glad I got it for $1. I enjoyed the information presented but all I can say is the writing style doesn't match the subject matter. It seems like the authors were paid by the word. They used 4 or 5 sentences to say what could have been said in a few words. The book could have probably been 100 pages shorter. Just glad I got it for $1.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Mcniel

    Pretty good take on the infancy and first 10 years of Metallica. All stuff as fans we already know, but the input from others that can add to those points and give deeper meaning of the events that shaped Metallica makes this an excellent Biography. Only downfall really, grabbed the audible of this and the reader was a bit mono-tone, and the accents used were a bit flat.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Yeah! I thought this was a great band history/summary. This book is great for a fan who may not be a super fan. In other words, this book is thorough over a long period of time, rather than diving deep on one subject (except The Black Album, which was an amazing and awesome story). I can't wait for volume 2 to come out!! Great book. Listened to the audiobook so I really missed seeing pictures. Yeah! I thought this was a great band history/summary. This book is great for a fan who may not be a super fan. In other words, this book is thorough over a long period of time, rather than diving deep on one subject (except The Black Album, which was an amazing and awesome story). I can't wait for volume 2 to come out!! Great book. Listened to the audiobook so I really missed seeing pictures.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kico Meirelles

    The book is very good for all Metallica fans, a must reading. However it has two issues: (1) the book speeds up at the end where the band is becoming legends and (2) it does not say anything about a volume two. All things consisted, still at least 4 stars because it’s Metallica!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brian Lavis

    The book didn’t reveal too much of the Metallica story that wasn’t already known, and the authors really are fans , so the band can do no wrong. Stick with the film Some kind of monster.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Annie Whittenham

    Loved it! An insightful biography with an underlying humour that helped make this book very enjoyable.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Dickson

    Great book, loved it. Only problem I had is I wished it was longer.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lnsimon

    The book is not perfect and glosses over important aspects of the early years, but for the sake of capturing the milestones, it's worth the time. The book is not perfect and glosses over important aspects of the early years, but for the sake of capturing the milestones, it's worth the time.

  25. 4 out of 5

    John MB

    Its fine. Not really able to give anything new for fans who know the band well.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kenneth

    Could Lars *BE* a bigger douchebag?

  27. 4 out of 5

    Todd Janko

    Finally finishing Volume One of Birth, School, Metallica, Death by Paul Brannigan and Ian Winwood; now it's a wait until the fall for the second volume. I have probably to date have read every single book on these "heavy metal Gods", this first installment comes a close second to the great Mick Wall's biography on Metallica. This book is probably focused on your serious Metallica audience with all it's finite details and story telling involved. I believe your average Metallica fan (usually becom Finally finishing Volume One of Birth, School, Metallica, Death by Paul Brannigan and Ian Winwood; now it's a wait until the fall for the second volume. I have probably to date have read every single book on these "heavy metal Gods", this first installment comes a close second to the great Mick Wall's biography on Metallica. This book is probably focused on your serious Metallica audience with all it's finite details and story telling involved. I believe your average Metallica fan (usually becoming a fan right at the end of this novel, when the Black Album is about to debut) may not find a of lot these stories as interesting or thought provoking. There was nothing new here really as far as new information goes from the early beginnings of the Ulrich, McGovney, Mustaine, Hetfield era to Cliff and Kirk, and ending off in the Newsted genre. A few things that stick out of my mind while reading this, is Thank God Dave Mustaine went on to form Megadeth, and how he was never beaten to death by his fellow bandmates or went straight to prison for being drunk and rolling their truck on the way to New York to record "Kill em All" (eventually with Kirk Hammett) will always make me question just how crazy this band was in the early days. The other part being, I feel, is the great depth the authors take in with the creation (in my personal opinion, best album) of And Justice for All. I would LOVE to hear the correct remix of this album, with the bass parts being able to be heard. The authors go into great detail of the hazing of one Jason Newkid, and I think Metallica (still young, egocentric and developing) should of really let that aspect go when it came time to recording Justice. The other aspect I truly enjoyed (and I'm sure there is more to come in the 2nd half) is when Bob Rock steps in as the producer (5th member) of the band making claim that making the Black Album was the worst nine months of his life. The authors here hit in on spot, and know what aspects to add to make this quite an entertaining read. My favorite part of the Bob Rock era is when Bob says to Kirk (who is trying to figure out the precise guitar solo for The Unforgiven) 'Now that you've warmed up, let's hear the f**king Guitar Player (magazine) guitarist of the year play.' Hammett replies, 'All right' and with hurt at his fingertips performs in just one take a guitar solo the magnificence of which would be heard by more than 20 million listeners. And off to races we go, as Metallica is made, going from dark horse to winning the triple crown in a matter of under 10 years. Now, I wait for volume 2 as I cannot wait what the authors have in store and what they will say about the Load period. (Yes, real men don't get haircuts as Alice in Chains points out in their unplugged session with Metallica in the audience). Hopefully, the authors nail it in the next volume to get their 5 stars (as this volume one falls short do to some missing facts such as the Cliff Burton tragedy) respectively.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Wayne Fitzpatrick

    "Birth School Mtallica Death" is a chronicle of the meager beginnings to the meteoric rise of the superstar metal band Metallica. The book shows the complexities of a band most people might consider very low brow or basic. For instance, Metallica has long been regaled as being "true to their fans" Ironically, the interesting thing is Metallica was never "for the fans." As the author states, Metallica never made the music for the fans. Metallica made their music for Metallica. As the books shows, "Birth School Mtallica Death" is a chronicle of the meager beginnings to the meteoric rise of the superstar metal band Metallica. The book shows the complexities of a band most people might consider very low brow or basic. For instance, Metallica has long been regaled as being "true to their fans" Ironically, the interesting thing is Metallica was never "for the fans." As the author states, Metallica never made the music for the fans. Metallica made their music for Metallica. As the books shows, Metallica didn't so much go to the fans and relate to the them. It was much more the opposite. But, through clever marketing and a loyal fan base they were able to succeed with the moniker of a "band of the people". This is just one of the revelations in the book. In many regards, this book could also be categorized as a psychologists handbook. The many interwoven and complex relationships, and the cold hearted nature that made Metallica a success is written about in great detail. How some members of Metallica, namely the "leaders" of the band, could ruthlessly boot members from the band or carry on after the loss of a band member is eye opening. The book also shows how business is business and personal relationships need not get in the way. The title, "Birth School Metallica Death", was taken from a slogan printed across one of their concert t-shirts, from a time when they were not the mega band they would become. The book follows their ascent, with all of the obstacles and roadblocks along the way. The brazen slogan used for this book is indicative of the egos and control freaks that were Metallica, at least the two head figures of the band. This is one reason why the book is not just for the uber Metallica fan. Beyond showing how the band grew as a metal gods, the book also describes the growing thrash/metal scene in America and how Metallica, at least at first, tried to distance themselves from the mainstream and cultivated their own audience. Metallica was the "anti glam" metal band and they owned that label proudly. The book also shows how that label was shed as Lars, the main "p.r." member of the band did his best to market the band and make them the commercial success they have become. The book also spends a great deal of time describing the personalities of the band and how these personalities often clashed or isolated some of the band members. Of particular focus is how the band dealt with the passing of the original bassist, Cliff Burton and how their relationship with his replacement, Jason Newsted, was uneasy at best. Overall, this was a very interesting and entertaining book. I can't wait for the second volume due out in fall of this year.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Judith

    This is a really good book. As a Metallica fan for almost 30 years, it still gave me new information about the band and their history. Yes, it's not incredibly detailed, but there's enough there. My only complaint is that some of the writing can be a bit irritating at times, most notably their over-enthusiastic use of the term "bending the elbow"! Also, I was somewhat disappointed when I got to the end of the book and saw the bibliography, which made me wonder just how much interviewing they actu This is a really good book. As a Metallica fan for almost 30 years, it still gave me new information about the band and their history. Yes, it's not incredibly detailed, but there's enough there. My only complaint is that some of the writing can be a bit irritating at times, most notably their over-enthusiastic use of the term "bending the elbow"! Also, I was somewhat disappointed when I got to the end of the book and saw the bibliography, which made me wonder just how much interviewing they actually did, and how much was sourced from elsewhere. I'm still looking forward to Volume II, but it will be interesting to now read some of the other Metallica books that are still on my 'to read' pile and see how they compare.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Silas

    As less a Metallica fan and more of a Black Album fan, and already being somewhat familiar with parts of this story from having seen a "Behind the Music" back in the day, I didn't expect a great deal from this. I got more than I expected, though, in detail, if not in time span. I didn't know going in that this would only cover Metallica's history up to their eponymous release, and since this covered up to the point past which my interest begins to wane, I'm not sure if I would seek out the secon As less a Metallica fan and more of a Black Album fan, and already being somewhat familiar with parts of this story from having seen a "Behind the Music" back in the day, I didn't expect a great deal from this. I got more than I expected, though, in detail, if not in time span. I didn't know going in that this would only cover Metallica's history up to their eponymous release, and since this covered up to the point past which my interest begins to wane, I'm not sure if I would seek out the second volume but given the thoroughness with which the author covered the material, I would at least consider it.

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