Birth School Metallica Death: The Inside Story of Metallica (1981-1991)

Overview


Birth School Metallica Death is the definitive story of the most significant rock band since Led Zeppelin, covering 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...
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Birth School Metallica Death, Volume 1: The Biography

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Overview


Birth School Metallica Death is the definitive story of the most significant rock band since Led Zeppelin, covering 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), 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 in 1991, with the release of "The Black Album," Metallica finally hit the next level with five hit singles and their first album atop the Billboard charts.

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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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Metallica began in 1981 with a small newspaper ad invite and has been taking off ever. With more than 100 million albums already sold, this heavy metal combine has obviously earned a full throttle biography. Rock biographer Paul Brannigan (This is a Call) and seasoned music journalist Ian Winwood here combine with the first half of a definitive, authorized history of this still evolving band. Extensive interviews with the band, their family members and other close associates lend a strong, intimate personal tone to this story of Metallica's early and middle years.

From the Publisher

Classic Rock (UK), October 2013

“Introduces us to the boys who went on to be metal kings…[Brannigan and Winwood] have worked closely with the band over the years, and it shows, both in the access they’ve gained, the anecdotes they witnessed first-hand and the warmth they afford their subjects. No stone is left unturned as the band’s insane life is meticulously researched.”

Q Magazine, October 2013

“Roach shows how thoroughly she has researched her subject…while also giving modern readers something to think about in our own days of social and political witch hunts. Six Women of Salem…will provide a greater sense of the real-world lives of those who engaged in and were victimized by those events.”

Metal Hammer

“The Metallica story has been told many times before, but seldom as entertainingly or as smartly as this…Ian Winwood and Paul Brannigan’s vivid prose makes this well-worn saga seem somehow fresh and fascinating again.”

Publishers Weekly, 11/1/13

“Brannigan and Winwood dig deep into the band members’' formative years…As former editor of Kerrang!, Britain's popular heavy metal magazine, Brannigan had the opportunity to interview a number of those in Metallica's orbit over the years, this special access and familiarity adds breadth to the book. This objective study is a refreshing approach to the traditional music biography. Even the most knowledgeable fans will eagerly await the second volume.”

Kirkus Reviews, 12/1/13

“[An] ambitious undertaking…The authors’ enthusiasm for their subject is infectious. They’re well-placed to show how Metallica learned from their British New Wave of heavy-metal forebears and, in true Oedipal fashion, killed the fathers to create something new. For metal heads and most fans of hard rock.”

Mojo, December 2013

“It’s hard to imagine the tale of San Francisco metal behemoths Metallica being told more authoritatively than it is here…Gripping reading.”

Exclaim.ca, 4/22/14

“The detail and admirable amount of passion that these British authors lay down in these pages is incredible. Not only have they unearthed mind-blowing tidbits of information that aren't all over every other Metallica biog, but the sheer amount of research they've done for this book is astounding…It's hard to stop reading Birth School Metallica Death, Volume I once you get started, which is huge praise for a book about a band that has already been so documented.”

Aquarian Weekly, 12/17/14

“The book captures a time before the internet when groups relied on word of mouth, fanzines and self-distributed cassettes and EPs to spread their music across the world. Birth, School, Metallica, Death touches on all the major moments…Despite being apparent fans themselves, the writers pull no punches in detailing the less-favorable elements contained in the Metallica/Alcoholica saga.”

Publishers Weekly
11/04/2013
Writers Brannigan (This is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl) and Winwood cover the genesis of one of the world's most popular metal bands from its infancy to the group's seminal "Black Album" and subsequent stardom in the first book of a two-volume biography. Brannigan and Winwood dig deep into the band members' formative years, noting key musical influences, prior bands, and influential backers such as Johnny Zazula and Brian Slagel. Even though diehard fans may be familiar with the story arc, notably the tragic death of bassist Cliff Burton, the authors present fresh insights into the hazing that surrounded Jason Newsted, Burton's replacement, as well as the band members' insecurities, drug usage, and musical shortcomings. As former editor of Kerrang!, Britain's popular heavy metal magazine, Brannigan had the opportunity to interview a number of those in Metallica's orbit over the years, this special access and familiarity adds breadth to the book. This objective study is a refreshing approach to the traditional music biography. Even the most knowledgeable fans will eagerly await the second volume. (Nov.)
Kirkus Reviews
2013-11-07
First half of a projected two-part biography of the metal masters of the universe. Former Kerrang! editor Brannigan (This Is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl, 2010) and U.K. rock journalist Winwood dreamed up this ambitious undertaking over pints in a London pub. Both Brits had covered Metallica for years, and clearly, both held the megaband in the highest regard. This volume covers the hardworking, hard-drinking, hard-driving band's first decade, from its founding in Los Angeles by drummer Lars Ulrich and rhythm guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield in 1981 to the preview of its game-changing fifth album at Madison Square Garden in 1991. (Among the 10,000 fans lined up to hear the album were "members of that summer's other most celebrated band: Nirvana.") True to its title, this biography also follows each significant member--including founding lead guitarist Dave Mustaine and the man who replaced him, Kirk Hammett--from birth through school, life in Metallica and, in the case of bassist Cliff Burton, shockingly premature death in a tour bus accident in 1986. Though a devastating personal and professional loss for his colleagues, Burton's death caused scarcely a skipped beat in Metallica's unstoppable momentum toward world domination: Three weeks later, the bassist was replaced by speed-metal hero Jason Newsted. In one of their most interesting revelations, Brannigan and Winwood entertain (without fully dispelling) rumors that Burton and Hetfield had actually been conspiring to replace Ulrich, whose talents as drummer were as controversial as his talents at self-promotion were not. Though the writing is uneven, sometimes bogging the narrative's momentum down in unnecessary verbosity, the authors' enthusiasm for their subject is infectious. They're well-placed to show how Metallica learned from their British New Wave of heavy-metal forebears and, in true Oedipal fashion, killed the fathers to create something new. For metal heads and most fans of hard rock.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306823510
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 12/9/2014
  • Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Pages: 392
  • Sales rank: 621,561
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Paul Brannigan and Ian Winwood are two of the UK's foremost music writers. A contributor to Rolling Stone, Classic Rock, Q, and Metal Hammer magazines, Brannigan is the author of the acclaimed This Is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl, while Winwood has written for Rolling Stone, the Guardian, Mojo, Kerrang!, NME, and the BBC. Both reside in London.
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