Running with the Devil: Power, Gender, and Madness in Heavy Metal Music / Edition 1

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A Choice Outstanding Academic Book.

A musicologist and cultural critic as well as a professional musician, Robert Walser offers a comprehensive musical, social, and cultural analysis of heavy metal in Running with the Devil. Dismissed by critics and academics, condemned by parents and politicians, fervently embraced by legions of fans, heavy metal music attracts and embodies cultural conflicts that are central to our society. Walser explores how and why heavy metal works, both musically and socially, and at the same time uses metal to investigate contemporary formations of identity, community, gender, and power.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Heavy metal music, one of the most significant musical influences of the 1980s, has received little serious attention by academics. This ethnographic study goes a long way toward counteracting the disdain held by musicologists for heavy metal by presenting a solid, scholarly analysis of the power, meaning, musical structure. and sociopolitical contexts of the most popular examples of heavy metal. Along with consulting basic texts, Walsh read fan magazines, as well as interviewing and surveying fans and musicians, and his effort shows. This is a comprehensive, often engrossing study of heavy metal music and its followers. Recommended for academic and large public libraries.-- Debora Richey, California State Univ.-Fullerton Lib.
From the Publisher
“Walser belongs to a small but influential group of academics trying to reconcile ‘high theory’ with a streetwise sense of culture . . . an excellent book.”—Rolling Stone

"Making surprising connections to classical forms and debunking stereotypes of metal's musical crudity, Walser delves enthusiastically into guitar conventions and rituals."—Washington Post

"Walser is truly gifted at doing what few critics before him have done: analyzing the music . . . In virtuoso readings of metal music that forge persuasive links between metal and particular classical music traditions, Walser reveals the ways that musical structures themselves are social texts." —The Nation

"Running with the Devil takes musicology where it has never gone before; I once saw the chapter on metal guitarists and the classical tradition performed live in a lecture hall, but even on paper it smokes."—SF Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819562609
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/1993
  • Series: Music Culture
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 254
  • Sales rank: 1,501,819
  • Product dimensions: 5.92 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

ROBERT WALSER is Professor and Chairman of Musicology at UCLA. He is editor of Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History (Oxford University Press, 1999) and of the journal American Music.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Introduction I. Metallurgies: Genre, history, and the Construction of Heavy Metal Genre and Commercial Meditation Casting Heavy Metal Heavy Metal in the 80's Headbangers
"Nasty, Brutish, and Short?" Rock Critics and Academics Evaluate Metal II. Beyond the Vocals: Toward the Analysis of Popular Musical Discourses Genre and Discourse Musicological Analysis Writing about Music Metal as Discourse
"Runnin' with the Devil"
Negotiation and Pleasure III. Eruptions: Heavy Metal Appropriations of Classical Virtuosity Classical Prestiger and Popular Meanings Ritchie Blackmore and the Classical Roots of Metal Edward Van Halen and the New Virtuosity Randy Rhoads: Metal Gets Serious Yngwie Malmsteen: Metal Augmented and Diminished Popular Music as Cultural Dialogue IV. Forging Masculinity: Heavy Metal Sounds and Images of Gender Behind the Screen: Listening to Gender No Girls Allowed Exscription in Heavy Metal The Kiss of Death: Misogyny and the Male Victim Living on a Prayer: Romance Nothing but a Good Time? Androgyny as a Political Party, "Real Men Don't Wear Makeup"
V. Heavy Metal and Postmodern Politics Professing Censorship: The PMRC and It's Academic Allies Attack Suicide Solutions Mysticism and Postmodernism in Heavy Metal Horror and History Guns N' Roses N' Marx N' Engles
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