Running with the Devil: Power, Gender, and Madness in Heavy Metal Music / Edition 1 available in Paperback
- Pub. Date:
- Wesleyan University Press
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.
About the Author
Table of ContentsAcknowledgements 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
What People are Saying About This
“An eye-opening account of the world of heavy metal, as well as a model for how Cultural Studies work ought to be done. Walser lays bare the vision embodied in metal as a total cultural phenomenonmusic and words, performers and fans, critics and devotees. The book is exemplary in its rich material, subtle positionings, and elegant writing.”
"Essential reading in all popular music (and cultural studies) courses."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
An interesting (and incredibly in-depth) review of many aspects of metal music and culture. I borrowed this book knowing that it was about 80s popular metal, though I was a bit disappointed Walser did not spend more time with some of the underground metal that has come to be much more popular today. He explains the decision as a desire to create as broad a view as possible, and, hey, he's the dude writing it, I just read.I really enjoyed the discussions of musical forms and his defense of metal as legitimate. He also casts an interesting picture of metal as a counter-culture movement that is more about empowerment than rebellion. These early chapters, however are the ones that are probably most dated. He holds metal up as a genre that accepts women readily and actively seeks multi-cultural influence. I believe that these two aspects of the culture are less true today than they were 20 years ago.All in all, an enjoyable read to someone already familiar with the genre, but a bit dated to provide much understanding to a complete metal outsider.