Not technically a good "read" since there's virtually no text in this book (though you can read both the endflaps and a semi-literate introduction fro...moreNot technically a good "read" since there's virtually no text in this book (though you can read both the endflaps and a semi-literate introduction from Zloz), but worth a flip through for anyone who loves metal (e.g. me). Speaking of flipping, every single photo finds at least one of its subjects flipping the bird at the camera.
Premise-wise a bit precious, to be sure, but worth it particularly because even with photo shoots that are very familiar at this point (e.g. Shout at the Devil era Motley Crue covered in blood, Ratt in a public restroom), because of the um, provocative gestures, these are usually pics you haven't seen in print before. The downside is that, likely trying to appeal to the widest audience possible, you get a lot of bottomfeeders that Zlozower has photographed over the years (one of the Pussycat Dolls, an American Idol top ten finisher) as well as a heavy dose of horrible 90s nu-metal (Slipknot, POD, Avenged Sevenfold, etc.). Also disproportionately well represented are people you have to guess Neil is simply friends with (the drummer from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Billy Sheehan photographed long after his career had gone south).
Anyway though, as someone with a (at this point) quite large collection of metal-related ephemera, this book was a worthy addition. Finding it remaindered for $5 certainly didn't hurt either.(less)
Finally got my hands on this book and it. is. AWESOME! Mostly images, which is great because to read who he's written for (various pop culture rags li...moreFinally got my hands on this book and it. is. AWESOME! Mostly images, which is great because to read who he's written for (various pop culture rags like Spin, the Village Voice, currently a contributing editor for Paper), it comes as somewhat of an eyebrow-raiser that Steven Blush writes like one of my undergrads. Simple, declarative sentences that don't really relate to each other and kind of just pile on with no real structure of being an actual paragraph save for the fact that a designer made it sit on its own on a page, hence the block of random text takes on the visual appearance of a paragraph.
But for the most part grammar doesn't even matter, because the book is SO photo heavy -- amazing stuff I'd never seen before, and not the usual Neil Zlozower. Not that I don't love his stuff, but the lack of Zloz is probably what makes this book feel so fresh; these aren't pics you've seen a zillion times before.
And what Blush lacks as a writer, to whatever extent he was in charge of the content here, he does a lovely job as a curator. You've got obscure bands like Teeze and Nitro cheek by jowl with Poison and Motley Crue. And most of the text isn't even his; instead, he's culled choice quotes from interviews in Rip, Circus, Hit Parader, Metal Edge, etc. to give the book a flavor of what the boys in these bands were saying about them AT THE TIME, instead of in some watered-down, Behind the Music musing.
The other thing I will say that I liked a lot about this book -- even though, again, in terms of style and grammar the author could really benefit from a critical editor -- is how much it focuses on some of the more sociological perspectives on metal. He actually touches on topics like the politics of whiteness, the tension between androgyny and homophobia, and the overall conservatism of the genre. In an interesting way, this book seems to fit best as a photo and caption-heavy companion to musicologist Robert Walser's Running with the Devil, in my opinion the best book ever written about the genre.
And oh, did I mention the pictures!?!?! Clear, full-color, uncluttered... I want to wallpaper my house with pages from this book. Also, I wish I could give it an extra star just for making me pause to remember the existence of DIAL MTV.(less)
I've owned the CD boxed set that accompanies this for years, but never owned the book -- it was expensive when it came out, I always figured I'd get i...moreI've owned the CD boxed set that accompanies this for years, but never owned the book -- it was expensive when it came out, I always figured I'd get it later, then poof! Out of print. So I jumped on it when I saw a used copy on Amazon for $4.99 -- an even better deal when it turned out to be a hardcover (I'd thought I was getting a paperback).
Long story short: Worth the wait. The little paperback that comes with the CDs (which are AMAZING, BTW) has more in terms of information on these different (often obscure) bands, but this is a lush, huge, coffee-table-sized book of metal, metal and more metal. Or more accurately, hair, hair, and more hair. There's even a bit toward the back that has ads for clothing stores and salons from back in the day! Amazing.
Since I really wanted just like, to see everything up close, I would have liked it if more of the pages were laid out simply like with one picture next to the next (they're a bit collage style, some images are cut off, etc). There's also a wtf-is-this-doing-here multi-page Jane's Addiction section in the middle. But really, I can't complain -- there's a wealth of old pictures here, as well as TONS of amazing flyers from gigs you wish you saw. It's really an amazing document, and a must-have for fans of glam, lyrical, LA metal. (less)
I read this for class. I mean come on people, you know you don't read anything translated by Brian Massumi for fun! I'm glad I finally read it, as it'...moreI read this for class. I mean come on people, you know you don't read anything translated by Brian Massumi for fun! I'm glad I finally read it, as it's one of those books that gets cited everywhere, but I had no idea whatsoever what the author's argument is.
Basically, Attali is looking to read Western European history through developments in music -- like that changes in musical style presage historical events. It's a bit convoluted at times, but does have a lot of interesting historical digressions, like about the history of copyright law in France (yes, I'm a nerd).(less)
This is one of my favorite books ever. I first read it in 1998 or 1999, but I remember reading the review of it in Rolling Stone in 1993 when it came...moreThis is one of my favorite books ever. I first read it in 1998 or 1999, but I remember reading the review of it in Rolling Stone in 1993 when it came out (since RS are morons, they didn't totally love it). The author is a musicologist at UCLA, he was mostly working at Dartmouth when he was writing this though. He is the man! I'd like to meet him, but I'd prob either freak out or nerd out, like correcting him that when he says a KISS song is playing on the radio in the beginning of a Poison video, it is actually a Poison cover of a KISS song that is playing.(less)
This book is a little bit patchy, but like the little girl with the little curl, when it's good it's very very good. Frith does a wonderful job of jus...moreThis book is a little bit patchy, but like the little girl with the little curl, when it's good it's very very good. Frith does a wonderful job of justifying the study of popular culture, and also for explaining some of the different issues one has to contend with in doing so. Also, he makes you put up with his weird musical taste throughout the book, which I can respect cause I could see myself doing that, too (so like every third example winds up somehow being about the Pet Shop Boys, regardless of how appropriate they are). And P.S. BTW, that's Metallica's James Hetfield on the cover.(less)