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Justice for All: The Truth about Metallica Paperback – September 1, 2009


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The Amazon Book Review
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Check out The Amazon Book Review, our editors' fresh new blog featuring interviews with authors, book reviews, quirky essays on book trends, and regular columns by our editors. Explore now

Editorial Reviews

Review

Very professional - I get asked to sign copies of this book all over the world.' Lars Ulrich, Metallica'McIver has left no stone unturned to discover the truth - exactly the weighty tome Metallica deserve.' Record Collector'McIver is exhaustive in his research - a book for the [Metallica] obsessive.' Q

About the Author

Joel McIver is a writer and journalist specialising in rock and metal. One of the editorial team at Record Collector magazine, his work extends from biographies of Slipknot and Queens of the Stone Age - also published by Omnibus Press - as well as articles for various magazines to liner notes for classic albums.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 410 pages
  • Publisher: Omnibus Press; Updated ed. edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847727972
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847727978
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.3 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,028,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joel McIver (born 1971) is a British author. The best-known of his 25 books to date is the bestselling Justice For All: The Truth About Metallica, first published in 2004 and appearing in nine languages since then. McIver's other works include biographies of Black Sabbath, Slayer, Ice Cube and Queens Of The Stone Age. His writing also appears in newspapers and magazines such as The Guardian, Metal Hammer, Classic Rock and Rolling Stone, and he is a regular guest on music-related BBC and commercial radio.

In the introduction to Neil Daniels' 2009 book All Pens Blazing, veteran writer Martin Popoff described McIver as "probably the top [rock] scribe in the world". In a book review in April 2012, Classic Rock magazine labelled McIver "by some distance Britain's most prolific hard rock/metal author".

As well as writing his own books, McIver also co-writes the autobiographies of rock musicians. The first of these was the memoir of sometime Deep Purple bassist Glenn Hughes, published in May 2011. McIver is also the co-writer of books by Max Cavalera (Sepultura, Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy) and Megadeth bass player David Ellefson, both of which were published in late 2013.

Contact Joel via www.joelmciver.co.uk or www.facebook.com/joelmciver.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Dawe on December 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
4 stars for the start/3 stars for the entire book
First of all, this book covers the band members lives before the formation of Metallica up to the release of St. Anger, and therefore is the most complete biography of the band currently in print. The book is well researched (although there are errors present) and despite not having spoken with the band directly, it does contain various interviews of people close to the band (and some of them fairly involved with the band, like John Marshall who was a roadie and filled in for James on guitar after several accidents). So it does go into a lot more depth than say a book created solely from magazine interviews would (Chris Crocker, I'm talking to you). The errors do creep in here and there, but a number of them are quotes from individuals and therefore not really the author's fault (such as Flemming Rasmussen's admission that the band was embarrassed that fans would find Trapped Under Ice to 'poppy', when I think it's clear that he meant to say Escape), although perhaps McIver should have clarified these a bit more in the teaxt. Some other mistakes are inexcusable (such that Cliff's tattoo was for Samhain, when actually it's the Misfits Crimson Ghost logo - something easily verified), but considering how much is correct, I'm not going to nit-pick. Up to the point of the Black album (and including the section on the Napster debacle towards the end - the author's opinion with which I am in total agreement with), this book is a really decent and engrossing read.
What I do find a bit odd is some of the book's structure. In the early part of the book, there are tons of interviews of other bands that were on the scene at the same time as Metallica was starting out.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By shockomir on June 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Joel McIver's book, "Justice for All: The Truth About Metallica", is an uneven biography about the biggest heavy metal band in the world. McIver presents a thorough, well-organized history of Metallica, but he fails to deliver a coherent evaluation of the band's various strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures.
McIver's book is noteworthy as the first pseudo-scholarly attempt to provide a comprehensive look at the machine that is Metallica. McIver unloads an assault of Metalli-facts upon the reader that, to the uninitiated, may seem overwhelming. McIver also uses interviews with dozens of Metallica's contemporaries (members of Anthrax, Slayer, Testament, Possessed, etc.) to glean some fascinating insights. The high point of the book is chapter 4, called "1982", in which McIver contextualizes the emergence of Metallica--and the genre of "extreme metal" generally--in southern California. He skilfully conveys the excitement, the emotion, and the sense of urgency with which Metallica, and the genre, would explode on to the world.
One problem with McIver's unending array of facts is that he makes several mistakes. I personally counted at least twenty factual errors and typos. For example, on page 200, the author refers to "The Good, The Bad and The Live" boxed set as a collection of "two previously released 12" singles", when in fact, it was 5 previously released singles and 1 new single. On page 158, he says Anthrax were on tour in 1986 promoting their "Among the Living" album, but that album was not released until 1987. On page 129, McIver suggests that Metallica were worried about the song "Trapped Under Ice" being too "poppy", but it was actually "Escape" that had them concerned (one listen to both songs will reveal which one is the "poppier" song).
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Tim Ford on May 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I reviewed this book earlier, but I just wanted to clarify my thoughts on it. From a point of view of learning the history of the band from 1981 to 2003, this is the best book out there. Period. If you are a fan of the band and you want to learn all you can about them, I highly recommend this book.
Being a huge fan of the band (since '86), I read it cover to cover in about three days and it did a great job of filling in any holes I had in my knowledge of their history. The book really goes into microscopic detail in that aspect, and the author deserves massive amounts of credit for that.
Where I feel the book falters, and the reason I only gave it three stars, is that it attacks the bands more recent work (Load, Reload and St. Anger) with a truly surprising vehemence. The author truly despises nearly everything new the band has done since '96. This is surpising considering the book's liner notes say Metallica are the author's favorite band. I can understand, from a hardcore metal fan's point of view, being disappointed with Load and Reload, but to claim that between the 27 songs on Load and Reload there are only 3 "pretty good" songs? That just simply is not true. As a fan Metallica, I'm surprised the author couldn't just listen to the Loads with an open mind and stop comparing them to the bands earlier work. Are they as good as, say, Puppets or Justice? No. Are there more than three good songs between both albums? Of course. This is Metallica after all. The point of Load and Reload was to prove that Metallica are not a one trick pony, and in that regard, they succeed perfectly.
Even more surprising still was the author's description of St. Anger. His words? "massively disappointing.
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