A fantastic book and a tangible souvenir for fans but also interested bystanders.
Published by: Voyageur Press
Martin Popoff, who has authored many a good book on rock, has excelled himself with this one. 'Metallica, The Complete Illustrated History' is a complete and extremely well illustrated, almost coffee table affair. The content will be discussed later, but this book proves why the printed "hard copy" is a superior format to digital. The book is a large hardback and looks and feels good, has high quality paper and contains intensely colourful photographs throughout. The overall affect would certainly be diminished with an e-book.
Regarding the content, this is an easy read but not superficial. The story of how Lars Ulrich's love of the NWOBHM kick-started it all is covered comprehensively and missing details for me on how the other members came on board are all cleared up. Each step of the journey is covered with interviews from the band members as well as the record company execs etc. and so form a fascinating story. On top of this, there are critiques of all ten studio albums (including 'LuLu' with Lou Reed).
The reviews are obviously positive but do dwell on some of the body swerves that the band has done (e.g. quiet bass on '...And Justice For All', no guitar solos on 'St. Anger' etc.). The essence of the book is that Metallica made these decisions because they do not feel it is right for them to churn out repeats of the 'Black' album and it is all part of their individual and group journeys. The accompanying takeaway that the book demonstrates is that Metallica has always eventually turned up trumps anyway, so what's the problem?
This is genuinely a fantastic book and a tangible souvenir for fans but also interested bystanders. It may make converts of them.