Book Review: Metallica: The Complete Illustrated History
What’s so cool about this book right from the first grab is its size: “9 ½ x 11 ¼” with thick stock pages and full color (many rare unseen) photos covering the band’s entire history from its earliest stages formed in Los Angeles in 1981 right up to 2013. Its 192 pages of pure history, stories and reviews of each Metallica release right up to 2011’s “Lulu”.
The reviews of each record are covered by some of the top rock journalists in the business. Mick Wall, Andre Earles, Gary Graff and others give their takes on each release from the hits to the misfires and nothing is held back. But after all this is an illustrated history so the text is almost secondary to the photos themselves which make the book worth its price alone.
Each era of the band is covered right from Mustaine to Burton right on down to Newsted and Trujillo. Plenty for every Metallica fan to enjoy with no real emphasis on one particular era but rather a chronological look of how Metallica became the biggest metal band in the world and continues to be to this day. As with the Rush book I reviewed a few months back, what makes this history standout from the rest is the sick collection of memorabilia on display throughout the pages of this book. T-shirts, gig posters, flyers, rare albums, backstage passes, concert tickets, patches and more flood the pages and make even the diehard fan stand up and take notice.
What I admire about Popoff and his unique style is that he uses his own interviews conducted over the years and does not rely on quotes from other writers. There are other Metallica books out there with longer more in-depth coverage of the band but none combine the amount of quality rare photos of the band live and in the studio with band collectibles combined with a list of the entire Metallica canon-every album, single, ep and video. At over 300 images, countless hours must have been spent selecting images that nobody had seen in years if ever at all.
This book will definitely make a great holiday treat for that metal fan in your life, a grab or secret Santa at work or better yet spoil yourself and pick one up as a stocking stuffer. Just make sure that your rock stocking has some extra stuffing because this book is heavy and not just the physical product but a history one of the great metal bands of all time makes it a heavy metal history for the ages.