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Heavy Metal: The Music And Its Culture [Kindle Edition]

Deena Weinstein
4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)

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From Library Journal

This is one of the few books that provides a serious study of this most loud and rebellious form of rock'n'roll. Beginning with pioneers such as Black Sabbath in the early 1970s, Weinstein traces the roots of the music and the bands who played it, from England's hardcore headbangers to their American counterparts plus a lot of the lightweight pretty-boy bands of the 1980s.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Few forms of music elicit such strong reactions as does heavy metal. Embraced by millions of fans, it has also attracted a chorus of critics, who have denounced it as a corrupter of youth—even blamed it for tragedies like the murders at Columbine. Deena Weinstein argues that these fears stem from a deep misunderstanding of the energetic, rebellious culture of metal, which she analyzes, explains, and defends. She interprets all aspects of the metal world—the music and its makers, its fans, its dress code, its lyrics—and in the process unravels the myths, misconceptions, and truths about an irreverent subculture that has endured and evolved for twenty years.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1453 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 372 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 0306809702
  • Verlag: Da Capo Press; Auflage: Revised (5. August 2009)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #211.162 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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4.0 von 5 Sternen
4.0 von 5 Sternen
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Finally... 13. Juli 2000
This book is fantastic & completely nails what needed and needs to be said, and the updated text (regarding the 1990's) is right on as well. Writing from a sociological perspective, the author is extremely thorough in her approach, offering her own observations and experience since the music began in addition to a plethora of source texts, interviews and case studies with differing viewpoints for extremely effective descriptions regarding the music itself as well as its impact. An enjoyable, genuinely informative read, two qualities which have rarely been bridged together in the past concerning heavy metal music. I wish I had known about this book several years ago, it would have helped make trying to "explain" heavy metal to authoritive figures a far easier task. Those who enjoyed the recent "Lords of Chaos" book should read this, it's not as sensationalist oriented, it's about the general genre of heavy metal. Also people who value the research of Jeffrey Arnett, Keith Roe, etc would be doing themselves a favor to pick this up.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen well researched and written 6. Mai 2000
I read this book expecting a harsh critique of something the author knew little about. Instead I was pleasantly surprised by how much Ms. Weinstein knew and actually enjoyed heavy metal. She actually took the time to attend concerts and listen to the albums. It is a little dry and descriptive at times but overall very interesting. I recommend it for fans and those who are simply interested in being educated in a phenomenon that refuses to die.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen a clinical read 23. Mai 2000
the book is intended for serious discussion on the sociological aspect of being a metal fan, the social codes an mores of the subculture, definetly not light reading material, but does have some intresting points, though it is outdated in the year 2000
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 3.4 von 5 Sternen  13 Rezensionen
30 von 33 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting, but Deeply Flawed 26. November 2007
Von Planetary Eulogy - Veröffentlicht auf
Deena Weinstein's updated edition of her 1991 monograph "Heavy Metal: A Cultural Sociology" remains, to this day, probably the most widely available academic work on the subject of heavy metal. While it is mostly well-written (a bit heavy on jargon perhaps, but without the suffocating tsunami of subclauses that usually plague academic writing in the social sciences). While it is always gratifying to this Hessian to find an academic work taking metal seriously, this is, unfortunately, a very flawed work.

Like many contemporary academics, Weinstein is overly wedded to social science theories at the expense of a genuine engagement with the subject at hand. As a result, she tends to treat metal - both the music and its culture - as a form of semiotic play, symbolically creating and re-creating a self-referential narrative of 'the Proud Pariah.' Professorial prose, however, is an inadequate patch to cover an ugly truth: Weinstein never really gets beyond the 'rock as rebellion' metanarrative to bring any new insight to bear on the subject of metal. Not surprisingly, she fails to understand metal or its fans at anything beyond the most superficial level, though, occasionally, moments of lucidity creep in, as with Weinstein's recognition of heavy metal's fundamentally neo-Romantic character.

Where this work is strong, however, is in its analysis of the underlying social and political biases that have left metal marginalized, despite its manifest artistic superiority to, well, pretty much anything the contemporary world is producing. In particular, Weinstein has honed in, as few commentators have, on the unreasoned and unreasoning rejection of metal by mainstream rock journalists, and she effectively lays bare the institutional assumptions and prejudices that have crippled the objectivity of the wider music press when faced with outsider forms that do not conform to the expected 60s counterculture norms of social and political discourse.

While this may be of some interest to specialists, it is likely to leave ordinary readers with no better understanding of metal music or culture than they had before picking it up. There have, unfortunately, been no truly excellent academic studies of metal, but if you feel compelled to pick up something on the subject, Natalie Purcell's Death Metal Music: The Passion and Politics of a Subculture is probably a better bet.
18 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The Bible of Heavy Metal 6. Oktober 2000
Von ChrisV82 - Veröffentlicht auf
If you're like me and have spent hours reading "Heavy Metal: A Cultural Sociology", or if you are at all interested in the Metal community and the roots, styles, and spirit of Heavy Metal, then this book is a must have. This edition is less a revision, and more a republishing of "HM: A Cultural Sociology" with an additional chapter acting as a rather large update on what happened in the decade since "HM: ACS" came out. Dealing with the development, enemies, fans, artists, outlets, community, subgenres, positives and even negatives of Heavy Metal, this should be read by every Metalhead and rock fan. Highly recommended, especially in the cheaper paperback format.
10 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Very informative! A must for every metalhead! 18. Oktober 2004
Von Z. William Arkosy - Veröffentlicht auf
This is by far the most intellectual book ever written on the subject of Heavy Metal! This book goes into great depths regarding the birth of the stlye, both in terms of its musical roots, as well as the image associated with this genre. It has an almost sociological evaluation of the fans of metal and what their lifestyle consists of. This book also enlightens us as to why critics - both from the liberal left as well as the conservative right - detest this style of music. It later goes on into the fragmentation of the genre (regarding the Thrash metal scene and glam rock). There is a final chapter which deals with the genre during and after the nineties, but the vast majority of the book deals with the '70s and '80s. There is a slight (North) American bias, concentrating more on bands that are from English speaking countries (namely the U.S., the U.K. & Canada) but some European bands are also mentioned. It was an enjoyable read and there are many examples illustrated by the author to make the reading less dry. Highly recommended for fans of the genre and for those who are trying to understand the genre.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Schematic sociological introduction to a persistent subculture 17. Mai 2012
Von Autonomeus - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Weinstein's book clearly merits five stars. It was the first sociological study of metal culture, and when it was originally published in 1991 it was responding to a major culture wars battle over the music and its influence following metal's explosion into the mainstream in the Eighties. (It was followed by another sociological study, Running with the Devil: Power, Gender, and Madness in Heavy Metal Music (1993), which I haven't read.) She utilizes some sociological theory (Durkheim, Simmel, Weber), and argues convincingly that "subculture" is a more applicable category than "taste public," but thankfully the book is not dense with impenetrable postmodern theory.

The book follows a strictly logical, schematic organization:

1) Studying Metal (introduction)
2) Heavy Metal (history)
3) Making the Music (the artists)
4) Digging the Music: Proud Pariahs (the metalheads)
5) Transmitting the Music (industry & media)
6) The Concert
7) Maligning the Music
8) Metal in the '90s

The last chapter was added for the 2000 revised edition, and covers the eclipse of metal by grunge, the mass popularitiy of Metallica, and the persistence of the metal subculture. This is not the book for a systematic history of the genre -- Weinstein gives a short history in Chapter 2, which is stronger on the origins of metal than its subsequent development. Her partition of the original metal into classic metal, lite/pop metal, and thrash metal is useful, if long since outdated as subgenres have proliferated.

As a sociologist, she had to cover the industry and media (Chapter 5) -- understanding the production of culture is as important as understanding the reception of culture, and in capitalist society that means understanding corporations and the music industry as well as fanzines and other non-profit media. Chapter 7 on the PMRC and the anti-metal movement is a brilliant defense of the music and the culture, and is still relevant today. She characterizes metal as Dionysian rebellion, and charges its ignorant critics of both the Right and Left with "discursive terrorism."

But what I was really interested in, and the part of the book I found the most informative and compelling, was Chapter 4. What is the nature of the metal subculture? What ties the fans together beyond the music itself? Not a metalhead myself, I am not in a position to evaluate Weinstein's analysis, but it makes sense and fits my own observations from a distance over the years. She is a participant as well as an observer of the culture, and this is no armchair analysis. She has written dozens of reviews of metal albums, for instance, which can be found on her website. Her (Simmelian) category of "The Proud Pariah" may be reductive, but it clearly captures an important part of the identity of metalheads. Her analytical history of "The Roots of the of the Metal Subculture" makes the interesting argument that metal was a selective, blue-collar continuation of the Sixties counterculture in the Seventies. She makes a case that the subculture, which began in the U.K., was/is distinctively male, white, and blue-collar. Weinstein is fully aware that that many/most metalheads from the Eighties on were/are middle class, and she argues that nonetheless there is a blue-collar ethos in the culture, one which tends to horrify middle class parents. She devotes an entire chapter to The Concert as the central ritual binding metalheads together and perpetuating the culture (thanks to Durkhem). As a sociologist, I would have liked to see more empirical data here, and fewer unsubstantiated claims, but on balance I find Weinstein to be a reliable participant/observer.

Part of what set me in search of a book like this was my realization that metal is an incredibly persistent, tenacious subculture that continues to recreate itself over 40 years after its origin. But part of my interest is driven by my own discovery of some of the music's recent permutations. I have been aware of metal all along -- I remember a high school friend who immediately gravitated to Black Sabbath's PARANOID on its release -- but I have never been as interested in the music as I am today. Bands like Neurosis, Agalloch, Isis, Pelican, Russian Circles, Mastodon, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Wolves In the Throne Room are making some of the most compelling rock music of our time. Neurosis in particular, with a powerful sense of tragic doom, speaks to the crisis of climate change in a way no other music even begins to approach. (For instance Given to the Rising - 2007 -- see my review.)

As rock fades with the aging of the Baby Boomers, and becomes just one of many music subcultures, metal keeps alive the power of the guitar chord, the intensity of rejection of the status quo, and a grim, realistic view of reality in the face of superficial cheerfulness and pop marketing.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen well researched and written 6. Mai 2000
Von Wesley Bush - Veröffentlicht auf
I read this book expecting a harsh critique of something the author knew little about. Instead I was pleasantly surprised by how much Ms. Weinstein knew and actually enjoyed heavy metal. She actually took the time to attend concerts and listen to the albums. It is a little dry and descriptive at times but overall very interesting. I recommend it for fans and those who are simply interested in being educated in a phenomenon that refuses to die.
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