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  • A History of Heavy Metal

  • Written by: Andrew O'Neill
  • Narrated by: Andrew O'Neill
  • Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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A History of Heavy Metal

Written by: Andrew O'Neill
Narrated by: Andrew O'Neill
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Publisher's Summary

Based on the "absolutely hilarious" (Neil Gaiman) stand-up show.

The history of heavy metal brings us extraordinary stories of larger-than-life characters living to excess, from the household names of Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Iron Maiden and Metallica to the brutal notoriety of the underground Norwegian black metal scene and the New Wave of British heavy metal.

It is the story of a worldwide network of rabid fans escaping everyday mundanity through music, of cutthroat corporate arseholes ripping off those fans and the bands they worship to line their pockets. The expansive pantheon of heavy metal musicians includes junkies, Satanists and murderers, born-again Christians and teetotallers, stadium-touring billionaires and toilet-circuit journeymen.

Award-winning comedian and lifelong heavy metal obsessive Andrew O'Neill has performed his History of Heavy Metal comedy show to a huge range of audiences, from the teenage metalheads of Download festival to the broadsheet-reading theatregoers of the Edinburgh Fringe. Now, in his first book, he takes us on his own very personal and hilarious journey through the history of the music, the subculture and the characters who shaped this most misunderstood genre of music.

©2017 Andrew O'Neill (P)2017 Headline Audiobooks

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    3 out of 5 stars

Decent but...

when I started this book I was expecting it to have more diversity to it and not be 90% about black metal. it would be nice if there was some audio of the Bands he speaks of and hates and loves.

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  • Nick
  • 2019-04-10

Entertaining but very Biased

This book details the time line of Heavy metal very well. It’s very entertaining however the author is extremely biased. Most of the book is spent on the beginning of what he calls metal and it’s very very detailed on the stuff he likes (black metal, death metal, British punk rock) anything that was recorded after 1999 is just glanced and skipped over. He mentions pretty popular modern metal bands and either calls them sh!t or passes right over them. I liked the book it kept me entertained but I would’ve liked it to be a bit more comprehensive on a lot more bands than just the ones he liked.

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  • Sam Saalfeld
  • 2021-09-20

Completely hilarious

I’ve read the print copy of this book before, but listening to it the whole thing to experience it again was certainly time well spent. It caused me to go back and dig through my record collection and rediscover my favorite groups again. This is certainly a must read or must listen to for anyone who is a fan of heavier music

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  • Jennifer H. Kowalski
  • 2021-09-03

This is an amazing book

I ❤️ this book. It is amazing. I do wish that it would have talked more about prog, but that’s ok. The author is also funny. I would recommend this book to any metal fan.

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  • kyle kegley
  • 2021-04-29

Hilarious and eloquent.

The narrator and author O'Neill is knowledgeable and witty. Recommended for beginners and veterans of metal.

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  • Harry P.
  • 2020-04-04

A MUST READ FOR METAL HEADS

I gave this book a 5-star review. It's funny, highly entertaining and well written. I'm 46-years old and a life long metal head. Andrew O'Neill does a phenomenal job looking back through the origins of heavy metal and beyond. He even introduced me to bands I had never heard of and I have added them to my play lists. Let me say this: he is biased towards Death Metal / Black Metal. He seems to skirt past the fact these bands paint their face, live with their parents / grandparents and sell a significantly smaller amount of music. If the vocals sounds like a painful colonoscopy, he seems to adore the band and lavish them with praise, even if a dozen people have purchased their album. Know that going in and all is well. I still love this book - I have the written and audible versions. - Harry Psaros

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  • James McIver
  • 2018-04-02

An excellent choice to learn more about metal

Very engaging and fun. The author is at his best when approaching the subgenres he loves most, but his history remains relatively broad and he does a good job of at the very least briefly touching upon any bands that were influential in the broader genre, whether he enjoyed them or not. I learned about a lot of bands I'd never heard of before, and now expect to have listening material the length of this book many times over. Some people may disagree with his opinions (they're generally pretty fair and rooted in skepticism over the commercialization of music), but unless you are extremely thin-skinned and opinionated about metal already, I very highly recommend you buy this audio book. Otherwise, I only highly recommend it.

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  • Chris Caver
  • 2023-07-05

Informative, hilarious and so much fun

Loved this book! It does an incredible job of telling the history of heavy metal and the development of its sub genres. It’s also hilarious!

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  • Sam
  • 2023-02-02

Don’t listen to bad reviews!!!

This is the history of heavy metal. Not music! But metal!! The author likes who he likes, sure. But when he spoke about glam, grunge, or any other genre it took time away from what I bought the book for….metal!!
So buy it. Spend you credit and enjoy.
He’s very funny. Makes the journey entertaining and you look up bands you haven’t heard of. Go listen!

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  • Smarquezjr
  • 2022-09-14

UK Rubbish!

If you're a fan of 80's Hair or Glam Metal stay away from this poser of a book. This wanker slams every band that filled arenas with mind blowing guitar solos and stage presence. Next!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2022-07-04

Ok, if you stick with it

Started out boring, for the first couple of hours, but then it picked up a bit. A few lol moments and several times that will make you chuckle. Overall it's worth a listen.

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