Blurbs and Reviews
of Book

"One of the few books written about rock'n'roll in the past decade worth reading and studying more than once."

Dave Marsh

"Heavy Metal: The Music and Its Culture, Deena Weinstein (Da Capo Press) The title says it all. If you want to learn about the culture of heavy metal – who makes it, who listens to it, and why everyone else hates it – then this is the book. A scholarly sociological study of the genre by a full-blooded academic (and metal fan), this succeeds as a defense of the genre where a less evenhanded approach wouldn't have. The pioneering tome was originally published in 1989, but make sure you get the updated 2000 paperback version, which has a more recent chapter on metal in the '90s and a new, very much on-target list of 100 definitive metal albums. Elegantly written and just about perfect – how many other rock books can you say that about?

Will York  San Francisco Bay Guardian 

"Weinstein's methods include what is obviously extensive participant observation, textual analysis, survey interviews, and an exhaustive review of secondary literature from many disciplines. . . . This is a rigorous effort, but some ideas could have been pushed harder. They simply aren't critical enough. .. . The plethora of treasures in this work far outweighs any limitations. . .. Weinstein makes an important contribution in the realm of cultural politics. She not only understands heavy metal; she knows how it is misinterpreted and distorted by hegemonic interests and how this could destroy heavy metal's capacity for symbolic rebellion."

Donna Gaines Contemporary Sociology

"The best book ever written about heavy metal, and one of the best books about rock, period."

Jim DeRogatis Chicago Sun-Times

"Simply as a thorough and dispassionate sociological study of a controversial social phenomenon . . . Heavy Metal is exemplary. . . . It is a considerable achievement for an academic to describe a piece of pop culture so accurately (and with such historical sensitivity)--the book is mostly free of those trivial errors that usually afflict popular music studies. . . . It is not surprising that, having become such a sympathetic participant in the heavy metal world, Weinstein should adopt its worldview. She continually claims, for example, that metal is quite different from other forms of rock and pop, but in many ways it is not, and her accounts of, say, the contemporary music industry or the social organization of a concert are valuable contributions to a much broader sociology of music. On the other hand, her final chapter, on the views of heavy metal's critics, depends on its own caricatures, and I was not persuadedto rush out for Ozzy Osbourne tickets."

Simon Frith American Journal of Sociology

"Weinstein, a professor of sociology by trade and metal fan by design, tries to balance the disparate impulses of the two worlds. . . . By dragging metal into the realm of academia she gives the genre recognition as a serious cultural phenomenon. But by holding to a didactic tone and corralling the metalloid voices, she often misses what makes the entire metal subculture so compelling to some and so gross to others. Still, it takes a scholar as serious as Weinstein to give the symbology of metal its due. . . . Heavy Metal is part academic study; . . . part primer--a user-friendly guide to a not-so-friendly world. For outsiders looking in, it's a great source of information."

Brian Palmer Voice Literary Supplement

"The Ultimate Book on Heavy Metal: This is the bible of Heavy Metal for Metalheads throughout the world. I have scoured the universities and libraries for books regarding H.M., and this book is not only the best, but is referenced with awe and respect by every other text discussing H.M. If you love Metal, you MUST own this book. While it might seem slightly outdated (1991 - 1992 published), it is a fascinating look at H.M., and provides key information on the development of H.M., the dreaded P.M.R.C. and Metal detractors (always a favorite topic), and H.M. social status, plus much more. There is (thank God) a new Weinstein book about Metal coming out in April 2000 called "Heavy Metal: The Music and Its Culture", and it's in paperback form, no less! Cheap books are good. I hope Deena has written another top notch book, because "H.M.: A Cultural Sociology" is perhaps the best damn non-fiction book I have ever read. Extremely informative, completely subjective (yet written by a Metalhead), ever extensive, this book is worth every damn cent! "

Christopher Vanette, State College, PA, Customer review of original edition from

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