Posts Tagged ‘33 1/3rd’

Metallica’s Black Album Book

Posted: May 23, 2014 in News
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Coming September 2015!

In 1991, Metallica, released their self-titled, fifth studio album that would become known around the world as “The Black Album.” Since its release, it has sold 30 million copies, and has become a towering monument in the pantheon of rock’s greatest records.

The 33 1/3 book on The Black Album – the first in the series on the crowned kings of metal – gives readers unprecedented insight into the story behind an iconic album from one of the world’s most iconic bands. Written with direct and personal access to all members of Metallica and Bob Rock, the producer of The Black Album, David Masciotra is able to relay the results of his conversations with James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, Jason Newsted, and Rock, with storytelling skill and surgical precision. Masciotra takes readers into the recording studio, giving them Metallica’s account of how their most successful and famous record was born and learned to walk into every radio station and stadium stage around the world.

Masciotra not only talks to the band about the making of the album, but also the stories that inspired the songs. Readers will not only learn about “The Black Album,” but they will gain greater familiarity with the men who created it. Masciotra argues for Metallica’s coronation within heavy metal, but also persuasively advocates for the aggression, liberty, and spirit of defiance that heavy metal represents. It’s a must-read for any Metallica fan.

A bit about the author: David Masciotra is a cultural critic, political commentator, and columnist with the Indianapolis Star. He is a regular contributor to the Daily Beast, the Federalist, and Splice Today. He is also the author of All That We Learned About Living: The Art and Legacy of John Mellencamp. For more information visit

33 1/3rd has announced that Metallica’s Black Album will be among their next set of releases.  Unfortunately, the book won’t see the light of day until the end of 2015, but it’s nice to see more metal represented in the series.  This is the same series that includes D.X. Ferris’ great Reign in Blood title.  I’ll post more titles as they become available.



If, like me, you read a lot of music books you’ve undoubtedly heard of the 33 1/3rd series.  A writer picks a specific record and writes a 100 page-or-so book about it.  Some of my favorite have been D.X. Farris’ Reign in Blood and Colin Meloy from the Decemberists covering The Replacements Let It Be album.  Each artist approaches the title with a different slant.  Meloy’s edition talks about his youth and how Discovering this album helped him find his place in the world.  Others, like John Darnielle’s edition covers Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality by telling a story of a youth in a mental institution and relates it to the album.

All that being said, the publisher today released the list of books that are up for nomination for 2014.  There are some notable metal albums here, and some that make one scratch their head.  The Crash Test Dummies’ God Shuffled His Feet and New Kids in the Block’s Hangin’ Tough.  Really?  I didn’t even think anyone remembered those bands.  There are, however, some great metal records on the list as well.  Megadeth’s Countdown to Extinction and Metallica’s Black Album?  Yes, please.

Take a look at the list and leave your favorite in the comments section.

–Brain Trust–