• A History of Heavy Metal

  • By: Andrew O'Neill
  • Narrated by: Andrew O'Neill
  • Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 07-13-17
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Headline
  • 5 out of 5 stars 5.0 (6 ratings)

Regular price: $20.65

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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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 04-02-18

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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Customer Reviews

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1 out of 5 stars
By Captain Haddock on 01-31-18

It's HIS view of Heavy Metal, not necessarily mine

Would you try another book written by Andrew O'Neill or narrated by Andrew O'Neill?

Yes, possibly. I would have no preconceptions about that book, I'm sure.

What could Andrew O'Neill have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Well, nothing really, his view of metal and mine clearly differ, and the only reason I don't like the book is because it covers bands I'm not really interested in.

What does Andrew O'Neill bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Putting inflection on the words, I guess.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A History of Heavy Metal?

I'd have spent more time in the 1970s on the way the genre grew there. By chapter 2 he's into the 1980s and already talking about bands like Venom. I clearly think what he describes as rock bands are heavy metal and maybe that's the hook, but it's not really the subject matter I am interested in. Clearly if he wrote a book called "The history of hard rock" I'd be more keen.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Sean Barnham on 08-03-17


Andrew O'Neill is an excellent comic and evidently a great writer too. I loved the live show when I saw it a few years ago so I'm very happy that this massively expanded version exists.
I found it difficult to stop listening to it when I had to sleep or go for a shower or talk to people. I've finished it now but have a head full of smashing recommendations to keep me busy for ages and ages and I'll probably just put it on again tonight.
I don't expect I can swear here even though swearing is great and clever, so I shall finish by saying that I enjoyed the darn heck out of this book. Ten out of ten supportive death metal parents.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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5 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 03-12-18


I might not agree with all his opinions, but I loved hearing every word. Sit down lars!

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