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ECW Press Spring 2022 Trade

  • Sales Rights

    For sale with exclusive rights in: WORLD
  • Supply Detail

    Distributor: Jaguar Book Group Availability: Not yet available Expected Ship Date: Mar 29, 2022 On Sale Date: Apr 19, 2022 Carton Quantity: 1 $22.95 CAD
  • Supply Detail

    Distributor: BTPS Availability: Not yet available Expected Ship Date: Mar 29, 2022 On Sale Date: Apr 19, 2022 Carton Quantity: 1 $19.95 USD
  • Catalogues

The Meaning of Metallica
Ride the Lyrics
By (author): William Irwin


ECW Press - Toronto



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Flaps


General Trade
Apr 19, 2022
$22.95 CAD


8.5in x 5.5 in

Page Count:

240 pages
ECW Press
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Rock
Music reviews and criticism|Popular music|History of music|Musical scores, lyrics and libretti|Rock
  • Short Description
The Meaning of Metallica provides a close reading of lyrics dense with details and rich with allusions. This indispensable guide will heighten the appreciation of long-time fans and new recruits.

The first book to give Metallica’s lyrics the care and contemplation they deserve

More than 40 years since their formation, and 125 million albums later, Metallica is as relevant as ever. Much has been written about the band, but The Meaning of Metallica is the first book to focus exclusively on their lyrics.

Their mighty guitar riffs and pounding drums are legendary, but Metallica’s words match the intensity of their tunes. Lead singer James Hetfield writes rock poetry dealing with death, war, addiction, alienation, corruption, freedom, religion, and other weighty topics. Painting a rainbow of emotions with a deft palette, subtle but not obscure, Hetfield’s lyrics deserve careful attention. A master of narrative, Metallica makes listeners care about a vast array of characters, from a vengeful God, to a suicidal teenager, to a man in mid-life crisis.

The Meaning of Metallica is like a riveting conversation with a close friend. A thematic tour de force that traces Hetfield’s lyrical development across the decades, this companion examines everything from deep cuts like “Confusion” to megahits like “Enter Sandman.” Sure to spark debate and discussion, The Meaning of Metallica provides a close reading of lyrics dense with details and rich with allusions.

Sales and Market Bullets

  • Metallica is often referred to as the “thinking man’s” metal band and James Hetfield wrote lyrics that qualify as rock poetry.

  • “The most elucidative dissertation on Metallica ever written. And a kick-ass read to boot!!!” — Scott Ian, guitarist for Anthrax, on Metallica and Philosophy

  • Sure to spark discussion and debate, this book provides a close reading of lyrics dense with details and rich with allusions.

  • The Metallica group on Reddit has 67.8k members.

  • The top Metallica songs on Genius Lyrics have more than 3 million combined contributions to conversation threads about the song lyrics.

  • In the last 5 years, Metallica has performed in Germany, Poland, Austria, Romania, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, USA, France, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Canada, Hungary, Czechia, Italy

  • Metallica will go on a World Tour in 2022 and will visit: Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Czech Republic, Brazil, Chile, Argentina


  • Metallica fans

  • Music academics

  • Younger pop culture junkies and politically aware millennials (25-35)

  • Readers of Rolling Stone, Spin

  • Readers of Wiley’s “and Philosophy” series

William Irwin is a philosophy professor, literary critic, and heavy metal scholar who teaches at King’s College in Pennsylvania. The books in his pop culture series, including Metallica and Philosophy, Seinfeld and Philosophy, The Simpsons and Philosophy, and The Matrix and Philosophy (a New York Times bestseller) have sold over one million copies.

“It has been a profound experience to witness James Hetfield’s trajectory as a lyric writer over the last 40 years. From the fantastically primitive sentiments on Kill ’Em All, via the poetic examinations of social ills on Master of Puppets, to the more questioning approach of his recent work, he has exposed his deepest issues and concerns in a way that always engrosses the listener.” — Joel McIver, author of To Live Is to Die: The Life And Death Of Metallica’s Cliff Burton

“James Hetfield — a.k.a. Papa Het — is the ultimate poet of rage. I’ve always admired Hetfield’s lyricism and message: taking on the dark side of life and turning it into a positive outlook. I cut my hair to get a copy of Ride the Lightning and never looked back: I’ve been a fan ever since. Mixing H.P. Lovecraft with social commentary made Hetfield the voice of our generation. Much respect.” — Max Cavalera, Soulfly

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