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McSquare, Eddie
Metallica:Whiplash (Book Review)
February 2014
Released: 1990, Wise Publications
Rating: 2.0/5
Reviewer: JP

The public seems to have an insatiable appetite for books about Metallica. This month I review another three. First is WHIPLASH (1990) being one of the very first books on Metallica, the second, GUITAR WORLD PRESENTS: METALLICA (2010) and the third is BIRTH SCHOOL METALLICA DEATH (2013) being one of the most recent books. Please feel free to enjoy all the reviews in this mini-Metallica feature.

The back cover of WHIPLASH says it is’…the first book to chronicle the fast life and times of Metallica…’, which may actually be true. This is one of the earliest publications about the band, published before the self-titled album was released. I would suggest that WHIPLASH is one of those books that is put together without any input or endorsement from the band and is aimed at an introductory level audience. One of the clues is that they logo on the front is not the bands logo, which would be a trademarked image. By that I mean there are many books that appear the market to capitalize on a bands success and they are usually glossy, photo-books of the current pop–idols of the day. Usually these titles have little substance and appear in bargain bins right away. WHIPLASH is sort of like that. This is an over-sized paperback that is a mere 63-pages loaded with glossy photos. There is a brief write-up about the band and tons and tons of quotes from the band from many sources such as Faces Magazine, Hit Parader Magazine, Circus Magazine, Creem Magazine MTV, etc.

There is a brief discography and it is loaded with technical errors and has many omissions. There is no foreword, no afterword, no index, this is a bare-bones book, just pictures and quotes. Essentially WHIPLASH is a brief introduction to the band at best, a corporate cash-grab at worst. Collectors might find some value in this title but this is not mandatory Metallica.
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