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Denim and Leather: The Rise and Fall of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal

Michael Hann

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Heavy Metal music

It's the late 1970s, and across Britain aggressive, young bands are forming. Independent labels are springing up to release their music. But this isn't the story of punk. Forget punk. Punk was a flash in the pan compared to this. This is the story of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, a musical movement that really did change the world.

This movement - given the unwieldy acronym NWOBHM - would change the face of metal forever. Without NWOBHM there is no thrash metal, no death metal, no black metal. Without the rise of Iron Maiden, leading the charge to South America and to South Asia, metal's global spread is slower. Without the NWOBHM bands like Def Leppard, Motorhead, Judas Priest, Diamond Head and many others, the international uniform of heavy metal - the 'battle jacket' of a denim jacket with sleeves ripped off, worn over a leather biker jacket - does not exist: 'Denim and leather brought us all together,' as Saxon put it.

The New Wave of British Heavy Metal was vitally important - and it was fun, too. NWOBHM stars are filled with love for the music they made and every single one of them can tell story after story about the greatest days of British heavy rock. Denim and Leather has gathered these stories - the brilliant, funny tales of hubris and disaster, of ambition and success, told to Michael Hann by the music titans of the genre. Vivid and insightful, Denim and Leather reveals how a group of unlikely-looking blokes from the provinces wearing spandex trousers changed heavy music forever.

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