DVD VIDEO REVIEWS ISSUE 1 Page 5
By Bob Nalbandian
British Steel is perhaps my favorite of the lot. The coolest thing about the "Making of the British Steel" is that K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton meet up with longtime producer Tom Allom at the studio where the album was recorded, an English country house owned by the two ex-Beatles, Ringo Starr and John Lennon. The band discuss recording in the "white room," where Lennon filmed the video classic "Imagine," as well as other rather unique recording techniques they used like miking the entire living room to get that "big" sound, smashing milk bottles on John Lennon's porch (on "Breaking the Law") and slamming loads of silverware on the kitchen table in order to get that "metallic" sound in "Metal Gods." KK and Glenn also share with the viewer the way they worked out the guitar solos and rhythms on songs like "The Rage," "Metal Gods" and "Grinder." The classic original promo videos for both "Breaking The Law" and "Living After Midnight" are also included on the video/DVD. Other really cool, interesting artifacts, featured in this documentary include interviews with the Metal God - Rob Halford - himself, as he discusses the lyrical content of British Steel, and even Scott Travis is interviewed as he talks about his time with Judas Priest (even though he joined the band long after the British Steel album.) What really shines through on this video is the true enthusiasm that is shown, especially between KK Downing and producer Tom Allom. KK, Glenn, Ian and Tom really go into depth about the recording process of British Steel, discussing how they came up with the riffs and how they got that incredible, ultra-heavy, guitar tone. Seeing how I am a longtime Priest fan, this documentary was truly informative and it kept me entertained throughout the entire video. A must have for any and every metal fan!
Metallica's Making of the Metallica album (often referred to as the "black album") is yet another brilliant piece of work. This album may not be the most "classic" metal album, but it certainly made one of the biggest commercial impacts in heavy metal, and the music industry in general. This video documentary is incredibly informative (especially for the aspirating musician and/or producer) as the entire band and producer Bob Rock actually take the viewer into the recording studio and revisit the original multi-tracks of the album, and they even break out a few of the original demo recordings from that record. Way cool stuff! What makes this even more exquisite, is that it show scenes from the actual recording session back in '90/'91 showing the tension in the studio between producer Bob Rock and the band. My favorite scene being where Bob Rock and the band get into an argument during the pre-production phase and Rock makes a comment to the camera that the band don't want to use his ideas "because the guys in Megadeth and Anthrax would tease them so much if the music was melodic and nice, right? f**k it!". A pretty funny comment coming from Bob Rock! The band and Rock also give the viewer a step by step of the recording process of the albums five singles: "Enter Sandman," "Sad But True," "The Unforgiven," "Wherever I May Roam," and "Nothing Else Matters." Industry guests like former Rip Magazine editor Lonn Friend, metal deejay Ed Trunk and band manager Cliff Burnstein add some great commentary as well. Surprisingly, the band comes across very sincere (even Lars refrains from his usual cockiness) and give the viewer a complete musical tour of the making of the album as well as share some pretty cool stories that occurred during the recording process. The executive producers for Eagle Rock, Terry Shand & Geoff Kenpin, have created an excellent series of classic album documentaries! I am truly looking forward to future documentaries! May I suggest Deep Purple's "In Rock," Led Zeppelin's "Physical Graffiti," or perhaps Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" album?