Joel McIver (born 10 February 1971) is a British author. The best-known of his books is the best-selling Justice For All: The Truth About Metallica, first published in 2004 and appearing in nine languages since then. McIver's other works include biographies of Black Sabbath, Slayer, Thunder, Ice Cube and Queens Of The Stone Age. His writing appears in newspapers and magazines such as The Guardian, the Daily Telegraph and Classic Rock, and he is an occasional guest on BBC and commercial radio and television.
McIver has written 30 English-language books since 1999, with at least 75 more editions available in various other languages. In the introduction to Neil Daniels' 2009 book All Pens Blazing, veteran writer Martin Popoff described McIver as "probably the top [rock] scribe in the world". In a review in April 2012, Classic Rock magazine described him as "by some distance, Britain's most prolific hard rock/metal author".
As well as writing his own books, McIver also co-writes the autobiographies of rock musicians. The first of these was the memoir of sometime Deep Purple bassist Glenn Hughes, published in 2011. Other autobiographies written by McIver include those of Max Cavalera (Sepultura, Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy) and Megadeth bass player David Ellefson, which include forewords by Dave Grohl and Alice Cooper respectively.
In April 2016 Pan Macmillan announced the publication later in the year of sometime David Bowie drummer Woody Woodmansey's autobiography, Spider From Mars: My Life With David Bowie, for which McIver is Woodmansey's co-writer. The book includes a foreword by Bowie's producer and friend Tony Visconti.
Since 2012, McIver has also been the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine, and occasionally performs as a bass player; he played at the Brecon Jazz Festival in 2017 alongside classical guitarist Gerard Cousins.
He also co-hosts a podcast called Dead Rock Stars with fellow writer Mick Wall. In June 2018, the Guardian named Dead Rock Stars their podcast of the week.
McIver is an alumnus of Backwell School and the University of Edinburgh.
As Editor of Bass Guitar magazine, McIver received the 2018 Award of Excellence for Best Educational Project from the Players School of Music in Clearwater, Florida. The same year, Sony's reissue of The Alan Parsons Project's 1982 album Eye In The Sky, for which he supplied extensive liner notes, won its category at the annual Prog magazine awards.
- Extreme Metal (foreword by Jeffrey Dunn of Venom, 2000)
- Slipknot: Unmasked (2001)
- Nu-Metal: The Next Generation Of Rock And Punk (foreword by Casey Chaos of Amen, 2002)
- Ice Cube: Attitude (2002)
- Erykah Badu: The First Lady Of Neo-Soul (2003)
- Justice For All: The Truth About Metallica (foreword by Thomas Gabriel Fischer of Celtic Frost and Triptykon, 2004)
- Extreme Metal II (foreword by Mille Petrozza of Kreator, 2005)
- No One Knows: The Queens Of The Stone Age Story (foreword by Kat Bjelland of Babes In Toyland, 2005)
- The Making Of The Red Hot Chili Peppers' Blood Sugar Sex Magik (2005)
- The Making Of The Sex Pistols' The Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle (2006)
- Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (2006)
- The Bloody Reign Of Slayer (foreword by the members of Municipal Waste, 2008)
- The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists (foreword by Glen Benton of Deicide, 2009)
- Unleashed: The Story Of Tool (2009)
- To Live Is To Die: The Life And Death Of Metallica's Cliff Burton (foreword by Kirk Hammett of Metallica, 2009; updated with afterword by Frank Bello of Anthrax, 2016)
- Holy Rock'N'Rollers: The Kings Of Leon Story (2010)
- Crazy Train: The High Life And Tragic Death Of Randy Rhoads (foreword by Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society, afterword by Yngwie Malmsteen, 2011)
- Overkill: The Untold Story Of Motorhead (foreword by Glenn Hughes, 2011)
- Machine Head: Inside The Machine (foreword by Chris Kontos, formerly of Machine Head, 2012)
- Ultimate Rock Riffs (foreword by Robb Flynn of Machine Head, 2013)
- Know Your Enemy: Rage Against The Machine (2014)
- Sinister Urge: The Life And Times Of Rob Zombie (foreword by Jeremy Wagner of Broken Hope, 2015)
- The Complete History Of Black Sabbath: What Evil Lurks (foreword by Robb Flynn of Machine Head, 2016)
As official biographer or co-writer
- Deep Purple And Beyond: Scenes From The Life of a Rock Star (with Glenn Hughes, foreword by Lars Ulrich of Metallica, 2011)
- My Life With Deth: Discovering Meaning In A Life Of Rock & Roll (with David Ellefson, foreword by Alice Cooper, 2013)
- My Bloody Roots: From Sepultura To Soulfly And Beyond (with Max Cavalera, foreword by Dave Grohl, 2013)
- Glen Matlock's Sex Pistols Filthy Lucre Photo File (with Glen Matlock, foreword by Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, 2014)
- Bible Of Butchery: Cannibal Corpse, The Official Biography (foreword by Gene Hoglan, 2014)
- Thunder: Giving The Game Away: The Official Biography (foreword by Andy Taylor, formerly of Duran Duran, 2016)
- Spider From Mars: My Life With David Bowie (with Woody Woodmansey, foreword by Tony Visconti, afterword by Joe Elliott of Def Leppard, 2016)