A topic such as music can be a daunting place to start - and typically I guess if you were to just meet me you probably wouldn't expect me to be a big listener of metal. But if there's two genres of music you can follow it's history of within our vinyl collection it's Motown and Heavy Metal*. I first started listening to metal in it's modern forms back in 2006ish, after meeting Joe, buying vinyl and having 106.7 the D (classic metal local radio station) on constantly, I've stepped back in time and really got into more of the 1970's through mid 1980's form of the music in the last couple of months. So for the 2014bloggerchallenge post on music, I thought I'd throw something different out there, so we're going back to the roots of heavy metal and explore its history visually displayed through my vinyl collection.
Heavy metal is the love child born of 1950's blues and psychedelic rock of the 1960's - advancing forth with loud, distorted guitar sounds. You could say the Rolling Stones, the Kinks to the Yardbirds and Cream where the first four main bands to kind of stumble around the sound, although they aren't credited as being the founders. There's some argument over the first true metal band, it probably depends on the band you favor the most - competition predominately lies between Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath in the tail end of the 1960's, some would even argue for Uriah Heep, Iron Butterfly or Steppenwolf. It's a theme that continues through the 1970's - the blurry boundary between heavy rock and heavy metal - the debate on many bands, still remains to this day.
Uriah Heep - US version self titled release (1970) Iron Butterfly - Heavy (1968) Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II (1969)
Around ours, we flavor Led Zeppelin. Released in October 1969, Led Zeppelin II and the track "Whole Lotta Love" is often credited as the first metal album/single. Robert Plant's "dramatic whaling" vocals and Page's distorted guitars are now considered the blueprint for the genre, the album still considered one of the most influential releases of all time - find this vinyl in a very good condition and it's worth a lot. But as I mentioned, many argue the same about Black Sabbath, and with Deep Purple they are credited with defining the metal genre during the 1970's through releases such as Black Sabbath's Paranoia.
Black Sabbath - Paranoid (1970) Deep Purple - Machine head (1972) Aerosmith - Rock in a hard place (1982) Rainbow - Straight between the eyes (1982) Triumph - Thunder seven (1984) Alice Cooper - From the inside - showing artwork (1978)
Metal became to some extent more mainstream (1970s - 1980s) through bands such as Aerosmith, Kiss and Detroit's own Alice Cooper - often due to their appearance, their showmanship and glamor - which led into Glam Metal. Even their vinyl covers are often pieces of art, Alice Coopers records are worth buying for the album art alone - photographed is our copy of From the Inside, Coopers face opens up to show the interior of a psychiatric ward, and a further "door" opens, to the back of the album cover, more "doors" open to reveal the band running free. Other bands of this era and style include Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Twisted Sister, Ratt and Rainbow among many, many others.
Judas Priest - Turbo (1986) Def Leppard - Hysteria (1987) Saxon - Innocence is no excuse (1985)
Yet the main change in the genre came from the UK during the mid 1970's, the New Wave of British Metal (NWOBM) with such bands as Dep Leppard, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motorhead and Saxon coming out as a reaction to the decline of the founding metal artists, many of which had broken up by this time. Influenced by punk, they downplayed the blues influence and instead upped the tempo, threw in some prog rock and became the foundation for what's often considered the "extreme" metal that remains to this day - I have to admit, this is one of my current favorite metal eras.
Anthrax - Among the living (1987) Megadeth - Anarchy in the UK - limited edition eteched 12" single (1988)
NOWBM influenced the bands of the 1980s and early 1990s in the origins of trash metal and the big four American bands - Anthrax, Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth. Vocals alternated between singing to shouting, double brass drumming, high speed guitar solos to shredding with lyrics regarding isolation, politics to suicide and occasionally humour, in the case of Anthrax at least.
Trivium - In waves (2011) Avenged Sevenfold - Lived in the LBC & diamonds in the rough - 2013 Record Store Day release (2013)
While today metal may have lost it's mainstream appeal that it held in the 1970's and 1980's, metal still exists in so many varieties and extremes - death, metalcore, alternative, black, doom, folk, to grindcore - you get the idea. Admittedly I don't know about modern metal bands as much as I use to bar Trivium, I'm more lost in the NWOBM (particularly Def Leppard) with a bit of glam and trash thrown in for good measure.
By no means is our metal collection complete, and those pictured are only a sample of what we own, it's always going to be a work in progress. Bar the Anthrax vinyl pictured, all these are original releases. Any ways, I hope you found this as enjoyable to read as I did to write.
What's your cup of tea when it comes to music?
*Nevertheless our Motown records are all packed for moving, and I've somewhat done a post like this previously.
This is post #9 in the #2014bloggerchallenge