Is "Cygnus X-1" a metal song?
Posted 15 December 2017 - 12:29 PM
Posted 15 December 2017 - 01:05 PM
In a review of Sir Lord Baltimore's Kingdom Come in the May 1971 Creem, Saunders wrote, "Sir Lord Baltimore seems to have down pat most all the best heavy metal tricks in the book". Creem critic Lester Bangs is credited with popularizing the term via his early 1970s essays on bands such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Through the decade, heavy metal was used by certain critics as a virtually automatic putdown. In 1979, lead New York Times popular music critic John Rockwell described what he called "heavy-metal rock" as "brutally aggressive music played mostly for minds clouded by drugs", and, in a different article, as "a crude exaggeration of rock basics that appeals to white teenagers".
Coined by Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward, "downer rock" was one of the earliest terms used to describe this style of music and was applied to acts such as Sabbath and Bloodrock. Classic Rock magazine described the downer rock culture revolving around the use of Quaaludes and the drinking of wine. Later the term would be replaced by "heavy metal".
The terms "heavy metal" and "hard rock" have often been used interchangeably, particularly in discussing bands of the 1970s, a period when the terms were largely synonymous. For example, the 1983 Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll includes this passage: "known for its aggressive blues-based hard-rock style, Aerosmith was the top American heavy-metal band of the mid-Seventies".
Earlier on, as "heavy metal" emerged partially from the heavy psychedelic rock or acid rock scene, "acid rock" was often used interchangeably with "heavy metal" and "hard rock". Musicologist Steve Waksman stated that "the distinction between acid rock, hard rock, and heavy metal can at some point never be more than tenuous", while percussionist John Beck defined "acid rock" as synonymous with hard rock and heavy metal.
Critics disagree over who can be thought of as the first heavy metal band. Most credit either Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath, with American commentators tending to favour Led Zeppelin and British commentators tending to favour Black Sabbath, though many give equal credit to both. A few commentators—mainly American—argue for other groups including Iron Butterfly, Steppenwolf or Blue Cheer. Deep Purple, the third band in what is sometimes considered the "unholy trinity" of heavy metal (Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple), despite being slightly older than Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, fluctuated between many rock styles until late 1969 when they took a heavy metal direction.
Led Zeppelin defined central aspects of the emerging genre, with Page's highly distorted guitar style and singer Robert Plant's dramatic, wailing vocals. Other bands, with a more consistently heavy, "purely" metal sound, would prove equally important in codifying the genre. The 1970 releases by Black Sabbath (Black Sabbath and Paranoid) and Deep Purple (In Rock) were crucial in this regard.
there are arguments about whether these and other early bands truly qualify as "heavy metal" or simply as "hard rock". Those closer to the music's blues roots or placing greater emphasis on melody are now commonly ascribed the latter label. AC/DC, which debuted with High Voltage in 1975, is a prime example. The 1983 Rolling Stone encyclopedia entry begins, "Australian heavy-metal band AC/DC". Rock historian Clinton Walker writes, "Calling AC/DC a heavy metal band in the seventies was as inaccurate as it is today.... [They] were a rock 'n' roll band that just happened to be heavy enough for metal". The issue is not only one of shifting definitions, but also a persistent distinction between musical style and audience identification: Ian Christe describes how the band "became the stepping-stone that led huge numbers of hard rock fans into heavy metal perdition".
In certain cases, there is little debate. After Black Sabbath, the next major example is Britain's Judas Priest, which debuted with Rocka Rolla in 1974. In Christe's description,
"Black Sabbath's audience was...left to scavenge for sounds with similar impact. By the mid-1970s, heavy metal aesthetic could be spotted, like a mythical beast, in the moody bass and complex dual guitars of Thin Lizzy, in the stagecraft of Alice Cooper, in the sizzling guitar and showy vocals of Queen, and in the thundering medieval questions of Rainbow.... Judas Priest arrived to unify and amplify these diverse highlights from hard rock's sonic palette. For the first time, heavy metal became a true genre unto itself."
Edited by Rutlefan, 15 December 2017 - 01:44 PM.
Posted 15 December 2017 - 03:26 PM
William Burroughs, "The Soft Machine", 1961.
"...Uranium Willy, the Heavy Metal Kid."
Edited by vaportrailer, 15 December 2017 - 03:27 PM.
Posted 15 December 2017 - 06:00 PM
New genres: Plaster Over Metal Studs . . . . Metal Alloy . . . Iron Ore (I like that one for 70s bands)
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