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Top 10 Heavy Metal Albums


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1 hour ago, Balthazor said:

I'm pretty sure that if they'd thought about it real hard, they could've come up with something better than Venom to toss on that list. Like, perhaps, Megadeth's Rust In Peace.

Shit, I would put Girlschool on there before Venom. And where the fuck is Thin Lizzy and AC/DC? "Highway to Hell" is more metal than Van Halen, which is more hard rock than heavy metal.

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14 hours ago, Strider said:

Shit, I would put Girlschool on there before Venom. And where the fuck is Thin Lizzy and AC/DC? "Highway to Hell" is more metal than Van Halen, which is more hard rock than heavy metal.

HIghway to Hell or Back In Black. I mean, Back in Black was only one of the biggest selling albums of all time. Venom might have sold a few dozen albums here in the states.

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This whole list is problematical because you really should define what exactly(or close to it) is meant by heavy metal.

I have friends who never in a million years would call Slayer heavy metal, they would say thrash metal. And Iv'e never

heard AC/DC referred to as a heavy metal group, actually. However, all the choices are very worthwhile releases for

fans of heavy music. Venom in particular are unsung heroes  and a huge influence on many later huge bands.

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16 hours ago, Mithril46 said:

This whole list is problematical because you really should define what exactly(or close to it) is meant by heavy metal.

I have friends who never in a million years would call Slayer heavy metal, they would say thrash metal. And Iv'e never

heard AC/DC referred to as a heavy metal group, actually. However, all the choices are very worthwhile releases for

fans of heavy music. Venom in particular are unsung heroes  and a huge influence on many later huge bands.

True dat, For instance I would never call Black Sabbath heavy metal, they were always Heavy Rock or Hard Rock in the early Seventies. The term heavy metal as a music genre wasn't even around back then.

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On 1/12/2016 at 4:12 AM, Balthazor said:

I'm pretty sure that if they'd thought about it real hard, they could've come up with something better than Venom to toss on that list. Like, perhaps, Megadeth's Rust In Peace.

Venom had a great influence for many other bands to come (black,doom). But again, the list could be different. Cheers! 

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On 1/12/2016 at 5:22 AM, Strider said:

Shit, I would put Girlschool on there before Venom. And where the fuck is Thin Lizzy and AC/DC? "Highway to Hell" is more metal than Van Halen, which is more hard rock than heavy metal.

Hmm, from my POV AC/DC is pure hard rock/rock'n roll/blues. And Thin Lizzy is nice, but not for the Top 10. 

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On 1/13/2016 at 11:57 PM, Mithril46 said:

This whole list is problematical because you really should define what exactly(or close to it) is meant by heavy metal.

I have friends who never in a million years would call Slayer heavy metal, they would say thrash metal. And Iv'e never

heard AC/DC referred to as a heavy metal group, actually. However, all the choices are very worthwhile releases for

fans of heavy music. Venom in particular are unsung heroes  and a huge influence on many later huge bands.

Agree with you. Slayer is trash metal, but trash metal itself comes from the early heavy metal ( and here I'm thinking about Black Sabbath) so I think all the trash could be considered heavy to some point. So there are genres and sub-genres. 

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3 hours ago, John Black Optics said:

It's tricky to say that...Black Sabbath is considered to be the first Heavy Metal Band...

If I remember it correctly (I'm fairly certain)  MC5 were the first band to be refered to as Heavy Metal. It may have been Lester Bangs that said it. I just have this memory of reading something in the NME or Melody Maker 1971/2 ish.  Take a time trip back to a record shop of the early 70's and you will not find a Heavy Metal section, it was either 'Heavy or Hard' Rock back then.  The term Heavy Metal only came into common use mid 70's on.  I wish I could find some harder evidence (would not trust Wiki on this matter) that would back up my almost 59 year old memory, should have kept  my NME/Melody Maker collection.

Edit...I found this.

The first well-documented usage of the term is contained in a May 1971 issue of Creem, during a review of Sir Lord Baltimore's Kingdom Come. The article notes that "Sir Lord Baltimore seems to have down pat most all the best heavy metal tricks in the book". Creem critic Lester Bangs subsequently has been credited with popularizing the term in the early 1970s when describing bands such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. "Heavy metal" may have been used as a jibe initially by a number of music critics but was quickly adopted by its adherents.

The terms "heavy metal" and "hard rock" are often used interchangeably, in particular when discussing bands from the 1970s, a period when the terms were largely synonymous. However, many of the first heavy metal bands—including Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, and UFO, among a few—are often not considered heavy metal bands by the modern metal community. For example, Ian Christe's 2003 book Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal labels bands whose sound was more similar to traditional rock music as hard rock or proto-metal, while Black Sabbath and Judas Priest are pinpointed as the specific progenators of the genre.

Ok then, my memory is sort of right.  Anyway I hate the term ''Heavy Metal'' so maybe it's my disdain for the term clouds my thought on the matter.

Edited by JTM
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Also tricky is the live situation. Van Halen early with Roth could be really heavy live, don't be fooled by the pop metal

diversions. And Zep had sections, live again, where Bonzo would be furiously hammering, way before thrash metal

Rainbow , Dio as well were far heavier live than in the studio. All this is interesting because some "heavy" bands that

don't seem all that heavy(just a category, not judging the quality of the music) really pull out the sledgehammer live.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On January 15, 2016 at 2:42 AM, John Black Optics said:

It's tricky to say that...Black Sabbath is considered to be the first Heavy Metal Band...

Only in retrospect. At the time the were a heavy rock band. Both terms are correct, depending on whether you are looking through the rear view mirror, or not. 

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7 hours ago, The Dark Lord said:

Only in retrospect. At the time the were a heavy rock band. Both terms are correct, depending on whether you are looking through the rear view mirror, or not. 

While most bands in the late 70's turned their noses up at the term "Heavy Metal", Judas Priest were the 1st major band to proudly embrace the label. Sabbath was and still are pretty damn heavy.. I've always been a little puzzled why they don't embrace it as well.

Edited by the chase
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3 hours ago, the chase said:

While most bands in the late 70's turned their noses up at the term "Heavy Metal", Judas Priest were the 1st major band to proudly embrace the label. Sabbath was and still are pretty damn heavy.. I've always been a little puzzled why they don't embrace it as well.

The thing is, in retrospect, it is correct to refer to them as the grandfathers of heavy metal. As they were responsible for contributing to the evolution of the genre, whether intended or not; however, at the time, they just wanted to be a heavy band, but they were rockers with blues and jazz influences, and they resented being lumped in with the new heavy metal bands that came a few years later. Iommi down tuned out of necessity, due to the fingers he lost, and that created that heavy sound, but the band always strived to be multidimensional, with tracks such as Laguna Sunrise, Solitude, Planet Caravan, It's All Right and Changes, for example. I suppose it would be like pigeon holing Led Zeppelin as a party rock band. There was an aspect of that in their identity, but we all know that there was much more to it, and that Zeppelin could not be labelled so easily. Same with Sabbath. They were certainly as heavy as hell itself, but that was not the whole of their story.

As an aside, my wife and I are huge fans of Sabbath, and will be flying out on Friday to catch three shows. We did the same in 2014. It was great. 

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There  seems to be some confusion over what is Heavy Metal and what is Hard Rock?  Personally I would consider Led Zeppelin Hard Rock if you must label them.  But they integrated if you will, all various types of music with Rock which put them above your other big bands IMO.  Metallica, is surely Heavy Metal and I do not care for them.  LZ is in a class by themselves.  After them in that type of music if  you will I would likely put Deep Purple second as the Who are not in that category.  The Who is certainly bigger than Purple on any day, but if we are talking Hard Rock, I will give DP 2nd just off the top of my head.  AC/DC, as simple a they were, were very effective.  Aerosmith's  first 3 albums were great works and Rush has to be right there also.  My all time ratings of bands just without category are Led Zeppelin, The Who,  The Stones, Pink Floyd, Beatles and the Eagles.  

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1. Judas Priest, 'British Steel'  

2. Iron Maiden, 'The Number of the Beast'

3. Black Sabbath, 'Heaven and Hell'

4. Def Leppard, 'Pyromania'

5. Scorpions, 'Blackout'

And then, just to be lazy but at the same time genuinely serious...

6-10. Metallica's first five albums

I have included nothing by Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Motorhead or the original Ozzy-fronted Sabbath because each band often disassociates itself with the 'heavy metal' tag, preferring to be recognised as hard and blues rockers.

Edited by Azapro911
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It's funny, I've got an old magazine from 1971, I believe, in which a columnist declared that heavy metal is dead. Rather funny, in retrospect. I definitely get the idea that the term had a different meaning back then than it does today, as I've seen old articles referring to Grand Funk Railroad as heavy metal. I doubt there's anyone who'd call that metal today.

The way I like to look at it, and it's just my own point of view, is that Led Zeppelin gave birth to heavy metal, but Black Sabbath adopted that baby and raised it. Works for me. :)

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Sabbath was the first Metal band, ask any other Metal band they will mention them. As mentioned in a previous post Judas Priest was next to embrace the Metal music (I saw them when Rob Halford actually had hair).

I would not put any band like Zep, Purple, or VH in that category. All perhaps have some metal overtones in the music (esp Zep), but they are Hard Rock. Those lists are so flawed, they are not worth getting excited about.

I would interject this, that Machine Head's - The Blackening belongs somewhere on that list.

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