Bang Your Head Volume One 1968 – 1979
1968 - 1975
01 STEPPENWOLF / Born To Be Wild / Steppenwolf May 1968
02 FREE / I’m A Mover / Tons Of Sobs November 1968
03 MC5 / Kick Out The Jams / Kick Out The Jams March 1969
04 LED ZEPPELIN / Whole Lotta Love / Led Zeppelin II October 1969
05 BLACK SABBATH / Black Sabbath / Black Sabbath February 1970
06 DEEP PURPLE / Speed King / In Rock June 1970
07 BLACK SABBATH / Paranoid / Paranoid September 1970
08 LED ZEPPELIN / Immigrant Song / Led Zeppelin III October 1970
09 THE STOOGES / Down On The Street / Funhouse December 1970
10 LED ZEPPELIN / Black Dog / Led Zeppelin IV November 1971
11 DEEP PURPLE / Space Truckin’ / Machine Head April 1972
12 ALICE COOPER / Billion Dollar Babies / Billion Dollar Babies March 1973
13 MONTROSE / Rock The Nation / Montrose March 1970
14 ZZ TOP / La Grange / Tres Hombres August 1973
15 GOLDEN EARRING / Radar Love / Moontan December 1973
16 BLACK SABBATH / Sabbath Bloody Sabbath / Sabbath Bloody Sabbath December 1973
17 DEEP PURPLE / Burn / Burn February 1974
18 QUEEN / Stone Cold Crazy / Sheer Heart Attack November 1974
19 LED ZEPPELIN / Custard Pie / Physical Graffiti March 1975
1975 – 1979
01 NAZARETH / Hair Of The Dog / Hair Of The Dog April 1975
02 LYNYRD SKYNYRD / Saturday Night Special / Nuthin’ Fancy May 1975
03 BLACK SABBATH / Hole In The Sky / Sabotage September 1975
04 JUDAS PRIEST / Victim Of Change / Sad Wings Of Destiny April 1976
05 RAINBOW / A Light In The Black / Rainbow Rising May 1976
06 TED NUGENT / Stranglehold / Ted Nugent May 1976
07 KISS / God Of Thunder / Destroyer May 1976
08 RUSH / 2112-The Temples Of Syrinx / 2112 June 1976
09 AEROSMITH / Rats In The Cellar / Rocks May 1976
10 BLUE OYSTER CULT / Godzilla / Spectres December 1977
11 SCORPIONS / Sails Of Charon / Taken By Force April 1978
12 VAN HALEN / Runnin’ With The Devil / Van Halen April 1978
13 THIN LIZZY / Jailbreak / Live And Dangerous June 1978
14 UFO / Lights Out / Strangers In The Night December 1978
15 MOTORHEAD / No Class / Overkill March 1979
16 AC/DC / If You Want Blood (You Got It) / Highway To Hell August 1979
Here’s a confession. Heavy metal has never been on my radar. Deep within the punk zeitgeist it was never ever an option, epitomising everything we were intent on blasting to oblivion: Long hair, stadium shows, guitar solos, blah, blah, blah.
Thus, Bang Your Head has been a voyage in uncharted waters, ending with the surprising conclusion that perhaps within this genre are the true outsiders. Ridiculed, hated, feared and banned by the moral majority, particularly in the land of the ‘free’, heavy metal has fought the struggle for survival like no others. And one thing I never realised was how hard rock bands from my early teen years like Zeppelin, Montrose, Nazareth, even Thin Lizzy, were integral DNA in the eventual spawn of the beast and all its parts. It’s been a long, ear splitting ride so let us begin.
Once upon a time there was no such monster as heavy metal. Whether the words themselves were corrupted by William Burroughs, Lester Bangs or John Kay of Steppenwolf’s ‘Heavy metal thunder’ line in ‘Born To Be Wild’, who cares? What’s for sure is that without Black Sabbath the phrase was a pure accident of poetry for they embodied a revolutionary new dawn. On Friday the thirteenth of February 1970, their self titled debut LP was released, the first complete heavy metal work by the first heavy metal artists. A resonating echo from long ago, the music dramatised the conflicts of humans on earth as epic struggles. The entire ceremony sounded the death knell for the music known as rock’n’roll, which ever after would merely be the domesticated relative of what was to come.
Black Sabbath gave birth to heavy metal and its entire bastard offspring. Sometime in the future it would double in intensity and become power metal, then twist into thrash metal. From there it would cross paths with other forms to spawn black metal, and then create the unbelievable refinements of death metal before fusing with every other sort of music, finding itself perpetually reborn. Enduring over three decades of Marshall Amps, guitar holocaust, and drum destruction, Sabbath remain the bedrock, the heavy stone slab from which all heavy metal eternally rises.
During the formative years Sabbath shared the moonlight with Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. Zeppelin were the epitome of 1970s blues based hard rock and a massive influence on the new breed. Their every gesture was grandiose, Page, Plant, Bonham and Jones demanding kingly attention. Hammer of the Gods indeed. In contrast Purple were a tremendous organ driven force with state of the art heaviness. Their power dimmed in 1975 when Ritchie Blackmore formed the mythically inspired Rainbow, recruiting the young Ronnie James Dio, another name set to lead the way in the early years.
Besides Sabbath, Zeppelin and Purple heaviness could be found in most unexplored cracks and crevices. Sheer volume alone baked the punk praised MC5 and Stooges, Nazareth, Blue Oyster Cult and obscure originators Montrose. Queen and Rush introduced classical elements while ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd exposed their Southern blues boogie roots as loudly as possible.
Far more extreme was Alice Cooper who laid some theatrical foundations with a gruesome blood soaked stage show. Intensifying his efforts, Kiss took their make up and glitter image to the doorstep of Mr and Mrs America, emerging as superstars. Like AC/DC, who had to come to Britain for recognition, they compressed the biggest sounds of the past into bite size anthems.
Aerosmith and Thin Lizzy remained as hard rockers, soon to be pushed aside. But, the birth of heavy metal as a fully fledged movement arrived in the twin guitar assault pioneered by new disciples, Judas Priest together with the older, more experienced Scorpions and UFO, the twisted punk rumble of Motorhead and finally Van Halen, struggling alone in Los Angeles against the tide of disco.
All were longhaired and loud yet long after their time had passed heavy metal remained indebted to their large-scale displays of volume, courage and refusal to follow any rules but their own. This was the age of myths when legends were born, yet it was still just the beginning, soon to explode with devastating effect.