New Wave Of British Heavy Metal / Storming The Nation 1979 – 1983

 

1979 - 1980

 

1 DEF LEPPARD / Getcha Rocks Off / Def Leppard EP January 1979

2 IRON MAIDEN / Prowler / Soundhouse Tapes EP January 1979

3 MOTORHEAD / Tear Ya Down / Overkill March 1979

4 SAXON / Stallions Of The Highway / Saxon May 79

5 SLEDGEHAMMER / Sledgehammer / Single A Side June 1979

6 PRAYING MANTIS / Captured City / Single A Side September 1979

7 MYTHRA / Death And Destiny / Single A Side November 1979 

8 GIRL / Hollywood Tease / Sheer Greed January 1980

9 GIRLSCHOOL / Emergency / Single A Side January 1980

10 DIAMOND HEAD / Helpless / Single B Side March 1980

11 SAXON / Motorcycle Man / Wheels Of Steel March 1980

12 TYGERS OF PANG TANG / Burnin’ Up / Single B Side March 1980

13 QUARTZ / Satans Serenade / Satans Serenade EP April 1980

14 IRON MAIDEN / Sanctuary / Iron Maiden April 1980

15 VARDIS / If I Were A King / Single A Side April 1980

16 BLACK AXE / Highway Rider / Single A Side April 1980

17 ANGEL WITCH / Flight Nineteen / Single B Side May 1980

18 HOLLOW GROUND / Don’t Chase The Dragon / Warlord EP May 1980

19 WITCHFYNDE / Wake Up Screaming / Give ‘Em Hell May 1980

20 SAMSON / Vice Versa / Single A Side May 1980

21 DEMON / Liar / Single A Side June 1980

 

1980 - 1983

 

1 RAVEN / Don’t Need Your Money / Single A Side July 1980

2 DIAMOND HEAD / Am I Evil? / Lightning To The Nations October 1980

3 A II Z / No Fun After Midnight / Single A Side October 1980

4 ANGEL WITCH / White Witch / Angel Witch December 1980

5 VENOM / Angel Dust / Welcome To Hell January 1981

6 IRON MAIDEN / Wrathchild / Killers February 1981

7 ARAGORN / Black Ice / Single A Side May 1981

8 BLITZKRIEG / Blitzkrieg / Single A Side June 1981

9 GASKIN / End Of The World / End Of The World August 1981

10 SWEET SAVAGE / Killing Time / Single B Side September 1981

11 SAXON / Denim And Leather / Denim And Leather September 1981

12 TANK / Shellshock / Single A Side September 1981

13 HOLOCAUST / Death Or Glory / The Nightcomers October 1981

14 FIST / SS Giro / Back With A Vengeance January 1982

15 BITCHES SIN / Fallen Star / Predator April 1982

16 SATAN / Kiss Of Death / Single A Side June 1982

17 JAGUAR / Axe Crazy / Single A Side August 1982

18 BLACK ROSE / Sucker For Your Love / Single B Side August 1982

19 SILVERWING / Flashbomb Fever / Single B Side November 1982

20 ROCK GODDESS / To Be Betrayed / Rock Goddess February 1983

21 SAVAGE / Let It Loose / Loose’N’Lethal March 1983

 

   Looking back, the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal crept up without any prior warning because in 1979, Heavy Metal as a genre in its own right barely existed at all, its birth as a fully-fledged movement still unrecognised. The iconoclastic fury of punk destroyed everything in its path and drove the small British metal scene deep underground where a depressing cloud settled over everything be-denimed and be-leathered. But while punk proved a destroyer, it did bequeath one of its more important ideals to British rockers: Do it yourself records.

   Once upon a time it would have been inconceivable for any British band not to have a big record deal, stage show on ice, or country mansion on a ley line. But, because of punk, young, longhaired outsiders suddenly found the necessary belief to press up their own singles, book their own gigs, and subvert the senses in a revolutionary new way. Metal singles started to appear from all over the land.

   Sheffield’s Def Leppard came first, armed with 1,000 copies of their Getcha Rocks Off EP on their own Bludgeon Riffola label, while Iron Maiden with original singer Paul Di’Anno, pressed and sold 5,000 of their self financed Soundhouse Tapes EP. Again, following punk’s lead, new Independent metal labels hatched, all run by manic enthusiasts. North East indie, Neat Records were the most prolific, signing bands left right and centre including Raven, Tygers Of Pan Tang, Fist and black metal protagonists Venom. Inevitably there were a host of others who released their one single, then promptly disappeared back into obscurity.

   The NWOBHM was a remarkably fertile period in British rock history and one that’s unlikely to ever be repeated. Numerous bands, Saxon, Girl, Girlschool, Angel Witch, Rock Goddess, received recognition far beyond these shores. And yet it was the influence of others like Diamond Head and Venom that inspired young Americans like James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, to take up the sword and establish metal as a viable alternative to the mainstream. Thirties years on and it’s still coming on strong, while interest in the NWOBHM remains as intense as ever.

 

April 2009.