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It wasn't usual to call this music style "heavy metal" back in the 70s. To the best of my knowledge, nor did any bands call themselves heavy metal until Judas Priest in 1975. However, what got the whole NWOBHM thing started was Motörhead's album Overkill, first released im March of 1979. You can't possibly overstate what kind of impact that album had on rock fans of all genres, even the punk rockers ... who would routinely dismiss all "heavy" music as decadent burgeoise nonsense. I mean ... I remember how I couldn't believe my own fucking ears. What is this? It was like having a religious experience or something. Or at least, it was as OMG as anything can get. Video gamers would probably call this "the boss level". 

The next thing that happened was that the now opened ears were receptive to "more of this stuff" ... which sure enough started pouring in from all over the place. 

This is how I remember it. I'm not saying it's the "right" way to see things, only that it's my way. There was no denying the musical authority of Motörhead. They pretty much united everyone in a state of awe. Us old geezers call this the "pre-fragmentation era" and it lasted until 1981. Then tastes (and opinions) started to differ and genres came into play. I guess it's how you can't ever really get over the feeling ever after, when you've experienced a time when "it all made sense".

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I'm not sure how often the label was slung around in the early 70's, but "heavy metal" is a term that goes back to the 60's. 1970 is probably the best point to look at for the year of its birth, but a lot of the progenitors died off in the early 70's. Priest came along aping up the Deep Purple template for heavy metal and adding a new dimension of class and technicality to heavy metal, whereas Motörhead pushed it into a more rough and dirty direction. They, like Priest, pre-dated the NWOBHM movement by a couple of years, as most bands were in the demo/first album recording phase by 1979, whereas Motörhead was dropping their 3rd (and 4th) albums. As the acronym stands for New Wave of British Heavy Metal, it seems that be indicative of just the new bands at the time.

That said, Motörhead's influence can't be overstated. They approached heavy metal from a rock and roll angle and with a punkish attitude, so they were one of the few unifying bands that fans from all across the spectrum could agree on. I also have immense respect for their career, in that they never sold out or compromised to try to be anything other than what they were, and continued to release solid albums until their end. They're one of the legends, that's for sure.

Sent from my HTCD160LVW using Tapatalk

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  • 2 years later...

This topic seems started for me now... I'm just 2 years late :-)

During these lockdown times I decided to do many things I never had the time to do before. One of these is digging into the past in search for rock, progressive, hard rock, heavy metal roots and hidden gems. I'm creating many playlists on youtube, just not to forget all the music I keep on finding.

Here's my Heavy Metal timeline I'm still working on... whenever I find something that sounds (proto-)metal to me I just insert it here:

MOD EDIT

*LINK REMOVED.

linking to your playlist, bandcamp page, or whatever you own is considered as spam if done outside the promotion thread (or in a signature).  No moderator action this time but any future such posts will result in warnings and moderated content*

Ciao 🤘

Ludo

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/19/2020 at 7:30 PM, Ludo said:

MOD EDIT

*LINK REMOVED.

linking to your playlist, bandcamp page, or whatever you own is considered as spam if done outside the promotion thread (or in a signature).  No moderator action this time but any future such posts will result in warnings and moderated content*

oh sorry for that, ok understood

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