Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Heavy Metal Box

Post #258
When it comes to compilation/mix collections I'm usually skeptical, and it takes a well planned and efficiently executed collection of music to truly gain my interest. One such collection that I believe successfully achieved its goal, if not exceeded it, is The Heavy Metal Box.

Covering the history of heavy metal music from its primordial age in the late 60's up until the twilight of metal's golden era at the dawn of the 1990's (before grunge and alternative rock threatened the fan-base of metal), this 4-disc box set is a thorough representation of the first 20-25 years of the heavy metal phenomenon. I was able to check this collection out at my local library, and I am so glad that I did. True there were many bands here I was very familiar with, like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth. However there were also many bands included that I never had a chance to listen to before, like Hawkwind, Angel Witch, Rose Tattoo, Tygers of Pan Tang, Venom, and Metal Church. My perspective on the evolution of heavy metal is all the better because I checked out this collection. You should at least take a listen to any of these songs you are unfamiliar with...

Disc 1 (1967-1980)
Iron Butterfly-In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
Blue Cheer-Summertime Blues
Uriah Heep-Easy Livin'
Deep Purple-Highway Star
Alice Cooper-Billion Dollar Babies
Hawkwind-Lost Johnny
Montrose-Bad Motor Scooter
Rush-Working Man
Rainbow-Man on the Silver Mountain
Kiss-Detroit Rock City
Judas Priest-The Ripper
Ted Nugent-Cat Scratch Fever
UFO-Lights Out
Blue Oyster Cult-Godzilla
Girlschool-Demolition Boys
Angel Witch-White Witch
Iron Maiden-The Phantom of the Opera
Black Sabbath-Neon Knights

Disc 2 (1980-1983)
Motorhead-Ace of Spades
Diamond Head-Am I Evil?
Rose Tattoo-Nice Boys
Michael Schenker Group-Attack of the Mad Axeman
Saxon-Denim and Leather
Tygers of Pan Tang-Gangland
Venom-Witching Hour
Judas Priest-You've Got Another Thing Comin'
Iron Maiden-The Number of the Beast
Raven-Star War
Fastway-Say What You Will
Mercyful Fate-Black Funeral
W.A.S.P.-Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)
Y&T-Mean Streak
Dio-Holy Diver
Queensryche-Queen of the Reich

Disc 3 (1984-1986)
Scorpions-Rock You Like a Hurricane
Quiet Riot-Metal Health
Dokken-Into the Fire
Accept-Balls to the Wall
Ratt-Round and Round
Twisted Sister-I Wanna Rock
Hanoi Rocks-The Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Spinal Tap-Big Bottom
Krokus-Midnite Maniac
Yngwie Malmsteen-I'll See the Light, Tonight
Loudness-Crazy Nights
Cinderella-Shake Me
Metal Church-Watch the Children Pray
Stryper-To Hell With The Devil
Helloween-A Little Time
Overkill-Wrecking Crew
Anthrax-Caught in a Mosh
Megadeth-Peace Sells

Disc 4 (1987-1991)
Whitesnake-Still of the Night
Great White-Rock Me
Faster Pussycat-Bathroom Wall
Lita Ford-Kiss Me Deadly
Manowar-Hail and Kill
Testament-Trial By Fire
King Diamond-Welcome Home
Slayer-South Of Heaven
Living Colour-Cult of Personality
Skid Row-Youth Gone Wild
Pantera-Cowboys from Hell
Prong-Beg to Differ
Sepultura-Dead Embryonic Cells

You can see there is quite a bit of diversity in this collection. Although it is sequenced in chronological order, the diversity becomes most apparent towards the end (discs 3 and 4). You can literally hear the progression, solidification, and diversification of heavy metal from a single genre of music at its inception to a multi-headed monster at the dawn of the 90's. During the 80's metal branched in 2 distinct directions: mainstream radio-friendly 'glam' or 'hair' metal, and the more underground 'thrash' or 'speed' metal. The former focused on higher-pitched vocals, and catchy, lighter melodies; the latter focused on power, aggression, and heavier darker moods.

In the end it is all still METAL! If you are a new fan of heavy metal music, do yourself a favor and listen to this collection to see, hear, and understand where metal came from!

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