Black Sabbath and the birth of British Heavy Metal

What is heavy metal music? Many fans would say this genre of music started in the late 1960s, into the early 1970s and beyond. There are multiple forms of rock music, but what makes heavy metal stand out above the rest? Initially, the music was played at high volume with massive guitar stacks, creating a sound unlike anything heard before. The volume was essential and was probably taken to its extreme with Black Sabbath in the 1970s. So the volume was important, but what else made heavy metal a unique genre of music?

Their first album, called “Black Sabbath”, was unique. It featured songs that were very long, leaden riffs together with frantic guitar solos, and Ozzy Osbourne’s doom-laden lyrics. The heaviest tracks were “Black Sabbath”, “N.I.B.”, “Behind the Wall of Sleep”, and “Sleeping Village”. All of these tracks conjured up a sense of myth and mystery that was to shape heavy metal over the next few years. At that time, music fans had not heard anything quite like this before. Their track “Warning”, for example, weighed in at 10 minutes and 33 seconds. For this type of music, this was unheard of. The album was released on February 13, 1970, and reached number eight in the UK charts and 23 in the American Billboard charts, where it stayed for a whole year. Had Black Sabbath created something that was unique amongst rock music, maybe heavy metal itself?

Black Sabbath then released their “Paranoid” album, where perhaps the most seminal of all heavy metal riffs appeared on their track “Iron Man”. The use of a ring modulator at the start of the track to create the voice of Iron Man was highly influential. It took heavy metal to new heights, and is probably one of the most famous tracks of its genre ever written. The album soared to the top of the UK charts. The track is still used today in the films featuring the superhero Iron Man. The eponymous track “Paranoid” from the same album was a smash hit, and finally showed that heavy metal was reaching the masses. If you want to listen to this track, why not use an apple PC refurbished in the uk. This album also features another heavy metal classic, “War Pigs”. This fantastic heavy metal pastiche of the Vietnam War is an example of how Black Sabbath would change the musical landscape forever.

Black Sabbath continued to release many more albums in various guises, but the first two albums were so different and commercially popular that Black Sabbath were here to stay. Many bands have been influenced by Black Sabbath, but their first two albums were undoubtedly works of art in relation to the birth of British heavy metal music. Nothing like those two albums had ever been heard before, and there is no doubt that they invented or sowed the seed for the future of heavy metal as we know and love it.

Rock and Roll

The musical genre of Rock and Roll dates back to 1940s and 1950s America. The genre is an evolution of blues, gospel, jazz, boogie woogie, with some sub-genres of rock and roll also having a distinct country feel to them, particularly rock and roll from some of the southern US states. Some of the earliest elements of rock and roll are evident on early records from 1920s blues music, although the term did not get invented until 1954.

Rock and roll has undergone many evolutions since its inception, with most early rock and roll relying heavily on blues rhythms, as well as following the standard band formula of having a lead singer and the rest of the band being considered to be ‘backing’.

During the 1960s the formula for the rock and roll band changed, largely due to the influence of the Beatles, as it was uncommon for the lead singer to have the band named after themselves and the band as a whole became more important than any individual member. The popularity of Rock during the 1960s and 1970s led to the creation of a number of sub-genres, many of which took on a much harder sound than their predecessors. Metal is one of the most well-known derivatives of rock music, and many metal bands have switched between the two genres when recording their albums.

Numerous musical historians have stated that the invention of rock and roll was a huge turning point in history in the countries where it was popular. Many bands were influential during the counterculture movements and bands started to become more and more political, particularly with many writing anti-war protest songs.

Rap

Either an old genre or a modern phenomenon depending on your point of view, rap music in its current form generally comprises of a rhythmic speaking over some form of musical backing track. Early precursors of rap are spoken poetry, with the difference between the two being that rap songs are typically performed in time to some form of music.

Rap is one of the primary components of the hip-hop genre, with almost every hip-hop album containing either exclusively rap or every track having some form of rap on it. Anthony ‘DJ Hollywood’ Holloway has been given the credit for inventing the style that would go on to become the modern style of rap. Holloway was from Harlem, New York, and the area has remained popular in the rap scene ever since.

There are many negative sides associated with rap and hip-hop, particularly relating to lyrics which appear to glorify violence, drugs, and sexism. Many rapper have come under fire in the media in recent years for their negative influence over younger men, with music itself having even been blamed for a number of violent gang incidents that have taken place.