Last month we told you about 30 Classic Heavy Metal Albums That Are Turning 30 in 2014. Today we go deeper into the history of the loudest genre in music and count down 29 classic hard rock albums that are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year. In many ways 1974 was the first year of the ’70s proper. The peace and love aesthetic and musical experimentation of the 1960’s was a fading memory and a whole new generation of kids were ready to party down to the harder rocking sounds that would evolve into full-tilt heavy metal by decade’s end.
While proto-metal icons Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath sat the year out, fellow travelers Deep Purple came back with a bang. New recruits David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes cemented the Mach III lineup of the band and issued not one but two incendiary albums, Burn and Stormbringer, in less than a 12-month span. Other veteran bands making their mark in 1974 included Blue Oyster Cult, whose Secret Treaties continued their classic era, and Welsh riff-merchants Budgie, whose fourth album, In for the Kill, included the metal standard “Crash Course in Brain Surgery,” later covered by Metallica.
“Seasons Of Wither” off Aerosmith’s Get Your Wings album is just one of the classic hard rock songs the world first heard in 1974.