Classic Rock + Heavy Metal News | VH1

by (@BHSmithNYC)

Find Out About Heavy Metal’s Latino Heritage In Honor Of National Hispanic Heritage Month

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National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15th to October 15th and finished up a couple days ago, pays tribute to Hispanic Americans’ rich contribution to the history and culture of the United States. One thing that most metalheads know, is Hispanic Americans have also made huge contributions to the history and culture of heavy metal music. Some of metal’s biggest acts include members from a variety of Hispanic backgrounds, from Chilean-born Slayer frontman Tom Araya to journeyman bassist Rudy Sarzo who lived in Havana, Cuba until the age of 11. It’s a story that doesn’t get told much and surprises those ignorant of the genre and we thought it was time to set the record straight. Read more…

by (@BHSmithNYC)

The Good, The Bad & The Ofay: A History of White Musicians Playing Reggae

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Canadian band Magic! had a smash hit and viral sensation this year with their single “Rude.” Its melody and lyrics are pure pop but it’s music and title reference a genre with origins in a far sunnier climate, Jamaican reggae. They are far from the first white musicians to experiment with reggae’s offbeat rhythms and seductive grooves. Since the late 1960’s, some of music’s biggest acts have tried their hand at the style with varying degrees of musical (and chart) success. Read more…

by (@BHSmithNYC)

For Those About To Rank: Count Down Every AC/DC Song With The Word “Rock” In The Title

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It has been said that AC/DC only sings about four things; f**king, rocking, Hell and balls.  And while most of their songs are in one way or another about sex, a not insubstantial amount of their catalog deals with rock n’ roll music and the act of rocking itself. Funnily enough, the actual term “rock n’ roll” is also a euphemism for having sex, so I guess in the end they really are all about f**king. Besides the ones about Hell and balls that is, but I digress. The point is, AC/DC are if not the greatest rock band of all time, certainly the most rocking and the one that has sung the most times about rock n’ roll. Like, on almost every album. Hell, three of their albums even have the word “Rock” in their title, including their latest, Rock Or Bust, which is due out next month and contains another three songs about rock and / or rocking. So the time has now come to rank every AC/DC song with the word “rock” in the title, from the most rocking to the not-quite-as-rocking-as-the-preceding-songs-but-still-pretty-goddamn-rocking-next-to-most-things. There’s 18 of them in all, so let’s get rockin.’ Read more…

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15 Breakthrough Classic Rock Albums That Made The Bands Superstars

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Not every band can be Led Zeppelin or The Beatles or The Jimi Hendrix Experience and immediately make rock history and find fame with their debut album. Many groups we now consider legendary toiled away for years in relative obscurity or achieved cult success, gradually building their fan-bases until one gold album launched them into the stratosphere. Several of the following artists even considered breaking up before finally breaking big; after all, when you put as much work as these bands did into promoting, touring and crafting your own signature style, there’s a point where you just don’t know where it’s all going. But, oh did it go somewhere, to say the least. Whether it’s U2’s The Unforgettable Fire, Rush’s Moving Pictures or Queen’s A Night at the Opera, these groups reached superstar status with one single album – breakthrough successes that contained their biggest hits to date and solidified them as rock legends. Here are 15 historic rock albums that broke the band.

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by (@BHSmithNYC)

6 Times David Lee Roth Dominated The Internet In Honor Of His 60th Birthday

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60 years ago today, one of the greatest frontmen in the history of rock n’ roll let out his first cry and he’s been making noise ever since. David Lee Roth made his bones as a member of legendary Southern California band Van Halen who forever changed hard rock with their boisterous party anthems and the over the top personalities. Only an exhibitionist of epic proportions could share the stage with Eddie Van Halen, whose technique and tone revolutionized electric guitar playing, and DLR perfectly fit the bill with his mane of bleach blonde hair, shirt agape, loud screams and absolutely hilarious on stage banter.

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by (@BHSmithNYC)

Rock’s 15 Most Face Melting Bass Solos In Honor Of John Entwistle’s Birthday

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Today would have been the 70th birthday of John Entwistle, the groundbreaking bass guitarist for legendary classic rockers The Who who died in 2002. Entwistle redefined the role of the bass in rock music and changed the way the instrument sounded and was played. His lead breaks on the band’s 1965 anthem “My Generation” may or may not be the first bass solo on a rock n’ roll record, however it is the most well known and possibly the best. And though it took a couple years to catch up, others soon followed suit, inspired by “The Ox”’s aggressive playing style and impressive musicianship. From fellow travellers like Jack Bruce and Tim Bogart through to present day bass ragers Billy Sheehan and Les Claypool, thanks to Entwistle’s innovations the bass guitar is no longer banished to the back of the bandstand. Celebrate John Entwistle’s birthday today and check 15 of the greatest bass guitar solos in rock history.

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by (@BHSmithNYC)

A History Of The Umlaut In Popular Music (You Know, Those Two Little Dots Above A Letter That All The Metal Bands Use)

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We often ponder the origins of famous band names, whether they be boy bands, metal bands or even just really offensive ones. It’s less often that we ponder the diacritical marks some bands use to make their monikers extra special. What’s a diacritical mark you ask? They’re the little doodads you often see above words in other languages that connote how it should be pronounced. The coolest of all diacritical marks is obviously the “umlaut,” which you see used by many heavy metal bands, such as Motörhead and Mötley Crüe. We started wondering, when did bands first start adding it to their logos and what does it mean anyway?  Read more…

by (@JordanRuntagh)

8 Reasons Paul Revere & The Raiders Were Among The Hardest Rocking Bands Of The ’60s

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Rock ‘n’ roll lost a true original on October 4th with the death of Paul Revere, flamboyant leader and keyboard player for the influential 1960s group, Paul Revere & The Raiders. The cause of death has not been announced but sources say the 76-year-old was battling cancer in recent months. 

Despite their gimmicky Revolutionary War uniforms, the Pacific-based band consistently banged out some of the hardest hitting rock of the decade, offering America’s greatest defense against the British Invasion. Even after signing a major contract with Columbia, famed L.A. producer Terry Melcher wisely left their garage-friendly sound intact, creating amped up proto-punk records that sound decades before their time. 

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by (@BHSmithNYC)

Fisticuffs, Cricket Bat Attacks And 10 Bands That Came To Blows To Settle Their Differences

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Since Elvis Presley sneered not to mess with his “Blue Suede Shoes,” fighting and rock n’ roll have gone together like whiskey and a beer chaser. The music’s natural tendency towards rebellion and bravado demand almost make it mandatory. Some bands are known for feuding with other musicians, some for getting into fisticuffs with audience members and then there are those who take inter-band squabbles into the physical arena and settling their differences, artistic or otherwise, with their mitts. Read more…

by (@BHSmithNYC)

10 Bands That Kept It In The Family When Replacing A Member

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Rock n’ roll fans the world over were saddened last week by the news that founding AC/DC rhythm guitar great Malcolm Young was leaving the band due to ongoing health problems. If there was any solace to be taken, it was that the band was keeping it in the family in replacing him with nephew Stevie Young, who had previously filled in for Mal on AC/DC’s 1988 tour. They are hardly the first group to fill an open lineup spot with a band member’s kith and kin. Read more…