Classic Rock + Heavy Metal News | VH1

by (@BHSmithNYC)

Good Rockin’ Tonight: The 10 Best Elvis Presley Covers In Hard Rock

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The King is gone but will never be forgotten. 79 years ago today a poor boy with a funny name was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. That boy was Elvis Aaron Presley and he would go on to not only change the course of popular music, but of the world itself. He helped bring the sound of African-American rhythm & blues into the suburban confines of white America, in no small way helping to create the sound and very idea of rock n’roll and setting nascent, teenage minds afire. Nearly no significant rocker of the past 50 + years has not cited him as an inspiration, from The Beatles to Led Zeppelin, from U2 to Green Day. His influence on hard rock and even heavy metal lingers on its sense of dangerous sexuality and patented, anti-authoritarian sneer as heard in the following 15 hard rocking Elvis covers. Now, despite his stylistic innovations and impact, most Elvis Presley covers are actually covers of songs Elvis covered as he wasn’t much of a songwriter. However, there’s no doubting, he was The King Of Rock N’ Roll. All hail the King. Read more…

by (@BHSmithNYC)

15 Unlikely Metal Covers You Wouldn’t Expect To Rock (But Totally Do)!

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Many a musician has cut their teeth on cover songs over the years, and heavy metal and hard rock bands are no exception. From the ubiquitous blues covers of first generation hard rockers like Led Zeppelin and Humble Pie to such thrash metallers as Metallica and Slayer picking the perfect punk tune to show off their underground cred. However, occasionally a song from a very unlikely source, outside of the rock spectrum, works its way into a band’s repertoire. Who would think that one of Judas Priest’s greatest heavy metal moments would be a cover of a song by ‘60s folkie Joan Baez or that Marilyn Manson’s breakthrough hit would be a cover of the ‘80s synth-pop classic “Sweet Dreams” originally by Eurythmics? Here are 15 unlikely covers by some of hard rock and metal’s best bands that you wouldn’t expect to rock but totally do.

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The 10 Biggest Badasses In Heavy Metal + Hard Rock!

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The classic adage about rock star excess is “sex, drugs and rock n’ roll.” Let’s be honest though, that just scratches the surface of the lifestyle. There’s so much more between the lines. And although all rock stars partake in “the life” to some degree, some take it to a whole ‘nother level. These folks are legends and rock icons. The people who are about as famous for their behavior as their music. Rock n’ roll is in their blood (along with all sorts of other chemicals and toxins). It’s not forced; it’s just who they are. They DO take everything to the extreme. They DO get arrested and start fights for completely ridiculous reasons. They DO have residencies at rehab facilities. They DO have wild stories that seem to be myths. And maybe they are, but who cares? From Lemmy to Ozzy to Danzig, here’s a list of heavy metal and hard rock’s 10 biggest badasses of all time. The girls want them and the guys want to be them. Oh, some girls want to be them too (exhibit A: Wendy O. Williams).

by (@JordanRuntagh)

Unplugged: 10 Awesome Early Acoustic Demos Of Classic Songs

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Sometimes less really is more! Acoustic demo tapes provide a fascinating insight into a songwriter’s process. It’s a window into a private moment, when they’re usually alone in their bedroom (or studio) with nothing but a guitar and a tape recorder, creating a tune from out of nowhere. It’s like listening to magic happening right before your ears! And if the songs they create go on to become classics, it’s also a precious moment in history. We’ve put together a list of 10 incredible early tapes of songs you know by heart. Not only are they beautiful in their stripped down simplicity, but these first drafts are sometimes drastically different from the final cut. Read on to hear some amazing works in progress!

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by (@BHSmithNYC)

That Metal Show Season 11 Outtakes: Zakk Wylde + More!

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In less than a month That Metal Show will make its return to VH1 Classic and its birthplace of New York City. To get you in the mood we’ve gotten our hands on some awesome out-takes from past seasons that we’ll be rolling out each week leading up to the TMS Season 13 premiere on January 18th. This week see what happened when Ozzy Osbourne and Black Label Society guitarist Zakk Wylde was on the show. Read more…

by (@BHSmithNYC)

A Very VH1 Classic New Year’s: Rockin’ Anthems To Ring In 2014!

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The biggest party night of the year is here and you’re going to need some righteous jams to keep you rocking to midnight. While there aren’t that many classic rock songs specifically about New Years, there are a hell of a lot about partying down and knocking back a few cold ones and we know that is definitely on the menu tonight. I mean, your better half doesn’t honestly expect you to celebrate New Year’s Freakin’ Eve with some lame P!nk or Miley Cyrus tunes do they? What you need is some hot rockin’ songs to keep you and up and take things to the next level so here are some of the hottest classic rock party joints, seasonal or otherwise, to help you ring in 2014! Read more…

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10 Power Ballads From The ’80s We Still Love

power-ballad-templateYou only hear them nowadays on late-night compilation commercials or as Muzak at the dentist’s office or at inebriated karaoke nights. Most of them are coated in a thick layer of Velveeta cheese and full of single entendres and metaphors so simple a three year old could have written them. But you know you love them. How can you not? Those “manly” hair bands slowing it down and showing a more sensitive side and often coming up with some of their catchiest and most-career defining hits. From Poison to Journey to Def Leppard, going the route of the power ballad was an absolute given in the 1980s if you were in a hard rock band. And yes, we do take responsibility for keeping these songs popular and the artist’s careers alive. We’ve even employed some of them! But it’s all out of love, just like the songs themselves. Here’s 10 Power Ballads We Just Can’t Stop Loving. And you can’t either. Admit it.

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by (@BHSmithNYC)

In Defense Of Metallica’s Lars Ulrich: 5 Reasons We Still Think He’s Cool

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Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich turns 50 today and considering he plays in one of the biggest bands on the face of the Earth, the guy just can’t catch a break. A cursory Google search of “Lars Ulrich is…” turns up all sorts of defamatory statements from “Lars Ulrich is a jerk” to questioning his drum skills. We say heck to that! Lars Ulrich founded one of the greatest metal bands of all-time and has guided its career for over 30 years and if that’s not a big enough laurel to rest on then we don’t know what is. Furthermore, he’s one of heavy music’s greatest advocates and biggest fans, turning kids onto his favorite obscure groups, from Diamond Head to The Misfits and bringing them much needed exposure. OK, maybe it wasn’t that cool when he went after Metallica fans for illegal downloads during the Napster brouhaha and sure, he’s no Dave Lombardo, but still, let’s cut the guy some slack. Here’s 5 reasons, 1 for every decade, we still think Lars Ulrich is cool.

by (@BHSmithNYC)

That Metal Show Season 10 Outtakes: Mike McCready Meets Idol Michael Schenker

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In less than a month That Metal Show will make its return to VH1 Classic and its birthplace of New York City. To get you in the mood we’ve gotten our hands on some awesome out-takes from past seasons that we’ll be rolling out each week leading up to the TMS Season 13 premiere on January 18th. This week see what happens when Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready meets one of his guitar heroes, the great Michael Schenker. Read more…

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Heavier Than Grunge: 10 Alt Rock Bands That Were Coated In Metal

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It’s debatable as to who actually coined the term “grunge”. Some accredit it to Mark Arm of the band Mudhoney; others attribute it to various music journalists or Sub Pop records founder Bruce Pavitt. At the end of the day though, grunge was just a word. A word used to categorize a very diverse set of rock bands that just so happened to originate from the Pacific Northwest and played loud, electric guitar rock. For better or worse, these bands were all lumped together, even though each one had its own unique style, sound and influences. Nirvana was influenced by punk. Pearl Jam took cues from classic rock. And then there were the metal guys. The sludgy, dark, heavy bands – like Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Tad. Read more…