Music legend Kim Fowley died Thursday at the age of 75 after a long battle with bladder cancer. Although perhaps best remembered as manager of the all-female rock band the Runaways, his influence extended far beyond. The brilliant yet eccentric artist was equal parts writer, producer and impresario, working with a genre-spanning list of talent over his half-century in the business. Whether proto-metal dynamite with Blue Cheer and The Lancasters (featuring a young Richie Blackmore), quieter acoustic fare with Cat Stevens, ’60s pop perfection with Paul Revere & The Raiders and the Byrds or harder ’70s rock with KISS and Alice Cooper, Fowley put his unique stamp on the musical world. As we mourn his loss, we take a look back at our 15 favorite tracks that he left behind.
In the uncanny pop valley at the dawn of the ’80s—specifically, after disco and before MTV—the music industry bet big on new wave to be the future of rock. Punk had proven too (ob)noxious for mainstream tastes (and heavy metal was essentially taking care of itself), so the record biz turned to the safety-pin brigade’s arty, quirky, less abrasive offshoot “new wave.” Two forms were most prevalent: peppy power-pop as embodied by the Knack and synthesizer-driven dance weirdness on the order of Devo.
Many other new wave acts fell somewhere in between, with Elvis Costello, Blondie, Talking Heads, Billy Idol, and Duran Duran dominating dawn-of-the-’80s radio airwaves and LP sales. It all seemed to spell doom to a multitude of longhaired, bell-bottomed, meanderingly jamming ’70s rockers that had previously ruled radio and record stores. Some of the previous decade’s arena-packers stood their ground and waited for new wave to get old and dry up. Others, though, adjusted their looks and sounds in an attempt to evolve, embracing the notion of “pogo or perish”—at least for a while.
Let’s be honest here, most Christmas songs suck. Whether they be pop, heavy metal or hip hop, at best they’re amusing to hear once or twice but are usually just novelty songs that are no better than “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” and that song friggin’ suuuuucks. That ends right here, right now. Read more…
With their new album, Rock or Bust, AC/DC charge into their fifth decade of swinging hard rock’s biggest, heaviest wrecking balls to the peak of the pop charts and the pummeling of popular culture once again. It’s indeed been a long way to the top for these Aussie rock-and-roll outlaws, one that began specifically in the ferociously fertile year of 1973.
Hard rock’s Class of 1973, in fact, may be the most potent and prolific marauders to ever variously invent, embody, and bulldoze the medium forward. After burying the final vestiges of ’60s flower power and fueled by free-form FM radio, rock itself dove deep into darkness in 1973, and came up spewing gold, platinum, and the volcanic ash that has spawned all forms of heavy metal, punk, grunge, hardcore, and other extreme musical subgenres ever since.
It may have been called “the Devil’s music” when it first burst onto the scene back in the 1950s, but these days many of the greatest rock heroes follow the word of the Lord! After achieving their dreams of becoming rich and famous, some stars have found their lives in the music biz spiritually empty. That’s when they turned to the Christian faith for enlightenment and peace. But that doesn’t mean they can’t still funk out with the best of ‘em! Well ok, sometimes it does…
Each week on That Metal Show, Eddie, Don and Jim rank their favorite musical moments from the worlds of hard rock and heavy metal in the TMS Top 5 and then argue about what the final ranking should be. This week, That Metal Debate centered on picking the hard rock and heavy metal’s 5 scariest songs. Which bands made everyone’s lists? Which songs make our boys shiver out of their own skin? And what hard rock or metal song gives you chills? Check out The TMS Top 5 Hard Rock & Metal Songs and the boys personal picks on the following pages and vote for what you think is the all time scariest hard rock and metal song on the final page! Read more…
You have a musical vision. You’ve got a sick band, some killer songs and a great live show. Unfortunately you were born SAUL HUDSON. It’s time to find a stage name. Such was the dilemma faced by many now-legendary hard rock and metal musicians. And though there were many horrible pseudonyms chosen throughout rock history, these guys were definitely not part of that crowd. Their names just exude cool. They feel big, important – sometimes even scary and intimidating (for this list, we’re talking complete reinventions, not just a first or last name change). But what are the real stories behind these iconic names? Where did they originate? Well, that’s what we’re about to find out. Because before they were effortlessly cool rock stars, they were Saul Hudson (Slash), Brian Hugh Warner (Marilyn Manson) and James Newell Osterberg, Jr. (Iggy Pop). So to celebrate this week’s That Metal Show guest, Robert Alan Deal (Mötley Crüe‘s Mick Mars), here’s the 12 most badass stage names in hard rock and heavy metal history. Perhaps some inspiration for you to change your own name and join this pantheon of legends. Or just get made fun of by your friends. All signs point to the latter.
Disco. Even after almost forty years we still don’t fully understand it. It came on like a force of nature; strong and fast, swiftly devouring everything in its path. It swallowed up formerly rockin’ musicians and in their place left lame overly-catchy songs with throbbing bass. It wasn’t pretty. But by god, it was fun to dance to! It seemed like everyone had a “disco phase” in the late ’70s…even bands that probably wish you’d forget all about it. Read on to hear 10 Saturday Night Fever-worthy tunes from the most unexpected of bands. Strap on your platforms and enjoy!
Ever since Screaming Jay Hawkins climbed out of a coffin to sing “I Put A Spell On You” rockers have been playing with horror imagery and singing about things that go bump in the night. Hell, most metal deals with life’s dark side, be it self-hatred, misanthropy, fear, war and bogeyman, literal or metaphoric. It only makes sense that some bands, starting with Alice Cooper in the late ‘60s and carried through the ‘70s by Kiss and up to the present day with Slipknot and Marilyn Manson, would make their appearance echo the darkness of their music. It being that scariest day of the year today, we felt it only natural to profile 10 of hard rock and heavy metal’s scariest looking bands that dress up like it’s Halloween every day of the year.
It’s Day 7 of the VH1 ClassicAmerica’s Hard 100 Countdown Poll and we’ve got another batch of classic hard rock and heavy metal tunes that need sorting! We’ve put together a list of 100 essential rockers but we need you to vote on them to let us know where they should fall in the America’s Hard 100 Countdown when it airs this November.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You can vote AS MANY TIMES and for AS MANY SONGS as you want, simply click on “Return To Poll” after your initial ballet. If your favorite hard rock jam is missing from today’s list please click on one of the previous days polls which are still open and keep checking back daily as we add new songs to new lists.