30 years ago today, a little known heavy metal band from Northern California released their debut album on a fledgling independent record label run out of a New Jersey flea market. The album, Kill ‘Em All, was the opening salvo of the nascent thrash metal movement and the band, Metallica, had a profound effect not just on heavy metal itself, but the music industry as a whole. To mark the album’s 30th anniversary, we’ve asked fellow musicians and Metallica fans what they thought when they first encountered one of the music’s most groundbreaking albums. These include metal gods like Rob Halford from Judas Priest, fellow thrash titans Kerry King from Slayer and Anthrax’s Scott Ian, our trio of That Metal Show hosts, as well as a few people with personal ties to the band like longtime bassist Jason Newsted and Kirk Hammet’s former guitar teacher, famed guitar shredder Joe Satriani.
Judas Priest are for all intents and purposes the first modern heavy metal band. Earlier groups laid the sonic and stylistic blueprints but Priest codified the various strains, melding Led Zeppelin’s wailing sense of grandeur to the dark heaviness of Black Sabbath and matching speeds with Deep Purple at their fastest. They were the first to proudly proclaim themselves a “heavy metal” band and pioneered the leather and studs look, which quickly became the defacto image for all subsequent metal groups. Influenced by punk and his extracurricular activities in the S&M underground, Judas Priest singer Rob Halford was the first to cover himself from head to toe in black leather and other kinky accouterments as immortalized in the classic song “Hell Bent for Leather.” In honor of this weekend’s premiere on VH1 Classic of the new live concert film Judas Priest: Epitaph, we present Rob Halford’s 20 Most Hell Bent For Leather Looks.
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Tune in to VH1 Classic this Memorial Dayfor Metal Mania Weekend with the hardest hitting video blocks and special programming all weekend long including the broadcast premiere of Judas Priest: Epitaph this Saturday, May 25 at 8/8C.
The VH1 ClassicAmerica’s Hard 100 Countdown Poll is nearing its end but we’ve still got more classic hard rock and heavy metal tunes that need sorting and we need your help! 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 ballot. 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.
Today “The Boys Are Back In Town” by seminal Irish hard rockers Thin Lizzy goes up against Soundgarden’s grunge metal opus “Black Hole Sun,” Ozzy Osbourne’s metal standard “Crazy Train” featuring the late guitarist Randy Rhoads and technical thrash act Megadeth’s “Sweating Bullets” plus more.
It’s Day 4 of VH1 Classic‘s America’s Hard 100 countdown poll where we ask YOU, the FANS, help us determine the 100 best hard rock and metal songs of all-time! Every day we’ll be posting a new list of classic hard rock and heavy metal tunes for you to vote on to help us with the rankings. If you don’t see your favorite bands or songs on today’s list, check back daily as we are adding new songs every day! (Watch our new promo for AH100 above.)
This week on That Metal Show we were joined by Joey Kramer and Brad Whitford of Aerosmith. Also joining us was TMS alum George Lynch, who stopped by and melted our faces as our guest shredder.
We had to recruit Evan Seinfeld (Attika7) for one of the toughest TMS Top 5 lists we’ve have ever done on the show: Best Screams on a song. There are so many shrieks and shrills out there in the music world, including the ones we can never forget, like the haunting scream in “Child In Time” by Deep Purple and “Angel of Death” by Slayer (Side note: This one still scares Jim Florentine to this day.) We could easily debate Top 5 Rob Halford Screams, not to mention those of Sebastian Bach, but then we remembered it’s called the TMS Top 5, not Top 100 – So, here’s our top 5:
This week on That Metal Show, we had Alice Cooper, Jack Russell (Great White), and Brian Tichy rockin’ out on drums. We also asked Scott Ian (Anthrax) to stop by and be our first ever celebrity guest to participate in the “TMS Top 5,” and he helped us figure out the Top 5 Guitar duos of all-time. With all of the hard rock and heavy metal bands out there, it was pretty tough to come up with just five, but as you know, it’s called the “TMS Top 5,” so we’re keeping with tradition.
“Metal dudes are people, too!” you shout, and we hear ya, we honestly do. But here’s the thing — we like to live under the fantasy, however inaccurate, that metal dudes just do totally awesome metal stuff all the time. We want to believe that metal dudes go around biting the heads off bats, smashing guitars, sticking it to the man and headbanging ALL THE TIME. The same way we like to believe that pop stars all eat, sleep and go to the gym in their elaborate costumes, rappers freestyle battle each other in the street and country singers all know how to lasso like cowboys.
Obviously, the illusions we live under (yes, we’re twisted, we know, but being twisted is like, SO metal), are unrealistic, and we have to admit we get a perverted sense of pleasure when the wall does come down. So if you want to see what metal dudes are doing when they’re not being metal, and just being sort of, well, regular, click through to our gallery below! Beware: there are images of James Hetfield WEARING A KNITTED SCARF! Slipknot‘s Corey Taylor READING BOOKS! Megadeth‘s Dave Mustaine HANGING OUT WITH A GEORGE W. BUSH IMPERSONATOR! If this is all just too much for you and all you want is to see metal guys being, like, totally metal, then check out National Metal Day on VH1 Classic, airing all day today!