Heavy metal is about power. Sometimes heavy metal is about conflict. Often it is about anger, though other times it is about joy. The kind of joy one feels when they watch a bully get beaten up or the underdog team whip the pants off the favorites. It is hard stuff. Heavy metal is not about nice things. It is not about wholesome things (though it can be about values like strength, loyalty and perseverance). Heavy metal is not about kitty cats. Or is it…?
From power ballads to disco songs, plenty of hard rock and heavy metal warriors have slipped up and shown that there’s a big softie underneath the manes of hair and leather jackets. Metal musicians like Renaissance music, and analysis and seriously, who doesn’t love kitty cats? Only a big meanie that’s who! Check out the 10 softest moments in heavy metal history and find out who’s not as tough as they seem.10. Ritchie Blackmore Trades In His Strat For A Mandolin
Arguably metal’s first shredder, the tempestuous Deep Purple and Rainbow guitarist confused fans when he formed the Renaissance Fair-friendly band Blackmore’s Night with wife Candice Night. Gone were the Marshall stacks and six-string pyrotechnics, replaced by acoustic instruments, funny hats and songs about magic. Well, songs about magic could still be pretty metal. I guess.
9. Alice Cooper Sings About…Menstruation?
Shock Rocker. No More Mr. Nice Guy. Desparado. Tampon Salesmen? Well, maybe the whole song isn’t about it, but when Alice sings “Only Women Bleed” he is most definitely talking about a women’s monthly “friend.” Think about that next time you hear it on the radio. 8. Stryper
Now, we would never insult another person’s religious faith, but whether you’re a believer or an atheist, you have to admit the idea of “Christian metal” is a hard fit. And yeah, we know there are tons of Christian metal bands of every sub-genre you can imagine these days, but when Stryper came out, it just came off wack. And those bumblebee outfits? What the f***was that about? And the teased hair? Look, there’s room for just about every type of freak, miscreant and weirdo in the heavy metal nation but sometimes you’ve got to draw a line somewhere. Just say no.
7. The Birth Of The Power Ballad
The idea of a hard rock band showing their sensitive side with a wussy ballad can be traced back to this 1975 cover of The Everly Brothers classic “Love Hurts” by hard rocking Scots Nazareth. It may have hurt the ears of hardcore headbangers but the chicks sure dug it and the power ballad soon became a surefire way for a hard rock band to get a song in the charts and remained so until the early ‘90s. 6. Ozzy Osbourne: America’s Favorite TV Dad!
Long known as “The Prince Of F***ing Darkness” and singer of some of the greatest songs in the heavy metal cannon, fans didn’t know what to expect when it was announced Ozzy and family would be starring in a new MTV reality television show called The Osbournes. What they got was family entertainment as the former Black Sabbath singer showed he was just an everyday bumbling, lovable father figure at the mercy of his domineering wife and irascible kids. Sometimes it’s best if you don’t get to know your idols too well.
5. Kiss Catches Disco Fever
I’m not saying all disco sucks, but metal and disco are natural enemies, like cats and dogs or the Starks and the Lannisters. So hard rock fans considered it a major sell-out when Kiss released the overtly dance-floor friendly “I Was Made For Lovin’ You,” and watched with disdain as it boogied up the charts. 4. The Crüe Glams It Up
Fans majorly bummed when blood-spewing, drug gobblers Mötley Crüe traded in their chains and leathers for pink and purple spandex before the acrylic was dry on the Shout At The Devil pentagrams painted on their denim vests. 1985’s Theatre of Pain tried to re-brand the L.A. sleazebags as pretty boy glam rockers, replete with power ballads and novelty songs, but it didn’t stick and by the decade’s end the Crüe were back to their sleazy ways.
3. Danzig Buys Kitty Litter
Look, who doesn’t love cats? They’re soft and fluffy and cute. It’s totally OK to like cats. But when you’re a brooding, musclebound, demonic metal punk singer and icon, get your freakin’ assistant to go to Petco for you, OK? Because you, Glenn Danzig, in your own band’s t-shirt, carrying around a box of cat litter and a bag of f**ing Fancy Feast is not a good look. And I’m not even bringing up your lifts. 2. Slayer Saves A Kitty
OK, as we just stated, cats are awesome. Cats are cute. We love cats. You know who else loves cats? Slayer, or as we prefer to call them, SLLAAAYYYYYEEEEERRRRRR!!!!!! On a recent tour stop, the evilest band on Earth apparently bought a sick kitty off a homeless man and nursed it back to health. Isn’t that sweet? Isn’t that cute? WHAT THE UNHOLY CRAP ARE SLAYER DOING BEING SWEET AND CUTE? We’ll never look at them the same way again.
1. Metallica Shares Their Feelings
Talk about things you wish you could un-see. Didn’t we all in one way or another grow up with Metallica? Their victories were our victories, as they clawed their way up through the tape trading underground and into the top of the charts, becoming the biggest metal band, nay, the biggest rock band, in the entire world. So it was a bit confounding when fans finally got a good close-up of their heroes in the group’s no-holds-barred 2004 documentary to realize they were a bunch of millionaire, art collecting namby pambys that couldn’t even talk to each other without the help of a “life coach.” And when they did talk to each other it was about emotions and how they felt and all sorts of other touchy feely therapy-speak gobbledygook. Hell, they even got Dave Mustaine in on it to talk about his feelings. Real metal bands don’t talk about their feelings. They suppress them until they fester and become stomach ulcers, leaving them bedridden and writhing in pain and then they pick up their Flying V’s and start cranking out super sick, heavy ass riffs about how pissed off they are and how they want to destroy and kill everything. YES, EVEN CATS!