• Emil

50 YEARS OF METAL

Updated: Jan 18, 2020

Part I: From The Start ... the 1970s


February 13th 2020 marks the fifty year anniversary of Black Sabbath's self-titled debut. Metal was born! Driven by this extraordinary event, DENIM & LEATHER's "50 Years of Metal"series seemed to be the appropriate personal contribution to this occasion. While metal could trace its lineage back to the 1950s, it was during the late 1960s when all the constellations began to collide, resulting in the "big bang" of February 13th 1970! The rest is history. A history lived and written by us, the true fans of metal. Never in the music history has such powerful and revolutionary movement taken place. Fifty years later, continuing to ascend in its majestic glory, heavy metal is stubbornly evolving. Despite all obstacles, shortcomings and dismissals, throughout the years, bringing new elements to the fold, while always venerating its roots and past! The premise of this series is simple: five albums per year - some well known, many obscure gems, all contributing to the development of what became the vastest genre in music. (Please note: only one title per act, regardless of act's longevity and importance of other catalog entries; titles were not chosen based on commercial merit.) Segmented in decades, for easier navigation, the series rightfully begins with the 1970s. In this decade of exploration, heavy metal's formative years were not a product of "labels". Rather, an organic permutation and accumulation of new traits. Borrowing from the psychedelic, acid and progressive rock music, heavy metal found a way to take everything to a new level, a characteristic that heavy metal and its community embraced and continue to thrive on. It will be foolish to downplay the importance of hard rock, a clear denominator in the 1970s, and well beyond. Together with the progressive and psychedelic attributes, hard rock (heavy rock) played an important role in heavy metal's initial development, continuing to intertwine for the past fifty years. From the start ...



1970

BLACK SABBATH

(UK)

Black Sabbath

Released on February 13, 1970 (UK)/June 1, 1970 (US)

Album's Spotify link


ATOMIC ROOSTER

(UK)

Death Walks Behind You


Released in September 1970


Progressive hard rock/proto-metal


Album's Spotify link






TITANIC

(Norway/UK)

Titanic


Released in 1970


Progressive hard rock


Album's Spotify link






SIR LORD BALTIMORE

(USA)

Kingdom Come


Released in December 1970


Hard rock/psychedelic/proto-metal


Album's Spotify link






BLOODROCK

(USA)

Bloodrock


Released in March 1970


Hard rock/proto-metal


Album's Spotify link







1971

BUDGIE

(UK)

Budgie

Released in June 1971

Heavy metal/proto-metal

Album's Spotify link


URIAH HEEP

(UK)

Salisbury


Released in February 1971


Progressive hard rock/heavy metal


Album's Spotify link






LEAF HOUND

(UK)

Growers of Mushroom


Released in 1971


Stoner/hard rock/proto-metal


Album's Spotify link






FLOWER TRAVELLIN' BAND

(Japan)

Satori


Released on April 5, 1971


Psychedelic/hard rock/proto-metal


Album's Spotify link






FRACTION

(USA)

Moon Blood


Released in 1971


Psychedelic hard rock/heavy psych


Album's Spotify link







1972

DEEP PURPLE

(UK)

Machine Head

Released on March 25, 1972

Hard rock/heavy metal

Album's Spotify link


BLUE OYSTER CULT

(USA)

Blue Oyster Cult


Released on January 16, 1972


Acid/psychedelic hard rock/heavy metal


Album's Spotify link






DUST

(USA)

Hard Attack


Released in 1972


Hard rock/heavy metal


Album's Spotify link






NIGHT SUN

(Germany)

Mournin'


Released in 1972


Progressive hard rock/heavy metal/heavy psychedelic


Album's YouTube link





WARHORSE

(UK)

Red Sea


Released in March 1972


Progressive hard rock/proto-metal


Album's Spotify link







1973

MONTROSE

(USA)

Montrose

Released on October 17, 1973

Hard rock/heavy metal

Album's Spotify link


BUFFALO

(Australia)

Volcanic Rock


Released in August 1973


Acid/hard rock/heavy metal


Album's Spotify link






GRANICUS

(USA)

Granicus


Released in 1973


Progressive hard rock/proto-metal


Album's YouTube link






MESSAGE

(Germany/UK)

From Books And Dreams


Released in 1973


Hard rock/heavy psychedelic


Album's YouTube link






NAZARETH

(Scotland/UK)

Razamanaz


Released on May 25, 1973 (UK)/ and August 1973 (US)


Hard rock


Album's Spotify link






1974

QUEEN

(UK)

II

Released on March 8, 1974

Progressive art rock/hard rock/glam rock/heavy metal

Album's Spotify link


EPITAPH

(Germany)

Outside The Law


Released in 1974


Progressive hard rock


Album's Spotify link






PRIMEVIL

(USA)

Smokin' Bats At Campton's


Released in 1974


Psychedelic acid/hard rock/heavy metal


Album's Spotify link






STRAY

(UK)

Move It


Released in 1974


Progressive hard rock/blues rock/psychedelic


Album's Spotify link





TRAPEZE

(UK)

Hot Wire


Released in 1974


Hard rock/blues rock


Album's Spotify link







1975

RITCHIE BLACKMORE'S RAINBOW

(UK)

Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow

Released on August 4, 1975

Heavy metal

Album's Spotify link


UFO

(UK)

Force It


Released in July 1975


Heavy metal


Album's Spotify link






ARMAGEDDON

(UK/USA)

Armageddon


Released in May 1975


Progressive hard rock/heavy metal


Album's Spotify link






MOXY

(Canada)

Moxy


Released in 1975/1976 (US)


Hard rock/heavy metal


Album's Spotify link






CRACK THE SKY

(USA)

Crack The Sky


Released in 1975


Progressive rock


Album's Spotify link







1976

JUDAS PRIEST

(UK)

Sad Wings Of Destiny

Released on March 23, 1976

Heavy metal

Album's Spotify link


OCEAN

(France)

God's Clown


Released in 1976


Heavy progressive


Album's Spotify link






LUCIFER'S FRIEND

(Germany)

Mind Exploding


Released in 1976


Progressive hard rock/fusion


Album's Spotify link






SOLID GROUND

(Sweden)

Made In Rock


Released in 1976


Hard rock/heavy psychedelic


Album's Spotify link






TRUTH AND JANEY

(USA)

No Rest For The Wicked


Released in 1976


Hard rock/heavy psychedelic


Album's YouTube link







1977

RIOT

(USA)

Rock City

Released on November 10, 1977

Heavy metal

Album's Spotify link


BOW WOW

(Japan)

Signal Fire


Released on July 25, 1977


Heavy metal/hard rock


Album's Spotify link






TEAZE

(Canada)

On The Loose


Released in 1977


Hard rock/glam rock


Album's Spotify link






THOR

(Canada)

Keep The Dogs Away


Released in 1977


Heavy metal/hard rock


Album's Spotify link






STARZ

(USA)

Violation


Released in 1977


Hard rock/heavy metal/power pop


Album's Spotify link







1978

VAN HALEN

(USA)

Van Halen

Released on February 10, 1978

Hard rock/heavy metal

Album's Spotify link


SORCERY

(USA)

Sinister Soldiers


Released in 1978


Heavy rock/heavy psychedelic/heavy metal/doom metal


Album's Spotify link





HEAVY LOAD

(Sweden)

Full Speed At High Level


Released in November 1978


Heavy metal/power metal


Album's YouTube link






MAGNUM

(UK)

Kingdom Of Madness


Released in August 1978

(recorded in 1976)


Progressive hard rock


Album's Spotify link





THE GODZ

(USA)

The Godz


Released in 1978


Hard rock/boogie rock/heavy metal


Album's Spotify link







1979

MOTORHEAD

(UK)

Overkill

Released on March 24, 1979

Heavy metal/hard rock/speed metal

Album's Spotify link