UG Articles Archive

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The origins of the term Heavy Metal might surprise you...

Some rock history trivia for you today: I was doing some reading on the origins of heavy metal music at work today, and I remembered that I once heard that the first recorded use of the term Heavy Metal was in a Steppenwolf song in 1968.  I headed over to wikipedia to check it out and sure enough, there it is in Born To Be Wild:
I like smoke and lightning/
heavy metal thunder/
racin with the wind/
and the feelin that i'm under

I also found out that the first known printed usage of the term was in a Rolling Stone review of an Electric Flag album, also in 1968, where the reviewer described the music as a "synthesis of white blues and heavy metal rock." 

Throughout the seventies the term was used by reviewers in a derogatory sense, with one reviewer describing the music as "brutally aggressive music played mostly for minds clouded by drugs." 

Prior to the term becoming popular, bands like Black Sabbath used to identify their sound as "downer rock," which actually seems to be a pretty apt description to me...

Well class, there is your rock history lesson of the day, hope this has been enlightening.  Know any other cool shit about the early days of metal?  Share it in the comments!

No comments:

Post a Comment