Heavy metal music before 1970
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This is a timeline documenting the formative events in heavy metal music before 1970.
Since the dawn of rock music in the 1950s and continuing through the 1960s, various artists pushed the boundaries of the genre to emphasize speed, aggression, volume, theatricality, and other elements that became staples of the heavy metal style. In the late 1960s, this experimentation coalesced into various rock subgenres like hard rock, acid rock, and psychedelic rock, which were all influential in the development of heavy metal.
- Bob Seger (early work)
- Lynyrd Skynyrd
- The Amboy Dukes
- The Kinks
- The Troggs
- The Velvet Underground
- The Who
- The Jeff Beck Group
- Black Widow
- Blue Cheer
- Buffalo Springfield
- The Jimi Hendrix Experience
- Steve Miller Band
- James Gang
- Iron Butterfly
- Blue Öyster Cult (as Soft White Underbelly)
- The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
- Creedence Clearwater Revival
- The Deviants
- Fleetwood Mac (early work)
- Flower Travellin' Band
- The Gun
- Sammy Hagar
- Jethro Tull
- Spooky Tooth
- The Stooges
- T. Rex
- Vanilla Fudge
- Alice Cooper
- Black Sabbath
- Deep Purple
- Edgar Broughton Band
- Grand Funk Railroad
- Humble Pie
- Led Zeppelin
- Meat Loaf
- Sir Lord Baltimore
- Writing on the Wall
- April Wine
- Atomic Rooster
- Crushed Butler
- Gary Moore
- Gypsy Sun and Rainbows
- High Tide
- Iron Claw
- Judas Priest
- King Crimson
- Leaf Hound
- May Blitz
- Mott the Hoople
- Thin Lizzy
- Tucky Buzzard
- Uriah Heep
- Wishbone Ash
- ZZ Top
- "How Many More Years" by Howlin' Wolf
- "I Put a Spell On You" by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
- “Jailhouse Rock” by Elvis Presley
- "Rumble" by Link Wray
- "Love Me" by Jerry Lott (as the Phantom)
- "I Can See for Miles" by The Who
- "Mr. Soul" by Buffalo Springfield
- "Purple Haze" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
- "Sunshine of Your Love" by Cream
- "White Rabbit" & "Somebody to Love" by Jefferson Airplane
- "Black To Comm" by MC5
- "Fire" by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
- "Born to Be Wild" by Steppenwolf
- "Voodoo Child" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
- "Helter Skelter" by The Beatles
- "The House at Pooneil Corners" by Jefferson Airplane
- ’’Hurdy Gurdy Man’’ by Donovan
- "A Trial In Our Native Town" by Savage Rose
- "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" by Iron Butterfly
- "Race With the Devil" by The Gun
- " Summertime Blues" by Blue Cheer
- "Dazed and Confused" by Led Zeppelin
- "The Nile Song" by Pink Floyd
- "21st Century Schizoid Man" by King Crimson
- "Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival
- "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin
- "Peace Loving Man" by Blossom Toes
- "Evil Woman" by Crow
- "Better by You, Better Than Me" by Spooky Tooth
- The Kinks - Kinda Kinks
- The Kinks - Kinks-Size
- The Kinks - The Kink Kontroversy
- The Pretty Things - The Pretty Things
- The Pretty Things - Get the Picture?
- The Sonics - Here Are The Sonics
- The Who - My Generation
- The Yardbirds - For Your Love
- The Yardbirds - Having a Rave Up
- Cream - Fresh Cream
- The Kinks - Face to Face
- The Who - A Quick One
- The Yardbirds - Roger the Engineer
- Cream - Disraeli Gears
- The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced
- The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Axis: Bold as Love
- The Kinks - Something Else by The Kinks
- The Pretty Things - Emotions
- Vanilla Fudge - Vanilla Fudge
- The Who - The Who Sell Out
- The Yardbirds - Little Games
- The Jeff Beck Group - Truth
- The Crazy World of Arthur Brown - The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
- The Velvet Underground - White Light/White Heat
- Blue Cheer - Vincebus Eruptum
- Blue Cheer - Outsideinside
- Cream - Wheels of Fire
- Deep Purple - Shades of Deep Purple
- The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Electric Ladyland
- Iron Butterfly - Heavy
- Iron Butterfly - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
- The Kinks - The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society
- The Pretty Things - SF Sorrow
- Steppenwolf - Steppenwolf
- Steppenwolf - Steppenwolf the Second
- Vanilla Fudge - The Beat Goes On
- Vanilla Fudge - Renaissance
- The Jeff Beck Group - Beck-Ola
- Blue Cheer - New! Improved! Blue Cheer
- Blue Cheer - Blue Cheer
- Alice Cooper - Pretties for You
- Coven - Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls
- Cream - Goodbye
- Deep Purple - Deep Purple
- Deep Purple - The Book of Taliesyn
- Edgar Broughton Band - Wasa Wasa
- Grand Funk Railroad - On Time
- Grand Funk Railroad - Grand Funk
- High Tide - Sea Shanties
- Humble Pie - As Safe As Yesterday Is
- Humble Pie - Town and Country
- Iron Butterfly - Ball
- King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King
- The Kinks - Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)
- The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground
- Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin
- Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II
- MC5 - Kick Out the Jams
- Mott the Hoople - Mott the Hoople
- Slade - Beginnings
- Steppenwolf - At Your Birthday Party
- Steppenwolf - Monster
- The Stooges - The Stooges
- Vanilla Fudge - Near the Beginning
- Vanilla Fudge - Rock & Roll
- The Who - Tommy
- Walser 1993, p. 9 "Mid-1960s groups like the Yardbirds, Cream and the Jeff Beck Group combined the rock and roll style of Chuck Berry with the earthy blues of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. Along with Jimi Hendrix, these British blues band developed the sounds that would define metal: heavy drums and bass, virtuosic distorted guitar, and a powerful vocal style that used screams and growls as signs of transgression and transcendence."
- Borthwick & Moy 2001, p. 138 "In the main, the earliest manifestation of metal in the mid to late 1960s (and known at the time as 'rock' or 'hard rock') can be found in the work of groups such as The Yardbirds, Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience in Britain, and Blue Cheer, Steppenwolf and Vanilla Fudge in the US."
- Bukszpan 2003, p. 300 "Detroit's MC5 is widely regarded as one of the forerunners of punk rock, but the group's raw, distorted style certainly helped define heavy metal as well."
- De Leon 1994, p. 450 " And historians of rock music agree that the band was a formative influence in the "power rock" tradition that would yield both heavy metal and punk."
- Bukszpan 2003, p. 288 "The Kinks and The Who stretch rock-and-roll boundaries with "You Really Got Me" and "My Generation" respectively, creating primitive versions of heavy metal in the process."
- Walser 1993, p. 10 "A "second generation of heavy metal," the first to claim the name unambiguously, was also active throughout the 1970s: KISS, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Judas Priest, Ted Nugent, Rush, Motorhead, Rainbow, Blue Öyster Cult. Scorpions, from Germany, became the first heavy metal band from a non-English speaking country to achieve international success."
- Buckley 2003, p. 523 "It is widely believed that the term 'heavy metal' was coined to describe the less than delicate sound of Iron Butterfly, a band vilified when they first emerged and still not accorded the respect they deserve."
- Crocker 1993, p. 106 "Still recording into the eighties, Budgie was among the heaviest metal of its day."
- Barnet & Burriss 2001, p. 87 "It was not so much the music as it was his over-the-top theatrical stage show that made him instantly infamous. Thus, Alice Cooper started what many pop music historians believe was the first true prototype for heavy metal."
- Walser 1993, p. 10 "The sound that would become known as heavy metal was definitely codified in 1970 with the release of Led Zeppelin II, Black Sabbath's Paranoid, and Deep Purple In Rock."
- Hoffmann & Ferstler 2005, p. 454 "A populist blend of heavy metal and updated blues boogie, Grand Funk Railroad provided a model for rock band successes in the 1970s."
- Frith & Goodwin 1990, p. 85 "The lack of intermediary strata between heavy metal audiences and groups was further determined by another characteristic of the music. Most of the groups that were predominant - Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Humble Pie, Deep Purple, and so on - were British."
- Borthwick & Moy 2001, p. 57 "Certain elements of psychedelic coding found their way into genres as diverse as soul, funk, proto-metal (the "space rock" of Hawkwind, for instance), folk (Roy Harper, The Flying Burrito Brothers), jazzy rock (Steely Dan's early work), indie, dance genres such as acid house and trance, ambient and commercial chart pop."
- Buckley 2003, p. 702 "Although Mountain will probably be remembered only for the anthemic "Mississippi Queen" and the seemingly endless "Nantucket Sleighride", Felix Papparlardi (bass/keyboards) and Leslie West (guitar/vocals) were the musical fuel of a band that, along with Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath, pioneered the bottom heavy sludge that would become heavy metal."
- Weinstein 1994, p. 66 "But until the late 1980s there were almost no black heavy metal musicians (Exceptions such as the late Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy can be counted on the fingers of one hand.)"
- Buckley 2003, p. 1116 "In the end, UFO are probably best regarded as having brought a touch of class to heavy metal, for having great tunes and a cool logo, and for being so out of it that even "Mad Mickey" Schenker couldn't stand the heat."
- Walser 1993, p. 9 "Some credit Jimi Hendrix with the first heavy metal hit, the heavily distorted, virtuosic "Purple Haze" of 1967."
- Everett 2008, p. 267 "Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" may prove more influential to the post-'60s future of heavy metal than the more often-cited Led Zeppelin in the nonfunctional and nondiatonic basis of its chord relationships."
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-04-25. Retrieved 2017-08-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Buckley 2003, p. 477, "Opening with the cataclysmic heavy-metal of "21st Century Schizoid Man", and closing with the cathedral-sized title track,"
- Barnet, Richard D.; Burriss, Larry L. (2001). Controversies of the Music Industry. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-313-31094-7.
- Borthwick, Stuart; Moy, Ron (2004). Popular Music Genres: an Introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University. ISBN 0-7486-1745-0.
- Bukszpan, Daniel (2003). The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal. New York: Barnes & Noble Publishing. ISBN 0-7607-4218-9.
- Buckley, Peter (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock. London: Rough Guides. ISBN 1-84353-105-4.
- Crocker, Chris (1993). Metallica: The Frayed Ends of Metal. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-08635-0.
- De Leon, David (1994). Leaders from the 1960s. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-313-27414-2.
- Everett, Walter (2008). The Foundations of Rock: From "Blue Suede Shoes" to "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes". Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-531023-3.
- Frith, Simon; Goodwin, Andrew (1990). On Record: Rock, Pop, and the Written Word. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-05306-4.
- Hoffmann, Frank W.; Howard, Ferstler (2005). Encyclopedia of Recorded Sound. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-93835-X.
- Walser, Robert (1993). Running with the Devil: Power, Gender, and Madness in Heavy Metal Music. Hanover: Wesleyan University Press. ISBN 0-8195-6260-2.
- Weinstein, Deena (2000). Heavy Metal: the Music and its Culture. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80970-2.
- Buckley, Peter (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock. London: Rough Guides. ISBN 1-85828-201-2.
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