Sunday, March 18, 2007

Heavy metal music

Heavy metal (sometimes referred to simply as metal) is a genre of rock music that developed between 1969 and 1974. With roots in blues-rock and psychedelic rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, heavy, guitar-and-drums-centered sound, characterised by the use of highly-amplified distortion and fast guitar solos. Allmusic declares, "Of all rock & roll's myriad forms, heavy metal is the most extreme in terms of volume, machismo, and theatricality."

Throughout its history heavy metal has had a large world-wide following of fans known by terms such as "metalheads" and "headbangers". Early heavy metal bands Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath were popular but critically reviled at the time, a trend that has been present throughout the history of metal. As the original wave of heavy metal bands began to wane, the late 1970s brought the New Wave of British Heavy Metal which stripped away much of the music's blues influence instead fusing it with punk rock innovations and some of its aesthetic. Heavy metal became extremely popular in the 1980s, at which time many of the now existing subgenres first evolved. Some subgenres, often more aggressive and extreme than metal music of the past, were often restricted to underground audiences, but some like glam metal and to a lesser extent thrash metal were able to gain mainstream commercial success. In recent years subgenres like nu metal have broadened the scope of what is considered heavy metal while much of the metal music of the past is being critically reevaluated.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Heavy metal is typically characterized by a guitar-and-drum-dominated sound, strong rhythms and classical, bluesy or symphonic styles. However, heavy metal sub-genres have their own stylistic variations on the original form that often omit or alter many of these characteristics. There is a very wide variety of sounds and styles within the genre of Metal.

The most commonly used line-up for a metal band is a drummer, a bassist, a rhythm guitarist, a lead guitarist, and a singer (who may or may not be an instrumentalist). Keyboards were popular with early metal bands (especially the organ and occasionally the mellotron), but were gradually used less and less frequently. Today they are used by some styles (prog metal, later black metal) and shunned by others, though as different subgenres develop they have begun to become more popular. The guitar and the sonic power that it projects through amplification, however, is the key element in heavy metal music. Distortion of the guitar sound is used to create a more powerful, "heavy'" sound. Later, more intricate solos and riffs became a big part of heavy metal music. Guitarists use sweep-picking, tapping and other advanced techniques for rapid playing, and many sub-genres praise virtuosity over simplicity. Also, as technology has developed, new ways of altering the guitar's sound have been adopted.

In the early part of the 1970s, bands with two lead guitarists began to emerge. Wishbone Ash, The Allman Brothers Band, Scorpions, Thin Lizzy, Priormind and Judas Priest all made notable use of dual leads and harmonies. Many bands, such as Iron Maiden, would follow this pattern of having two guitarists share the role of both lead and rhythm guitar.

Metal vocals vary widely in style. Vocalists' abilities and styles range from the multi-octave theatrical vocals of Judas Priest's Rob Halford and Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson, to the intentionally gruff vocals of Metallica's James Hetfield and Lemmy from Motörhead .

In terms of the live sound, volume is often considered as important as anything. Following the lead set by Jimi Hendrix and The Who (who once held the distinction of "The World's Loudest Band" in the Guinness Book Of World Records), early heavy metal bands set new benchmarks for sound volume during shows. Tony Iommi, guitarist in heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath, is just one of the early Heavy Metal musicians to suffer considerable hearing loss due to their live volume. Detroit rocker Ted Nugent and guitarist Pete Townshend of The Who are nearly deaf. (Some guitar stores even sell earplugs.) Heavy metal's volume fixation was mocked in the rockumentary spoof This Is Spinal Tap by guitarist "Nigel Tufnel", who revealed that his Marshall amplifiers had been modified to "go up to eleven."

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Through the late 1970s and early 1980s, pioneering heavy metal bands often included outlandish and fantasy-inspired lyrics, giving them an escapist quality. Iron Maiden frequently based songs on mythology, fiction and poetry, like in "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (based on the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem of the same name), or the majority of their 1982 release Piece of Mind. Other examples include Black Sabbath's "Fairies Wear Boots" and "The Wizard," Megadeth's "The Conjuring" and "Five Magics," and Judas Priest's "Dreamer Deceiver."

As the genre developed, thematic content was among the things that helped define various subgenres of heavy metal. Popular Glam metal bands of the 1980s like Motley Crue or Twisted Sister had lyrical content revolving around themes of teenage life and social issues. At the same time, other artists were revolving their themes around war, nuclear annihilation, environmental issues, and political or religious propaganda, like Black Sabbath's "War Pigs", Ozzy Osbourne's "Killer of Giants", Metallica's ...And Justice for All, Iron Maiden's" 2 Minutes to Midnight", Accept's "Balls to the Wall" and Rage Against the Machine's entire catalog. Death is also a predominant theme in heavy metal, featuring in the lyrical content of artists such as Black Sabbath, Metallica, W.A.S.P.

The themes of darkness, evil, power and apocalypse are language components for addressing the reality of life's problems. In reaction to the "peace and love" hippie culture of the 1960s, heavy metal developed as a counterculture, where light is supplanted by darkness and the happy ending of pop is replaced by the naked reality that things do not always work out in this world. This dark thematic content is a target of critics, whom accuse the genre of glorifying negative aspects of reality.

As with much popular music, visuals and images are part of heavy metal. Album covers and stage shows are as much a part of the presentation of the material as the music itself, though seldom exceeding the music in priority. A heavy metal band's "image" is associated with the thematic content of their lyrics, and is expressed in the artwork on the album, the set of the stage, the tone of the lyrics, and the clothes of the band, in addition to the sound of the music.

Heavy metal musicians have often tried to associate lyrics and themes that match with the connotative and suggestive atmospheres conveyed by music. Progressive rock bands such as Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Yes had already explored this dynamic before heavy metal evolved. As heavy metal uses apocalyptic themes and images of power and darkness, the ability to successfully translate verbal ideas into music is often seen as critical to its authenticity and credibility. An example of this is the album Powerslave by Iron Maiden. The cover is of a dramatic Egyptian scene and many of the songs on the album have subject matter requiring a sound suggestive of life and death, including a song entitled "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," based on the poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris has cited progressive rock bands[17] such as Rush and Yes as influences, and it should be noted that the 1977 Rush album A Farewell to Kings features the eleven-minute "Xanadu," also inspired by Coleridge and pre-dating the Iron Maiden composition by several years.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Classical influence

The appropriation of "classical" music by heavy metal typically includes the influence of Baroque, Romantic, and Modernist composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Niccolò Paganini, Richard Wagner, Ludwig van Beethoven, Bela Bartok and Igor Stravinsky. And the ever evocative tritone was already exploited by Romantic composers like Liszt, and most specifically by modern classical composers (such as Bartok, Stravinsky or Schoenberg) who used it especially for its anguishing and dark connotative qualities.

Deep Purple/Rainbow guitarist Ritchie Blackmore had been experimenting with musical figurations borrowed from classical music since the early 1970s. Following Ritchie Blackmore, Randy Rhoads and Uli Jon Roth, the "classical" influence in metal guitar during the 1980s looked to the early eighteenth century for its model of speed and technique; notably, classically-inspired guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen, whose technical prowess inspired a myriad of neo-classical metal players including Michael Romeo, Michael Angelo Batio and Tony MacAlpine. However, while heavy metal musicians may have often been inspired by classical composers, it is important to stress the fact that their music does not descend from classical music. Classical music is art music (that is to say "erudite music") whereas heavy metal is popular music.

Moreover many specialists and critics have observed that heavy metal musicians actually focus on and borrow superficial aspects of classical music (motives, melodies, scales or even sometimes real orchestral sets). However, heavy metal bands, including neo classical and progressive metal bands, generally do not try to exploit the compositional depth and complexity of classical music. For example, the players who name Bach as an influence on their work seldom make use of the complex counterpoint which is central to Bach's compositions. Furthermore, the extensive use of power chords in heavy metal (implying countless consecutive fifths) goes against one of the main principles of classical music.The use of consecutive fifths and octaves is a violation of an important rule of harmony and classical aesthetic.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The term "heavy metal"

The origin of the term heavy metal in relation to a form of music is uncertain. The phrase had been used for centuries in chemistry and metallurgy and is listed as such in the Oxford English Dictionary. An early use of the term in modern popular culture was by counter-culture writer William S. Burroughs. In the 1962 novel, The Soft Machine, he introduces the character "Uranian Willy, the Heavy Metal Kid". His next novel in 1964, Nova Express, develops this theme further, with heavy metal being a metaphor for addictive drugs: "With their diseases and orgasm drugs and their sexless parasite life forms — Heavy Metal People of Uranus wrapped in cool blue mist of vaporized bank notes — And the Insect People of Minraud with metal music."

Metal historian Ian Christe notes the meanings of the individual components of the term in "hippiespeak,": "heavy" meaning anything with a potent mood, and "metal" designating what the mood would be, grinding and weighted as with metal.
The word "heavy" (meaning serious or profound) had entered beatnik/counterculture slang some time earlier and references to "heavy music"—typically slower, more amplified variations of standard pop fare—were already common; indeed, Iron Butterfly first started playing Los Angeles in 1967, their name explained on an album cover, "Iron- symbolic of something heavy as in sound, Butterfly- light, appealing and object that can be used freely in the imagination". Iron Butterfly's 1968 debut album was entitled Heavy. The first recorded use of heavy metal in a song lyric is the phrase "heavy metal thunder" in the 1968 Steppenwolf song "Born To Be Wild": "I like smoke and lightning/Heavy metal thunder/Racin' with the wind/And the feelin' that I'm under". A late, but disputed, hypothesis about the origin of the genre was brought forth by "Chas" Chandler, who was a manager of the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1969, in an interview on the PBS TV program "Rock and Roll" in 1995. He states that " was a term originated in a New York Times article reviewing a Jimi Hendrix performance," and claims the author described the Jimi Hendrix Experience " listening to heavy metal falling from the sky." The precise source of this claim, however, has not been found and its accuracy is disputed.

The first well-documented usage of the term is contained in a May 1971 issue of Creem, during a review of Sir Lord Baltimore's Kingdom Come. The article notes that "Sir Lord Baltimore seems to have down pat most all the best heavy metal tricks in the book". Creem critic Lester Bangs subsequently has been credited with popularizing the term in the early 1970s when describing bands such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. "Heavy metal" may have been used as a jibe initially by a number of music critics but was quickly adopted by its adherents.

The terms "heavy metal" and "hard rock" are often used interchangeably, in particular when discussing bands from the 1970s, a period when the terms were largely synonymous. However, many of the first heavy metal bands—including Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, and UFO, among a few—are often not considered heavy metal bands by the modern metal community. For example, Ian Christe's 2003 book Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal labels bands whose sound was more similar to traditional rock music as hard rock or proto-metal, while Black Sabbath and Judas Priest are pinpointed as the specific progenators of the genre.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Hard History

Heavy metal is one of the most misunderstood genres of music in our day. Rather unfortunately, this is often a result of brazen ignorance about the subject, brought about by certain sectors of the media, society, and listeners themselves. Instead of blindly backlashing against those responsible for the defamation of heavy metal, I decided to write a history of the aforementioned music, in hopes of providing yet another source of information for those who wish to learn about its development.
In no way is this a heavy metal band list or an attempt to include every detail, important or not, within the genre's history, but I believe it is a fairly comprehensive guide. I have included bands that have been influential, prominent, representative, or successful throughout their careers, and in the process omitted several others that would prevent any conciseness. I have also made the attempt of remaining as objective as possible (although words like "well-deserved" will appear throughout the text), and therefore have also included bands that I do not enjoy listening to or whose general visual image I do not respect. After all, heavy metal is something of an acquired taste. With no further comments, I leave you to read my take on the history of heavy metal. I hope you will enjoy it and maybe learn a little from it (and with any luck, you won't find it boring at all).

When did heavy metal begin? It's hard to say. According to most metal annals, the first outbursts came from the Kinks with "You Really Got Me" and the Who with "My Generation" around 1964. As for the first heavy metal artist, that position arguably belongs to Alice Cooper, whose band was founded in 1965 under the name The Spiders. Heavy metal, however, was not to truly flourish until the year of 1967, and Alice Cooper was to become embedded in the collective mind of the world until 1971 with the classic Love It To Death.
During 1967, the rock world was still absorbed by the Summer of Love, but it was about to witness one of its most important revolutions. Bands like Golden Earring (formed in 1965), Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Led Zeppelin, Vanilla Fudge, Iron Butterfly, Steppenwolf, Blue Cheer, Deep Purple, Grand Funk Railroad, Free, Uriah Heep, Mountain, Humble Pie, Bloodrock, MC5, Black Widow, Atomic Rooster, Cactus, and Black Sabbath came to being between 1966 and 1970, and struck the world with what both Iron Butterfly and Steppenwolf would first baptize "heavy metal;" the first through reviews of its Heavy album and the second due to the phrase "heavy metal thunder," found in the motorcycling classic "Born to Be Wild." A new type of music, which borrowed heavily from rock and roll and the blues, was gaining influence on the youth of those times, which was slowly getting tired of the stagnant Summer of Love scene.
Out of the explosion of new bands, it was Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience that were to be the first bands to give heavy metal a high commercial profile. The legendary guitarist Eric Clapton was part of the first; a band that remains a seminal power trio and heavy metal act that released such memorable songs as "Sunshine Of Your Love" and "White Room." During the course of four albums and two years, Cream became a prominently successful band that influenced the likes of Rush and Van Halen, and would later spawn the also legendary Blind Faith. Meanwhile, the Jimi Hendrix Experience was another musical trio, based around the guitar histrionics of the legendary Jimi Hendrix. Albums such as Are You Experienced? and Electric Ladyland drew thousands of ravenous fans, which feasted on the music provided by a band that is often mentioned along with Janis Joplin and the Doors as one of the world's all-time premiere rock units.

Several new bands, including the bluesy Savoy Brown, Foghat, and Bad Company, the ferocious Budgie, and the legendary UFO, were spawned by the growing heavy metal explosion, while others like Status Quo hardened their sound; but until 1973 the kings of heavy metal were undoubtedly Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath. The three were bands with a technical prowess and a compositional inventiveness and passion unseen before, which coalesced into the hardest music existing during those times. Moreover, the era also marked the beginning of Satanic imagery and of spectacular, energetic live shows in heavy metal.
The Satanic imagery came courtesy of two English bands: Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin's guitarist Jimmy Page (formerly of The Yardbirds, a band that was critical in influencing heavy metal with its psychedelic distortion and in spawning legendary guitar players Page, Clapton, and Jeff Beck) had a strong personal fascination with the occult, while many of Sabbath's lyrics within their ample range of themes dealt with it as well. The Sabs, however, did not claim to be Satanic, unlike many future metal bands; in fact, Ozzy Osbourne, vocalist of the band during those times, claims to have been scared off by fans wearing black robes and carrying candles with themselves.
As for the live shows, they were carried out by every band, most notably by Led Zeppelin's "rock till you drop" concerts that lasted about two hours and by Alice Cooper's colossal shows, known to feature boa constrictors, mutilated female mannequins, and Alice Cooper himself in a beheading spectacle. Bands moved onstage, introduced bigger-than-life special effects into their shows and recreated their music in front of fiery crowds of fans.

The first few years of heavy metal (the music being called classic metal at times because of its pioneering status) are considered by most as the best era of the genre ever. Without a doubt, it is quite a memorable segment of this music's history. It was back then that Led Zeppelin, unquestionably the most popular heavy metal band ever, created classics such as "Black Dog" and the Arabian "Kashmir;" but also had the brilliance of experimenting with forms of music such as reggae and folk. In fact, the latter was an essential part of the most widely known heavy metal song ever: "Stairway to Heaven." The masterfully created masterpiece was crafted by Page and vocalist Robert Plant to perfection and even today remains a constant radio staple.
It was, however, until 1970 that Black Sabbath inaugurated what many consider the "true" spirit and essence of heavy metal. Gloomy, crunching, and foreboding, albums like Black Sabbath, Paranoid, and Master of Reality demonstrated the wicked musical direction of guitarist Tony Iommi and band members Ozzy Osbourne, Bill Ward, and Geezer Butler through classic songs like "N.I.B.," "Paranoid," and "Children of the Grave." Bands such as Corrosion of Conformity, Metallica, and Nirvana were all influenced by the metal anthems provided by one of the genre's most memorable bands ever, and the face of modern music has hardly ever been the same since the Birmingham act exploded unto the scene. Meanwhile, Deep Purple, after going through a progressive rock stint with vocalist Rod Evans and bassist Nick Simper, developed a solid slab of rock on its classic Deep Purple In Rock, and would for a long time be heralded as a true innovator of music. In fact, Ritchie Blackmore's classical guitar training, along with Jon Lord's synthesizers and Ian Gillan's piercing shrieks, was crucial in the development of heavy metal as it is known today.
During the mid-Seventies, six new bands were to also walk into the spotlight: the Blue Oyster Cult, Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest, Queen, Aerosmith, and Kiss. Judas Priest would be responsible for popularizing the concept of two guitarists in a heavy metal band; Aerosmith for bringing back the blues, sex, and drugs; Thin Lizzy for breaking through with aesthetical and musical flash and style; Queen for introducing perhaps the greatest degree of experimentation within music and the renewal of majestic melodies and harmonies with a progressive rock edge; and Kiss for revolutionizing the art of live shows, at times presenting slightly macabre theatrics strongly reminiscent of Alice Cooper's. And the Blue Oyster Cult? They disappeared into oblivion after a series of forgettable albums released in the 80's. But during their halcyon days in the 70's, they were an important part of the hard rock arena circuit, combining beautiful 60's harmonies with searing guitars.

While a number of heavy metal bands cemented their reputation as rock giants for years to come, certain bands would begin taking another highly popular form of music, progressive rock, into a heavier direction. Bands like Pink Floyd and Genesis had remained most of the time outside the heavy metal realms, while others like Jethro Tull, Yes, and King Crimson flirted with it more often on songs like "Aqualung," "Heart of the Sunrise," and "21st Century Schizoid Man," respectively. Characterized by complex song structures, odd time signature arrangements, and a highly technical and virtuous use of instruments, progressive metal would nevertheless not come truly into being until the creation of Rush. On its debut album, Rush, the band had not yet acquired a tendency for the progressive; but by the time of Fly By Night and the acquisition of drummer Neil Peart, the band had changed its approach and become more ambitious lyrically and musically, driving its progressive outings to their furthermost limits on albums like A Farewell to Kings and Hemispheres. Most other progressive bands throughout history, such as Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, Focus, Asia, IQ, and Marillion, only flirted with metal through their years of existence.
Unfortunately, metal was to stagnate completely in the late Seventies. Aerosmith, Thin Lizzy, and Black Sabbath were digging their own graves due to their drug-consuming habits, Kiss had lost its charm because of over-commercialization, Deep Purple faded out through its never-ending personnel changes, and Led Zeppelin ended with the death of drummer John Bonham; only Judas Priest and Queen remained almost intact during these times. And not only were the greatest bands dying slowly, but every new band was just ripping off the old glory; metal was on its dying bed. Only a few bands were still thriving among the ruins, among them AC/DC and Rush; the former taking over the world with its three-chord attack, guitarist Angus Young's lunatic careening on stage, and Bon Scott's hell-raising screams; the latter inspiring new generations of musicians with its progressive brand of music. Ted Nugent, formerly of the Amboy Dukes, also released hyperactive gems like Cat Scratch Fever and Double Live Gonzo to much acclaim during the last half of the Seventies, and would be another of the few surviving musical groups. Blackmore's Rainbow was the last of the great rock giants to die or metamorphose by the end of the Eighties, after Ronnie James Dio left the band amidst a flurry of clashing egos which had earlier produced melodic epics on albums like Rainbow Rising and Long Live Rock n' Roll.

Related styles

Hard rock is closely related to heavy metal (and often the terms overlap in usage), but it does not always match the description of what purists consider the definition of heavy metal. While still guitar-driven in nature and usually riff-based, its themes and execution differ from that of the major heavy metal bands listed earlier in this article. This is perhaps best exemplified by The Who in the late-1960s and early-1970s, as well as other 1970s and 1980s bands like Queen who have had a large influence on heavy metal music, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Kiss, Thin Lizzy, and Scorpions.

Glam rock (or glitter rock) - a short-lived era in the early 1970s, relied on heavy, crunchy guitars, anthemic songs, and a theatrical image. T. Rex, David Bowie (particularly in his incarnation as Ziggy Stardust) and Alice Cooper are among the more popular standard examples of this sub-genre. Some cross-influence has occurred between punk rock and heavy metal (especially NWOBHM). An example is Motörhead; the band's leader Lemmy, spent time in punk band The Damned and attempted to teach Sid Vicious how to play bass guitar. Alternative rock, particularly grunge, sometimes takes influence from heavy metal. Some grunge bands such as Soundgarden and Alice in Chains were marketed as metal before alternative became a viable commercial force.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Origins and early popularity (1960s and early 1970s)

American blues music was highly popular and influential among the early British rockers. Bands like The Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds recorded covers of many classic blues songs, and sometimes speeded up the tempo and using electric guitar where the original had used acoustic. As they experimented with the music, the British blues bands developed sounds that would become the hallmarks of the heavy metal genre, including a "heavy" rhythm section, distorted virtuostic guitar-playing, and screaming vocals. Such powered-up blues music was encouraged by the intellectual and artistic experimentation that arose when musicians started to exploit the opportunities of the electrically amplified guitar to produce a louder and more dissonant sound. Where blues-rock drumming styles had been largely simple shuffle beats on small drum kits, drummers began using a more muscular, complex, and amplified approach to match and be heard with the increasingly loud guitar sounds. similarly vocalists modified their technique and increased their reliance on amplification, often becoming more stylized and dramatic in the process. Simultaneous advances in amplification and recording technology made it possible to successfully capture the power of this heavier approach on record.

Ultimately, it was the combination of blues-rock and psychedelic rock that resulted in the creation of heavy metal. Many artists and songs that melded these sensibilities during the late 1960s have been pointed out as prototypical of heavy metal. A particularly influential band was the psychedelic blues-rock power trio Cream, who derived a powerful sound from unison riffing between guitarist Eric Clapton and bassist Jack Bruce as well as Ginger Baker's use of double bass drumming. By 1968, heavy blues sounds were becoming commonplace—many fans and scholars point to Blue Cheer's Jan. 1968 cover of Eddie Cochran's hit "Summertime Blues" as the first true heavy metal song. Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild" (released in Jan. 1968), and the Yardbirds' single, "Think About It" (recorded Jan. '68; released Mar. '68) should also be mentioned; the latter employed a similar sound to that which Jimmy Page would employ with Led Zeppelin; these were soon followed by Iron Butterfly's In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (July '68). Beatles scholars cite in particular the song "Helter Skelter" from The Beatles (more commonly known as The White Album) (Nov. 1968) and the single version of "Revolution" (Nov. 1968), which set new standards for distortion and aggressive sound on a popular album. Dave Edmunds' band Love Sculpture also released an aggressive heavy guitar version of Khachaturian's Sabre Dance in November 1968. The Jeff Beck Group's album Truth (August 1968) was an important and influential rock album; released just before Led Zeppelin's first album (Jan. 1969), leading some (especially British blues fans) to argue that Truth was the first heavy metal album.

Tony Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath in 1973The 1970 releases by Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple defined and codified the genre that would be known as heavy metal. Led Zeppelin had formed out of the ashes of guitarist Jimmy Page's previous band, the Yardbirds, and came to define important aspects of the genre with singer Robert Plant's dramatic, wailing vocals and lyrics concerning themes of magic, conquest and the occult. Black Sabbath also dealt heavily with occult themes; formerly a blues-rock band called Earth, Black Sabbath adopted a new name taken from a Bela Lugosi horror film and a darker, heavier sound partially necessitated by an industrial accident guitarist Tony Iommi had suffered. Unable to play normally, Iommi had to tune his guitar down for easier fretting and had to rely on power chords due to the ease of the fingering. Deep Purple had fluctuated between styles in its early years, but by 1969 vocalist Ian Gillan and the guitar stylings of Ritchie Blackmore had pushed the band into the direction of the developing heavy metal genre. These bands quickly become successful, with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath scoring hits on the pop charts with the songs "Whole Lotta Love"(1969) and "Paranoid" (1971), respectively. However, most critics were not kind to the music, objecting to its perceived commercial artifice and reliance on visual spectacle. As the seventies wore on, newer heavy metal bands emerged, such as Blue Öyster Cult, Kiss, Scorpions, Judas Priest, and Rainbow, who relied on constant touring and increasingly elaborate stage shows for their commerical success. In particular, Judas Priest worked over the ensuing decade to "achieve the definition of heavy metal." and would act as a pivotal influence on later heavy metal bands.