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Hard Rock v, Heavy Metal


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Initial post: Aug 6, 2010 11:34:52 AM PDT
So, I've noticed (being in my mid-30s) that most of the bands I grew up with as "heavy metal" bands have now been relabelled "hard rock". (e.g. Scorpions, Deep Purple, AC/DC, Aerosmith, etc.). Now, I can kind of see putting Aerosmith in the category, but the Scorps are pretty much comparable to Judas Priest as far as I can tell (with the exception that Priest definitely kicked it up a notch in the 90s, but then the Scorps out-heavied them in the 70s quite a bit - listen to "Virgin Killer" or "the Sails of Charon").
So, is "hard rock" just classic metal (aside from, apparently, Sabbath and Priest regardless of the fact that they didn't really sound that different from their contemporaries to my ears)? Are there bands that are "hard rock" that wouldn't be called "metal?
To me, if you're gonna call Scorps and Purple "hard rock" then metal must start with Iron Maiden, that's where I hear a significant stylistic difference. (Although you had more underground stuff like Venom going on about the same time . . .)

Posted on Oct 7, 2010 1:04:21 PM PDT
Kevin Castro says:
yeah i guess. i think they mostly did that because heavy metal these days is 10x more heavy/ brutal.

Posted on Oct 7, 2010 1:30:22 PM PDT
Heavy Metal in the 70s is different than heavy metal in the 80s which is different than heavy metal in the 90s. Heavy Metal has grown and changed so much over the years maybe moreso than any other type of music. I remember in the 70s Aerosmith, Blue Oyster Cult, Ted Nugent, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, UFO, Rainbow, Van Halen, Black Sabbath and others were considered metal but, a decade later most were considered hard rock. To me if you were metal in your time youre metal forever or if you change your style (Aerosmith,Metallica) and become more mainstream. I like the term Classic Metal as it acurately describes the music of that era.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 12, 2010 7:02:38 PM PDT
N. says:
In the 50's it was Rock and Roll, when it became slighty more heavy, it grew to be just Rock in the mid 60's, by the 70's it was hard Rock and by the late 70's the term "Heavy Metal" started being used. It's difficult to distinguish between them because there are definitely roots of Heavy Metal going back into each of these generations. If Heavy Metal is a descriptive term of the sound of the music, then definitely older groups such as Cream, Iron Butterfly, Steppenwolf and the Animals had heavy sound. When Black Sabbath started tuning down their guitars you could really hear a difference. What seems to have really changed more to me is the singing. A lot of the current Metal bands have singers who scream or grunt out the lyrics.

Posted on Oct 12, 2010 9:17:47 PM PDT
Working Man says:
I agree that heavy metal in the 80's was different. I think of all the groups mentioned in the original post (Scorpions, Deep Purple, AC/DC, Aerosmith) as hard rock and not heavy metal. All of those bands started in the 70's or late 60's when heavy metal was not as common a term. The origins of the term has been discussed on several threads, but I just don't think it really was that commonly used in the 70's. When I think of heavy metal, I do associate it more with 80's bands, though Judas Priest did start in the 70's and in my mind were the first band I associate with heavy metal.

This has been argued long and hard before, saying heavy metal went back to the Who, the Kinks, the Yardbirds, Blue Cheer, the MC5 and of course Black Sabbath. I don't think there's a right answer here, it's what you perceive as correct.

Posted on Oct 12, 2010 10:22:10 PM PDT
When I think of 70's Metal, the bands that come to mind are Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Riot, The Scorpions, and Heavy Load. Although much of their stuff could be labeled "hard rock" too. Regardless, I could care less if something is labeled one thing or another. If it sounds good to my ears, I'm going to continue listening to it despite what people term it.

Posted on Dec 28, 2010 11:47:57 PM PST
I love Heavy metal and hard rock!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2011 8:00:10 PM PST
Being a teenager in the 1980's,I was a fan of 1960's/1970's hard rock and heavy metal. The hair bands of that time (1980's) wasn't appealing to me. I was a fan of Led Zeppelin,Black Sabbath,Blue Oyster Cult,Uriah Heep and Deep Purple. The subject on who was the first heavy metal band has been a hot topic for many years. The song that got me interested in hard rock and heavy metal was In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly. That definately was one heavy song!

Posted on Jan 1, 2011 8:19:23 PM PST
In adding to my post from the box above,I think Blue Oyster Cult was a very influential band,Their musicianship was excellent with lyrics based on science fiction,horror,mythology and pop psychology. Other bands from the 1960's/1970's time period would have to include Grand Funk Railroad,Vanilla Fudge,Foghat,Boston,Kansas,Styx and Foreigner.Early Grand Funk Railroad was really heavy. As for Blue Oyster Cult just check out songs like Veteran Of The Psychic Wars,ME 262,Hot Rails To Hell and others.

Posted on Mar 30, 2011 11:54:54 AM PDT
Another interesting thing that often comes up in the debate is that, for example, Deep Purple members don't want to be pigeonholed as "Heavy metal" so we should call them rock. The thing that makes this interesting is that members of other classic metal bands, such as Sabbath, Motorhead, and Iron Maiden, have all described their music as "rock", too, not metal.
And, interestingly enough, when prog-rock has been considered unfashionable, I've heard King Crimson and Jethro Tull's frontmen describe their bands as not being progressive rock. Robert Fripp has actually described King Crimson as a "heavy metal" band - apparently, using avant-garde jazz, free form improv, mellotrons and saxophones, odd-time signatures, etc. is metal, not prog! The point is, that how a band member describes a band's music isn't necesarily definitive and often may be either an attempt to stay hip or a reflection of the artist's background. When Zeppelin, Sabbath, Purple, Heep, etc. invented heavy metal, they didn't have a name for it, but they definitely were at the start of something!

Posted on Apr 2, 2011 3:00:01 PM PDT
Hard Rock: Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Aerosmith, Grand Funk, etc

Heavy Metal: Black Sabbath, Van Halen, Ozzy, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, etc

A case could be made for Van Halen being right btw the two.
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Discussion in:  Hard Rock forum
Participants:  9
Total posts:  11
Initial post:  Aug 6, 2010
Latest post:  Apr 2, 2011

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