Nov 142012

I would think most of you will have some thoughts on this matter, or at least give credence to the notion that heavy metal ran out of gas at some point. I stumbled across this entire Black Sabbath concert from 1970. I find it especially interesting in how simple and direct the band’s performance is. They’re just, like, dudes…with good equipment.

As interesting as this concert is, I propose that the gauge on heavy metal first neared “E” sometime during this gig.


  12 Responses to “When Did Heavy Metal First Run Out of Gas?”

  1. cliff sovinsanity

    I’m guessing it first ran out of gas just before the emergence of the British heavy metal bands of the late 70’s (Judas Priest, Motorhead). Before they became the new wave of heavy metal, the genre was mired in a Sabbath/Zep/Deep Purple/Rainbow hangover.
    My heavy metal collection is somewhat limited, but I rarely look down on their followers, except hair-metal fans. I look forward to this thread and see which side of the fence townspeople are on this topic.

  2. I propose, for you, Mod, heavy metal never had any gas in its tank….So, why even bother with this?

  3. You could say that Metal ran out of gas …..then outside a Cheap Trick show in 1978 it siphoned most of the gas outta that moped Power Pop was driving and kept going.

    ….Prog Rock had to walk.

  4. machinery

    When Ozzie bit the head off that poor dove.

  5. 2000 Man

    Look, I don’t have many problems with heavy metal. What’s wrong with big, crunchy guitar riffs and pounding drums? It works like Colt 45, every time. I was digging through my records because yet again I’ve decided I need to catalog them on Discogs so I can pay attention better, and while I’m never going to listen to Yngwie Malmsteen ever again, do I want to sell his records? The first couple of Metallica albums I have would fetch nice money on ebay (especially right before xmas), but they’re actually pretty good albums, and not at all like the overproduced, slowed down power ballad shit they churned out when they discovered that those records sold in the millions instead of the 100,000 or so’s.

    I’m sure I’ll never play Michael Schencker again, but I just listened to a Saxon album the other day and it was a lot of fun. I bet if I put on Motley Crue’s first album I’ll like that, too. It’s just fun. The big power ballads on MTV killed heavy metal.

    I can’t listen to that stuff with the guy (or girl) singing with that dirt in mouth effect. I honestly think the people that listen to that aren’t listening because they like it, they’re listening because other people don’t like it.

  6. In part, I bother for responses like your own.

  7. When this concert started – for me, a guy who’s never been a heavy metal fan but does enjoy Black Sabbath for a song at a time – I was impressed by how Working Class and direct they were. I started thinking, Maybe an entire concert performed and filmed in this straightforward a way will help me better appreciate the genre.

    As it turned out, it definitely helped me better appreciate Black Sabbath and the connection their fans must have had with them. I still have only so much interest in songs where the melody lines exactly follow the purposely unusual guitar riff, but this concert did give me insight into the genre’s power. It’s unfortunate, in my opinion, that the bands then found the need to act out the Satan/horror show aspects of the lyrics and sound. Whenever that was is probably the exact point when I had NO shot of being a heavy metal fan. Even early Judas Priest, whose no-nonsense metal always strikes me as way more appealing than what I grew up accustomed to hearing, loses me with the singer’s leather outfit. I guess in an ideal world metal bands would have continued in the vein of early Sabbath – or Black Flag in their sludge phase. Then I would have had a better chance of digging the crunchy guitar riffs and not getting distracted by the DARK FANTASY stuff.

  8. misterioso

    Thanks for this video–I have seen this but in much less clear video. It is pretty great, though an hour of this is rather more than I need. I don’t know when heavy metal ran out of gas. I am maybe not the best judge since I think 99.99% of it is a total joke. Without rehashing the history of the term heavy metal, with which I am familiar, I know it started getting used descriptively in the early 70s. My guess is that heavy metal “ran out of gas” as soon as there came to be seen a distinct genre of heavy metal. Or, if that is not the case, then after the second Sabbath lp. Whichever came first.

  9. cliff sovinsanity

    Patrock, 2000 Man and Mr. Mod all have very good points. It is likely that what we are most tuned off by is the theatrics of Metal. All the satanism (Dio, early Ozzy), S&M outfits (Judas Priest), glam drag (see L.A. 83-92), it’s all silly, but the joke’s on them.
    There is much however to enjoy from bands that are labelled heavy metal but really aren’t (Rush, BOC, AC-DC). Those bands were about the song (or riffs) and less about the show.
    Also, in my late teen years I found myself drawn to bands that mix up metal and punk, as mentioned before Black Flag, but also Pantera, Megadeth, early Metallica all have decent songs if you look hard enough and keep your nose out of the air.

  10. ohmstead

    I Think the decline of heavy metal – at least the thrash metal sub-genre – started around the time this program aired…

  11. 2000 Man

    That was fantastic!

  12. jeangray

    Well, you could probably argue that any genre dies once a label has been attached to it.

Lost Password?

twitter facebook youtube