Blue Cheer - The Origins of "Heavy Metal"

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Gramps, Oct 25, 2018.

  1. Kingsley Fats

    Kingsley Fats Forum Resident

    The term heavy metal was not in common use until a little further down the track & was reto fitted to artists like Black Sabbath.
    The common term in use @ Black Sabbath Parnoid was hard or heavy rock.
  2. Black Magic Woman

    Black Magic Woman I wish I was as cool as Kim Deal

    Yeah, really informative! Worth watching.
  3. Greenalishi

    Greenalishi Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    There was a cool doc series that catagorized lots of the influences in a stew. I like this approach. And i find heavy as a feeling in classical music and the standard song One For My Baby One More For the Road. Or lots of of old blues. Karen Dalton is Heavy. Billy Holidays Lady in Satin album is heavy. It's a feeling. Put an electric guitar in there boom, metal.
  4. el supernautico

    el supernautico formerly known as "supernautic"

    Nice watch! It was cool to see Biff Byford not as stiff as in Saxon's own "Heavy Metal Thunder" doc.
    What I also found interesting was how long the doc invested in the satanic aspects... interesting may not be the right word for it, because it puzzled me a bit why on earth it gets so much (undeserved) talk.
    On a doc as deep and true as this it looks a bit cheap talking about that silly crap - no matter what kind of or how many "strange and crazy" things happened to Sabbath. I mean, of course they attracted people coming from there, but IMHO, it doesn't have to do anything with the music itself, as the lyrics were always more about drugs and its consequences...
    The "Bandwagon" part was also nice to watch - I always read about how important it was to the scene, and it all was explained quite good.
    Thanks for sharing!:righton:
    Black Magic Woman likes this.
  5. GeeBee2

    GeeBee2 Active Member

    Here's a new release...the Blue Cheer demos from 1967!

  6. izgoblin

    izgoblin Forum Resident

    I'll give all the respect to Sabbath that they deserve, and they most certainly created doom metal, but I have a hard time not seeing Blue Cheer as the first true metal band. The real unfortunate thing is that the record label took away all their balls and essentially destroyed the band and their potential legacy. But if you can listen to this and tell me this isn't heavy metal (recorded and released in 1968), you might have been smoking too much of the sweet leaf:

  7. Gramps

    Gramps Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Toronto, Ontario
    I would suggest the little known Gadsby & Skol band, on the Woronzow label.
  8. Kingsley Fats

    Kingsley Fats Forum Resident

    As I had never heard of Gadsby & Skol I did the modern thing & looked them up.

    AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger
    You can't accuse these guys of hiding their influence: They thank Blue Cheer for inspiration right on the sleeve. The album's retro, circa 1968-1970 blues-rock-psychedelia on the verge of turning into heavy metal. If there's any Cream or Jimi Hendrix to be heard as well, that may be only because there was lots of Cream and Jimi Hendrix to be heard in Blue Cheer. It's extremely derivative, if certainly a competent derivation of a band that has never exactly had to fend off boatloads of imitators. At least Gadsby & Skol are more entitled to this indulgence than most, having actually played music in this style back when Blue Cheer was at their peak, though they didn't get to record it at that time. But really, even the prototype wasn't great music, and to hear a routine approximation of Blue Cheer isn't enlightening, though the vocals sound more youthful and engaged than most other vintage bands still churning out releases.
    Platterpus and izgoblin like this.
  9. Gramps

    Gramps Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Toronto, Ontario
    Correct! Blue Cheer.....

    Blue Cheer 1967 DEMO DoctorPlease rare
  10. Grey Alien

    Grey Alien Forum Resident

    To me it sounds as Metal as early Hendrix, certainly there's elements, but it's not quite "there" yet.
    Dudley Morris and Zoot Marimba like this.
  11. Gramps

    Gramps Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Toronto, Ontario
    Old news, man. Gadsby & Skol were not a prot0-type band. They were the heaviest band in Canada.
  12. bibi50

    bibi50 Well-Known Member

    Are Grand Funk forgotten ??
    Platterpus likes this.
  13. Soopernaut

    Soopernaut Well-Known Member

    Des Moines,IA
    To me, something is missing in Blue Cheer's music to call it metal, but I can't pinpoint it. Has anyone heard Budgie's 1969 demo and was it metal sounding? Earth also had a 69 demo and much of it is heavy blues rock, but there are many of the elements of metal on it. What about Pink Floyd's "The Nile Song" from 1968 or was it 69?

    Pink Floyd- The Nile Song 1969
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  14. Jim Walker

    Jim Walker Forum Resident

    southeast porttown
    I always considered the second side of New and Improved
    to be very heavy and maybe beyond that. It was as heavy
    as 1968-69's Truth, Led Zep I, II just to name a few. It left
    the ears and the remaining brainwash in between to search
    strange open lands indeed, as it plodded, rolled, thundered
    and shimmered in a slow swirling rush of sonic tsunami.

    Peace of Mind, Fruit and Icebergs, and Randy Holden,
    guitar heavy who was brought in for side two only.
    'Good God' the engineer mutters on the original recording
    after the last of Holden's sandblast lines, and gong/cymbal
    shimmer-down of Fruit and Icebergs and the closer,
    Honey Buttered Lover
    bringing everything back to earth, a
    short come-down to end the lp.

    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
    Platterpus likes this.
  15. Dylancat

    Dylancat Forum Resident

    Cincinnati, OH
    The question to ask is
    “Are You Experienced?”

    And that would be the answer to thread question regarding origin
  16. izgoblin

    izgoblin Forum Resident

    Let's see, I hear:

    1) heavily distorted guitars (IMO noticeably heavier than Hendrix)
    2) one of the fastest tempos in any rock song up to that time (though, to be fair, it's as fast as Hendrix's "Fire")
    3) rhythm changes, and while this certainly isn't "thrash", that's something the two have in common
    4) a song that I can easily headbang to, which I can't say I've ever done to a Hendrix tune
    5) a drummer that's bashing the hell out of his kit

    I'm not sure what else you expect to find in metal, but the only thing I hear missing are that the lyrics aren't especially violent or death-related.

    Yeah, I know, we all have our opinions and none are more valid than anyone else's, but for some reason this is one musical topic I tend to be especially passionate about. Blue Cheer deserves the legacy of being the first metal band. They just weren't the most POPULAR metal band. What the records don't illustrate is that they were the loudest band out there when playing live, by far. This turned off a lot of people, though my uncle was lucky enough to see them live in '68 and told me he loved it while plenty of others were holding their ears and complaining.
    Gramps, Greenalishi and Platterpus like this.
  17. QuadSabbath

    QuadSabbath New Member

    Early bands are similar to magma/ore...a blend of rock and metal. As time goes on, sounds become refined and purified, like iron ore. Different alloys/different sounds. Blue Cheer is a big meteor!!
    danasgoodstuff and Greenalishi like this.
  18. QuadSabbath

    QuadSabbath New Member

    Good description...precursor.
    Zoot Marimba likes this.
  19. QuadSabbath

    QuadSabbath New Member

    Anyone other than me interested in Steve and/or Eddie Kramer to create a 2.0 to 7.1(?) of OUTSIDE/INSIDE?
    No idea how to interest the owners of the masters to do such a thing, but it would be worthy...add the Randy Holden songs as well. If I had money or, o man.
  20. Gramps

    Gramps Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Toronto, Ontario
    Thanks for the post. History will prove us correct. By the way, where did your uncle see Blue Cheer...and who were they playing with?
  21. izgoblin

    izgoblin Forum Resident

    Unfortunately I am no longer in contact with him to ask, but I'd sure love to hear more of his memory of that experience.
  22. Jose Jones

    Jose Jones Outstanding Forum Member

    Detroit, Michigan
    Wow, the Kingston Trio recorded that song in 1965. Maybe they invented Heavy Folk.
  23. izgoblin

    izgoblin Forum Resident

    Yeah, and the writer Mose Allison did it in '57. Have you heard the Blue Cheer version or did you just wanna come in here and be snarky?
  24. caio vaz

    caio vaz Forum Resident

    To me, it began with Hendrix in some of his songs, like Maniac depression or Vodoo child. This is the begining of a heavy riff riding the song, you know? Who, Stones,Kinks,Yardbirds etc were heavy, but they werent "riffs' driving bands that much like Hendrix was, just in the well known songs by that, but werent that heavy..And rock n roll just became heavier than Sabbath with bands like Venom and Slayer, cause for me, early Motorhead, Judas or punk rock were way lighter than the early Sabbath..
  25. Timmy84

    Timmy84 Forum Resident

    North Carolina
    Speaking of Mountain, Mississippi Queen is that knock though!

    And hard to imagine a lot of hip-hop without them sampling Long Red from Mountain's Woodstock performance.

    Now clap your hands to what he's doing! :cool:

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