The Essence of Metal – 9. At the Source of grunge and punk


In the mid-1960s, psychedelia and rock n’ roll began to get even more straightforward forms. Washington’s The Sonics found a straighter path to bring it out. The band covered blues and rock n ‘roll classics with a sharper touch, but also made their own songs.

Rough and simple riffs and songs played with more attitude than skill took the music quite high. The recordings were handled roughly live. Drums with one mic. The drum sound is one of the things that determining the band. For example, Kurt Cobain has stated the following: ”I, I have to admit… The Sonics recorded very, very cheaply on a two track you know, and they just used one microphone over the drums, and they got the most amazing drum sound I’ve ever heard. Still to this day, it’s still my favourite drum sound. It sounds like he’s hitting harder than anyone I’ve ever known.”

Many bands have mentioned The Sonics, when asking about their influence. The most well-known ones are Bruce Springsteen and Nirvana. Both have also covered the band.

The effect on metal will surely be through the grunge or, alternatively, the path through the punk. Riffs, fierce clamor and uncompromising attitude – They gets far!
The sample album Here Are The Sonics (1965) is a mixture of their own and the cover songs, which is passed through a grunge / punk screen. The Sonics’ own influences don’t need to look further than this song list.

As a video example, this time, comeback recording. The attitude still lives on.


The Essence of Metal – 11. Super Group Brought Music Closer to Heavy Metal


Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton says something at least for their names. The whole trio played in The Yardbirds on a sample album Having a Rave Up with The Yardbirds (1965). Although they didn’t play at the same time, but these are the names behind this album.

The Yardbirds is said to have brought American blues music to the British audience. The band was also the first to start playing metal. The playing style of all three guitar players must still be recognized. This album it’s even experimental, especially by Beck and Page, what they have always been. The band brought guitar effects as feedback and Fuzztone among the bigger audience. Say one stoner band without a fuzz?

At that time, Clapton withdrawn the band, because he was anxious when the band moved away from blues music. The band want Jimmy Page in the studio, but he refused and recommended Jeff Beck to replace him. After Beck left behind with internal contradictions, Page agreed to play the rest of the concerts. To complete all the concerts in the future, Jimmy Page set up The New Yardbirds with John Paul Jones, which later became a bit more famous Led Zeppelin.

As a music, The Yardbirds is closer to psychedelic rock than traditional rock. There’s a name for that music trend in British music at 60’s. It’s Freakbeat. It mixes blues with psychedelia and Britpop. The Yardbirds also play it little bit heavier.

The band has been an influence for so many other bands. Let’s mention Ritchie Blackmore, whose Rainbow has covered the Still I’m Sad from this example album.

This video tells about that era of the Swinging London phenomenon. It’s a kind of 60’s hipster movement.


The Essence of Metal – 10. Bob Dylan


Robert Allen Zimmerman alias Bob Dylan. Everything should be told of this man, but better if I say nothing. Dylan, originally played rock’n’roll, bends to the most popular music style to be recognized as folk rock.

Bob caused his fans to get upset by moving on to electric guitar, just like the example of Highway 61 Revisited (1965). On the other hand, without that transition, many bands would not be born. The album’s opening song, Like a Rolling Stone, is a classic. The band play ¾ time signature when singing goes by common time. This is the song that is named among the three best songs in the world in many polls and charts.

Dylan have a lot of indirect influence on metal. If you get a Nobel Prize, I guess there is something to do with the all music industry. Dylan has always been a songwriter. His songs have always take a strong opinion to society, even though it’s been done with hidden meanings of lyrics.

Dylan has always been a music dissident. In the 60’s, he was even more, because the style copiers weren’t so many. His singing or guitar playing is not so important than the story of what his songs are about to tell. The main elements of metal have always been criticizing the system and emphasizing the freedom of choice. It’s about religion, politics, or life in general.

If you want to do one more metal reference, then the well-named Never Ending Tour is unparalleled. Dylan has traveled this tour since 1988. Also for metal bands nowadays it is characterized by being twisted with the same songs forever endless. Is there someone who is really waiting for a new album of Iron Maiden? The band could go with Wasted Years and Fear of the Dark until the age of retirement.

Exemplary Highway 61 Revisited is like Dylan production in miniature. Quality varies both in terms of presentation and composition. There is blues, folk, rock, and there is also a better way to play around with the groom.

For example, I would like to put a live video of Like a Rolling Stone.