Diamond Head may not be the same sort of household name that their contemporaries such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden became during the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, but their influence is every bit as strong, if not more so. Diamond Head were among the first bands to experiment with marrying the raw power and speed of punk to heavy metal. The resulting sound would provide the building blocks of the thrash movement that lay just a few years away with Mercyful Fate, Metallica, and Slayer. Such was the influence of Diamond Head on this fledgling scene that Metallica would cover Diamond Head’s classic “Am I Evil?” on their very first album.
Check out this promo clip for Diamond Head’s original version of “Am I Evil?” from their landmark 1980 debut album Lightning to the Nations.
Tank was often compared to contemporaries and fellow Brits Motorhead. Both bands played a fast, brash style of heavy metal inspired by the early punk movement (bassist and singer Algy Ward had once been a member of punk pioneers The Damned). Original Motorhead guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke even produced Tank’s debut album, Filth Hounds of Hades.
Listen to the title track “Filth Hounds of Hades” here below.
The album is considered by many to be one of the high points of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) era. Tank would flounder commercially after their debut and endure numerous lineup changes. Two different versions of the band remain active to this day, but neither has ever recaptured the glory of the debut album. Here with the title track of that iconic release is the original lineup of Tank.
Chrome Molly is a band from the 1980s new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM). The band hails from Leicester, England, and released four albums during their initial 1981-1991 run. “Thanks for the Angst” is from their third album 1988’s Angst. The band reformed in 2009 and issued a new album, Gunpowder Diplomacy.
Listen to the audio for “Thanks for the Angst” here below.
In 1980, heavy metal hopefuls Venom sent their demo for consideration to EMI Records, the giant UK record label with signed acts like Queen, Pink Floyd, and a little band called The Beatles. EMI’s response to the unknown British band’s demo was a flat-out rejection, which in and of itself is not so surprising — lots of artists get this kind of response their first time around (I recall John Cougar Mellencamp saying he wallpapered his room with all the rejection letters he got when he was starting out in music).
But, instead of sending a polite “thanks, but no thanks” form letter to Venom, EMI sent a two-word note that made it perfectly clear just how much the label did not want to sign the metal band. It’s quite brutal and over-the-top, although hilarious when you look back on it now.
Check out the letter in full here below, which was posted online by producer/journalist Bart Gabriel. Seriously, it is worth taking a look at.
I’ve often said this to fellow metalheads, but it’s pretty much true: Bruce Dickinson can make anything interesting. Not only is he the air raid siren vocalist for Iron Maiden, but he is also an accomplished solo artist, professional fencer, author (he wrote a kids’ book!), and of course, a qualified pilot.
In fact, for those who haven’t seen the Iron Maiden: Flight 666 documentary, Dickinson actually pilots Ed Force One, a customized 757 that carries the personnel and crew and gear for Iron Maiden when on tour. It’s pretty mind-blowing seeing that stuff all set up in one single plane, watching Dickinson pilot it out into the skies, land it, and then change into his stage gear to scream it out loud on top of the very gear he just flew across the world. Seeing this in action in the Sam Dunn documentary is damn impressive.
Anyway, Dickinson recently recorded a training video called Safety in the Balance for the UK Civil Aviation Authority. The premise of the clip is to discuss the precise requirements in load and balance on aeroplanes, and emphasizes the importance of the mathematical precision to ensure that aircraft, ground staff, crew, and passengers are kept safe.