Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Heavy Metal - Incestuousness and the Led Zeppelin Connection

Having set out recently to Cataloging my library, and needing to take a break from my books (of which I am nearing 4000 volumes not including extra copies) I decided to tackle my Music Collection. It consists of CD's and LP's (hundreds of them!) mainly though I've got quite a few EP's too... I can happily report that apart from the BBC radio adaption of "The Lord of the Rings" I have no Audio Cassettes.

So as I was cataloging my CD's I was also ripping them onto my computer so that I could put them all on my MP3 player. I've always been amused by just how interconnected everything in the world really is, I've previously posted about the genesis of "Transformers" and its station as a bizarre love child of G.I.Joe and Japanese Culture.. I started thinking about something I'd never really given much thought too in the past, how incestuous the bands which formed the early " Heavy metal " core really were.

Members from Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Elf, Whitesnake, Rainbow, Dio, and others traded off with alarming frequency. They share so many similar members that some of them should possibly just be considered " Super groups " formed by the members of other bands.. I also began noticing how many members of those bands went on to found other Heavy metal Bands.. Ozzy Osbourne arguably being the most successful of them when under the guidance of his shrew of a wife he managed to stay sober long enough to put out some rather good albums.. I refuse to comment on his new stuff.. or his family.. any further.

White snake I know is the butt of a lot of jokes, but David Coverdale really got around, he was Vocalist for Deep Purple MKIII, and Very nearly replaced Ronnie James Dio in Black Sabbath, hewent on to found Whitesnake.. and then put out an album with Jimmy Page in 1993.. which brings me to another point.. People frequently list Led Zeppelin as a precursor to Heavy Metal.. and in some ways that might be accurate.. But I'd say that its more appropriately the last " Rock and Roll " band.. it stands at the threshold of Heavy Metal but dosen't cross.. much.

Jimmy Page's Supergroup "The Firm" which had members of Free, Uriah Heep and Bad Company.. limped the blues steeped sound forward into the 80's while Robert Plant went on to do a solo Career..which is so full of hits and misses it would require it's own post... But his first solo album had Cozy Powell on Drums for a few tracks.. which leads us right back... to.. Rainbow! Phil Collins did most of the drums on this album however both he and Powell were rumoured to have been in the running to replace the deceased John Bonham.. Another in this rumour mill was Carmine Appice of Vanilla Fudge who later was in Ted Nugent's band.. and then in King Kobra.. which brings us to a very interesting thing.. Since King Kobra who covered Canadian hair band "Kick Axe"'s song " Hunger " which had been included on the soundtrack for 1986's "Transformers: The Movie"! However I'm digressing now..

Deep Purple is arguably where it all started, though Dio's Electric Elves/Elf started a year earlier.. DP was much bigger.. especially once they got their second vocalist Ian Gillian, He did a couple of albums with them, especially the mega hit "Machine Head" and its track "Smoke on the water" (itself a reference to a Frank Zappa Concert gone wrong)before leaving to go replace Dio in Black Sabbath for just one album.

It really is a tangled web, and one which you can really spend a lot of time thinking about. But by the time you get done with it.. you're likely to wind up with a chart or map which is so convoluted it would be nearly impossible to follow.. highly reminiscent of beach washup art..

Now I guess I will go back to my cataloging..

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