Plenty of un-metal people have tried to unlock the code, but all have failed, miserably. As Y! Music's Senior MetaList, I was called upon to make the final decision. I consulted with my dozens of heavy metal albums to determine who should attain the rank of greatness.
Here are the results. In the end, it could not have gone any other way.
Thy greatness speaks its name.
10) Jethro Tull: They won a Grammy and the people laughed for they did not know true metal. They did not know that Jethro Tull had been working their alchemy for decades in service of the loud, thundering roar that was "Minstrel In the Gallery" and "The Aqualung."
8) The Lords of the New Church: From the first strains of "New Church," it was loud and clear that new metal fighters were ready to take over from the old guard. Entire generations of nu-metal bands have been schooled by the heavy metal methods heard on The Method To Our Madness album, which featured the #97 smash hit single "M(urder) Style."
6) The B-52's: "Rock Lobster" redefined modern metal in the late 1970s with a sound that predates thrash by only a few scant years. Metal Priestess Kate Pierson brought the whips and the hair and Fred Schneider dared to go where Robert Halford of B-52's imitators Judas Priest could only dream.
4) Attila: Most folks don't know what us true metal nuts know about Billy Joel! That he was once a key progenitor of the heavy metal scene! Joel and Jon Small recorded one album as Attila and with songs such as "Holy Moses," "Brain Invasion," "Amplifier Fire (Part I: Godzilla/ Part II: March of the Huns)" and "Tear This Castle Down," essentially wrote the canon of classic metal for decades to come. You ever wonder where modern day metalheads like Counting Crows and Phoenix get their ideas?
2) War: With and without spiked and studded Eric Burdon, War were to early 1970s heavy rock what Black Sabbath were to R&B. 1982's Outlaw album with the title track and the eight-minute "The Jungle (Medley)" were a key influence on 1990s metal gods Pavement and Yo La Tengo. Pat Rizzo's saxophones and flutes brought a new dimension to the blood curdling riffing of Howard "Sith Lord" Scott.
Happy April Metal Forces Day!
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- Jethro Tull