Look at the tunes they covered (about half the album). I call this hard rock, like Led Zeppelin.
It's not different enough from blues and rock n roll to be a separate genre, in my opinion. Same
goes for the Jimi Hendrix Experience and the various Janis Joplin bands. Although they all rocked
harder than previous rock n roll bands, and I love this kind of music, I don't think it's heavy
Rhino included Blue Cheer's version "Summertime Blues" (an old rock tune) in the metal box set,
which doesn't surprise me because they blur toward hard rock and glam-rock.
To my ears, Blue Cheer has more in common with the heavier psychedelic bands than with the kind of
creeping doom you hear in Black Sabbath or even some Deep Purple. This kind of garage-hard rock
sounds to me like closely related to what started with Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin and Jimi
Hendrix and then got even heavier with Led Zeppelin. It definitely fits into a wide definition of
metal, as in what metalheads listen to, but I'm not sure it fits in the same subgenre as sweet-spot
heavy metal music. The question is, does hard rock equal heavy metal, or is it a separate subgenre?
Someone mentioned that musicologists are now looking at all of this. Where do they come down as to
what makes Heavy Metal a unique music style? I would argue that the two big differences between it
and hard rock are: 1) a lack of homage and tune-covering of previous blues-based rock n roll, and 2)
lyrical themes, album and song concepts and performances geared to be less about being blue or love,
lust and sex and more about themes of alienation, foreboding, occult beliefs and rituals, and
sometimes violence. There's also a musical element, exemplified by Tony Iommi's guitar sound in the
early days and nowadays exemplified by the double-kick maniacal drumming that is now ubiquitous.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Matt Sohn" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, February 19, 2016 4:04 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Heavy metal as world music?
>I would vote for Blue Cheer
> -Matt Sohn