Heavy Metal as a music genre has spawned many offshoots due to its massive worldwide popularity. But who are the most famous and successful Heavy Metal bands that have ever been?
In this blog we hope to highlight some of the greatest Heavy Metal bands that released albums and played live gigs.
This British band is arguably the greatest Heavy Metal band ever! Founded in London in 1975 by primary songwriter Steve Harris, they came to the world’s attention in 1983 and had six very acclaimed years following, and the original line up was, Bruce Dickinson on vocals, Steve Harris on bass guitar, Dave Murray lead guitar, rhythm guitar Adrian Smith, and on drums Nicko McBrain. Well known for their superb live performances they also released several acclaimed albums and massive selling singles such as: The Trooper, Run to the Hills, Aces High, Hallowed Be Thy Name, Stranger in a Strange Land and Flight of Icarus.
If your preference is for Thrash Metal, then look no further than Metallica. The original band members were James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Dave Mustaine and Ron McGovney. This American powerhouse of a band screamed to attention with their bestselling debut album, Metallica, and the single release of Enter Sandman. The first two album releases achieved a solid underground following but it was Master of Puppets that became one of the most important albums in Heavy Metal history. In fact, is was the very first Thrash album that reached platinum level.
Another British band and possibly the granddaddy of all Heavy Metal bands is Black Sabbath. Headed up by charismatic singer Ozzy Osbourne he was joined by Tony Iommi on guitar, drummer Bill Ward and on bass was Geezer Butler. The first album release was a little underwhelming but after that the band went from strength to strength and produced a number of acclaimed recordings. Sabbath were ranked by MTV as the Greatest Metal Band of all time and was second on the top 100 list of VH1’s UK Music Hall of Fame.
The third British band to appear on our list is Judas Priest and are commonly nicknamed The Metal Gods by many of their adoring fans. Famous for releases such as, Breaking the Law, Turbo Lover, and You’ve Got Another Thing Coming. The original lineup featured vocalist Al Atkins, John Ellis, Ian Hill and K.K.Downing. Their first recorded release was in 1974 entitled, Rocka Rolla, and in 2018 the new lineup released their eighteenth studio album which was named Firepower.
Crossing the Atlantic our next Metal Band to feature is the LA outfit Megadeth. Megadeth are best known as a Thrash or Speed Metal band, and ever since their formation in 1983 have been prolific in both live performances and releasing studio albums. To date they have released eighteen studio albums, although it must be said there have been numerous changes in their lineup over the years. Dave Mustaine has been the leading member of the band since its inception and is recognized as a great songwriter and guitarist. In part two of this blog we look at even more top bands that can be classed as one of the greats in Heavy Metal music.