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Med332 heavy metal


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DRAFT version of Heavy Metal lecture

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Med332 heavy metal

  1. 1. 1 ‘Heavy metal thunder’ #med332
  2. 2. 2 What is ‘heavy metal’?
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  4. 4. Splintered psychedelia 1. Country rock 2. Progressive rock 3. Heavy metal 4
  5. 5. Splintered psychedelia 1. Country rock 2. Progressive rock 3. Heavy metal 5
  6. 6. [Heavy metal] was a logical progression from the power trios of 1960s groups such as the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream, who played blues-­‐based rock with heavily amplified guitar and bass reinforcing each other. -­‐ Roy Shuker, 2001: 151 6
  7. 7. Geographical origins • Blue Cheer’s (1968) reworking of Eddie Cochran’s ‘SummerYme Blues’ • Steppenwolf’s ‘Born To Be Wild’ (1967) • Black Sabbath’s eponymous debut album (1970) – Shuker, ibid 7
  8. 8. If metal could be said to have go]en started in a single place, it would have to be Birmingham, England, the industrial city whose working class spawned Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, and Judas Priest in the late 1960s and the early 1970s. -­‐ Robert Walser, 1993: x 8
  9. 9. 9 Black Sabbath
  10. 10. Blues/hard/glam rock • Black Sabbath • Deep Purple • Led Zeppelin • Grand Funk Railroad • Mountain • Kiss 10
  11. 11. 11 Crank the volume…
  12. 12. BriYsh new wave • Iron Maiden • Judas Priest • Def Leppard • Saxon • Motorhead 12
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  14. 14. 14 Judas Priest – ‘Breaking the Law’ (1980) Bri$sh Steel
  15. 15. Thrash/speed metal • Metallica • Slayer • Megadeth • Suicidal Tendancies • Anthrax 15
  16. 16. Fans and class: Associated with working class, white, young and male 16
  17. 17. InternaYonal appeal Its intense popularity in working-­‐class ciYes of Scandinavia and the contemporary experience of metal in the Australian context, suggests that heavy-­‐metal, as a genre, draws its potent audience power from working-­‐class youth -­‐ Breen, 1991: 194 17
  18. 18. Not in the USA though… • Early US fans tendency: – low educaYonal achievement, – poor socio-­‐economic status, – relaYvely few opportuniYes for social mobility. • Quickly changed through the 1980s 18
  19. 19. The 1980s was the decade of heavy metal’s emergence as a massively popular musical style, as it burgeoned in both commercial success and stylisYc variety. The heavy metal audience became increasingly gender-­‐balanced and middle-­‐class, and its age range expanded to include significant numbers of preteens and people in their late twenYes. By 1989, heavy metal accounted for as much as 40 percent of all sound recordings sold in the United States, and Rolling Stone announced that heavy metal now consYtuted ‘the mainstream of rock and roll’. -­‐ Walser, 1993: 3 19
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  21. 21. 21 Bon Jovi – ‘Never Say Goodbye (1986) Slippery When Wet US: No 11 UK: No 21
  22. 22. 22 The most obvious change was in the lyrics: abandoning heavy metal gloom and doom, and creepy mysYcism [Bon Jovi] began culYvaYng a posiYve, upbeat outlook, where the only mysYcal element was bourgeois love. WriYng songs about romanYc love and personal relaYonships, they tempered their heavy metal sound and image and pitched their product to appeal as well to a new, female market -­‐ Walser, 1993: 120
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  24. 24. 24 Metallica – ‘One’ (1989) … And Jus$ce For All US: No 35 UK: No 13
  25. 25. 25 The gender issue…
  26. 26. 26 Not only do we find men occupying every important style in the rock industry and in effect being responsible for the creaYon and construcYon of suitable female images, we also witness in rock the presentaYon and markeYng of masculine styles. -­‐ Firth &McRobbie, 1978: 378
  27. 27. 27 cock-­‐rock performance means an explicit, crude, 'masterful' expression of sexuality ... Cock-­‐rock performers are aggressive, boaspul, constantly drawing audience a]enYon to their prowess and control. Their bodies are on display ... mikes and guitars are phallic symbols (or else caressed like female bodies), the music is loud, rhythmically insistent, built around techniques of arousal and release. Lyrics are asserYve and arrogant, but the exact words are less significant than the vocal styles involved, the shrill shouYng and screaming -­‐ Frith, 1981: p266
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  29. 29. 29 Oh, look out, here comes trouble! All my life I've taken what I want Give an inch, take a mile Always on the hunt Ooh-­‐ sex, money, fast cars, never get my fill I ride hard and die free Paying for my thrills Firewater moonshine going to my head Me and my pistol's loaded Go out and knock 'em dead I'm gonna shoot it, bang boom Shoot it from the hip Got it loaded bang, pull the trigger boom I don't never miss […] Cock it and let 'er rip Hot sweaty steel, a woman's fingers on my gun Pull it hard, touch the trigger, squeeze it when I'm done Ooh-­‐ come woman, touch me, put it in your hand Take a hold, heart and soul Honey I'm your man Cock the hammer slowly, and aim it at your love Put my barrel in your holster Like a velvet glove I'm gonna shoot it, bang boom […] Hot and sYcky, here it comes W.A.S.P. – ‘Shoot From The Hip’ (1986)
  30. 30. 30 Aerosmith – ‘Love in an Elevator’ (1989) Pump US: No 1 UK: No 13
  31. 31. 31 Ninety thousand screaming wa]s Honey dripping from her pot Fill the cup to the top tonight This deadly sin is all we know Pleasure vicYm, who's next to fall The quesYon is will you please us all tonight? Tonight tonight tonight We need a lover tonight (x3) We need a lover Stand tall and ring the bell The final stroke sends you to hell Take your body like a hammer and a nail The taste of love, it might be yours Slide down my knees taste my sword Can you feel the power inside tonight? Tonight tonight tonight We need a lover tonight (x3) We need a lover Motley Cru -­‐ ‘Tonight, We Need a Lover’ (1985)
  32. 32. 32 […] sex toy, meant only to pleasure men. In “Tonight, We Need a Lover,” Motley Cru sing of a woman in these terms. Her value is in fact reduced to one line: “the quesYon is will you please us all tonight?” Indeed, the woman in this song serves only as a receptacle for seminal fluid, as the band members intend to “fill the cup to the top.” She seems willing to copulate with all four men, even sexually aroused at the thought, as indicated in the descripYon of “honey dripping from her pot,” a metaphor for female vaginal lubricaYon. -­‐ Sloat, cited in Epstein, 1998: 286
  33. 33. 33 I can take you up I can tear you down I'm a heat wave coming at you Taking what I please Falling on your knees You need me, yes, you do From the moment I take over You're going to call me back for more Down on your knees, down on your knees, down on your knees (x 3) Knocking down your door Pull you to the floor 'Cause you need it so bad Taking what I choose Never going to lose I love to drive the young girls wild Going to drive my love inside you Going to nail your arse to the floor to the floor […] Here I come now, baby, kicking down your door Here I come now, baby, pull you to the floor Taking what I choose, girl, I'm never going to lose I love to drive the young girls wild, driving my love inside of you […] Great White – ‘On Your Knees’ (1984)
  34. 34. 34 When he sings “kicking in [down] your door… pull you to the floor,” there is li]le doubt that rape is his moYvaYon, but it is excused because he insists on “taking what I choose.” It becomes his right, and therefore the right of all men, to rape women if that’s what they choose. She will, according to him, enjoy it “from the moment I take over” and will “call back for more” of the same, because “you need it so bad.” -­‐ Sloat, cited in Epstein, 1998: 293
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  36. 36. 36 Guns N’ Roses – ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ (1987) Appe$te for Destruc$on
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  38. 38. 38 I’ve been doing a lot of work (in regression therapy) and found out that I’ve had a lot of hatred for women. Basically, I’ve been rejected by my mother since I was a baby … I’ve gone back and done the work and found out I overheard my grandmother going off on men when I was four. And I’ve had problems with my own masculinity because of that -­‐ Axl Rose in Neely, 1992: p36
  39. 39. 39 Iconography
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  41. 41. 41 Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) Tipper Gore Rock Music Report Le]er-­‐wriYng campaigns 1985 US Senate Commerce Commi]ee hearings Records raYngs
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  47. 47. Images • Greg McMullen (2013) Heavy Metal Helps • NRK P3 (2014) Metallica -­‐ Valle Hovin 2014 • Andy Wilson (2012) Amplified • Dan (2007) Axel Rose 47