Heavy metal timeline

I’m summarising the history of heavy metal music in 22 songs. Each one gets a brief post. Hopefully they’ll end up telling a coherent story.

Simon has set up a Spotify playlist of these songs — thanks, Simon!

  1. Introduction
  2. The Kinks, You Really Got Me (August 1964)
  3. The Who, My Generation (November 1965)
  4. The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Purple Haze (March 1967)
  5. Cream, Sunshine of your Love (November 1967)
  6. Steppenwolf, Born to be Wild (June 1968)
  7. The Beatles, Helter Skelter (November 1968)
    (See also: Desert island albums #4: The Beatles — Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967))
  8. Led Zeppelin, Dazed and Confused (January 1969)
  9. MC5, Kick Out the Jams (February 1969)
  10. Deep Purple, Child in Time (June 1970)
  11. Black Sabbath, Paranoid (August 1970) and Black Sabbath addendum
  12. Blue Öyster Cult, Workshop of the Telescopes (January 1972)
    (See also: Desert island albums #3: Blue Öyster Cult — Fire of Unknown Origin (1981))
  13. Rush, Anthem (February 1975)
  14. AC/DC, It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Want to Rock and Roll) (December 1975)
  15. Rainbow, Stargazer (May 1976)
    (See also: Desert island albums #2: Rainbow — Rising (1976))
  16. Scorpions, I Can’t Get Enough (February 1979)
  17. Iron Maiden, Phantom of the Opera (April 1980)
  18. Judas Priest, Breaking the Law (April 1980)
  19. Whitesnake, Fool for Your Loving (May 1980)
    (See also: Whitesnake: a tragedy in about 12 acts)
  20. Ozzy Ozbourne, Crazy Train (September 1980)
  21. Motörhead, Ace of Spades (October 1980)
  22. Metallica, Enter Sandman (July 1991)
  23. Dream Theater, Under a Glass Moon (July 1992)

Into the 90s …

In my Metallica entry, I wrote that “The further evolution of thrash into death metal and black metal represents the reductio ad absurdum of a genre with nowhere left to go but self-parody and turgid, lifeless noise”. Among several people to object to that characterisation was Pedro Lopes, who left an epic series of comments constituting a 1990s metal timeline. With his permission, I gathered them all into this guest post:

The ones that got away

10 responses to “Heavy metal timeline

  1. Pingback: Led Zeppelin, Dazed and Confused (January 1969) — Heavy Metal timeline, part 7 | The Reinvigorated Programmer

  2. Pingback: Blue Öyster Cult, Workshop of the Telescopes (January 1972) — Heavy Metal timeline, part 10 | The Reinvigorated Programmer

  3. Pingback: How to run 5 km (aging, overweight people edition) | The Reinvigorated Programmer

  4. Pingback: Scorpions, I Can’t Get Enough (February 1979) — Heavy Metal timeline, part 15 | The Reinvigorated Programmer

  5. Pingback: Dream Theater, Under a Glass Moon (July 1992) — Heavy Metal timeline, part 22 | The Reinvigorated Programmer

  6. It may have taken me a while to finish and get up my punk/meta;/drone timeline, but now it’s underway!


  7. Excellent! Reading now …

  8. Fourth and final part up now if you wanted to try some really heavy trance-out music. (This may be akin to asking the man afraid of spiders to enter a room that’s stuffed with spiders…)


  9. UFO is totaly missing with 1974’s phenomenon

  10. I love that album. But I don’t honestly see what it brought to the table that was new.

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