The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal

Discussion in 'Music Forums' started by Delmarva, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. Delmarva

    Delmarva Lunatic Member

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    The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, or NWOBHM for short, existed for a very brief period of time, roughly from 1978 to about 1984.

    The movement was spawned by the same environment that created Punk Rock. That being Britain's economic recession, widespread poverty and subsequent mass unemployment of male youths during the mid 1970's. The movement came into the public's eye at about the time that Punk Rock was going into decline and Britain's music writers were looking for something else to cover. Sounds magazines Geoff Barton popularized the phrase New Wave Of British Heavy Metal in a May 1979 article for the magazine where the was discussing the rise of many of the bands. Barton later went on to create Kerrang! magazine which became the print megaphone for the movement.

    The young men who formed the bands and those who became fans of the NWOBHM had all been fans of the 1st Wave Of British Heavy Metal. By the late '70's those bands, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple were pretty much running on life support or completely flat lined. As they were slowing down, new bands began to emerge, Budgie, Nazareth, UFO, Motörhead and Judas Priest picked up the torch and carried on with a newer fresher sound. This was the roots of the NWOBHM.

    The metal bands that came to rise in the movement took the influences of Sabbath, Purple and Led Zep, and the freshness and reinvigoration of the UFO's, Motörhead's and Judas Priest's and combined it with Punk and even a little bit of British Prog Rock to create a new sound again. Unlike Punk, the Headbangers, Metalheads or Mutha's as they were known cared little for politics or social commentary. Rather they chose to escape their bleak reality with themes of fantasy, Satanism, horror and mythology. They preferred virtuosic guitar solo's and vocals over Punks stripped down bludgeoning approach.

    Like Punk fans, the followers of the NWOBHM considered themselves as apart from regular society and they celebrated it with their own style marked by long hair, denim and leather. Pins and patches of their favorite bands covered their jackets. Militaria was often seen in the form of bullet belts and WWII Nazi badges.

    It's estimated that probably a thousand bands were born in the NWOBHM, most of dubious talent. Many came from the North East of England, Newcastle especially where the legendary NWOBHM record label Neat Records was located. Most of the bands struggled to get a even a lone 7" 45rpm single released. A few managed to get a 12" EP and even fewer got record deals. However a few legends of heavy metal made it to massive international fame, those being Iron Maiden and Def Leppard. Motörhead and Saxon rose to great success along with them, although many would argue that Motörhead were not a NWOBHM band at all. In my opinion they were.
    The rest are generally unknown in the mainstream today but still have loyal fans, and a few of these bands are still making music.

    MTV and commercial metal, aka Hair Metal killed off the NWOBHM, however the movement reverberated around the world and many sub-genre's are directly linked to the NWOBHM,. Thrash Metal, Power Metal, Black Metal and Doom Metal all came about as a result of the NWOBHM.

    So throw on your denim and leather and revisit this great time in musical history.

    (not my battle jacket - wish it was though)
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    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
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  2. KevinJS

    KevinJS Lunatic Member

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  3. UncleBingo

    UncleBingo AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  4. Delmarva

    Delmarva Lunatic Member

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  5. UncleBingo

    UncleBingo AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have an appreciation for the density of the English music scene (compared to America, at least). It seems to create a sort of intense echo-chamber for certain genre and sub-genres.
     
  6. KevinJS

    KevinJS Lunatic Member

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    Here's my contribution. Looking forward to adding to my "must have" list as this thread grows. Have to admit, my NWOBHM is sadly lacking, even though I come from that country. Money was tight at the time. That's my only excuse.

    IMG_0438.jpg
     

     

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  7. Delmarva

    Delmarva Lunatic Member

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    I think the British, especially at that time and before were a more tightly cloistered people compared to America's melting pot, hodge podge society. It makes for a great national identity in their cultural contributions to the world.
     
  8. Delmarva

    Delmarva Lunatic Member

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    An outstanding first contribution. Thank you Kevin. That album, and that band are cornerstones of the NWOBHM.
     
  9. Markoneswift

    Markoneswift Quartz locked n ready to rock

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    How about Thunder, Magnum or Gun ? Not sure if these guys would classify as new wave heavy metal though - I always thought of them as hard rock. Like Def Leppard really - love those guys, they started out in my home town of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, but personally I wouldn't class them as heavy metal.
     
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  10. heavyrock

    heavyrock AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    IMG_1044.JPG In honour of this thread i'll give this a spin later.
     
  11. Delmarva

    Delmarva Lunatic Member

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    Magnum for sure. I don't own anything by them but I know they were pretty big and they make all the lists of NWOBHM bands.
    Today Magnum is considered a Prog band. Listening to 1982's "Chase The Dragon" I can see where that comes from.


    Gun and Thunder I've never heard of.

    As for these bands being more hard rock than they are heavy metal... many if not most of the bands that were categorized as NWOBHM bands were not anything close to what we call metal today.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018

     

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  12. Delmarva

    Delmarva Lunatic Member

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    Sweet! Gaskin is yet another NWOBHM band that I own nothing from them. I have their song Sweet Dream Maker on the NWOBHM Vol's 1 -8.

    Thanks for the contribution.
     
  13. heavyrock

    heavyrock AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Damn, you need the first album. I also have that on cd too, i can easily send you a rip since it is mandatory that you hear it.
     
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  14. Delmarva

    Delmarva Lunatic Member

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    Thanks H.R., I'm gonna see if I can find that Gaskin album Might be taking you up on that offer though.

    That's one of the main reasons for starting this thread. There were a ton of NWOBHM bands that I was never exposed to and I suspect the same could be said for most of us. We didn't have internet back then to make exploration easy like it is today so we were limited to who we read about in the magazines and by what our friends were sharing with us.

    I think this thread will be a fun journey and great learning tool.

    Right now I'm listening to Magnum's "Chase The Dragon" on Youtube and am really enjoying it.
    I see they were on the Jet label. Ozzy's first solo label IIRC.
    Always love Rodney Matthews cover art. He was the poor mans Roger Dean.
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  15. 55Redneck

    55Redneck Canadian Redneck Subscriber

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    I'm not into this music genre but that could be a Molly Hatchet album cover. ;) Frank Frazetta I believe did their covers or at least it was his art on most of them.
     
  16. jnicholson14

    jnicholson14 Wasted Years Subscriber

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    Diamond Head - Borrowed Time
    20181210_194556.jpg
     

     

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  17. Hofy

    Hofy Voids Warranties

    Saxon - Wheels of Steel

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  18. Markoneswift

    Markoneswift Quartz locked n ready to rock

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    Great info and very balanced opinion - I like your style :)

    My fave Magnum effort would be ' On a storytellers night' which, to me, plays like a greatest hits album.

    Gun would be best known for 'Taking On The World' and 'Better Days'. Thunder were best known for 'Back Street Symphony' and 'Love Walked In'

    Also - no mention of the great Whitesnake or did I miss that :)
     
  19. Delmarva

    Delmarva Lunatic Member

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    I'm having a second run through with @heavyrock's contribution, Gaskin, a band that I was vaguely familiar with via an 8 disc NWOBHM compilation. Gaskin had one song on the entire 8 discs. That's how deep that set goes.

    Actually not listening to the Gaskin compilation that Heavyrock posted but rather the debut album that he said was required listening.
    It really is required listening! The album really sums up what the NWOBHM was about better than anything Iron Maiden ever did. (and I'm a huge Maiden fan)
    The Gaskin debut album really catches the enthusiasm of the movement. Basic hard rock songs with ramped up driving guitars, massive drum rolls, rich bass lines, abounding tempo changes at every turn and a singer who is proud to sound British and doesn't try to hide it.

    Gaskin - End Of The World
    1981 Rondelet Music and Records

    https://www.discogs.com/Gaskin-End-Of-The-World/master/547142
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  20. Delmarva

    Delmarva Lunatic Member

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    :bowdown:
    [​IMG]

    J-Nich is going straight for the throat with this one. An absolute cornerstone of the NWOBHM. 1982's Borrowed Time from Diamond Head.(our second Rodney Matthews album cover)
    https://www.discogs.com/Diamond-Head-Borrowed-Time/master/92013
    The band, formed in Stourbridge in 1976 was brought to the attention of many, including myself by Metallica's brilliant cover of Diamond Head's "Am I Evil".
    There is a clarity in the mix that is difficult to describe. Every song is an instant classic of not only heavy metal or rock but music in general.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018

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