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Monday, May 07, 2007


"Where were you in '79
When the damn began to burst?"

So sang Biff Byford on the title track to Saxon's 1982 LP 'Denim and Leather'. What Biff is referring to is of course the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, which ran it's course from 1979 to 1983, and gave us the likes of Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, the aforementioned Saxon and many many other not so notable bands.

But this sea change in hard rock was not limited to the British Isle, around the world Hard Rock was undergoing a Renaissance.

As a Heavy Rock fan during those years I certainly didn't limit my consumption to the NWOBHM, not nearly.

The bands that had been carrying the flag of Hard Rock throughout disco and punk were still around during those years. Sabbath and Ozzy were separately putting out their best records in years. Judas Priest and Germany's Scorpions were having their largest successes. AC/DC was ruling the planet from Sydney. Thin Lizzy and UFO were still at it, though their albums were suffering from 'nervous exhaustion'.

And new bands were cropping up everywhere - Germany birthed Accept, Switzerland gave us Krokus, Australia had Rose Tattoo, and Brooklyn was home to both Riot and the Rods.

Unfortunately the movement was felt in L.A. as well, and the response from there would kill the resurgence, make a joke of Metal, and pave the way for sensitive gloom rock from Washington State. I am talking about Motley Crue, Ratt, and NWOBHM defectors, Def Leppard.

The success of Hair Metal caused the watering down of the mighty Priest as well as Accept Krokus, Saxon, even Maiden.

It sucked.

Life went on.

Thank God for the Stones.

Thank god indeed...
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