1970s Heavy Metal – a section from Rock Routes – a book on Rock Music by Opher Goodwin

1970s Heavy Metal


Heavy Metal was at the other end of Techno-Flash. Where that was sophisticated Heavy Metal was basic. It revolved around the use of Heavy guitar riffs played very loud. In their own inimitable way they developed their stage acts with lights, canons and fireworks.

The first part of the 1970s was dominated by 1960s Heavy Metal units. Deep Purple continued their chunky progress with Gillan on vocals. Black Sabbath developed their black clothes and studs image and continued their black magic theme. Judas Priest developed their S&M theme and double guitar attack. Status Quo boogied along in denim synchronising their guitar rockin’ with split leg stances, head-banging and long hair flying. Led Zeppelin used Robert Plants naked chest, hand movements and Jimmy Pages embroidered flares and guitar hero stances to create a visual impression. They strutted their stuff through a lot of heavy chords, shrill vocals to a solid beat courtesy of John Bonham’s pounding drums and John Paul Jones Bass. They were different to most other Heavy Metal bands in that their music was more complicated, varied and the musicianship was on another level.

In the mid 1970s they were joined by a second generation of Heavy Metal Bands. They included AC/DC from Australia complete with Angus’s guitar stances and his schoolboy image complete with shorts blazer and cap. Then there was Rainbow, Whitesnake and Gillan (who formed from Deep Purple). Iron Maiden and Saxon were joined by the threatening Motorhead featuring Lemmy who had been a member of Hawkwind. They were more of a cross between Punk and Heavy Metal. Girlschool took over from Fanny as the top female heavy band. They ere joined by Def Leppard and Twisted Sister.

Most of these bands churned out banal lyrics and projected the testosterone fuelled macho image of aggressiveness complete with fist waving, heroic stances, black leather, studs, flares, wrist straps and large belts. They were generally loud, violent and simple and attracted hordes of young adolescent males who saw them as the last refuge of Rock Music. They were exciting just like the earl Rock ‘n’ Rollers. They were rebellious and the establishment hated them. What more could you want? You could put on your sleeveless denim jacket covered in decals and badges and display your ‘colours’ as well as any Hell’s Angel.


Artist Stand out tracks
Led Zeppelin Good times bad times

Dazed and confused

Communication breakdown

I can’t quit you baby

Whole lotta love


Living loving maid(she’s just a woman)

Ramble on

Moby Dick

Bring it on home

The lemon song

Celebration day

Hats off to (Roy) Harper


Gallows pole

Black dog

Stairway to heaven

The battle of evermore

The song remains the same

Over the hills and far away


Trampled underfoot

Houses of the Holy

Achilles last stand

Nobody’s fault but mine

All my love

Hot dog

I can’t quit you baby

Deep Purple Hush

Kentucky woman

The painter

Speed King

Child in time


The mule

Strange kind of woman

Smoke on the water

Space truckin’

Woman from Tokyo


Highway star

Lady double dealer

Black Sabbath Paranoid

War pigs

Black Sabbath



Iron man

After forever

Sabbra Cadabra

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath

Hole in the sky

Symptom of the Universe

Never say die

Judas Priest Victim of changes

Rocka Roller

Better by you, better than me

Beyond the realms of death

Rock forever

Status Quo Down the dustpipe



Mean girl

Paper plane

Roll over lay down


Down down

Rockin’ all over the world

Again and Again

Whatever you want

What you’re proposing


Marguerita time

Saxon 747 (Strangers in the night)

Heavy metal thunder

To hell and back again

Rough & Ready

The bands played on

Motorhead Ace of spades


White line fever

Train kept a rollin’

Louie Louie



Stone dead forever

Live to win

Iron fist

Girls School Race with the devil

Hit and run

AC/DC If you want blood (you’ve got it)



High Voltage

It’s a long way to the top (if you want to Rock ‘n’ Roll)

The Jack

Dirty deeds done dirt cheap

Let there be Rock

Whole lot of Rosie

Rock ‘n’ Roll damnation

Highway to Hell

Touch too much

Shot down in flames

Rock ‘n’ Roll ain’t noise pollution

Hell’s bells

Back in black

For those about to Rock (We salute you)

Gillan Vengeance

Future shock

I’ll rip your spine out

Def Leppard Bringin’ on the heartbreak


Rock Brigade


Rocks off

High & dry

Rock of ages


Iron Maiden Runnin’ free

Iron Maiden


Run to the hills

Number of the beast

Flight of Icarus

Rainbow Man on the silver mountain

Catch the rainbow



Long live Rock ‘n’ Roll

All night long

Since you’ve been gone

Whitesnake Long way from home

Ain’t no love in the heart of the city

Fool for your loving

Ready & Willing

Don’t break my heart again

Everything you ever wanted to know about Rock Music!

If you would like to purchase this book in either digital or paperback it is available on Amazon.

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Opher Goodwin

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