Celebrating Birmingham's Popular Music History
I’m really dissappointed by the home of metal thing… it sounds like a very good idea but seems to have been really badly executed.
The aim is to put Birmingham on the map as ‘The Home Of Heavy Metal’ – a very worthy aim and an accolade Birmingham can justly claim.
But alas they then go and spoil it by restricting the project to just FIVE bands – and what a choice?
There are, of course, hundreds of Heavy Metal bands from Birmingham. Brum was very influential in the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. Some of the most influencial NWOBHM bands of all came from Birmingham (Diamond Head, Witchfinder General, Wrathchild, Grim Reaper…) but the Brum NWOBHM scene has been almost airbrushed out of music history. Here was a golden opportunity to set the record straight, but alas they didn’t include any NWOBHM bands at all.
As for who they did include… Sabbath, yes, certainly.
Priest, Yep…definately. No problems there. Naphalm Death? Well… OK, but a liitle bit of a niche group. If you can justify ND, how can you leave out Diamond Head?
Godflesh? GODFLESH? Well – an offshoot of ND. Is the Home Of Metal project run by a Napalm Death fan, by any chance? I have no problem celebrating any Metal band from the Birmingham area, but still can’t see why the pioneers of Doom Metal (Witchfinder General) or the architects of Glam Metal (Wrathchild) or Metallica’s favourite band and the Motherlode for so much American Heavy Metal (Diamond Head) are left out, when Godflesh is considered to be one of the ‘Five’…?
But lastly… Led Zeppelin. Oh dear.
Plant was born in Sandwell General Hospital. Jon Bonham came from Redditch. Other than that – they were based in London, the other two members were from London, the management were from London. Zep were a supergroup. Originally called “The New Yardbirds”, they went straight out onto the European circuit playing the previously booked Yardbirds tour. They never cut their teeth in Birmingham, they were never based in Birmingham. They are not a Birmingham band.
Eric Bell of Thin Lizzy lived in Birmingham (still does, I think) and I’ve seen him play locally many times in small venues. Phil Linnot was born in the same hospital as Robert Plant. So, why aren’t Thin Lizzy one of the five? Well, because having two members who were from the Birmingham area doesn’t make you a Birmingham band.
Also, Led Zepplin were a blues rock band. Later maybe they would pick up the label Heavy Rock – but to call them Heavy Metal is a bit revisionist. OK, many people do this, you can argue that they are if you wish – but any argument that includes Led Zepplin as Heavy Metal must also open the door to Vanilla Fudge, Iron Butterfly, Blue Cheer, Steppenwolf, Cream, Deep Purple…a lot of late 60s and early 70s Blues/ Rock bands NOT FROM BIRMINGHAM and the claim for Birmingham as ‘Home Of Metal’ goes out of the window.
Far more sensible, surely, to pick the starting point, the source, as being Black Sabbath. Anything before can be Heavy Rock or a precurser to Metal, but Sabbath has to be the first Heavy Metal Band for Brum to claim to be the HOM. So, two good reasons why Led Zepplin just should not be on the list, they aren’t Heavy Metal and they aren’t a Birmingham band! I see that on this site, Led Zeppelin isn’t in the list of Birmingham artists. Quite right, too 😉
What a great reply Steve – they should have made you the website curator!!
Your comments illustrate how little the authors of this website know about NWOBHM!!
Check out how we do it! Not a Metal site but a music history Record Label
[…] lol Sabbath, Zeppelin…… im not from here tho, only lived here 7yrs (long enough tho lol) http://birminghammusicarchive.co.uk/?page_id=563 Last edited by chelsea.tone; Today at 03:47 […]
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