Top 10 New Wave of British Heavy Metal Songs

NWOBHM stands for "New Wave of British Heavy Metal" This was a time in the late 70s/early 80s where British Metal bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Venom, Diamond Head, and definitely Leppard came about and revolutionized the genre.


The Top Ten

1 Hallowed Be Thy Name - Iron Maiden
2 Am I Evil? - Diamond Head

The intro of this song reminds me so much of Child In Time by Deep Purple (3:20). I'm not surprised - The NWOBHM incorporated massively and irreversibly Ritchie Blackmore's metal DNA in the metal sound.
Even Black Sabbath changed radically their style and sound in 1980, accordingly. Black Sabbath also hired the most talented metal musicians discovered by Ritchie Blackmore - Dio (Rainbow) and Ian Gillan (Deep Purple) on vox, and Cozy Powell (Rainbow) on drums. - Metal_Treasure

3 Ace of Spades - Motorhead
4 Black Metal - Venom

This is a brilliant song! Although I don't really think it is BWOBHM - gemcloben

This is a NWOBHM song. Although it has a thrash metal/extreme sound, that was the thing about the NWOBHM. Bands experimented with different styles, bands like Venom, Motörhead, and Angel Witch were just a few who experimented with Thrash/Speed - ryanrimmel

5 The Trooper - Iron Maiden

One of the greatest metal riffs. - Metal_Treasure

6 Run to the Hills - Iron Maiden

I love Run To The Hills and Breaking The Law by Judas Priest but I read that they were criticized for being radio friendly (radio friendly sound is not good for metal songs).
This explains why Run To The Hills and Breaking The Law are the only songs non-metal fans know and this annoys metal fans because these bands have better songs.
Just saying.
Maybe The Trooper and Phantom Of The Opera should be higher than Run To The Hills. - Metal_Treasure

7 Beyond the Realms of Death - Judas Priest

1978 - Halford at his best (his prime).
One of the most mindblowing metal songs I've ever heard - music, lyrics, performance. Sad and epic.
A song about suicide and right to choose whether to live or die. Halford wrote the lyrics and dedicated the song to "Anita Bryant and all those schmucks" (she was on a major anti-gay campaign in 1977).
"This is my life, this is my life
I'll decide not you
Keep the world with all its sin
It's not fit for livin' in". - Metal_Treasure

8 Phantom of the Opera - Iron Maiden

This is not only a great epic song - it says loudly: heavy metal is classically inspired.
It also means that Iron Maiden (and The NWOBHM in general) followed Ritchie Blackmore's idea of metal. Then the whole metal genre did the same. - Metal_Treasure

9 Princess of the Night - Saxon
10 Breaking the Law - Judas Priest

The Contenders

11 Angel of Death - Thin Lizzy

I still hesitate whether to consider Thin Lizzy NWOBHM or not, but maybe they should be included.
Thin Lizzy was an Irish band but Ireland was part of the UK back then. The key member and mastermind - Phil Lynott - was born in the UK but moved to Ireland. John Sykes, who pushed the band towards pure metal direction circa 1980, was born in the UK, too.

Beyond these formal considerations, Thin Lizzy were very influential, they were a great band and they had great metal songs. They were amazing songwriters. - Metal_Treasure

12 Angel Witch - Angel Witch
13 Welcome to Hell - Venom
14 Iron Fist - Motorhead
15 Aces High - Iron Maiden
16 Painkiller - Judas Priest
17 Plague and Fyre - Hell
18 Rime of the Ancient Mariner - Iron Maiden
19 Crusader - Saxon
20 When the Wild Wind Blows - Iron Maiden
21 See You in Hell - Grim Reaper
22 Too Late for Love - Def Leppard
23 Countess Bathory - Venom
24 Heavy Metal Thunder - Saxon
25 Burning a Sinner - Witchfinder General
26 The War Drags Ever On - Tank
27 Hellbound - Tygers of Pan Tang

Released 1981. It was covered by the American thrash metal band Heathen.

A very obscure band - I heard of them in 2011 in a metal documentary (Metal Evolution). I got the impression they were pretty popular in The UK in the late 70s/early 80s and kinda influential.
They are not a thrash band but they sound very thrashy and I was pleasantly surprised. Their songs were covered by thrash bands and this confirms my impression. - Metal_Treasure

28 Gangland - Tygers of Pan Tang

Released in 1981. It was covered by Kreator in 1987. - Metal_Treasure

29 Massacre - Thin Lizzy

A brilliant song, one of the most beautiful and unique riffs I've evet heard.
Iron Maiden noticed that, too, and did a cover. - Metal_Treasure

30 The Number of the Beast - Iron Maiden
31 The Sorceress - Angel Witch
32 Wasted Years - Iron Maiden
33 Hell Bent for Leather - Judas Priest
34 Fear of the Dark - Iron Maiden
35 2 Minutes to Midnight - Iron Maiden
36 Living After Midnight - Judas Priest
37 Powerslave - Iron Maiden
38 Balls to the Wall - Accept
39 The Prince - Diamond Head
40 Don't Need Your Money - Raven
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List Stats

40 listings
4 years, 21 days old

Top Remixes (6)

1. Hallowed Be Thy Name - Iron Maiden
2. Beyond the Realms of Death - Judas Priest
3. Phantom of the Opera - Iron Maiden
1. The Trooper - Iron Maiden
2. Am I Evil? - Diamond Head
3. Plague and Fyre - Hell
1. Hallowed Be Thy Name - Iron Maiden
2. Ace of Spades - Motorhead
3. Run to the Hills - Iron Maiden

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