Top Ten Founders of Metal

The Top Ten

1 Black Sabbath Black Sabbath Black Sabbath were a Heavy Metal band formed in Birmingham, England in 1968 by guitarist and songwriter Tony Iommi, Singer Ozzy Osbourne, Bassist and Main Lyricist Geezer Butler and Drummer Bill Ward. The band got into mainstream after improving after their debut album got negative feedback. In 1978, more.

Black sabbath started Metal!, And For the ones, who votes for SOAD, SOAD are awesome, but they didn't start anything, The ones that deserves to be here is, Sabbath, Zeppelin and Deep purple for starting metal, Motorhead, Judas priest and Iron maiden, for starting metal as we know it today, Metallica, Slayer and Testament for starting thrash metal, And maybe Pantera (Dont know), and Blue cheer, but not SOAD and Not HIM! - D2Demon

Black Sabbath can be credited for invention of doom metal, and influencing creation of goth metal. But not for creation of metal in general. All fast metal genres, that are currently the biggest, use the template for metal music invented by Deep Purple. - Metal_Treasure

black sabbath started it all why the hell is metallica on this list they didn't help anything if anything they helped define thrash.

This list is horribly wrong! the top 3 are correct but come on System of a down?

Black sabeth

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2 Deep Purple Deep Purple Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. They are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although their musical approach changed over the years. Originally formed as a progressive rock band, the band shifted to a heavier sound in 1970. Deep Purple, more.

Deep Purple started Hard Rock/Heavy Metal... Sabbath was darker, but the components of Heavy Metal appear in early Deep Purple recordings... Zeppelin didn't really get heavier until later... I go with Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin as the creators of Heavy Metal in that order! : )

Deep purple did the First heavy songs which we stated as Heavy metal now

Metal is currently defined as an extreme non-bluesy subgenre of rock music, mostly based on classical music. Deep Purple was the first band with such songs - so they solely invented the pattern of metal music as we know it now (credits to Ritchie Blackmore for mingling rock and classical music). For the record, Black Sabbath’s early albums (70s with Ozzy) were heavy blues rock and not metal. Even Tony Iommi admitted that.

Deep Purple also had hard rock songs, which made their metal legacy more obscure but besides the general pattern of metal music (1), they defined some other metal elements: (2) They first used double bass drumming - Fireball, 1971; (3) They were "the globe's loudest band" of the 1970s, officially listed in the 1975 Guinness Book; (4) R. Blackmore first expressed that appetite for speed, complex songwriting and fast technical solos & riffs (ex. Highway Star - you can also hear the galloping style, made popular later by Iron Maiden and currently ...more - Metal_Treasure

3 Rainbow Rainbow Rainbow are a British rock band led by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore from 1975 to 1984 and 1993 to 1997. They were originally established with Ronnie James Dio as the lead singer and lyricist. Rainbow were ranked No. 90 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. The band has sold over 28 million albums more.

Ritchie Blackmore started it all in Deep Purple (1968-1974) by mixing rock and classical music (now known as heavy metal) and perfected it in Rainbow with Dio (1975-76).
Dio confirmed the top notch metal singing and also introduced the famous horns (one of the metal symbols).
Credits for inventing subgenres like power metal and neo-classical metal go exclusively to Rainbow. They also perfected the traditional metal and speed metal, added certain epic feel and some proggy nuances.
Check out their genre defining songs:
From the 1976 album: Stargazer, A Light in the Black, Tarot Woman
From the 1978 album: Gates Of Babylon, Kill The King, LA Connection
Metal instrumentals (neo-classical): Still I'm Sad 1975; Difficult To Cure 1981 - Metal_Treasure

4 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of Robert Plant (Vocal), Jimmy Page (Guitar), John Paul Jones (Bass, Keyboard) and John Bonham (Drums). The band's heavy, guitar-driven sound, rooted in blues and psychedelia on their early albums, has earned them recognition more.

Yes the heavy metal genre started with Black Sabbath. But Led Zeppelin planted the seeds. Without Zeppelin I think that metal would be very different. - Grouse

At most, they're hard rock. - IronSabbathPriest

Not directly. Indirectly. - zxm

Communication breakdown 1968

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5 Judas Priest Judas Priest Judas Priest are a British heavy metal band formed in Birmingham, England, in 1969. The band has sold over 45 million albums to date. They received a lot of popularity due to their big hits Breaking The Law, You've Got Another Thing Comin', and Living after Midnight which were played on the radio a more.

Why the hell everyone says black sabbath started metal and nothing for judas priest? Sabbath is great but priest must have at least 70% of their glory BECAUSE SABBATH WAS CREATED AT 1968 AND PRIEST WAS CREATED AT 1969!

Year of formation doesn't matter. Both bands had to remove lots of blues and psychedelic elements in order to achieve that non-bluesy, pure metal sound (developed by Deep Purple and Rainbow). And Judas Priest did that before Sabbath. - Metal_Treasure

SOAD ahead of them? What is the world coming to? - PeterSteveBobGraemeBloke

I think black sabbath deserves no.1 but Judas priest should be in top 5. - hanger

Inspired Dave Mustaine - SoldierOfFortune

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6 Iron Maiden Iron Maiden Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band formed in Leyton, East London, in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. The most critically acclaimed period for the band was from 1983-1989. With vocalist Bruce Dickinson, bassist Steve Harris, lead guitarist Dave Murray, rhythm guitarist Adrian more.

irons made it through punk. best british band ever there is no black sabath or led zeppelin only irons created a wave of metal. bruce dickinson ki maa ki chut

Maiden wins this list by far... Sure Sabbath founded it but maiden took it to the next level... Also the reason why metal still lives is 'because of maiden...

The greatest and still going strong! Just saw 'em yesterday in Helsinki (too bad the sound quality at the stadium was bad). Up the Irons!

While they didn't originally found metal, they heavily (pardon the pun) shaped metal after it was created by the hard rocking' of Sabbath, Blue Cheer, Deep Purple, Rainbow, and Judas Priest.

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7 Blue Cheer Blue Cheer Blue Cheer was an American rock band that initially performed and recorded in the late 1960s and early 1970s and was sporadically active until 2009. Based in San Francisco, Blue Cheer played in a psychedelic blues rock style, and are also credited as being some of the earliest pioneers of heavy metal, more.

They were heavy but not heavy metal - unfortunately their heavy sound was based on blues and did not influence heavy metal very much (if any). It's because the canvas of metal is classical music and metal musicians distance themselves from blues. It took Judas Priest and Black Sabbath almost 10 years to get rid of blues and psychedelic elements in order to become metal bands, i.e. to achieve the pure metal sound, developed by Deep Purple and Rainbow.

I'd say Blue Cheer were heavy blues rock and hard rock, which is cool but different from heavy metal. - Metal_Treasure

No one really knows who they are but way back before Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath they were consider the heaviest band -

There ain't no cure for the summertime blues

8 Metallica Metallica Metallica is an American Thrash Metal band formed in 1981 . The original lineup was James Hetfield (Vocalist and Rhythm guitarist), Dave Mustaine (Lead Guitar), Lars Ulrich (Drums), Ron McGovney (Bassist). The group came into mainstream from their Self-Titled album and the hit single "Enter Sandman". more.

Metallica are one of the best bands ever I think black sabbath are 1 because they started it all but metallica should be 2

they didn't start the whole thing but they kept it going - seether62

One of the most influential thrash metal bands - SoldierOfFortune

If metallica sounds like taylor swift in your opinion then justin bieber must be a brutal death metal singer
Seriously, they are a great band, whether if you like them or not they are still amazing. They've invent some memorable riffs, and they've had a successful carreer, something that you'll probably never achieve.

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9 Iron Butterfly Iron Butterfly Iron Butterfly is an American rock band best known for the 1968 hit "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", providing a dramatic sound that led the way towards the development of hard rock and heavy metal music.

No, they were heavy but not exactly heavy metal - they were mostly heavy blues rock and psychedelic rock. Metal is FAR from that - it took Judas Priest and Black Sabbath almost 10 years to get rid of blues and psychedelic elements in order to become metal bands, i.e. to achieve the pure metal sound, developed by Deep Purple and Rainbow.

Not every heavy sound is heavy metal sound. In the 60s and 70s many music movements produced more or less heavy sound. These movements had different origins but co-existed in a syncretic form, in that the differences were not clear and there were some overlaps - especially early metal, early punk and early hard rock. But in 2015 differences are known - many non-metal subgenres may sound heavy but stylistically they are completely different. - Metal_Treasure

10 Motörhead Motörhead Motörhead were an English heavy metal/Hard Rock band formed in June 1975 by bassist, singer, and songwriter Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister, who was the sole constant member; guitarist and songwriter Larry Wallis; and drummer Lucas Fox. The band's harsh vocals and fast paced tempos helped inspire speed more.

Although Mötorhead is often considered as a heavy metal band, Lemmy has always described Mötorhead's music as simply rock and roll. In 2011 he said: "We were not heavy metal. We were a rock'n'roll band. Still are. Everyone always describes us as heavy metal even when I tell them otherwise. Why won't people listen? "

Lemmy has stated that he generally feels more kinship with punk rockers than with metal bands. Motörhead, Lemmy states, have more in common aesthetically with The Damned than Black Sabbath, and nothing whatsoever in common with Judas Priest. Lemmy says he feels little kinship with the speed metal bands".

I think Lemmy is right - I don't hear much metal (if any) in their stuff. - Metal_Treasure

They're mostly rock, however if you listen to their Orgasmatron album, you'll hear some metal. - IronSabbathPriest

There was time I believed Motörhead were metal but currently I'm not sure at all. They mostly play hard rock, fast Rock N Roll and blues rock - all those with some punk air to it. Lemmy himself stated that they were closer to punk rock than to metal.
Overall, Motörhead are not metal or borderline metal at best.
Maybe their punk-ish attitude influenced thrash metal somewhat but it's just my speculation. - Metal_Treasure

The Contenders

11 Uriah Heep Uriah Heep Uriah Heep are an English rock band formed in London in 1969 that was one of the top rock bands in the early 1970s. Twelve of the band's albums have made it to the UK Albums Chart (Return to Fantasy reached No. 7 in 1975). Uriah Heep's distinctive features include a massive keyboard sound, strong vocal more.

A great band with true metal content, not just any heavy sound. They were very popular and influential in the 70s and should be in the top 5.
They are still active, still touring. - Metal_Treasure

Their sound was a fusion of progressive/art rock/heavy metal. David Byron's quasi-operatic vocals contributed to their metal sound, too. The song Bird of Prey (1971) is a metal song, with metal vocals and screams: awesome vox even from today's metal viewpoint.

Their debut album 'Very 'Eavy...Very 'Umble' (1970) was one of the first albums with the word (H)eavy in the title. It contained progressive rock, hard rock, heavy metal, blues rock.

Their epic piece Salisbury (1971) is 16:20 min long and sounds to me like early symphonic metal with prog elements. It's length can compete with the lengthy stuff of current metal bands. Give it a chance and be convinced. And surprised.

Their metal songs were influenced by Deep Purple but they were cool in their own right. Some other metal songs: Look At Yourself, 1971; Easy Livin', 1972. - Metal_Treasure

12 UFO UFO UFO are an English rock band that was formed in 1969. They became a transitional group between early hard rock and heavy metal and the new wave of British heavy metal.

Great to see UFO in the top 10. They seem to be the forgotten one's on all other lists - sextysex

Formed in 1969, they became a transitional group between early hard rock / heavy metal, and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM).
Their song Doctor Doctor (1974) was covered by Iron Maiden. - Metal_Treasure

13 The Kinks The Kinks The Kinks were an English rock band formed in Muswell Hill, North London, in 1963 by brothers Dave and Ray Davies.

More punk and hard rock than metal - they have often been labelled as "the original punks".
The riff of "You Really Got Me" is really cool though. - Metal_Treasure

14 Slayer Slayer Slayer is an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California, formed in 1981 by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King. They rose to fame with their 1986 album Reign in Blood, and is credited as one of the big four of thrash metal bands, the others being Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax. more.

This band brought Metal to its demonic and satanic figure

There's another list for founders of thrash metal. Slayer shouldn't be on this list - here is 60s and 70s - Metal_Treasure

These guys are the true founders of thrash metal.
I only voted for them because they're way too low on the list, otherwise I'd vote for black sabbath.
"Black Sabbath invented heavy metal, Judas Priest perfected it."))

Black Sabbath didn't invent heavy metal and one of the proof is that Judas Priest (and Iron Maiden) perfected something but it wasn't Black Sabbath. - Metal_Treasure

15 Thin Lizzy Thin Lizzy Thin Lizzy are an Irish rock band formed in Dublin in 1969. Their leader Phil Lynott was composer or co-composer of almost all of the band's songs, and the first black Irishman to achieve commercial success in the field of rock music. Thin Lizzy's most successful songs, "Whiskey in the Jar", "Jailbreak" more.

They were one of the first bands that used twin guitars - maybe even before Judas Priest. - Metal_Treasure

Early metal songs are Massacre, Emerald, released in 1976.
Their song Thunder And Lightning came out before Kill 'Em All but it was a thrash song.
Massacre was covered by Iron Maiden, Emerald - by Mastodon (there's a very cool and extended instrumental section in Emerald).
My fave metal songs: Angel of Death, Thunder And Lightning, Killer On the Loose, Cold Sweat, Massacre.
Their most popular songs/hits were not metal, which is normal - in the 70s and early 80s metal was far from the mass tastes.

Many metal bands did awesome cover versions, which revealed the metal potential of Thin Lizzy songs and Phil Lynott's great songwriting abilities. Most of the covers are thrash and death metal style - the originals had this potential.
I just started a new list on the Top Tens:
Top Ten Best Cover Versions of Thin Lizzy Songs - Metal_Treasure

16 Queen Queen Queen are an English rock band formed in 1970. Members were Freddie Mercury (Vocals and Piano), Brian May (Guitar, Vocals), Roger Taylor (Drums, Vocals), and John Deacon (Bass Guitar, Vocals). Before forming into Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor had played together in a band named Smile. Freddie Mercury more.

Their earlier albums were metal. - zxm

Surprise Surprise - Queen were not considered as metal or metal influence back then but things changed over time.
They actually wrote and performed the first thrash metal song - Stone Cold Crazy. It was written by Freddie in 1968 and recorded a bit later when he joined Queen. Metallica did a cover.
Another pretty aggressive and dark song is Dead On Time.

In contemporary metal music you can hear more Queen than Led Zep, for example. The famous multi-layered /canon vocals from Bohemian Rhapsody became a feature of Blind Guardian, late Savatage and many other metal bands. - Metal_Treasure

17 The Jimi Hendrix Experience The Jimi Hendrix Experience The Jimi Hendrix Experience was an English-American rock band that formed in Westminster, London, in September 1966. Composed of singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jimi Hendrix, bassist and backing vocalist Noel Redding, and drummer Mitch Mitchell, the band was active until June 1969. During this time more.

Where do you hear metal in his stuff? There's no metal.
Jimi's range of genres includes Psychedelic rock, hard rock, blues, rhythm and blues.
But metal is with NO Blues, Psychedelic and 'Roll' elements. - Metal_Treasure

Metal is with NO Blues, Psychedelic and Rock and Roll elements? Listen to " Black Sabbath " first album and you will find exactely all those elements. You don't know what you're talking' about and if you still ignore that fact then you're probally not a real rocker / metalhead and just an ignorant metalhead.

Good grief! You are really clueless. Most of the songs on Black Sabbath's first album weren't exactly metal. Namely because they have these elements. - Metal_Treasure

18 Mountain
19 Scorpions Scorpions Scorpions are a German rock band formed in 1965 in Hanover by Rudolf Schenker. Since the band's inception, its musical style has ranged from hard rock to heavy metal.

ScorpionS - their style in the 70s was completely different from their 80s mainstream ballad style. Check out at least the song 'Sails of Charon' (1977). There are also cool cover versions by Yngwie and Testament. - Metal_Treasure

20 Accept Accept Accept is a German heavy metal band from the town of Solingen, originally assembled by former vocalist Udo Dirkschneider, guitarist Wolf Hoffmann and bassist Peter Baltes.

Really? Accept is one on the first pioneers of speed metal and they are listed at 22! Ahh this list is beyond bogus

Their success came in the early 80s but they were close to metal in the 70s, too.
Debut album - Jan 1979, metal

Uriah Heep, Thin Lizzy, UFO, Scorpions and Accept were closer to metal than Led Zep, Blue Cheer and Iron Butterfly. So the first group of bands should be in the top 10 instead of the second. - Metal_Treasure

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List Stats

300 votes
36 listings
8 years, 263 days old

Top Remixes

1. Black Sabbath
2. Deep Purple
3. Blue Cheer
1. Deep Purple
2. Rainbow
3. Judas Priest
1. Black Sabbath
2. Led Zeppelin
3. Iron Maiden



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