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C O U R S E 
History of Rock, 1970-Present
John Covach, University of Rochester
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
British Blues-Based Bands and the Roots of Heavy Metal
Notes taken on December 21, 2014 by Edward Tanguay
blues rock
as with most modern rock music, Blues rock was grounded in the 60s
easy to see its roots
Rolling Stones and Yardbirds
revived the Chicago Electric Blues tradition as part of the British Invasion
British Invasion
The Beatles, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and The Dave Clark Five
you have to ask what counts as blues rock
ZZ Top?
British Blues Rock
the unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal in the early to mid-Seventies
Deep Purple
Led Zeppelin
Black Sabbath
based on a 60s interest in American blues
Chess records coming out of Chicago in the 50s
Howling Wolf (Back Door Man)
Little Walter
Chuck Berry
had a gritty feel to them and a sense of authenticity
they first imitated these artists
then developed a different approach
came up with something that was very easily separable from American Blues of the 50s
1. Led Zeppelin
if we start with Blue Rock in the 70s, we have to start, of course, with Led Zeppelin
Jimmy Page was the last man standing from the Yardbirds
was one of the last ones into the group
everyone else had quit
brought in friend John Paul Jones
Robert Plant and John Bonham joined, who were relatively unknown
changed name to Led Zeppelin
first two albums released in 1969
you can still see late 1960s psychedelia in the music of Led Zeppelin
clearly their roots are in the blues
in the first four albums, there is hardly a song that is not based on some other song
there has been litigation suits for this
Jimmy Page was "grabbing tunes from the Blues tradition"
he would argue that these songs belonged to a common vernacular that many people rerecorded
also influenced by blues, folk and psychedelia
representative track: Whole Lotta Love
from 1969
listen to the center portion of the tune, the outer portion are clearly based on a blues
the center part is more psychedelic, you can hear early stereo with panning sounds from left to right as they go through your head, oh wow, groovy, its an atmospheric sort of section there that is very much a late artifact of late psychedelia
2. Deep Purple
Jon Lord, keyboardist
had classical training like
Keith Emerson
English keyboardist Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Rick Wakeman
best known for being the former keyboardist in the progressive rock band Yes
known for his pioneering work in fusing rock with classical or baroque forms, especially with Deep Purple
Ritchie Blackmore, guitarist
first important virtuoso guitarists after Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton
known on the music scene when Deep Purple came together at the end of the 1960s
1968: "Hush"
originally done by Joe South
Deep Purple was the bridge between Psychedelia of the late 60s and what's going to develop into Heavy Metal at the end of the 1970s
at the beginning of the 70s Deep Purple and Black Sabbath aren't really thought of as Heavy Metal as if Heavy Metal was something separable from the rest of what was going on in Rock and Roll
they were still thought of as Blues Rock acts
Heavy Metal per se didn't really crystallize until the middle of the 70s
Machine Head (1972)
representative album
"Smoke on the Water"
"Stairway to Heaven"
blue influences
"Highway Star"
classical influences
Deep Purple has
Blues based group like Led Zeppelin
but more quotations of earlier music
Ian Gillan
perfected the idea of the high rock-n-roll scream
Highway Star
Space Truckin
Black Sabbath
when you talk about the roots of heavy metal, Black Sabbath is the group that is most often cited
started out as a blues based group
later specialized in a sort of scary, gothic horror kind of thing
name came from a movie called "Black Sabbath" (1963)
in the late 60s while it was flower power and sunshine in Southern California, in Birmingham, England it was dark and dirty where the gloomy side of psychedalia was born
1979: Ozzy Osbourne's regular abuse of drugs and alcohol led to his dismissal from the band
1970: Paranoid: archetypal album
second album
War Pigs
Iron Man