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Scary Music ?

       Heavy metal music began in the late 1960s as an almost exclusively British musical phenomenon, spawned by a simple question by a young bass player nicknamed "Geezer."

       "If people will pay to see scary movies," he wondered, "why wouldn't they pay to listen to scary music?"

       With that question, the boys of Earth (soon re-named Black Sabbath) set out to write a scary song. What they came away with was a new sound - a new genre of music that would expand immeasurably and influence thousands of future musicians.

       And though the legacy that is heavy metal has spread around the globe and the main breeding ground has hopped over the pond to the streets of L.A., Seattle and New York, no metal collection is a true metal collection without the work of a few vital English artists whose work will endure as long as the genre itself.


       Without the union of Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward, there would be no Metallica, no Pantera, no Lamb of God, Disturbed, Rob Zombie or Slayer. But the fearsome Brit foursome are not just essential artists because of their influence. The work they created over the past 40 years stands on its own as some of the most timeless metal masterpieces ever recorded. Even the least metal-inclined music fan knows the riff to "Iron Man." CAN'T MISS TRACKS: "Iron Man," "War Pigs," "Black Sabbath," "N.I.B."

       2. IRON MAIDEN

       Black Sabbath created metal. Their fellow Brits Iron Maiden gave it style. Maiden took metal and injected adrenaline. While their album covers and merchandise are instantly recognizable by the grizzled face of mascot Eddie, their songs are picked out just as quickly by the presence of an anthemic melody and a driving, galloping bassline. CAN'T MISS TRACKS: "Wasted Years," "Run to the Hills," "Fear of the Dark," "The Prisoner"

       3. JUDAS PRIEST

       Rob Halford and crew managed to do something that neither Maiden nor Sabbath was able to do early in their careers - take heavy metal and make it popular on mainstream radio. Just as Maiden was quickly picked out by their musical style, Priest cannot be missed. Halford's voice is too unique. Not only that, but it covers one of the widest ranges of anyone in the genre. CAN'T MISS TRACKS: "Another Thing Coming," "Painkiller," "Touch of Evil," "Turbo Lover"

       4. MOTORHEAD

       Lemmy Kilmister is heavy metal. Not only do his whisky-scorched vocals pair perfectly with Motorhead's burning thrash, but his attitude is more "rock star" than Ted Nugent, Gene Simmons and Tommy Lee combined. Ride up to the roughest bar in town with "Ace of Spades" blaring out of your window and no one is going to question you - even if you're wearing suspenders and a bowtie. You are metal. CAN'T MISS TRACKS: "Ace of Spades,"

       5. DEEP PURPLE

       If Black Sabbath were the fathers of heavy metal, Deep Purple were very close uncles. In fact, many fans have demanded a paternity test. As with Black Sabbath's "Iron Man," Purple's "Smoke on the Water" has become one of the most well-known in rock history. CAN'T MISS TRACKS: "Black Night," "Perfect Strangers," "Smoke on the Water"

       OTHERS TO OWN: Diamond Head, Saxon, Venom, My Dying Bride, Cathedral, The Darkness

Written by Todd Christian

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