Review: Heavy Metal Box – Disc 1 [2007]

amazon-heavy-metalIf you ever wanted a true audio history of Heavy Metal music then you might want to consider the Heavy Metal Box released by Rhino Records. The set contains 4 CDs in a neat box shaped as a Marshall head with knobs that go to “11.”

The first disc of the box contains 18 tracks that journey the listener through the early history of Heavy Metal, beginning with the psychedelic heavy blues of the late 60’s and ending with the hard rocking late 70’s. Here is the complete track listing:

  1. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida – Iron Butterfly (This is one trippy introduction to Metal)
  2. Summertime Blues – Blue Cheer (This version is psychedelic and heavy but I would have preferred some Cream here)
  3. Easy Livin – Uriah Heep (Sounds very much like Deep Purple, but some heavy Jimi Hendrix could have been placed here instead. Nah, forget it, I am actually relieved that there is no Hendrix on this collection)
  4. Highway Star – Deep Purple (An excellent choice…”Smoke On The Water” would have been nauseating)
  5. Billion Dollar Babies – Alice Cooper (Clearly a definitive cut)
  6. Lost Johnny – Hawkwind (Interesting psychedelic space rock from Britain)
  7. Bad Motor Scooter – Montrose (Great to see a classic Sammy Hagar track)
  8. Working Man – Rush (The heavy Rush riffs in this song are absolutely amazing)
  9. Man On the Silver Mountain – Ritchie’s Blockmore’s Rainbow
  10. Detroit Rock City – Kiss (Perfection)
  11. The Ripper – Judas Priest (Don’t worry, there is more Priest on the second disc)
  12. Cat Scratch Fever – Ted Nugent (I would have been cool with “Stranglehold” but this riff is much more important to the Heavy Metal genre)
  13. Lights Out – UFO (A very underrated Hard Rock band)
  14. Godzilla – Blue Oyster Cult (Thank God they chose this over “Don’t Fear The Reaper”)
  15. Demolition Boys – Girlschool (Rockin Metal chicks!)
  16. White Witch – Angel Witch (Solid N.W.O.B.H.M)
  17. The Phantom Of the Opera – Iron Maiden (I would have preferred to hear “Running Free” especially if you are going to put a non-Bruce Dickinson debut album track)
  18. Neon Knights – Black Sabbath (They clearly had legal issues if they couldn’t get an “Ozzyriffic” Paranoid track-one of the shortcomings of this collection)

Overall, the first disc offers a decent introduction to Heavy Metal but lacking a couple of important moments such as tracks off of Led Zeppelin I and Black Sabbath’s Paranoid. Any idiot could single out these issues which I am sure the people at Rhino recognized. I am going to assume that they had problems getting rights to those tunes. So far, I am happy with this collection or should I say “Heavy Metal 101” class, as all of these songs are longtime rock classics. 8/10

Buy the Heavy Metal Box (Rhino Records)


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