Review of Heavy Metal – Music From the Motion Picture
Of all the music I own, this collection of tracks in Heavy Metal, has to be one of, if not, my favorite. I have regularly upgraded the media – from wax to CD – ripped the CD to mp3s – lost the CD – accidentally deleted the mp3s – downloaded from iTunes. The music from this album, release in 1981, has held up well over the years.
Some will argue that the music is not “metal” and to an extent this is true. But the “metal” in the title is from name of the movie “Heavy Metal” of which this album is the soundtrack. There are some tracks that are early versions of metal (Nazareth, Black Sabbath for example.) These, mixed with the other tracks, provide a good cross-section of the music of the early eighties – metal, hard rock, pop, and I guess a Devo category which defies categorization (new wave maybe.)
Heavy Metal the movie is an animated collection of vignettes released in 1981 with the sci-fi and fantasy magazine Heavy Metal serving as its inspiration. The magazine was and is famous for its nudity and violence and the movie contains an abundant portion of each though not to extent of the magazine. The soundtrack to the movie is sixteen tracks from a variety of artist and was released on a double album.
The songs from the solo artist competitor, or in some instances, are much better than anything they have done in other places. Blue Lamp is one of Stevie Nicks’ best solo releases ever. Donald Fagan, just coming off the breakup of Steely Dan, shows his jazzy style in True Companion. What Don Felder does here is just as good or better than anything he has ever done, with or without the Eagles.
Blue Oyster cult wrote several songs for the soundtrack to the movie but it was a song they didn’t write for the movie that made the cut. ‘Veteran of the Psychic Wars’, cowritten by BOC’s Eric Bloom and the science fiction/fantasy author Michael Moorcock, has been covered by the Finnish metal band Tarot and by Metallica.
Tracks from early metal bands (but not too early) Black Sabbath and Nazareth blend well with the hard rock from Riggs and Sammy Hagar. Hagar is at the height of his solo career. The two songs from Jerry Rigg’s pseudonynous band are better known than anything else they have ever done. The song Prefabricated, is translated from the french and is by the band, The Trust.
Cheap Trick recorded “Reach Out” and “I must be Dreaming” for Heavy Metal. strength ballad “Open Arms” from Journey also appeared in the soundtrack to the movie “The Last American Virgin.”
The high quality “Queen Bee” was probably Grand Funk Railroad’s most notable track during their early eighties reunion. Grand Funk was one of my favorite bands from the 70’s (it’s also Homer Simpson’s favorite band.)
Hard rock, guitars, keyboards, strong vocals – if you’re looking for this sound, it’s all here.