BLACK SABBATH: TOP 5 ALBUMS

Black Sabbath is an English Rock Band, formed in Aston, Birmingham England in 1969, by Ozzy Osbourne (Lead Vocalist), Toni Iommi (Guitar), Geezer Butler (Drums), and Bill Ward (Dums).  They were the first band to use tuned down guitars and to use occult laden inspired lyrics.  Black Sabbath has been cited as the Pioneers of Heavy Metal Music.  Most experts call them the Forefathers of the Heavy Metal Genre.  They have been ranked as the #1 Heavy Metal Band of all time by MTV.  VH1 rated them the Second Best Hard Rock Band of all time behind Led Zeppelin.  Rolling Stone Magazine called Black Sabbath “The Heavy Metal Kings of the 70’s.”  Black Sabbath was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005 followed by their induction into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.  They have sold over 15 Million Records in the United States alone as well as 75 million albums worldwide.  Its really not a question wether or not Black Sabbath is the Greatest Heavy Metal band of all time.  Most experts agree that they were not only the first and best, but that they also spawned many other sub sets of Metal throughout the past decades.  The purpose of this post will be to chronicle the Top 5 Sabbath Albums as far as my opinion goes.

1)  Paranoid-  Paranoid was Black Sabbath’s Sophomore Studio Album and was released on September 18, 1970.  The album was recorded at Regent Sound Studios and Island Studios in London.  Paranoid spawned the hit singles Paranoid, Iron Man, and War Pigs which are the three signature Black Sabbath titles.  Paranoid has went platinum 4x meaning it has sold over 4 Million Records alone.  Paranoid is the only Black Sabbath album to reach Number #1 on the UK album chart.  The Track Listing for this album is as follows:

“War Pigs”, “Paranoid”, “Planet Caravan,” “Iron Man,” “Electric Funeral,” “Hand of Doom'” “Rat Salad,” and “Fairies Wear Boots.”  War Pigs was written about the Vietnam War.  Iron Man was written by Geezer Butler and is about a man who time travels into the future, sees the apocalypse.  Upon his return he is turned into steel by a magnetic field and he is rendered deaf and mute.  He is unable to verbally warn people of the impending doom and people mock and make fun of him.  This causes Iron Man to get mad and have revenge causing the destruction seen in his future vision.

2)  Heaven And Hell-  Heaven and Hell was Black Sabbath’s Ninth Studio Album and was the first album to feature Ronnie James Dio on Vocals.  The album was released on April 25, 1980 under the Warner Brother’s Label.  This album marked the official rebirth of Sabbath, who had “died” after the departure of Ozzy Osbourne.  Heaven and Hell became one of their best selling records.  As of today, Heaven and Hell is the Third Highest Selling Sabbath album behind Paranoid and Master of Reality respectively.  The album hit Ninth on the UK Rock Chart and Twenty Eighth on the US Billboard Charts.  In 1982, the album reached Gold Platinum.  The Track Listing was as follows:

“Neon Nights, Children of the Sea, Lady Evil, Heaven and Hell, Wishing Well, Die Young, Walk Away, and Lonely is the Word.”  The Title Track Heaven and Hell is about how we all have free will and choices to make: either good or evil.  Heaven and Hell is ranked 81 on VH1’s Top 100 Hard Rock Songs.

3)  Master of Reality-  Master of Reality was the third Studio Album released by Black Sabbath.  It was released on July 21st, 1971.  This album was certified Double Platinum for having sold over 2 Million Copies.  Master of Reality is more of a mellow type metal album as it mixes quiet acoustic songs with loud heavy songs interlinked.  The album’s first song Sweet Leaf is named after the drug marijuana which typically links this album to a “stoner type vibe.”  Geezer Butler wrote all of the lyrics on this album.  The track listing is as follows:

“Sweet Leaf, “After Forever, Embryo, Children of the Grave, Orchid, Lord of this World, Solitude, Into the Void.”  The tune Solitude featured the multi-talents of Toni Iommi on Guitar, Piano and Flute.  Lord of this World, Sweet Leaf and Children of the Grave are hit singles.  Children of the Grave has been covered numerous times and Pantera covered Lord of this Woirld.

4)  Sabbath Bloody Sabbath-  This was the Fifth studio album released by Black Sabbath in December of 1973.  This album marked a transition of a slow, crunching style of metal to a faster guitar style of music.  The album furthered Black Sabbath’s transition as well as marked an eerie theme that actually followed their extreme lifestyle as Rock Stars.  The Track Listing is as follows:

“Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, A National Acrobat, Fluff, Sabbra Cadabra, Killing Yourself to Live, Who are You, Looking for Today, and Spiral Architect.”  Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and A National Acrobat were the two hit singles.  Anthrax and Megadeth both covered Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and Metallica has covered Sabbra Cadabra.

5)  Black Sabbath-  This was the debut album from the Top Metal Band of all-time.  The title track was the first track to become a hit and this song was the prototype metal ensemble.  The album also featured “The Wizzard, Behind the Wall of Sleep, Nativity in Black (NIB), Evil Woman, Sleeping Village, Warning, and Wicked World.  Nativity in Black later became a title of a tribute album to Black Sabbath which included many superstar metal bands covering different Black Sabbath tunes.  This album cover is the most recognized Sabbath cover on their catalog.  It features a witch in front of what looks like an old stone church.

 

Im sure every Sabbath Fan has their own personal favorite album.  My personal favorite is Heaven and Hell because it was actually my first Sabbath Record.  I actually had the original record but have since misplaced it.  Wish I hadn’t, it is probably worth money.  Feel Free to comment on this post and comment on your favorite Sabbath Albums and Songs.ImageImage

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NFL 2012 HALF WAY POINT REVIEW

The 2012 NFL Season has been nothing short of unpredictable as well as one of the more exciting half seasons in recent memory.  Yes all Football Fans know that this has become a passing league and we are living in the Year of the Quarterback.  In Baseball the San Francisco Giants have just swept the Detroit Tigers to clinch their second World Series in three years.  Congratulations goes out to this team, who really did defy all odds in this postseason.  A quick review for those of you who either don’t follow the sport or don’t care….The Giants were down 0-2 in the Divisional Round and came back with 3 successive wins to make the NLCS.  In the NLCS…they were down 3-1 to the Defending Champion  Saint Louis Cardinals…on the ropes in game 5 and then came back to sweep the Red Birds to win their second trip to the World Series in three years.  And Finally, they just swept the AL Champion Detroit Tigers 4-0 in the World Series in total domination.  The Tigers had the best offense outside of the Yankees in Baseball this season and were completely and utterly embarrassed in this series.  They were even shut out in two games.  Once again, although I cannot stand the Giants….Kudos to them for playing as a “TEAM” to once again show the New York Skankees that it takes more than high priced free agents to win a title.  Anyways….I had to get that out of the way and Hockey….well they are a bunch of greedy bastards and no one really cares about them anyway.  So that leaves us with the NFL.  So, back to the purpose of this post….A review of the 2012 Season at the halfway point after 8 Games.

Let’s first start with the Top 5/ Worst 5 Teams thus far in 2012:

1) Atlanta Falcons-  The Atlanta Falcons are the only unbeaten team thus far so they get the number 1 Ranking by Default.  However, there are many years that an undefeated team is not necessarily the best team.  Well I have to point out that this does not include the Falcons.  Their high flying offense behind the arm of Matt Ryan (playing like an MVP), speed receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White, and a resurgent running game with Michael Turner has scored over 200 Points.  On the other side of the ball, their defense is much more balanced this season and has only allowed 130 Points which is third behind the Houston Texans (128), and Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers who have both allowed (100 Points).  Please Note, the 49ers play their eighth game tonight on Monday Night Football so their total will probably rise.  Anyways, Atlanta is the best team in the NFL at this point and if they continue playing at this level, the sky is the limit.

2)  Houston Texans-  Houston is 6-1 at the halfway point and has dominated most teams and is firing on all cylinders just like Atlanta.  Houston bolsters one of the top running games in the NFL with Arian Foster, who has become the toast of NFL running backs, which enables them to control the clock.  They have scored 216 Points on Offense and have only allowed 128.  They also are at the bottom as far as turnovers.  You put these three factors together and you have a decent recipe for success.  Houston has played against good competition and beaten good teams.  This team has been on an uprise the past few years and it looks like they have finally put it all together.

3)  Chicago Bears-  The Chicago Bears have been nothing more than a HUGE SURPRISE.  They are a veteran team that seemed to be on a decline.  Enter Brandon Marshall.  Brandon Marshall, the All-Pro Receiver, has been a lightning rod for this Bear’s Offense.  He is probably the most talented and dominant receivers that this team has ever had.  Marshall has turned Jay Cutler back into the Superstar that he was supposed to be.  This duo may have the best chemistry as far as Quarterback/Receiver in the NFL, since Peyton Manning/Marvin Harrison.  Matt Forte continues to grow into one of the best all purpose running backs in the league.  He pounds the ball with reckless abandon.  The Bears are another team that does not turn the ball over.  On the other side of the ball…they are the Number 1 Rated Defense in all statistics across the board.  They have also been at the top as far as creating Turnovers.  Their Special Teams Unit gives them a decided edge against most other teams in the league.

4)  New York Giants-  Big Blue has been on a roll and has picked off right where they left off in the Superbowl.  Eli Manning continues to shine as one of the most underrated Quarterbacks in the NFL.  They put points on the board in bunches as their offense thrives on the home run pass.  Eli has developed a chemistry with Second Year Receiver, Victor Cruz that reminds me so much of his brother Peyton, in his days with the Indianapolis Colts when he was tossing touchdowns to Marvin Harrison.  Ahmad Bradshaw, who has had a few injuries continues to improve each year.  He is a North South Runner who grinds the ball behind one of the best offensive lines in Football.  New York sports a stellar defense that thrives on the pass rush and creating turnovers.  In Sunday’s win, they had 5 Turnovers on the way to a tough divisional win against the Dallas Cowboys.

5)  San Francisco 49ers-  Defense wins Championships.  How many times have we heard that phrase.  Well, defense really does give teams an edge especially when they play with a lead.  San Francisco has allowed 100 points on D…tied for a league low with the Chicago Bears.  The 49ers rush the passer with strength and push up the middle and their linebackers are one of the most talented groups in the NFL.  On offense, Alex Smith has become the Trent Dilfer of the NFC.  A solid game manager that does not turn the ball over.  Frank Gore has stayed healthy and Vernon Davis has provided Smith with a Safety Valve.  Although the past few games his production has dropped off, Davis has been a Monster as far as receiving the ball and running after the catch.  The past few games he has been triple teamed, which has allowed veteran Randy Moss to get wide open for a few easy scores.  The 49ers have been at the top of their game thus far and they round out my top 5.

Now My Worst 5 NFL Teams of 2012 at the Half:

1)  Jacksonville Jaguars-  The Jaguars have to be one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL so far.  Blaine Gabbert has been injured part of the season and they also lost their star tailback Maurice Jones-Drew.  The Jaguars have scored a league worst 103 Points while giving up 188 Points.  This is a recipe for disaster.  They have really been pathetic on the offensive line giving up sacks left and right and supporting one of the worst running games in the league.  1-6 at the halfway point….if they continue on this path they will shatter their record for losses as a franchise and may be in line for the Number 1 Draft Pick.  That would be the only silver lining of their season.

2)  Kansas City Chiefs-  The Kansas City Chiefs have also been putrid on both sides of the ball only scoring 120 Points and giving up 209 Points.  Wow….thats an awful ratio.  Kansas City has lost their quarterback Matt Cassel a few times to injuries and they also have a porous offensive line.  Another Turnover Machine, the Chiefs have really disappointed their fans as well as NFL experts who some had them making the playoffs.  1-6 will not get you anywhere and thats a hole that will not be dug out.

3)  Carolina Panthers-  The Panthers were picked to make the playoffs as well by many NFL experts.  Well, they have been far from a playoff team.  Their offense has only scored 128 points and their defense has given up 167…not too bad in the NFL.  The Panther’s Defense has been their strength as their offense has left a lot to be desired.  Cam Newton is going through a sophomore slump which probably should have been expected.  Star Receiver Steve Smith has drastically lost a step and is no longer wide open on every play.  He is also not the deep threat that he once was, which has allowed teams to key on the run.  Johnathan Stewart has been injured and De’angelo Williams has been a huge disappointment.  Of course, it does not help the Panther’s chances being in a very tough division.  

4)  Cleveland Browns-  The Browns were the only winless team for weeks, but they have now won 2 games in a row.  They don’t have the terrible ratio in points scored/points allowed that these other teams have, however they do turn the ball over quite often.  The Browns can run the ball, but their offense is predicated on good quarterback play.  They have been inept in this area.  Cleveland’s Defense has also been a huge failure and they do not put pressure on the quarterback.  The Brown’s have a chance to get off this lsit as they have won two games in a row and appear to be improving.

5)  Philadelphia Eagles-  OUCH!  This hurts me as most of you know I am a die-hard Eagles fan.  But I cannot ignore the facts.  With 120 Points Scored, they have the worst ranked offense in the NFC.  The Philadelphia Eagles are 3-4, but truthfully anyone that has watched them this season knows that they could truly be 0-7.  They have the worst offensive line in Football.  They have the most stubborn coach who continues to use a pass first philosophy even though they have the top 3 Running Back in the League??  Michael Vick has been under siege every game.  He has not been terrible, but I don’t care if they put Tom Brady behind this line….he would be just as poor.  You cannot expect success when your quarterback has bruised ribs and is on his back more than in the pocket.  Defensive Coach Juan Castillo has been the scapegoat thus far in the season.  This Defense is terrible.  However, Andy Reid is the reason that the Eagles are one of the worst teams in the league.  Michael Vick, not elite, however he is definitely not the reason this team is not winning.  In fact, he was ultimately responsible for two of their wins coming back at the end of the game.  And going 3 games without a sack????? BRUTAL!!!!!!   They did not go that long without a sack in a season since 1983.  This team has always prided itself on Defense but they lack any heart and identity here.  When they retired Brian Dawkins….there went the last true leader that this team had.  The Eagles to me are the most disappointing team this season and thats a hard pill for me to swallow.

 

TOP 5 QUARTERBACKS/WORST 5 QUARTERBACKS:

Top 5:  Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Ben Rothlisberger

Worst 5: Michael Vick, Tony Romo, Matthew Stafford, Philip Rivers, Cam Newton

 

TOP 5 RUNNING BACKS/ WORST 5 RUNNING BACKS

Top 5:  Arian Foster, Adrian Peterson, Alfred Morris, Marshawn Lynch, Willis McGahee

Worst 5: Maurice Jones-Drew, Ryan Matthews, Ben-Jarvis Green Ellis, Donald Brown, Mike Leshoure

TOP 5 WIDE RECEIVERS/ WORST 5 RECEIVERS

Top 5:  Victor Cruz, Wes Welker, Brandon Marshall, AJ Green, Percy Harvin

Worst 5:  Deshaun Jackson, Hakeem Nicks, Jeremy Maclin, Titus Young, Andre Johnson

TOP 5 TIGHT ENDS/ WORST 5 TIGHT ENDS

Top 5- Rob Gronkowski, Tony Gonzalez, Heath Miller, Jason Witten, Vernon Davis

Worst 5- Dallas Clark, Jermicah Finley, Greg Olsen, Aaron Hernandez (Injured), Brent Celek

TOP 5 KICKERS/ WORST 5 KICKERS

Top 5- Laurence Tynes, Stephen Gostowski, Matt Bryant, Jason Hanson, Greg Zurlein

Worst 5- Garret Hartley, Dan Carpenter, Alex Henry, Billy Cundiff, Ryan Lindell

TOP 5 DEFENSE/ WORST 5 DEFENSE

Top 5- Chicago Bears, Houston Texans, New York Giants, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals

Worst 5- Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans

MVP:

1)  Matt Ryan

2) Peyton Manning

3) Arian Foster

4) Brandon Marshall

5) Aaron Rodgers

COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR

1) Peyton Manning

2) Adrian Peterson

3) Chris Johnson

4) Jay Cutler

5) Reggie Wayne

TOP 5 DISSAPOINTMENTS

1) Philadelphia Eagles

2) Carolina Panthers

3) Bufalo Bills

4) Dallas Cowboys

5) Green Bay Packers

TOP 5 SURPRISES

1) Seattle Seahawks

2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

3) Arizona Cardinals

4) Minnesota Vikings

5) Chicago Bears

*****Ok, Well I could keep picking categories but I would be here all day.  Obviously these are my opinions.  Im sure some people would feel different.  Anyways…This is my 2012 NFL Review at the Half Way Point.  After tonights game, I will Recap Week 8, Mine and Aaron’s picks as well as Fantasy Results.  BTW….I think I had the league high for points in my league this week….WOW!Image 

 

 

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It’s Hard to Believe that we are almost through the mid-point of the 2012 NFL Season.  After this week there will be Eight more Games to Decide Which Teams will have the Kahunas to make the Playoffs.  2012 has been a very crazy season….up and down….some key stars shining….some stars declining…some rookies playing like veterans…some rookies making teams second guess their drafty day decisions.  There have been record tying field goals…numerous overtime thrillers…some very surprising upsets…some teams on the rise…some teams on the way to their demise…some coaches taking it to the next level…some coaches same old/same old (Sorry Andy Reid)…many key season ending injuries (Ray Lewis, Derel Revis, etc.), some stars playing well for new teams…some high price free agent busts…and some dramatic comeback players (Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson).  Let’s face it…there has been no lack of drama and surprises on every facet of the game.  Well, this will be the midway point between Aaron and I in our first season of picks.  We are very close thus far and have been both up and down each week with our picks.  Aaron went a season best 11-1 last week to take the points lead, while I had a mediocre 6-6.  Ok time to get to the picks for Week 8.  Hopefully this will be a successful week Against The Spread as well as outright.  Here are my Week 8 Picks:

1)  Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Minnesota Vikings- Well I missed this Thursday’s game…very busy with work but we are going to go on the honor system here.  Minnesota was favored by 6.5 Points at home against the Bucs.  I know its after the fact, but I truly did have the Buccaneers winning this game outright.  They almost pulled out a last second win at New Orleans last week albeit for a bad call and their offense has been on a role the past three weeks.  Josh Freeman is coming into his own as a Quarterback and has now thrown 3 Touchdowns in Four Straight Games and over 250 Yards in those games also, even throwing for 400 yards in 2 of those games.

2)  New England Patriots @ Saint Louis Rams- The Patriots have not played as the dominant team that they usually are.  They have been upset by the Cardinals and Seahawks and were almost upset last week against the Jets.  They are favored by a touchdown on the road in Saint Louis, a team that really has struggled.  I expect a huge game from Tom Brady in this one and i feel that the Patriots will roll over the Rams…I can even see this game being a two touchdown margin.

3)  Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans-  The Titans are favored by 3.5 at home against the Colts.  Both of these teams have been inconsistent so this game could go either way.  Andrew Luck has been ok, but the Colts are struggling to run the ball.  Chris Johnson has been resurgent the past few weeks for Tennessee.  Im going to take the Colts to win and cover although this one could easily go the other way…when in doubt go with the home team.

4)  Jacksonville Jaguars @ Green Bay Packers-  The Packers are favored by 13 in this one at home against a banged up Jaguars team.  The Jags are missing their starting running back Maurice Jones-Drew as well as their starting Quarterback Blain Gabbert.  The Packers, on the other hand are operating on all cylinders.  Aaron Rodgers is playing like a man possessed.  Im taking the Packers to win and cover.

5)  San Diego Chargers @ Cleveland Browns-  The Browns were the last team to get a win and have played a little better the past few weeks.  The Chargers are coming off a a bye and are well rested.  Philip Rivers usually plays well after a bye and has had some huge games in the past against the Browns.  San Diego is favored by a field goal and I believe they will win this game easily and cover.

6)  Atlanta Falcons @ Philadelphia Eagles-  Who knows if the impending Hurricane Sandy will effect the ability to get this game in or not.  Atlanta comes into Philly with the best record in the NFC and they are playing tremendous defense as well as sporting a potent offense.  The Eagles are favored by 2.5 at home, but have been terribly inconsistent.  They totally blew a Fourth Quarter Lead against a bad Detroit Lions team.  However, as horrible as Andy Reid has been lately, the Eagles are 13-0 with him as their coach after a bye week.  And the Eagles track record the past few years has been to play poorly against bad teams and somehow beat the teams they are not supposed to beat.  Take the Eagles to win and cover in this one, whenever the game gets played.

7)  Seattle Seahawks @ Detroit Lions-  The Seahawks have been a total surprise this year and are playing excellent football.  In contrast….The Lions have been a huge disappointment and were lucky to win two weeks ago at the Eagles.  They looked terrible on Monday night against the Bears.  Although Detroit is favored at home by 2.5 points, I am taking Seattle to win this one outright.

8)  Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets-  These games are always the BEST.  The Jets are favored by 2.5 Points at home.  Last time I took the Dolphins to beat the Jets they lost.  I am taking the Dolphins again after a bye to beat the Jets.

9)  Carolina Panthers @ Chicago Bears-  The Bears have been stellar and Jay Cutler looks like a new found star now that he has been reunited with Brandon Marshall.  Matt Forte continues to be an elite force on the ground and the Bears Defense has been one of the best if not thee best in the league.  The Bears are favored at home by 7.5 points and I feel that they will easily win and cover.

10)  Washington Redskins @ Pittsburgh Steelers-  The Steelers are favored by 5 points in this one.  Both teams have been up and down.  Neither team has really built an identity.  I will take the steelers to win and cover in this one.

11)  Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs-  The Chiefs are favored by 1.5 at home, almost a pick em.  Go with the Chiefs to win by a field goal.  The Raiders have also been inconsistent.

12)  New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys-  The Cowboys are favored by 1 point at home in this tough divisional rivalry game.  The Cowboys have been playing better, but are missing their top 2 Tailbacks.  Big Blue has been excellent against the spread and I personally cannot bet against them right now.  Take the Giants to win at Dallas.

13)  New Orleans Saints @ Denver Broncos-  The Saints have won 2 Straight…but they are still neglect on Defense.  The Broncos are favored by 6 at home and after the way Peyton has been playing…I have to take the Broncos to win and cover.

14)  San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals-  This will be a division dogfight.  The Cardinals are favored by 6.5 against the 49ers.  Take the Cardinals to win but the 49ers will cover.

Fantasy Start /Sit-  Real Quick….Start all the star players this week…its time for everyone to shine.

*******STAY TUNED TO AARON”S PICKS SOON TO COME*********

NHL (NO HOCKEY LEADERS)

Today the NHL announced that it has now cancelled the season, at least through November! This all but guarantees that the league will not play a full 82 Game Schedule this season. The players and owners would have had to have come to an agreement by next Thursday for that to happen. At this point….who really cares. This league is ruining any credibility that it regained with its fans. It makes me sick to my stomache just thinking about how greedy both sides are being!!! I mean….the players make millions of dollars to play a sport they love….have fun doing it…and lots of them become stars and celebrities. Where is the leadership. These players are so selfish. This league is so second rate. I hope Alex Ovechkin never plays another game in this country. Stick to your Russian Playboy Models Alex. Where is the Jeremy Roenick’s of the League? How about the Ron Hextall’s. Claude Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Hull, Patrick Roy? Bobby Clarke? And the owners are no better. These players and owners are filthy rich. They take for granted what they have. While you and I bust our asses in retail positions, labor jobs, long hours, shitty pay. It’s rediculous. The small time employees (vendors, ticket takers, Zamboni drivers, security, etc….) are the real losers here. Them and the fans. What can this lockout teach all the young children who love hockey…the ones that play and idolize these players. What does the Die Hard Fan say to their sons and daughters who ask why hockey is not playing. These players are such bitches!!!! Seriously….Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, And all the former players as well as current flyers players. You guys suck as leaders. The only thing you are leading is the no hockey left pole. Each day that you players and owners go on with this work stoppage….the more fans you lose forever. Baseball with the World Series going on right now is at the top of its popularity in years. The NFL gets better and better every year! WTF guys….get a grip…stop being greedy and settle already. This is so sickening to myself…a die hard Flyers fan. These guys have no clue…especially the foreign players. They have no idea how they are ruining this sport forever! No Hockey Left…that is what the NHL stands for now. No hope left. I hope you and your families are happy because you have ruined your legacy. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Middle class America busting its ass while you all complain about a few million dollars. Grow up…be men. This league used to be full of players that gave a shit…now it’s just a bunch of Cry Babies! Settle soon or else risk losing the core group of fans. It took so long for the league to get back the last time…imagine how hard this will be if u do not sign the dotted line. Like if you think this league is Greedy and needs to Grow Up!

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80’s HAIR METAL TOP BANDS

Ok. Well anyone between the ages of 30-40 could debate this topic endlessly. Everyone of us is familiar with the 80’s Hair Metal Era…which had it’s high point from 1985-1992. For the sake of staying true to this music genre…Guns N Roses did not fit into this category as they created their own category. I point this out because if they were in the category…they would be the unanimous pick. Van Halen is also not in this group because they were in a league of their own. Wether the bands were around long term or only had a few albums….here is my Top 10. I obviously hope that we can have some fun with this topic and I look forward to other people’s picks. Without further adue…here is my Top 10:
10) Ugly Kid Joe- Although they only produced a few albums…they make my list as they also mad my top 10 underrated metal bands list. UKJ were a phenomenal talent and they came around at the end of the scene when Hair Metal was at it’s decline. However, UKJ did very well with it’s album sales and also garnered a large fan base. If UKJ had been around longer…they may have very well been the Number1 Pick here. I’m sure everyone remember’s their Number One Single…”Hate Everything About You.”
9) Dokken- Dokken may have been higher on my list but they did not receive the mainstream popularity that other bands on this list did and that is one of the criteria to make this list. Dokken did however have a huge fan base…especially women and did manage to produce some major hit singles. Their guitar Work was brilliant and they did do well on tour.
8) RATT- This band was one of the First 80’s Hair Bands to make it big and they were also underrated in the mainstream community. Warren DeMartini and Robin Crosby provided excellent guitar hooks and Riggs and Steven Pearcy was the prototype frontman for bands in this era. As stated earlier…they deserve a lot of credit for bringing this type of music to the top.
7) Cinderella- Cinderella was formed in the mid 80’s in Pennsylvania. The original band featured Front man Tom Keifer, Eric Brittingham on Bass, Guitarist Michael Smerick, and Tony Destra on Drums. In 1985…Smerick and Destra left to form Britny Fox another Philadelphia based band, that next moved to Hollywood. Jef Debar and Jim Drnec joined the band and they began touring clubs in Philly. They actually received a big break when Jon Bon Jovi discovered the band playing at the Empire Rock Club in Philly and quickly took the band under his wing. Cinderella became very popular and went on to have a huge career on MTV with lots of airplay. Cinderella has sold over 20 million albums…they are still touring…and actually there is talk orbs new album. “Don’t Know What You Got till it’s Gone” was their major hit but they produced many other hit singles. They brought a bluesy sound to Hair Metal that set them apart from some of the other bands.
6) Bon Jovi- Bon Jovi became an instant star studded band, and they started in Sayerville New Jersey…and their 3rd Album Slippery When Wet put them on the map forever! Their 4th Album New Jersey didn’t miss a beat and produced more number 1 hit singles. Between 1986-1994…Bon Jovi went on to record 13 Top 40 Hits with 4 Number 1 Hits! In total…Bon Jovi has produced 9 Studio Albums and have sold over 130 million records world wide! Quite an accomplishment for a band that’s been around that long. Richie Sambora brings a lot of talent to the band with his guitar style and the only change in the band occurred when bassist Alec John Such left in 1994. Their most known hits include “Livin on a Prayer, You Give Love a Bad Name, I’ll be There For You, and Bad Medicine. Also instant classics…”Wanted Dead or Alive (My personal favorite) and It’s my Life which introduced Bon Jovi to a younger audience.
5) Warrant- Warrant originated in Hollywood, California later in the Hair Metal genre when the music style was at it’s peak. Between 1989-1996 Warrant released Five albums that sold over 10 Million Records World Wide. Their two major hit albums were Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich which was followed up by Cherry Pie. Cherry Pie reached double platinum and the video for the title track put Warrant at the Top of the charts for their time. I mean..you could easily put Bon Jovi ahead of Warrant on this list due to the longevity and the success that they have achieved over the years but Warrant reminds me of one of those running backs….The “Earl Campbell” of Hair Metal. If Warrant had lasted longer, they may have made the Top 3 of this list. Their 3rd album hit gold in sales…Dog Eat Dog….which is a very underrated album which Warrant tried to play a little heavier than their previous albums. Jani Lane had one of the best voices in the Hair Metal era…and should be up there in all time vocalists. He died 2 years ago from alcohol abuse. Warrant was a great band that should not be taken lightly when reviewing this list.
4) Poison- During the mid eighties till the mid nineties…Poison sold over 30 million records world wide and 15million of those in the United States alone. Brett Michaels is one of the greatest hair metal frontmen of all time and CC Deville provides a fast paced style but also was able to incorporate a country/bluesy style into his artwork. Poison was also formed in Philadelphia by Brett Michaels, Bobby Dahl, and Rilki Rockett. During their Hey Day…Poison produced 10 Top 40 Billboard Hits including 6 that made the Top 10. Their only number 1 singles is probably one of the most recognized songs of this time period, “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn'” They got on the map after releasing their first album “Look What the Cat Dragged In” which featured the hit “Talk Dirty To Me.” They hit their peak with their 2nd album release with “Open up and say ahh”. These two albums were followed up with yet their third multiplatinum album…”Flesh and Blood.”. They receive tons of exposure on MTV an their Frontman…popular with the ladies even had his own MTV show…Rock of Love and he was also the winner of Celebrity Apprentice one season. He is probably the most popular frontman of this era. Poison still tours worldwide and are also working on a new album.
3) Skid Row- Skid Row could be considered in a category of their own because they always pushed the envelope and tried to play a little heavier and louder than all of the other Hair Bands. Skid Row was formed in 1986 out of Toms River New Jersey. Sebastian Bach and Dave “Snake” Sabo were the original members as well as Rachel Bolan. Their first three albums went double platinum with their first album “Skid Row” hitting number 6 on the Top 200 Billboard List, second album Slave to the Grind hitting number 1 on this list and the third album SubHuman Race hitting 35. Their biggest hits are still major hits today and are played all over on juke boxes throughout the world. At the en of 1996…the band had sold 20 million records world wide. Sebastian Bach has went on to form a very successful solo career and is considered by many to be one of the greatest vocalists ever. His range is off the charts. Rachel Bolan and Dave Sabo are also very underrated musicians. During that 3 album span…Skid Row was probably the most popular hair metal band of the time.
2) Motley Crüe- Motley Crüe was formed in Los Angeles, California by Bassist Nikki Sixx and Drummer Tommy Lee. They were later joined by Guitarist Mick Mars and Vocalist Vince Neil. Throughout the years…Motley Crüe has been labeled one of the most “Notorious” Rock Bands in History. They even released a Biography that chronicles their path through the bottom to stardom. All members of this band have suffered through some type of addiction, which really shows their toughness considering they are still going strong today. Motley Crüe has sold over 80 million records to date and 25 million in the United States. They have released nine studio albums and are currently working on their tenth one, which will be released in 2013. They hit their peak in 1987 when they released the album Girls, Girls, Girls and then struck gold with their 1989 release of Dr. Feelgood. Dr. Feelgood hit Number 1 on the Billboard Charts and stayed their for 109 days…a long time to be on top. It’s not a coincidence that this album was produced at a time when the Band Members all tried collectively to stay sober. Two hit singles “Kick Start my Heart” and “Dr. Feelgood” were both nominated for Grammy Awards. They also achieved success in 1990 NY beating out Aerosmith for the Best Hard Rock Album of the Year. Motley Crüe is even bigger today and they even have their own festival. They are still going strong and remain one of the last hair metal bands that have it’s original members and are at the top of their game.
1) Def Leppard- Def Leppard is the only band on this list that was not formed in the United States…as they began their career in Sheffield England. They started the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and developed into the Hair Metal Kings. Their 3rd album Pyromania made Def Leppard a household name and put them on the map as major players. In 1987 they released Hysteria which topped The United States charts as well as the UK charts…one of the few albums to ever do this. As of 2009…Hysteria has went 12x Platinum in sales worldwide and has sold over 20 million copies of the album in the US alone. We are not talking 20 million records total…we are talking 20 million sales of one album. That statistic is insane. Hysteria spawned six Top 200 Billboard Hits with “Love Bites” hitting Number 1. Their next album Adrenalize also hit Number 1 in the US and UK. As of today….Def Leppard has been one of the most successful metal bands selling over 100 Million total albums world wide. They are also one of only five bands to sell over 10 million copies of 2 Studio Albums. I think these numbers have to make Def Leppard the Number 1 Choice. Also…they have stood the test of time and are still touring to this day. So they really transpired the Early Heavy Metal movement…Hit their peak during the Hair Metal era…still maintained popularity during the thrash and grunge era and are still going strong. Def Leppard are Legends and are a NO DOUBT ABOUT IT Hall
Of Fame Band!

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WORLD SERIES PREVIEW

Wow!!!! What a post season this has been. It seems like every year anymore the series get more exciting by the minute. My original picks for the World Series were both knocked out in the Divisional Round so of course I was a little shocked. What doesn’t shock me though is that Detroit and San Francisco are in the big dance. The World Series gets underway tonight as the Detroit Tigers are in San Francisco for Game 1 of the 2012 World Series. The game will feature a pitching matchup of Justin Verlander (Tigers) VS Barry Zito (Giants). Both pitchers have had tremendous playoff series and Barry Zito could very well be the comeback player of the year in 2012 after posting a 15 Win Season. Zito was the class of the American League on an Athletic’s team that produced stud starting pitchers every year. Zito them signed a huge contract with the Giants and has been a huge disappointment up until this year. Two years ago when the Giants upset the Phillies and won the World Series…Zito was left off the postseason roster. My how a few years can change drastically. This year Zito has been a key player on this Giants team as their stud ace Tim Lincecum struggled with injuries. Let’s take a close look at the matchup. The Tiger’s Pitching Staff held the Yankees Offensive Juggernaut to six runs in four games…insane! Their starters surrendered 3 earned runs the entire ALCS. The Giants in contrast won the ALCS by winning 3 straight games after falling behind 3-1 to last season’s champs. The last two games were shutouts so the Giants Pitching Staff is also a Force to be reckoned with. Verlander is the probable CY Young Winner for the American League and he is set up perfectly for 3 starts if the series goes 7 games. This to me makes the Tigers the favorite but not by much. The series will most likely come down to the bullpens as both teams starters are their teams strength. On offense…Detroit trumps the Giants lineup with Triple Crown Winner Cabrera and power hitter Prince Fielder. The Giants play more small ball but Marco Scuttaro has hit safely in every Giants playoff game and sports the best batting average in the post season. Angel Pagan has been a spark plug. Reminds me of Lenny Dykstra of the 93 Phillies as he makes plays in the outfield…hustles on every hit and shows some pop. So I say the Tigers have the edge in both Starting Pitching and Offense, but not by a wide margin. The Giants have the intangible edge as they have been playing in tight games just about every series. Also, they were down 2-0 to the Reds in the Division Series and came back with 3 straight wins. Then they were down to the Cardinals in the NLCS 3-1 and won 3 straight. This has to be one of the greatest comeback teams in postseason as they have beaten the odds every time. The Tigers will be favored in the series but how can you pick against this pesky Giants team. Plus…I think their experience with winning it all 2 years ago will also help give them the edge. I’m taking the Giants in 6 games. Their 2 losses will come to Justin Verlander. So looking forward to this series. I hope Detroit wins but my gut says the Giants will win their second world series in three seasons.

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NFL WEEK 7 RESULTS/Fantasy Fallout

Ok….Well Week #7 was a doozy…many close games. While my picks were an even 6-6…Aaron had a huge week ATS going 11-1 with his picks!!!!! I sense a familiar theme here. Aaron is 5-2 in Fantasy… I am 2-5. So here are the up to date standings this far:
Aaron: 60-42
Jason: 56-46.
I must admit…I was having a bad week last week and was starting to feel very negative about my performance on both sides of the spectrum…Fantasy and Reality. But then a light bulb went on…a revelation…the season is not even half way over and there is still a lot of Football to play!!!! So far…The Giants are the toast of the NFC and the Texans are the Beast of the AFC. The Vikings, Tampa Bay, and Atlanta have been major surprises in the NFC, while the Raiders, Colts, and Broncos have been a surprise in the AFC. Stay tuned to next week where I will provide a special 2012 NFL Season in Review post that will focus on the highs, lows, best teams, worst teams, players that have shined, players that have declined, overachievers, underachievers, injuries, Statistical Leaders and Fantasy Overview. Speaking of Fantasy…Week 7 Provided some high and low points as always. Let’s start with my team. Both of my Quarterbacks were on byes so I picked up the surprising Josh Freeman who was going against Drew Brees so I had hoped to just keep it close at the QB position. Well…Freeman performed well above expectations and finished with 41 points, only 1 point less than Drew Brees. Where I got killed…Maurice Jones Drew got hurt and gave me a big ZERO…Vernon Davis (Top 3 TE in points) gave me a big ZERO…Baltimore’s Defense who I should have dropped after all their injuries gave me a whole ZERO…and my Kicker (Jason Hanson) the number 1 kicker in Fantasy Points gave me a superb 1 point! WTF….not a good week. With all all the 0fers…I only ended up losing by 30 points. That’s how Fantasy Football goes…you win some and you lose some and some weeks there is just nothing u can do but put your tail between your legs and take it like a man. Anyways…at 2-5 it’s not looking good for my team so I am at the point where drastic measures are needed to be taken to try and salvage my team. Maybe a big trade…a free agent who blossoms at the end of the season…a waiver wire steal…all of these options will be looked at. Michael Vick and Calvin Johnson are officially on the trading block as of today. Also Jason Witten. I will be open to any offers…no one is untouchable. So there you have it. I am ready to take some chances and be proactive. Nonetheless…I said to sit Owen Daniels and he got 30 points. So sometimes even playing the matchup does not end up working out the way it was expected. So until Thursday…that is my NFL WEEK 7 in review. At least Fantasy can keep us occupied in World that is full of negativity and violence. Special condolences go out to Autumn Pasquale’s family and friends…the 12 year old girl whose life was viciously ended by two minors over a bike. This world is getting worse by the day so this should put things into perspective. Sports is only sports…it does not transpire real life and the tragedies that occur everyday in this world. For that reason…any of us who are able to even interact in the sports world must realize that we are blessed and be thankful that we are given these chances to enjoy things in life. Unfortunately…too many people have this opportunity taken away by some inauspicious tragedy. HUG YOUR NEIGHBOR FOLKS.

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Alice Cooper: 1989-1991

When you hear the name Alice Cooper…right away you think of the term “Shock Rock” a form of Heavy Metal that uses a combination of violence and dark props such as Live Boa Constrictors, Fake Blood, Guillotines, Electric Chairs, ETC. Alice Cooper was born Vincent Damon Furnier, in Detroit Michigan in 1948. His Musical Career has spanned more than four decades. His band was formed in 1971 as The Alice Cooper Band and their first album was “Love It To Death,”which featured the hit singles “I’m Eighteen” and “School’s Out”. In 1972, their second album was formed called “Million Dollar Babies.”. In 1975, Alice went solo and released the concept album “Welcome to My Nightmare”. In total, Alice has released 26 Studio Albums, 19 coming as a solo artist. Cooper is credited for bringing stagecraft to the Metal Scene using horror imagery to change and shape the sound and image of Heavy Metal forever. He was the Marilyn Manson, 30 years before Marilyn was formed.
This Article will focus on a short time period in Alice Cooper’s career between 1989-1991. During these years Alice Cooper released the albums “Trash” in 1989 and “Hey Stoopid” in 1991. Alice Cooper used many guest musicians (vocalists, guitarists, and Drummers) on these two albums. The album Trash featured his first top ten single “Poison” since 1977 an put Alice back on the map. Alice Cooper sought the assistance of Desmond Child, a famous song writer and producer to make this album a hit. “Only My Heart Talkin” used Steven Tyler from Aerosmith on Background Vocals. Jon Bon Jovi sang back up vocals on the Title Track ” Trash”, while Joey Kramer played Drums and Tom Hamilton played Bass. Then there was “Kip Winger” singing backup on “I’m Your Gun.”. Joe Perry of Aerosmith played additional guitar on “House of Fire”, Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi) additional guitar on “Hell is Living Without You”, Kane Roberts guitar on “Bed of Nails,” Guy-Mann Dude additional guitar on “Why Trust You” “Spark in the Dark” and “This Maniac’s in Love With You”. Mark Frasier and Jack Johnson also provided additional guitar solos on “Trash”. Finally, many other vocalists including Desmond Child, Louie Merlino, Alan St. John and a host of others were used on many of the songs on the album. The record was a huge hit and brought Alice Cooper back to the threshold of Mainstream Metal. Desmond Child was brilliant with his work that he had done with Aerosmith and Bon Jovi and he brought the same energy and creativity to the album “Trash”. I mean, the album would have probably been a success without all of the guests, but these specific guests all brought something special to the table. Alice Cooper was not the first musician to use multiple guests, but this was the first album to incorporate this much talent into an entire set list. Poison is one of Alice Cooper’s top songs and give Kudos to Desmond Child for putting the album together.
The sequel to the super album “Trash” was “Hey Stoopid,” which was released in 1991 after a long world wide tour. “Hey Stoopid” used the same album makeup as it included a wide variety of guest appearances. First the Title Track…with an awesome theme about drug use, suicide and violence. “Hey Stoopid” included guest guitarists Slash, Joe Satriani, and Stef Burns. The song also included dramatic background vocals by Ozzy Osbourne. The song made the Top 20 on the Billboard 100. The song “Burning our Bed” was co-wrote by Al Pitrelli, and included Joe Satriani on Guitar. “Feed My Frankenstein”, another hit off of the album featured Steve Vai and Joe Satriani on Guitar, Nikki Sixx on Bass and the West Coast Gang on Backup Vocals. “Die For You” was co-wrote by Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx…and featured Mick Mars on lead Guitar. Other guests on this album included Vic Pepe, Al Pitrelli, Desmond Child, Vinnie Moore and Chris Cornell. These two albums were the high point for Alice Cooper
In the modern Metal era and brought excitement back to his act. Even during the tour…some of the guests would appear unannounced…much to the delight of the fans. I would strongly recommend both of these albums for
any true Metal Fan. They both bring the perfect balance of sound and quality…as well as different styles of music as each player brings something different to the table. Blast “Hey Stoopid” and you will hear some sick guitar riffs with Slash and Joe Satriani going back and forth and just when u think nothing else can happen…you hear Ozzy’s distinct voice in the background, which is a true match to Alice Cooper. If you are an eighties/nineties metal fan…these albums are classics. ROCK ON!

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NFL WEEK 7 PICKS/FANTASY START EMS- SIT EMS

Week # 7….Both Aaron’s favorite team and my favorite team are on byes so I will actually be able to focus more on The Fantasy Realm. Anyways here are my picks for Week # 7:

1) Washington Redskins @ New York Giants- The Giants are favored by 5.5 points in this one at home. The Giants have been unstoppable on Offense and they really made a statement by blowing out the 49ers at San Francisco. Eli Manning and Ahmad Bradshaw are in post season form already and Victor Cruz is showing that he is not a one year wonder. That being said…this is a Division Game against a fierce rival. The Redskins are coming off a tough game last week and this has the makings of let down game for the Giants. I’m taking Washington to pull out a last minute win.
2) Tennessee Titans @ Buffalo Bills- Buffalo is favored at home in this one by 3.5. Tennessee has struggled mightily this year, especially on the road. They have a horrible run defense so the Bills 1-2 punch of Jackson/Spiller should be able to control the clock. I’m taking the Bills and the points.
3) Cleveland Browns @ Indianapolis Colts- The Browns got their first win of the season and the Colts lost a close one. Andrew Luck still looks green, but he does have a few weapons…Reggie Wayne seems to have an extra gear this year. Indy is favored by 2.5 in this one. My hunch is that Cleveland will win it’s second game of the year.
4) New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers- The Saints are favored on the road in this one by 2.5. The Saints are still a great offense, but their defense is terrible. Tampa Bay has been impressive and their defense is one of the tops in the league. Josh Freeman is coming into his own as is sophomore receiver Mike Williams. I’m taking the Bucs to upset the Saints.
5) Dallas Cowboys @ Carolina Panthers- The Panthers have been embarrassing and The Cowboys are team inconsistent. Dallas is favored by 2.5 on the road so Vegas is not too confident in this one. Dallas is too good to lose against a poor team like the Panthers, but stranger things have happened. Take the Cowboys by a field goal…they barely cover.
6) Green Bay Packers @ Saint Louis Rams- Green Bay is favored by 5.5 on the road this week. Aaron Rodgers looked like a man possessed last week with a career high 6TD passes. Saint Louis has been inconsistent at best. The Packers run all over a week Rams Defense and win outright.
7) Arizona Cardinals @ Minnesotta Vikings- The Vikings are favored at home by 6.5. Both teams have pretty decent records and both have performed better than expected. The Vikings have been more consistent on both sides of the ball though. The Vikings win but the Cardinals cover.
8) Baltimore Ravens @ Houston Texans- The Ravens will be playing this game without 3 Pro Bowl Defenders. Houston is favored by 6.5 at home and can really distance itself with a win against the upstart Ravens. I’m taking Houston to win the game but the Ravens will cover.
9) Jacksonville Jaguars @ Oakland Raiders- The Raiders are favored by 4.5 at home. The Jaguars have been terrible but are coming off a much needed bye. Expect the Jags to pound the football. I expect a big game from Maurice Jones Drew. Jaguars win.
10) New York Jets @ New England Patriots- New England is favored by 10.5 at home. Last week they were favored by 9.5 and were upset by the Seattle Seahawks. I believe the Patriots will win but a better Jets team down this stretch will cover.
11) Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinatti Bengals- The Steelers are favored by 1.5 in this one. Pittsburgh is not firing on all cylinders and the Bengals have been playing better football. I’m taking Cincy to squeak this game out in a nailbiter.
12) Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears- Nothing like this division rivalry. These games are always hard fought battles. 2 of the best receivers are playing in this one. It will be close as Chicago wins but Detroit will cover.

Start Ems:
QB- Tom Brady, Josh Freeman, Jay Cutler
RB- Maurice Jones Drew, CJ Spiller/Fred Jackson, Alfred Morris
WR- Brandon Marshall, Wes Welker, Victor Cruz
TE- Jason Witten, Fred Davis, Aaron Hernandez
K- Jason Hanson, Sebastian Janikowski, Laurence Tynes
D- Minnesota, Dallas, Chicago

SIT EMS:
QB- Mark Sanchez, Ben Rothelisberger, Matt Schaub
RB- Chris Johnson, Rashard Mendenhall, Steven Jackson
WR- Steve Smith, Larry Fitzgerald, Brandon Lloyd
TE- Jermicah Finley, Owen Daniels, Martellus Bennett
K-Mason Crosby, Nick Folk, Mike Nugent
D- Carolina, Saint Louis, New Orleans
Looking forward to a great week 7!!!!

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TOP 10 BANDS THAT CHANGED METAL

So many bands have come and gone in the Metal Music Scene. In fact, Heavy Metal has evolved and grown many subsets throughout the years. VH1 Classic had an awesome documentary on Heavy Metal this past summer that gave a chronological history of Metal Music and it’s roots. Of Course…the Forefathers of Heavy Metal was Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. There was also Rainbow, AC/DC, Aerosmith, And many other bands alike that pushed Heavy Metal to the forefront of the music industry. Whether it be “one hit wonders,” like Autograph or bands that have stood the test of time like AC/DC or KISS….there have been so many good metal bands to surface from the early nineteen eighty’s until modern day metal. Many bands have made their mark and changed the style of music and how it is played. However, some Bands have risen above the rest to make significant impacts on the music genre known as metal and these bands have influenced these styles in ways that are unfathomable. The following article shares my Top 10 Bands that have changed and influenced Heavy Metal today.
1) Iron Maiden- Iron Maiden was formed in 1975 in England by Steve Harris. Since their inception, Iron Maiden has produced 15 Studio Albums, 10 Live Albums, and 7 Video Compilations. They were pioneers of the new wave of British Heavy Metal. In most music congregations…Maiden is considered an underground Metal Band because of their lack of Television and radio support and exposure. Iron Maiden has sold 85 million records, which is a huge accomplishment for a band that does not hit the radio circuit. For most of their career, Bruce Dickinson has piloted Maiden as the lead vocalist…except for it’s very beginning when Paul Diano was the lead singer and also 1994-1999, when Blaze Bayley took over the Helm. They have played over 2000 live shows all over the World and have produced many hit singles. A lot of their style and sound is progressive and uses melodic and harmonic style of guitars. They have produced a few concept albums using this creative style. I would venture to put Bruce Dickinson right up there with the all time great vocalists in Metal History. Iron Maiden has definitely influenced Metal in enormous proportions. Their best album is probably Number of the Beast which includes the title track and Run to The Hills…another Maiden Classic.
2) Judas Priest- Judas Priest was also formed in England, Birmingham to be exact in 1969. Judas Priest was one of the first Metal Bands to feature the “Twin Guitar” style. Glenn Tipton and KK Downing have been able to modernize this sound and perfect it’s effect on the metal style of music. When you combine these two phenomenal Guitarists with the vocals of Rob Halford, you have the making of a Super Power Band. Rob Halford may even be a better vocalist than Bruce Dickinson. Judas Priest was the first band to truly use the double guitar strategy and thus produced a very heavy fast dark sound of music. They were also responsible for introducing the black leather and S/M look to the Metal Scene. They have produced 16 Studio Albums…their last one being a Concept Album “Nostradamus” about the life of Nostradamus who was an ancient philosopher and prophet. Judas Priest is in the Metal Hall of Fame an they continue to tour and make kick ass tunes. In fact…they will release their 17th studio album in 2013. Judas Priest was a catalyst for the New wave of British Heavy Metal, which has totally influenced all major styles of modern metal today. They have sold 50 million records and stood the test of time.
3) Def Leppard- Another English Heavy Metal Band, formed in 1977 in Sheffield England. Def Leppard truly brought a new sound and style to the table and they really took off in the early eighties. They were the first Metal Band to enjoy major commercial success and their high point was between the early eighties and nineties. Def Leppard has produced twelve studio albums and as mentioned achieved huge success in the commercial record area and mainstream metal population. High and Dry, which was their second album (released in 1981) and the single “Bringing on the Heartbrake” became the first metal song played on MTV Videos. Their next album, Pyromania turned Def Leppard into huge stars and the song Photograph was released in 1983 and also received major airplay on MTV. As of 2004…Pyromania was ranked 384 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Albums of all time. In 1987, Def Leppard released Hysteria which topped the charts in both the United States and United Kingdom! This album alone has gone on to sell over 20 million copies worldwide and Hysteria reached 12x Platinum in 2010, one of the most successful albums ever. The album spawned 6 Hit Singles in the Billboard Top 100. Def Leppard is one of five bands to have two albums certified as Diamond Platinum (Pyromania/Hysteria) 2 Original Studio Albums to sell over 10 million copies each. They are the number 1 album seller of all time in the US ha ing sold over 100 million records. Def Leppard was recently ranked 31 in the top 100 Hard Rock Bands of all time. Def Leppard brought Metal to new grounds and was the first metal band to achieve huge commercial success. They will always be recognized as a band who changed the face of Metal.
4) METALLICA- METALLICA was formed in 1983 in Los Angeles California and they are known as the founding member of the BIG 4, which is a term for the 4 greatest thrash metal bands of all time. They were the pioneer of Thrash Metal, which became the most popular form of metal music in the mid 1980’s! METALLICA in it’s roots was a Heavy Metal Underground Icon and achieved commercial success with their third album, Master of Puppets. This album is still considered one of the most heavy influential heavy metal albums of all time. Many Thrash Bands were formed during Metallica’s rise including Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer who join METALLICA in the Big 4. Other Thrash stars included Tetament, Overkill, Quiet Riot, Metal Church, and many others. METALLICA hit their high point when they released their Fifth Album “Black” which debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard Top 100. Thus far…METALLICA has produced 9 Studio Albums and since 1991 is the highest selling band in the Music Industry. Like Def Leppard, METALLICA too has sold over 100 million records worldwide. The Black Album is actually the 25th most sold album in United States History. METALLICA will always be known for it’s tremendous influence on the emergence of “Thrash” metal which incorporated speed heavy fierce guitars with powerful double bass drums and screeching vocals. Thrash Metal is still one of the most popular forms of Heavy Metal today.
5) Motley Crüe- Motley Crüe was formed in Los Angeles California in 1981 by Bass Guitarist Nikki Six and Drummer Tommy Lee, and were later joined by Mik Mars and Vince Neil on Vocals. Through the years, Motley Crüe is has been considered the most notorious Rock Band of all time. Motley Crüe was the catalyst for the Hair Metal revolution, which was basically heavy metal bands that played themes such as sex, drugs, and rock n roll and they sported long hair and wore makeup. Motley Crüe has produced nine studio albums and are currently working on their tenth. They have been ranked 10th on the MTV Top 10 Heavy Metal List and 9th on the VH1 Top 10 Heavy Metal list respectively. Motley Crüe was a raucous bunch that provided fast heavy guitar with cutting vocals from Vince Neil. Between all of the band members…they probably have all been in trouble with the law than any other heavy metal bands. Motley Crüe achieved great commercial success and thrived with their popularity with MTV exposure…especially among ladies.
6). Poison- Poison was another Hair Metal band that was formed in Pennsylvania by Vocalist Brett Michaels and they combined Motley Crues look with a more mellow sounding rock sound. Poison was also more popular with the ladies. They actually became the catalyst for Glam Metal Bands in the mid eighties which took on a huge part of the metal population. Other bands that followed Poison’s success included Warrant, Skid Row, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, Ratt, Winger, Quiet Riot, Twisted Sister, Wasp, and many more bands. Poison is most known for their album Open up and say Ahh…their best hit number 1 single “Every Rose Has it’s Thorn.”. Poison popularized Ballads which used heavy guitar but incorporated a mellow sad sound. So many bands followed this trend.
7). Guns N Roses- Guns N Roses was formed in 1985 in Los Angeles California by Slash, Duff McKagan, Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin, and Steven Adler. The band only released six studio albums but managed to still sell 100 million records worldwide. This gives you a little clarity on the enormous impact that this band had on Heavy Metal. Appetite For Destruction debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard Top 100 and their single “Sweet Child O Mine” reached number 1 on the Top 100 Billboard singles. The album had sold over 18 million copies in the United States alone making it the Number 1 Debut album of Metal history of all time. Guns N Roses has to receive credit for popularizing heavy metal in an era where pop music had taken over the industry. Guns N Roses had a Rolling Stones type of demeanor and they brought Metal to another level. They were not the classic thrash metal or British style…nor were they the hair glam style either. They brought their own style to the table…a combination of hard rock, punk and metal that thrived and gained quick popularity. The Band was around only a short time but they still remain one if the Greatest American Heavy Metal Bands of all time! The Band’s classic lineup was just recently inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012…the Band’s first year of eligibility. This was a tremendous accomplishment considering they were only around a very short time.
8) Nirvana- Nirvana was formed by Kirk Cobain and Dave Grohl in 1987 near Seattle. They quickly became the catalyst for a new style of Metal known as Grunge. Many Grunge Bands were formed in Seattle in the late eighties. The Grunge style of metal relied on dynamic contrasts in sound, between quiet verses and loud heavy choruses. Nirvana’s second Album, NeverMind achieved dramatic success in the grunge community as well as the Alternative Style of Metal. The band was short-lived as Curt Cobain died in 1994. Even with their short lived career…Nirvana has managed to sell over 25 Million Records in the United States alone and over 75 million world wide. Nirvana set the stage for many other bands including Alice In Chains, SoundGarden, Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, Collective Soul, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Nirvana is kind of like the Beatles of the 1990’s even tho the Beatles lasted much longer. Curt Cobain is John Lennon. The star vocalist whose life was cut way too short.
9). Pantera- Pantera was formed in Arlington Texas in 1981. However…it wasn’t till many years later that the band made it’s mark. They began as a glam metal band producing four albums in the eighties. In 1990, Pantera released “Cowboys From Hell” which was much more of a thrash metal sound. Then Vulgar Display if Power was released which was even heavier. Finally, Far Beyond Driven which was heavier yet. They are responsible for the New Wave of American Heavy Metal which spawned many bands that are still popular today…KORN, Slipknot, Limp Bizkit, Marilyn Manson, White Zombie/Rob Zombie, Tool, HateBreed, Mastadon, and the list goes on and on. Pantera saw it’s high point during the early 90’s and were famous for their mosh pits. The Band disbanded after the brutal murder of it’s star guitar player…Dimebag Darrell on stage by a crazed fan. Pantera is still considered one of the Best Heavy Metal Bands o all time today.
10). Lamb of God- Lamb of God is like Pantera on Steroids. They carry the torch today for Heavy Metal Music and have a Dark Side but they are not quite raucous enough to be considered Death Metal. The band was formed in 1990 in Richmond Virginia and they have produced 6 Studio Albums. They have a cult fan base and thrive on live shows. Ashes of the Wake is their best selling album and they have sold over 10 million albums in the United States alone and over 15 million world wide. Lamb of God uses Pantera like riffs and the demonic vocal sound of Randy Blythe to get the crowds into a rucus. Lamb of God is carrying the torch now for the New Wave of Heavy Metal. Thy have spawned such bands as Avenged Sevenfold, Buck Cherry, Bullet For My Valentine, Killswitch Engage, and As I Lay Dying. They have stood the test of time also.

Honorable Mention- Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Kiss, Marilyn Manson, Slipknot. Well…that is my top 10 list and it’s not in any particular order. If I had to pick the number 1 band for influence it would be Guns N Roses. Stay tuned for the next Heavy Metal installment.

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