Posts Tagged ‘Headbanger’s Ball’

This entry is part 2 of 11 in the series The Top 10 Danzig songs

Here are my Top 10 Danzig songs of the now-classic original lineup of Danzig (vocals), John Christ (guitars), Eerie Von (bass) and Chuck Biscuits (drums). This lineup was active years 1987-1994 and released the most iconic and revered albums among fans with Danzig (1988), Danzig II: Lucifuge (1990), Danzig III: How the Gods Kill (1992) and Danzig 4 (1994).

Danzig2na2. “Killer Wolf”
(Danzig II: Lucifuge, 1990)

This song didn’t start out as one my favorite Danzig tracks, but the bluesy and equally creepy “Killer Wolf” grew on me and has stood the test of time. Danzig had said that “Killer Wolf” is his version of an old blues song about a guy who wolfs around the door of every girl in town.” I remember this video originally airing on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball nearly as much as “Mother.” On a side note, Danzig sure did make a lot of music videos back in the day, didn’t he?

This entry is part 3 of 11 in the series The Top 10 Danzig songs

Here are my Top 10 Danzig songs of the now-classic original lineup of Danzig (vocals), John Christ (guitars), Eerie Von (bass) and Chuck Biscuits (drums). This lineup was active years 1987-1994 and released the most iconic and revered albums among fans with Danzig (1988), Danzig II: Lucifuge (1990), Danzig III: How the Gods Kill (1992) and Danzig 4 (1994).

Danzig_cover3. “Mother”
(Danzig, 1988)

Most casual fans would probably have guessed “Mother” as the No. 1 Danzig song in this list. Well, I’m no casual fan. Don’t get me wrong, the song is fantastic and is still the band’s most well known song, but there’s a couple a like even more. This was, however, the first song I ever heard from Danzig on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball way back in 1988. My initial feelings were mixed, as it was like nothing I had ever heard. I was even more shocked when the song became a smash in 1993 when a live version appeared on Thrall/Demonsweatlive and another music video was made.

 

This entry is part 1 of 11 in the series The Top 10 Headbanger's Ball Breakthrough Bands

1. White Zombie – “Thunder Kiss ’65”

It seems crazy to think of hearing Rob Zombie or White Zombie for the first time—hasn’t he always existed? For a large number of metalheads and I, Headbanger’s Ball is where we first saw “Thunderkiss ’65” ( La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Volume One, 1992). It was a strange combination of Metallica, horror, hard rock and punk. It was basically what Zombie has become known for—out of this world. Even the video was original, a stripped-down rock-out with a dreadlocked Zombie and band performing with women dancing around, monsters and props out in the desert—a precursor of what came over the next two decades with White and Rob Zombie. The videos came in furiously to the “Ball” and MTV after this, and like I said in the intro, Zombie was even a regular set-designer. Between Headbanger’s Ball and its No. 1 fans, Beavis and Butthead, White Zombie was the poster-metal band for MTV during this period, making this debut video No. 1 on my list.

This entry is part 11 of 11 in the series The Top 10 Headbanger's Ball Breakthrough Bands

When the above intro played, for all of us diehard metalheads, this was it—this was the time, “our” time, and the only time of each week we could check out our favorite bands, hope to see our favorite videos and hear the latest metal. This was MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball, which originally aired from from midnight to 3 a.m. Saturday nights from April 18, 1987, to Jan. 28, 1995. After the initial years when MTV VJ Adam Curry and the lot of late ’80s hair metal bands were phased out, Headbanger’s Ball, under the guidance of host Riki Rachtman, introduced fans to bands that went on to have major breakthroughs in the metal scene, many of which are still active today. See the list and videos inside. (more…)

This entry is part 2 of 11 in the series The Top 10 Headbanger's Ball Breakthrough Bands

2. Pantera – “Cowboys from Hell”

RIP Dimebag Darrell. No one knew the previous incarnation of the glam Pantera, so when these Southern boys debuted with “Cowboys from Hell” from the album of the same name, it took the metal world by storm. Packed into a small club, with a crowd in a near stage-diving frenzy, Phil Anselmo and the boys slam it home live and in the process molded a new, harder, pissed-off brand of metal that led into the ’90s and changed the mold of American heavy metal.

This entry is part 4 of 11 in the series The Top 10 Headbanger's Ball Breakthrough Bands

4. Suicidal Tendencies  – “You Can’t Bring Me Down”

Though the band had been around in the hardcore/skate/crossover scene since 1981, metalheads hadn’t heard of Suicidal Tendencies until its smash-hit, near-mainstream album,  Lights…Camera…Revolution! Mike Muir and company became regulars on the “Ball,” and this album broke down barriers between hardcore, punk and metal. The Los Angeles, Calif., band that was “Possessed to Skate” only a few years earlier now was riding its hardcore metal anthem and hit video, “You Can’t bring Me Down.” I probably saw this video 50 times during this period, but I don’t mind watching it again. Guitarist Mike Clark also credited Headbanger’s Ball in a Live Metal interview, saying “having Headbanger’s Ball backing you—Rikki (Rachtman) was a good friend and really loved the band—really gave us a lot of exposure, which was great. That’s how people find out about you and it carries over.”

This entry is part 5 of 11 in the series The Top 10 Headbanger's Ball Breakthrough Bands

5. Entombed – “Stranger Aeons”

Entombed’s debut, Left Hand Path (1990), became a cult favorite that established the band as a popular Swedish death metal act. Left Hand Path and its follow-up, Clandestine (1991), were unique by featuring what sometimes was referred to as a “buzzsaw” guitar sound, still used by many bands today. At this point in 1991, I had heard some heavy shit, but I was blown away when I saw this video and, honestly, a little scared. Little did I know that Entombed would go on tohelp shape the extreme metal landscape and now is viewed as a pioneer in the subgenre.

This entry is part 7 of 11 in the series The Top 10 Headbanger's Ball Breakthrough Bands

7. Primus – “John the Fisherman”

The “Ball” was known for playing some off-the-wall shit, but I’m not sure I was ready for this video when I saw it in the closing minutes of a 1990 airing in the wee-hours of the night. I remember thinking, “This was so terrible and funny that it’s actually really good.” The song was from the band’s debut album, Frizzle Fry, and apparently fans thought the same, prompting the chant “Primus sucks!” at live shows. Primus went on to become successful in both the metal and alternative rock genres. Lead vocalist/bassist Les Claypool recently reformed the band, and select live dates are scheduled for 2014, with a possible new release somewhere in the near future.

This entry is part 9 of 11 in the series The Top 10 Headbanger's Ball Breakthrough Bands

9. Exodus – ‘The Toxic Waltz”

One of the original Bay Area thrash metal bands, Exodus was co-founded by Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett, and its current guitarist, Gary Holt, now plays in Slayer, as well. Over a span of 34 years, Exodus has gone through numerous lineup changes, two extended hiatuses and the deaths of two former band members. Holt joined the band shortly after its formation and has remained the only constant member of Exodus since and appears on all its releases.

Exodus had established itself in the thrash metal underground, even after replacing original vocalist Paul Baloff in 1986 with Steve ” Zetro” Souza, but it had yet to achieve any mainstream success. That changed with the release of Fabulous Disaster in 1989 and the MTV Headbanger’s Ball staple “The Toxic Waltz.”

This entry is part 10 of 11 in the series The Top 10 Headbanger's Ball Breakthrough Bands

10. Prong – “Beg to Differ”

Already a band since 1986, the Brooklyn-based Prong, led by singer/guitarist Tommy Victor (who was a sound man for the famous club CBGB), bassist Mike Kirkland (doorman at CBGB’s) and ex-Swans drummer Ted Parsons, released its major label debut album, Beg to Differ, in 1990. The lead track and video served as an introduction to fans, and Prong’s music  later was sampled in the intro of Headbanger’s Ball. After a long period of inactivity, the band is active again today,  releasing Carved into Stone in 2012.

This entry is part 8 of 11 in the series The Top 10 Headbanger's Ball Breakthrough Bands

8. Death Angel – “Seemingly Endless Time”

Like the previous entry, Exodus, this is another band that was riding underground success with albums The Ultra-Violence (1987) and Frolic Through the Park (1988) in the same Bay Area thrash scene, but didn’t get its first major exposure until the “Ball” and the album, Act III (1990). Vocalist Mark Osegueda told me in a 2010 interview that Act III was “definitely the band’s largest and most successful album to date and quite an era to be a part of,” adding that Headbanger’s Ball “was one of the biggest things for metal and was just phenomenal and it definitely helped us in a huge way.”

“Seemingly Endless Time” was the lead single from Act III and was in constant rotation.

Steve "Zetro" Souza Part II: The Day the Metal Died

Steve “Zetro” Souza Part II: The Day the Metal Died

For any late ’80s to early ’90s thrash metal fans, Steve “Zetro” Souza was the shit. As the wild-eyed, crazy-haired frontman for Bay Area legends Exodus, he helped propel the band to commercial success with Fabulous Disaster (1989), which featured the band’s biggest hit, “The Toxic Waltz.” Behind the album, the band found a worldwide fan base and was a regular on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. In Part 1 of our interview with Zetro, we were introduced to his new band, Hatriot, that he formed with his two sons, Cody and Nick SouzaIn Part 2 of our interview, Zetro reflects back on his time in Exodus, talks about the death of metal in the ’90s and the current state of the genre. (more…)