Heavy metal in the 1980’s is hard to describe. Its static style did not change much from the 1970’s, but the lyrics, image, and theatrics took a step forward. Heavy metal had a huge impact in the 1980’s and there were many successful bands.
Van Halen took heavy metal to new heights. After more than two decades of playing sold-out concert halls, selling millions of albums and enduring various lineup changes and solo projects, Van Halen is recognized as one of the most resilient and successful rock bands to emerge from the 1970s and continue into the 1980’s. Eddie and Alex Van Halen were raised in Pasadena, the children of Dutch immigrants who immigrated to California in 1967. The Van Halen brothers grew up taking classical piano lessons. Eddie played guitar and Alex played the drums as teenagers. In 1974, they hooked up with David Lee Roth (vocals) and Michael Anthony (bass), while gigging around town in their band Mammoth. Within a few years, they had become one of the most popular bands on the Los Angeles scene. Fans packed L.A.'s smoky rock clubs to check out Eddie's unconventional guitar riffs and Roth's over-the-top showmanship.
In 1976, Gene Simmons noticed the group at a local club and gave them a recording session, and soon after Van Halen was signed to Waner Bros. Their debut album, Van Halen, was released in 1978 and included the hit singles "Runnin' With the Devil" and a cover of the Kinks' "You Really Got Me." Eddie Van Halen took electric guitar technique to new heights with his patented two-handed tapping and pull-off effects, while Roth's tongue-in-cheek histrionics proved to be a refreshing alternative in an industry chock full of self-important rock stars. Within six months of its release, Van Halen was certified platinum. The album not only launched Van Halen's career, but it came to influence countless American rock bands during the next decade.
During the next few years, Van Halen became one of the hardest working and most profitable bands in the recording industry, releasing a string of multi-platinum albums in quick succession; 1979's Van Halen II, 1980's Women and Children First, 1981's Fair Warning and 1982's Diver Down. But it was the album 1984, released on New Year's Day of that year that solidified the band's superstar status. The album contained the mega-hits "Jump," "Panama" and "H...
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...rive for debut US tours to open for, respectively, Pat Travers, Judas Priest, Ted Nugent and AC/DC. In August, Def Leppard returns to the UK to play at the Reading Festival. The crowd, convinced that the band have sold out to the Yankee Dollar and turned their backs on their home country, greet them with a rain of tomatoes and beer cans.
Def Leppard released many albums such as, Pyromania with the single “Photograph,” and Hysteria with singles such as "Women", "Animal", "Pour Some Sugar On Me", "Love Bites", "Armageddon It", "Hysteria" and "Rocket". Def Leppard was an English band that showed the other bands how it was done. Their career started in 1977 and continued through 2002 with the “X” tour.
Heavy metal is an amazing thing that took its unique and amazing sounds to new heights. Unfortunately due to highly commercialized excess driven hair bands the genre was sent in to another decline where the music would be reabsorbed into new genres. By around 1990 most heavy metal had evolved into other rock genres like hard rock, grunge, gothic rock, gothic metal, thrash metal, speed metal, doom metal, and nu metal.
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