Where did Heavy Metal come from? To answer that question you have to look at the musicians that inspired the genre. Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and maybe most importantly of all Jimi Hendrix. The one thing that all of these bands and performers shared was taking the use of the instruments to an extreme.

As we find out from the rockumentary Iron Maiden And The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal these people were the founding father of the metal movement.

East London is not usually a hotbed of musical creativity, in the mid 70’s it was a depressed, and depressing place. It was however the birth place of the iconic band Iron Maiden.

The music world in the mid 70’s had become a somewhat disjointed mess. The pop world had splintered into the mega Glam bands, and the Prog Rock world, both of which were failing quickly. The fans had become disillusioned with the mega bands, they turned instead to the new Punk movement. As one commentator eloquently said “Punk devalued music”. And I am in agreement. The music was devalued, but there was an upside, it created the environment that allowed the metal world to flourish.

Last year I had the opportunity to interview Keith Emerson (ELP), Rick Wakeman (The Strawbs, Yes), Dave Brock (Hawkwind), all prog rockers at the top of their game in the mid 70’s, and all suffered from the advent of Punk. Some, like Keith Emerson found temporary sanctuary in the tax haven of Bermuda, others, such as Al Stewart, chose to make the US home. It was rats leaving a sinking ship. But the one bright spark was the fact that Punk had a short shelf life. Metal was a coming! And Metal through bands like Iron Maiden were poised to change the music scene once again.

This is a great DVD, and it explores an era of music that I for one find fascinating.

You can get your copy from my friends at MVD.

Simon Barrett


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