phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Heavy metal

Posted by Lewis on October 09, 2003

In Reply to: Heavy metal posted by Doug on October 08, 2003

: Heavy metal --

: Uranium, Plutonium, etc (even lead)
: The connotation is that these metals are toxic or radioactive.

: Heavy water is also toxic.

: Intuitively, the term applies to music played on electronic instruments, modern instruments, ie "metal"
: and not wood or gut. "Heavy" is the overpowering effect
: on the nervous system - as if you were hit with several tons of active plutonium. "Heavy" is the depressing aspect of living in times where nuclear weapons exist.

: That may not be the correct derivation of the term, but I think it fits.

Guy posted earlier and said that he was the journo who used "Heavy Metal" to describe the music. Certain HR bands had metal or similar things in their band names.

After replacing the Yardbirds as "The New Yardbirds" Led Zeppelin thought they would "go down like a lead balloon" - hence led (so that not pronounced as to rhyme with 'bleed') zeppelin (a large over-inflated balloon).

Other bands of a similar loud demeanour included "Grand Funk Railroad" in which 'railroad' also being the iron way ('chemin de fer' etc) MC5 (MC=motor city) and Iron Butterfly. All industrial/metallic band names - all "heavy" i.e. full and unrelenting/loud sound profiles.

hence the guy said they were "heavy metal" bands.

One must avoid being too literal - guitars do have metal parts, but are primarily wood - so are drums and keyboads. Real "heavy metal" would be played on uranium-enriched tubular bells and a lead triangle!

Lemmy will now take the stage with his viola...