This week’s Just Press Play comes from Harry Glaspell, WTSQ’s resident metal head and host of Harry’s “Heavy Metal Haven,” a metal show for the people, by the people.
Led Zeppelin ‘IV’
In my humble opinion, Led Zeppelin is the greatest band in music history.
At home, my parents listened to wide range of music, so I was never pigeonholed into one genre of music. But I listened to FM 105 (now ROCK 105) a lot, and they played Led Zeppelin.
I bought the cassette tape with a gift certificate from Camelot Music my aunt gave me for my birthday.
Everyone knows “Stairway to Heaven.” Played to the brink of extinction, it remains one of the greatest rock songs today, but “Misty Mountain Hop” and “Black Dog” were what made me want to rock out!
This is an essential rock and metal album.
Black Sabbath ‘Paranoid’
The creme de la crème of all metal albums.
I was 12 when my sister’s boyfriend gave me a copy of this album. It changed my life forever. I listened to that album day and night for over a year. I had finally found my music.
The guitar tone on this album is so deep and dark, which is in part due to Tony Iommi losing the tips of his middle and ring fingers in a factory accident when he was a teenager. Black Sabbath’s music was a reflection of their lives in Birmingham, England. Tony Iommi may not play like Eddie Van Halen, Dimebag Darrel, or Zakk Wylde, but he is a guitar god.
The rhythm section consisted of my all-time favorite bass player, Geezer Butler, and drummer Bill Ward, which rounded out the unique Black Sabbath sound. Ozzy’s vocals were perfect for that music and it all blended well. I just love the rawness of the record.
AC/DC ‘Highway to Hell’
When my sister’s boyfriend gave me “Paranoid,” it was on a 90-minute cassette. Side two was AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell.”
I would listen to “Paranoid,” flip it over and listen to “Highway to Hell.” Rinse, repeat.
It’s a great rock album and to this day I will argue with anyone that Bon Scott-AC/DC is better than Brian Johnson-AC/DC.
They’re the only band that could play the same three chords on every song and still make them kick ass.
Metallica ‘Kill ’Em All’
After immersing myself in Black Sabbath, AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, a friend of mine came to my house one day frantic, saying, “You’ve got to listen to this!”
It was a tape that had “Kill ’Em All” hand-written on the label. My first thought was, “What is this garbage?” but I was immediately blown away.
That album is so raw and full of heavy metal attitude. This is the album that started the thrash movement in the ’80s and unleashed a fury of great metal music.
“Kill ’Em All” is what a metal album is supposed to be and remains my all-time favorite metal album to this day.
Slayer ‘Live Undead’
After Metallica, I searched for more metal music. This was way before the internet, so I had to search out music the old-fashioned way: music magazines and trading tapes.
I quickly discovered Slayer and ran to the nearest record store. The only Slayer tape they had available at the time was “Live Undead.” It was not necessarily a live album, but recorded in a room full of people. Some have speculated that crowd noise was added.
It contains songs from their first two albums “Show No Mercy” and “Hell Awaits.” The album opens with “Black Magic” which remains my favorite Slayer song today — mainly out of nostalgia.
Slayer was definitely a different type of metal — Satanic imagery mixed with fast angry songs. Think Circle Jerks meets Judas Priest meets Venom.
Wow, was I blown away by Slayer. Plus my mom hated them. So that was an added bonus.
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When he’s not throwing the horns and banging his head, Harry plays guitar in local metal band Dread Utopia. He also enjoys spending time with his family and religiously watching “Star Wars.”
Harry’s Heavy Metal Haven airs on WTSQ 88.1 FM, The Status Quo, every Saturday night from 10 p.m. to midnight.