Friday, January 11, 2013


What If I said something like, um, say....NWOBHM...

ANGEL WITCH - Angel Witch

whats the first thing that pops into your head ?....for me,  its Kerrang magazine and its Neil Kay and that very 70's fu man chu moustache he had hopping out of his Jaguar XJS with a stack of vinyl under his arm and walking into the Soundhouse...,

 I vaguely remember being in Eutopia records one day on a lunch break and a video playing of a BBC heavy metal documentary...I have since got said doco on the Iron Maiden through the years dvd...but, yeah, that was my first inkling of a new wave of anything.

 I must have got into a conversation with the blokes who worked there cause suddenly I had Saxon albums and Diamond Head albums and all sorts of other bands product living at my place, I think I can even link my motorheadism to this point, maybe, not sure...

ANYWAY....NWOBHM, I guess was indirectly created by punk, although Steve Harris would have you thinking different,  Brian Tatler from Diamond head reckons the young metal generation that formed after punk grabbed hold of the punk DIY attitude and applied it liberally to their music.....I havent heard too many bands deny that NWOBHM got 'em started , well, except for Def Leppard, Joe Elliot steadfastly refuses to be lumped in with the NWOBHM guys....

the recording companys went on a signing rampage, similar to what happened on the strip in LA when hair metal showed up, and subsequently, as you would expect , there were some fkn shockers sign to record deals...BUT...there were some classics that have survived to this very millenium..Maiden, Motorhead, Saxon, Preist, Leppard and Girlschool

...just too name a couple...and then their was some that shoulda of cracked it ,but for some f**ked  up reason didnt end up with mansions (well, Lemmy didnt but thats another story) and stuff......Diamond Head, Grim reaper, Tygers of Pan Tang and my personal favourite the band commonly known as SPIDER..the fact they didnt crack it for mega stardom is just f**kin wrong...but thats just my opinion I guess.

MOTORHEAD - louie, louie

After Sounds editor Alan Lewis coined the term, journalist Geoff Barton first used it in the May 1979 issue of Sounds magazine as a way of describing a second wave of heavy metal bands that emerged in the late 1970s during the period of punk rock's decline and the dominance of New Wave music

NWOBHM bands toned down the blues influences of earlier acts, incorporated elements of punk, increased the tempo, and adopted a "tougher" sound, taking a harder approach to its music. It was an era directed almost exclusively at heavy metal fans and is considered to be a major foundation stone for the extreme metal genres,

Metallica main man, Lars Ulrich cite's NWOBHM bands like Saxon, Motörhead, Diamond Head, and Iron Maiden as a major influence on Metallica's musical style.

NWOBHM was recognisable by fast upbeat tempo songs, power chords, fast guitar solos and melodic, soaring vocals, with lyrical themes often drawing inspiration from mythology and fantasy there you, go, now tyou know were Power metal came pleasure

It would be fair to say that NWOBHM existed outside the world of the mainstream pop and rock culture. Magazines such as those sanctimonious pricks over at NME and Melody Maker usually wouldnt feature NWOBHM acts at all......


It was left therefore to Sounds to feature NWOBHM artists. Geoff Barton began writing features on the new up and coming metal bands and Sounds even featured a weekly Heavy Metal chart compiled from record requests at “The Soundhouse”, a heavy metal 'disco' in North West London and the spiritual home of the movement.

Good old Geoff Barton then set up Kerrang!, my personal favourite magazine at the time and the first magazine exclusively devoted to heavy metal...the man should be knighted...the only national radio show to feature the genre was The Friday Rock Show on BBC Radio 1 presented by the legendary Tommy Vance.

The early movement was associated with acts such as Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Saxon, Angel Witch, Girlschool, Raven, Diamond Head, Samson,Tygers of Pan Tang, Blitzkrieg, Sweet Savage, Jaguar, Avenger, Demon, Witchfynde, Witchfinder General, White Spirit and Tank.

The image of bands such as Saxon, (who I ran into at Schipol Airport in 1987,but thats another story) consisting of long hair, denim jackets, leather and chains, would later become synonymous with heavy metal as a whole during the 1980s.

Some bands, although conceived during this era, saw success on an lower scale, as was the case with Venom and Quartz ( who quite frankly, aint very good) NWOBHM suffered the same decline as any other musical movements. Many of the movement's leaders were unable to follow up with a decent sophomore album. In addition, many bands moved further away from the era towards mainstream hard rock, with Def
Leppard in particular targeting the American market with a more refined sound despite having major success.

IRON MAIDEN - Women in Uniform

By the mid 1980s, a fair percentage of my mates and other rock fans found a more commercial metal scene coming from Los Angeles led by bands such as Mötley , Poison and Ratt...but I stuck solid and kept an ear on our pommy cousins....

 In addition, thrash metal, emerged around the same time, and attracted many rock fans for being even faster and even heavier than NWOBHM, despite being NWOBHM's first cousin

Some of the more popular bands of the movements  however, went on to considerable, lasting success. Iron Maiden and Motörhead stayed with a more traditional heavy metal style, allowing them to retain a large and rabid fan base even after bands with a similar sound had lost record company support.


 Iron Maiden has since then become one of the most commercially successful and influential heavy metal bands of all time. Def Leppard, after discarding their earlier, heavier sound, became even hugely successful when they put together  Pyromania and Hysteria (which wouldnt have worked in NWOBHM)

SO, there you go...some NWOBHMISM's for ya..


  1. Hey Recky

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    Hope this helps

  2. Nwobhm 'ELIXIR' ?