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Smoke on the Water - Heavy Metal?


Smoke on the Water - Heavy Metal?  

91 members have voted

  1. 1. Smoke on the Water - Heavy Metal?

    • most definitely
      15
    • yes, but barely
      4
    • almost, but not quite
      21
    • definitely not
      51


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I was going to say no augmented fourths in it, so it can't be but some may argue the infamous intro lick has one (although it's split and not a single interval).

Why the need to categorise? If you insist, I'd say it's classic rock, but does it matter?

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IIRC the term 'heavy metal' was first used to describe The Kinks.

In my day metal was long hair and tight trousers, then it became short hair and baggy trousers.

Things change.

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Needs a 'not any more' option. A lot of 'classic' hard rock would've been called heavy metal at the time but as the music's become more extreme, the term's been redefined.

Lots of speculation about the origin of the term - I've always understood it to have come from biker slang for large capacity (and therefore loud) motorcycles - hence its appearance in the lyrics of Steppenwolf's Born To Be Wild. Which would have been pretty heavy in its day.

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I've never understood the urge to put labels on everything.

It happens to extent in all broad categories of music but for some reason dance music and metal fans seem to to be the most obsessive about dividing everything into micro genres.

I remember back in the 80s, when I used to listen to metal, friends arguing about whether various bands were speed metal or thrash metal, I never did learn the difference. 

Since then there seem to have infinite subdivisions, stuff I would have called 'Thrash' back then now seems to have subdivided with terms like 'doom' , 'sludge', 'math rock'. 

It all seems to have got a little bit out of hand.

Edited by Cato
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5 hours ago, Killed_by_Death said:

Yeah, we shouldn't have Music discussions on a Music forum. What was I thinking?!

I’m all for discussing music, but that’s not what this thread is. As @Cato says, it’s about pigeonholing. It’s been done before (by you) and I don’t get it either 🤷‍♂️. What next? Was Elvis ‘The King of Rock and Roll? Was Michael Jackson ‘The King of Pop’? Was James Brown ‘The Godfather of Soul’? Can Marc Almond hold a tune? Are the Pet Shop Boys the best live act you’ll ever see? The answer to the last two are definitely ‘No”, but you get my drift?

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My thoughts on this is that unless artists want to end up as sad parodies of themselves endlessly repeating a tired old formula they need to break the mould and do something different. If they don’t they become the musical equivalent of “Top Gear”.

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For some weird reason there does seem to be an impulse to categorise everything and assign it to a group and tag it with a label. I've encountered it elsewhere in a non-musical context and I do find it frustrating as in that case it's about assigning 'labels' to groups of people.

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I’ve gone for yes they were, based upon what they were doing at the time when they were doing it. 

Of course now we all say they were classic  rock but did that label exist  at the time when they were doing Smoke on The Water?
 

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6 hours ago, Bassassin said:

Needs a 'not any more' option. A lot of 'classic' hard rock would've been called heavy metal at the time but as the music's become more extreme, the term's been redefined.

Lots of speculation about the origin of the term - I've always understood it to have come from biker slang for large capacity (and therefore loud) motorcycles - hence its appearance in the lyrics of Steppenwolf's Born To Be Wild. Which would have been pretty heavy in its day.

I had heard the same origin story, and you're right about the term changing over time now I think about it.

To pick up @hiram.k.hackenbacker's point, I think the reason people want to subcategorise music, films, etc., is because we naturally want to understand what we like and what we don't, and often those distinctions are very fine. Without analysing every song or piece of muisc individually,  we want and need a way to group things together. If those who like "metal" can hear generally applicable trends and differences between songs they have categorised as "thrash" and "speed",  and it improves their communication about the music they like, good for them.  We don't need to join in, and equally we don't need to be dismissive. Every hobby has it's subdivisions. 

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2 minutes ago, Richard R said:

I had heard the same origin story, and you're right about the term changing over time now I think about it.

To pick up @hiram.k.hackenbacker's point, I think the reason people want to subcategorise music, films, etc., is because we naturally want to understand what we like and what we don't, and often those distinctions are very fine. Without analysing every song or piece of muisc individually,  we want and need a way to group things together. If those who like "metal" can hear generally applicable trends and differences between songs they have categorised as "thrash" and "speed",  and it improves their communication about the music they like, good for them.  We don't need to join in, and equally we don't need to be dismissive. Every hobby has it's subdivisions. 

Sorry, but I’ll disagree. I think it might be helpful in terms of a new originals band that nobody’s ever heard to give an indication of what they are about by broadly categorising them as ‘rock’ or ‘soul’, but to be having conversations about categorising 50 year old songs? I just don’t see the point. YMMV of course.

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As others have said they were very much heavy metal. But just as R&B is unrecognisable today from what it used to mean ,Deep Purple sound closer to jazz than metal in 2021.

It's actually a very interesting topic @Killed_by_Death because it speaks to the evolution of popular music.

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