Five '70s Metal Bands Who Are Better Than Black Sabbath

Categories: Metal


2. Budgie

Budgie might be the king of unsung 1970s rock bands. Covered by both Van Halen and Metallica, Budgie are one of the most influential bands you're unfamiliar with. Along with Motörhead and Judas Priest, Budgie were one of the main reference points for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. This was the movement that fused metal with the intensity and authenticity of punk rock, eliminating the lingering trappings of psychedelia and blues. Budgie, however, were doing all this years before the army of punters existed, making them criminally unknown in the United States -- though apparently they were huge in Texas.

See also: What Makes NYC Metal?

Where To Start: If nothing else, If I Were Britannia I'd Waive the Rules is the most clever album title in history. The parakeets in space suits on the cover don't hurt either.

1. Bang

The screeching guitars of Bang are better than anything in '70s metal. "Lions, Christians" is a creepy crawl through the burnt-out remnants of 1960s counterculture. "Questions" expresses an often unexplored sentiment: "Questions all around me / Questions bring me down." The rhythm guitar tracks sound like Frank Glicken is using a tin can lid for a pick. The lead riffs are catchy, but strangely unique -- you'll love them, but you've never quite heard anything like them before. The cover art of their debut album is worth the price of admission alone. So be ready to pay: This and the other records mentioned on this list are rare, though repressings are often available.

Where To Start: The band's self-titled debut shows why 1971 was a high water mark for acid-addled doom rock heaviness.

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27 comments
slug
slug

love all these and more, including Blue Cheer, who get no mention. - yes, loads of cool stuff from seventies, much more than sabbath - but these sounds are not comparable at all, are they? This piece might as well have mentioned GFR and loads more. But none of these have the same innovations in terms of the origins of heavy sludgy guitar,  basenes,. slowness and build. So the author just shows his / her ignorance and lack of musical ear. How embarrassing to have written this ignorant piece. Did some dumb editor choose the 'better than sabbath' headline? You have to live with it now! :)

Jay Ramaswamy
Jay Ramaswamy

I think the rag of a tabloid should be called the Village Idiot's Voice. See Ben Stiller as Simple Jack in Tropic Thunder.

Andrew Bowers
Andrew Bowers

I used to feel that way. Then I tuned into the fun. Priest, Motorhead, AC/DC and Deep Purple all seem to have a sense of it. I'm sure there are others.

Andrew Bowers
Andrew Bowers

Started listening to all out of curiosity. Couldn't finish one of them. :P

Vincent Baine
Vincent Baine

Sorry, but we didn't get a memo about any competition. Nicholas Pell, what are you in high school or something? (I was, in 1975) Spread the love around, mate!

Randy Bapst
Randy Bapst

The real question is..."which 1 guy in that picture didn't have ghonnerea?

Pamela Brown
Pamela Brown

Well if they aren't really metal that probably explains why they don't suck so bad .

Matthew Morris
Matthew Morris

See, I personally would consider most of them hard rock rather than metal, but it's mainly a question of definition. If I were to consider LZ metal, then of course they're superior to Black Sabbath.

Pamela Brown
Pamela Brown

Ok , if I have to name some metal that's o/k. AC/DC , Motörhead and Sabbath, led zep and jethro Tull .

Randy Bapst
Randy Bapst

Oh man I forgot about the nunna nunna nunna naaaas! Paper Lace touched my soul!

Matthew Morris
Matthew Morris

I'm no metalhead, but I like some metal. Sepultera, Slayer, Bad Brains.

Matthew Morris
Matthew Morris

--which brings me to another question: how many people consider Rush metal? I consider them hard rock, but most of my metalhead friends have also been Rush fans. (This is leaving aside whether they are better than Black Sabbath or not.)

Jay Ramaswamy
Jay Ramaswamy

Paper Lace...And they thought they knew all about the night Chicago died....that was well before BO and Rahm the comm

Randy Bapst
Randy Bapst

Paper Lace....they made anti Vietnam songs with Billy Don't Be A Hero! Mean rockin flutes!

Brent Henshaw
Brent Henshaw

If those bands are so much better than Sabbath, why haven't I heard of them?

Dan Grove
Dan Grove

both Blasphemy AND Sacrilege

Will Iam Dunn
Will Iam Dunn

Yes they are. Deep Purple is better than Sabbath. Nazareth & MC5 gave them a run for their money as well. Blue Cheer kicked ass as well.

William Rodgers
William Rodgers

hey Nick- how do you breathe with your noggin that far up your ay-nuss?

Nic Buccolieri
Nic Buccolieri

black widows, atomic rooster, graciuos... only few names of great "dark" bands from that time...

Ken Vail Jr.
Ken Vail Jr.

well i like to read about obscure bands I've not listened to yet, thanks to youtube and countless blogs I've learned about many bands...

Nic Buccolieri
Nic Buccolieri

it's not blasphemy or sacrilege, but those bands are NOT better than them...

vmitchellbell
vmitchellbell

@Pamela Brown jethro tull metal ? LOL ooooookkkay

epac666
epac666 topcommenter

@Pamela Brown Fine, stop trolling.

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