From the Vault...


"Heavy Metal"

© Epic Records

Year of Release: 1981

track listing
  • Heavy Metal--
    Sammy Hagar
  • Heartbeat--
  • Working In The
    Coal Mine--
  • Veteran Of The
    Psychic Wars--
    Blue Oyster Cult
  • Reach Out--
    Cheap Trick
  • Heavy Metal
    (Takin' A Ride)--
    Don Felder
  • True Companion--
    Donald Fagen
  • Crazy (A Suitable
    Case For
  • Radar Rider--
  • Open Arms--
  • Queen Bee--
    Grand Funk Railroad
  • I Must Be Dreamin'--
    Cheap Trick
  • The Mob Rules--
    Black Sabbath
  • All Of You--
    Don Felder
  • Prefabricated--
  • Blue Lamp--
    Stevie Nicks

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    "Heavy Metal"

    Heavy Metal, the movie, was one of those midnight show classics when I used to work at River Oaks Theatres in Calumet City, Illinois, back in the early 1980s. The movie consisted of various science fiction and fantasy stories from and inspired by the magazine of the same name. The five-part animations combined the works of many artists and animators from 17 different countries. The five parts were: "Soft Landing," "Grimaldi," "Harry Canyon," "Den"," and "Captain Sternn." (Information on the five parts can be found here.

    I vaugely remember the movie, yet I've always remembered (one of) the title tracks. "Heavy Metal (Takin' A Ride)" by Don Felder (member of the Eagles). Sammy Hagar also had a "Heavy Metal" song on the soundtrack, where many remember the Don Felder version, and thought Hagar was the singer. Very impressive lineup of artists on the soundtrack: Hagar, Devo, Blue Oyster Cult, Cheap Trick, Felder, Donald Fagen (of Steely Dan), Nazareth, Journey, Grand Funk Railroad, Black Sabbath (with Ronnie James Dio), Stevie Nicks. Two bands not familiar with: Riggs and Trust.

    Riggs -- Who is this band? The band was formed by Jerry Riggs. Originally from Tennessee, he formed his first group in the 1970s (Lynx). By the end of the decade, his second band, Raggedy Ann was formed. When the original lead singer of Raggedy Ann (Don Train) left, Riggs took over, and renamed the band Riggs. Their self-titled debut album was released on Full Moon Records in 1980. (This album was recently reissued on CD through Wounded Bird Records. Both songs from the Heavy Metal soundtrack are NOT on Riggs' debut album.) His involvement with the Heavy Metal soundtrack followed the next year. Jerry Riggs joined the Pat Travers Band in 1983, and stayed with this band 10 years. He now lives in Florida, and is a local favorite there, as well as in Michigan and Wisconsin. He also performs with "Rock and Pop Masters," a group of musicians/professionals in the area of Classic Rock events. As for the band Trust, not much info was found, just that they were compared to the likes of Bon Scott and AC/DC.

    Now, for the common Rock artists: Devo's version of "Working In A Coal Mine" is a great remake. Blue Oyster Cult is an obvious choice for this movie; their song "Veteran Of The Psychic Wars" can also be found on the BOC album Fire Of Unknown Origin. Cheap Trick has two songs here: "Reach Out" and "I Must Be Dreamin' Cheap Trick as a "heavy metal" band? I don't think so. Yet, The latter song of the two just may impress you; it is more of a harder rock sound than your usual Cheap Trick. Don Felder's "Heavy Metal" may not sound like an actual Eagles tune, yet his other song, "All of You" could be a hit or miss if recorded by the band that made him famous.

    Donal Fagen (of Steely Dan) slows down the heavy metal pace, with the nice and jazzy, Steely Dan-ish "True Companion." Nazareth was best known for the ballad remake of "Love Hurts" and the Bob Seger-ish "Hair Of The Dog." Their song "Crazy" (A Suitable Case Of Treatment)" easily fits the soundtrack, just as Blue Oyster Cult. Journey's famous hit "Open Arms" is here, followed by Grand Funk Railroad's "Queen Bee." It's good to see GFR here; they were best remembered from the 1970s, and considered a band in the Classic Rock category.

    Ronnie James Dio had recently joined the band Black Sabbath, replacing original lead singer Ozzy Osbourne. Their "Mob Rules" is on this soundtrack. This tune is defintely a hard rocking song, similar to "Wango Tango" by Ted Nugent. Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac closes out the soundtrack, with "Blue Lamp." This song is different from her other recordings, yet perfect for this soundtrack.

    Heavy Metal is a good soundtrack. I cannot remember the movie off the top of my head; I'll have to look at the movies I have. I just may have it. The Don Felder tune is the signature tune from this soundtrack/movie. There was a sequel to this movie, Heavy Meatal 2000, released in the year 2000.

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