Posts Tagged ‘heavy metal’
The accusation of Satanism and the inspiration to disclose real or alleged destructive messages cleverly concealed in the lyrics, is a constant that unites the greatest heavy metal band from the days of Led Zeppelin, helping to accentuate the black halo that accompanies this kind of music. Any opinion on it is permissible, but probably no one would have thought that it was necessary to ask the judgment of the court of Nevada.
On the evening of December 23, 1985, near the church of Sparks, Nevada, after a day spent drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana with the album Stained Class in the background, Raymond Belknap, 18, and James Vance, 20, decided to put an end to their lives by shooting a hunting rifle directly to the face. Raymond dies on the spot, James pick up the weapon, but to imitate the friend is not as precise: the explosion devastates his face, but don’t kill him: James gets along with 140 suture stitches but a slow agony accompanies him for 3 years until an overdose puts an end to his suffering.
During the hospital stay after the incident, Vance (Photo .. for those with liver), in a letter to his mother, said that alcohol and heavy metal music such as Judas Priest induced them to seek death in response to their lives. Vance said in an later interview that listening to that music had an effect on him similar to pressing the self destruct button in his brain.
After the death of Vance, the families of the two boys decide to sue the band and 16 July 1990 opens a real trial against Judas Priest, accused of incitement to suicide: the offending track is “Better by You, Better Than Me“, which allegedly contains the incitement” Do it! Do it! Do it! ” perceptible by listening to the song backwards. The defense appeals to the First Amendment which guarantees freedom of expression, but the judge decrees that this principle is not applicable to subliminal messages, so they are forced to resort to the opinion of an expert, Anthony Pellicano, who certifies the nonexistence, or otherwise the involuntary of these messages and August 24 of that year, Judas Priest, and in a way the whole heavy metal, are finally exonerated from the infamous charge of incitement to suicide setting a precedent that will appeal to other artists sued for similar reasons, such as Ozzy Osborne.
Commenting on games made in the 1991 documentary “Dream Deceivers: The Story Behind James Vance Vs Judas Priest“, the singer Rob Halford pointed out that incitement “Do it!” in itself is completely generic and stated that, in any case, he never entered hidden messages in Judas Priest’s lyrics, adding that if he wanted to do it most likely he would have opted for a self-promotional slogans such as: “Buy our records! “.
Maybe also kids know that Michael Jackson “Thriller” , with an amount that is around 112 million, holds the record for the biggest selling album in music history, but just as many will probably wonder who will occupy the second position of this special prize.
1980 is a very difficult year for the Australian hard rock band AC/DC: Feb. 19 the singer Bon Scott died of alcohol problems. The distress is palpable within the group so that according to Angus Young the idea of dissolution was becoming more than just a simple and unlikely event. Encouraged by the arrival of Brian Johnson, former singer of Geordie, as well as great lyricist, and by the return into the steering committee of producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange, who previously had worked for the album Highway To Hell, AC/DC leave for the Bahamas to record the album which would have been a tribute to the historical voice recently deceased.
Following a number of organizational problems and related to unlikely climatic conditions (as noted in the first verses of Hell’s Bells), finally 25 June 1980 they published “Back in Black”, featuring a completely black cover commissioned by the band in mourning for the death of Scott: Atlantic Records did not see kindly to this solution but adjusts to the will of AC/DC as long as their logo was noted in silver.
The success of public and critics were immediate even if the first ranking was achieved only in motherland: the singles You Shook Me All Night Long, Shoot To Thrill, Hell’s Bells and the homonymous Back In Black allowed the album to reach the No. 4 position in the American Bilboard 200 but above all ensure exceptional longevity so that the disc returned to the charts for 131 weeks in a row. If we consider the successive editions of the album, Back In Black now has 22 times platinum in the U.S. and it’s estimated that the world can boast 49 million copies sold, reaching second place in the special list of all time.