Billy Corgan's 10 greatest heavy metal albums of all time
27th Apr 2010 | 11:26
The Stooges - Funhouse (1969)
Although often tagged as the poster boy for '90s alt-rock, Billy Corgan's trailblazing work with The Smashing Pumpkins is informed by many musical sources: psychedelia, progressive rock, punk and, most importantly, heavy metal.
His chainsaw guitar sound on I Am One, from 1991's Gish, bears this out. It's a slamming, Sabbath-like slab of unadulterated metal, with a bracing solo that undoubtedly left more than a fair share of GIT shredders agape.
Need more proof? Check out the lacerating Tales Of A Scorched Earth from 1995's Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness. Shoe-gazer rock? Uh...don't think so. Hide small children and animals before blasting this volcanic opus.
On the following pages, Billy Corgan runs down his favourite heavy metal albums of all time, those records that rocked his world and helped shape his playing into a fascinating (and very heavy!) amalgam. He kicks things off, oddly enough, with The Stooges:
"It put the punk into metal or the other way around. Essential listening."
Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti (1975)
"It’s hard to call Zep 'metal' but they did create different blueprints that are still being used in Riffland. I love this record because it is so damn dark. In My Time of Dying is as heavy as anything released.
"Maybe not 'heavy' heavy, but emotionally... total oblivion."
Accept - Restless And Wild (1982)
"I think Accept were a wildly underrated metal band. Too far ahead of their time. Fast As A Shark is one of the great metal songs of all time.
"Too weird maybe for America, but Europe was never afraid of Accept."
Slayer - God Hates Us All (2001)
"This is my it-doesn't-get-any-heavier-than-this record. I thought Slayer could never top Reign In Blood.
"I was wrong. Dead wrong."
Rainbow - On Stage (1977)
"I love this album because this is what happens when you take a great band, a great set of live songs and just go for it.
"Celestial and grand, and it has a heaviness that is more whimsical than the Deep Purple blues. Check out the live concert from Germany in 1978 if you can (it's been released on CD). Even better than this show."
Pantera - Far Beyond Driven (1994)
"I had the privilege of seeing Pantera three times on this tour, and once stood like a geeky fan backstage and declared, 'Boys, you are now the greatest metal band in the world!'
"Dimebag was one a kind, and this is the peak of his and Vinny's vision of what Pantera could be, which was a machine that you could believe had lungs."
Judas Priest - Unleashed In The East (1979)
"I love early Priest music but some of the production on the early albums sounds a little light in hindsight.
"This album captures their true heaviness and the razor dance that goes on all night between Glenn and KK. Amazing. I saw Priest play last year and they were BETTER than they were in 1982. I was totally blown away."
Mercyful Fate - Melissa (1983)
"This album so freaked out the drummer in my high school band that he forbid me to listen to it in his presence.
"Super prog, amazing guitar performances, and King Diamond’s heaven-to-hell vocal work is incredible and actually quite ahead of its time."
Metallica - Master Of Puppets (1986)
"The perfect combo of blitzing riffs matched with the beginnings of Hetfield finding that melodies weren't just something in the way of his robotic right hand.
"This is smart metal at its greatest level."
Black Sabbath - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973)
"Creepy, spooky, and heavier than God in brief, fleeting moments. This album always makes me think of the soundtrack Sabbath would make to a final day on Earth."
Liked this? Now read: The 50 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums Of All Time or Tom Morello's 13 greatest heavy metal albums of all time
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