Slayer

The Dawn of Metal & Paramount Records

The Sound Opinions metal-themed holiday continues with a look back to the beginning: The Dawn of Metal. Jim and Greg also discuss one of the most curious tales in American music, Paramount Records.

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Dean and Scott Blackwood

One of the most curious stories in the history of American music is documented in a box set called The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records 1917-1927, Volume 1. The set includes 800 songs, 2 books, 6 vinyl LPs, 200 original hand drawn ads of the period, all housed in an oak case modeled after phonograph cases of the 1920's. This collection is produced by Jack White's Third Man Records & John Fahey's Revenant Records, and brothers Scott and Dean Blackwood joined us to talk about the set which documents how a Wisconsin chair company, producing records on the cheap and run by men with little knowledge of the music business, built one of the greatest musical rosters ever assembled under one roof. Paramount had an amazing roster of performers including Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Son House, & Ma Rainey.

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The Dawn of Metal

At this point in the show Jim and Greg take a trip back to The Dawn of Metal. Heavy Metal isn't always taken seriously, but it warrants critical, even scholarly analysis. Before there was Metallica or Guns N' Roses, there was a group of rockers that birthed the genre. Jim and Greg trace the history, primarily back to England in the late '60s. Here are the bands the credit with giving us the metal we know and love today.

  • Steppenwolf
  • Blue Cheer
  • Hawkwind
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Black Sabbath
  • Deep Purple
  • Uriah Heep
  • Judas Priest
  • Motörhead

Fans of this early metal period will be happy to know that many of these bands are still rocking out live.

Featured Songs

  1. Ma Rainey, Bessemer Bound Blues, The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Third Man/Revenant, 2013
  2. Jelly Roll Morton, Muddy Water Blues, The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Third Man/Revenant, 2013
  3. Papa Charlie Jackson, Salty Dog Blues, The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Third Man/Revenant, 2013
  4. Ethel Waters and the Jazz Masters, Brown Baby, The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Third Man/Revenant, 2013
  5. Jimmy O‘Bryant’s Washboard Band, Hot Hot Hottentot, The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Third Man/Revenant, 2013
  6. Sister Cunningham and T.C.I Sacred Singers, Sign of Judgment, The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Third Man/Revenant, 2013
  7. The Washingtonians, Rainy Nights, The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Third Man/Revenant, 2013
  8. Steppenwolf, Born to Be Wild, Steppenwolf, ABC Dunhill, 1968
  9. The Stooges, Loose, Fun House, Elektra, 1970
  10. Blue Cheer, Summertime Blues, Vincebus Eruptum, Philips, 1968
  11. The Beatles, I Want You (She's So Heavy), Abbey Road, Apple, 1969
  12. Hawkwind, Silver Machine, X In Search of Space, United Artists, 1971
  13. Metallica, Master of Puppets, Master of Puppets, Elektra, 1986
  14. Led Zeppelin, Dazed and Confused, Led Zeppelin, Atlantic, 1969
  15. Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath, Vertigo, 1970
  16. Deep Purple, Hush, Shades of Deep Purple, Tetragrammaton, 1968
  17. Deep Purple, Speed King, Deep Purple in Rock, Warner Bros., 1970
  18. Uriah Heep, Gypsy, …Very ‘Eavy …Very ’Umble, Mercury, 1970
  19. Judas Priest, Victim of Changes (Live), Unleashed in the East, Columbia, 1979
  20. Motörhead, Shoot You in the Back, Ace of Spades, Mercury, 1980
  21. High on Fire, Death Is This Communion, Death Is This Communion, Relapse, 2007
  22. The Replacements, Answering Machine, Let It Be, Twin/Tone Records, 1984
  23. Blind Guardian, Mirror Mirror, Nightfall in Middle-Earth, Virgin/Century, 1998
  24. Slayer, Silent Scream, South of Heaven, Def Jam, 1988
  25. Bruce Springsteen, Let's Be Friends (Skin to Skin), The Rising, Columbia, 2002

Footnotes

thirdmanrecords.com The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records revenantrecords.com Revenant Records wikipedia.org What is Heavy Metal? google.com Heavy Metal by Dina Weinstein