TCM to Feature Documentaries on Heavy Metal Music

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Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

TCM will be featuring a series of documentaries on heavy metal music, highlighting the history and evolution of the genre.


The rise of heavy metal music in the late 20th century was one of the most important cultural movements of our time. Now, Turner Classic Movies is set to feature a series of documentaries exploring the history and meaning of this vital genre.

Over the course of four nights in April, TCM will air eight films chronicling the rise of heavy metal, its place in popular culture, and its impact on the lives of those who love it. The lineup includes documentaries on some of metal’s biggest stars, like Metallica and Ozzy Osbourne, as well as essential figures in the scene like Dee Snider and Lemmy Kilmister.

Whether you’re a longtime fan or just curious about this unique form of music, these documentaries offer a fascinating look at one of the most important cultural movements of our time.

What is Heavy Metal Music?

Heavy metal (or simply metal) is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom and the United States. With roots in blues rock and psychedelic/acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre’s lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

In 1970, four landmark albums are often cited as pioneering the heavy metal genre: Led Zeppelin’s self-titled debut (1900), Black Sabbath’s Paranoid (1970), Deep Purple’s In Rock (1970), and Iron Maiden’s eponymous debut (1980). Other important pioneers include Rainbow, Judas Priest, Motörhead, UFO, Saxon andAccept. During the 1980s, glam metal became popular with groups such as Mötley Crüe; Poison; Cinderella; Warrant; Quiet Riot; Winger; Extreme; Danger Danger; L.A. Guns; Poison information on glam metal); Bon Jovi;Ratt; Skid Row; Kik Tracee; Vixen; Faster Pussycat and Guns N’ Roses.

In the early 1990s, thrash metal achieved mainstream success with artists such as Metallica (whose 1991 album Metallica is often regarded as one of the genres most influential releases), Megadeth, Slayer,AnthraxandAlice in Chains. Other bands such as PanteraandSepultura achieved commercial success during this period. Following the success of Nirvana and Pearl Jam in 1992–1993 grunge music became popular due to it’s darker lyrical content combined with its stripped back musical approach which contrasted sharply with the overblown feel of glam metal at that time. Grunge artists such asSoundgardenAlice in ChainsNirvanaPearl JamandStone Temple Pilotswould have a major impact on not only Heavy Metal but also on popular culture in general during this time period continuing into today.

The History of Heavy Metal Music

Today, heavy metal is a multi-billion dollar global industry, its music heard everywhere from clubs and stadiums to movie soundtracks and commercials. But it wasn’t always this way. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, heavy metal was the domain of a relatively small group of hard-rocking enthusiasts who shared a passion for amplifier-driven sonic excess and rebel attitude. These bands–led by Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Kiss and Aerosmith–pioneered a new style of music that would eventually come to define an entire generation. But it was not until the advent of MTV in 1981 that heavy metal broke into the mainstream consciousness, thanks in large part to British quartet Iron Maiden and American hair-metal bands like Mötley Crüe and Poison.

Over the next two decades, heavy metal would evolve into a myriad of subgenres–from thrash metal to death metal to nu metal– spawning hundreds of bands and selling millions of records in the process. But no matter what form it takes, heavy metal will always be defined by its unapologetic level of loudness, its aggressive guitars and its rebellious spirit.

The Evolution of Heavy Metal Music

For fans of heavy metal music, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will be featuring a lineup of documentaries about the genre and its evolution. The first documentary, “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey,” will air on May 17 at 8 p.m. EST.

“Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey” takes a look at the history of heavy metal music and its rise to popularity in the 1970s and 1980s. The documentary interviews some of the most famous metal musicians, including Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, Judas Priest’s Rob Halford and Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris.

The second documentary, “Backstage Pass to Heavy Metal History,” will air on May 24 at 8 p.m. EST. This documentary goes behind the scenes of some of the biggest metal concerts and festivals, including Ozzfest and Download Festival. It also features interviews with metal legends like Alice Cooper and Slipknot’s Corey Taylor.

So if you’re a fan of heavy metal music, be sure to tune in to Turner Classic Movies (TCM) for these two must-see documentaries!

The Popularity of Heavy Metal Music

The popularity of heavy metal music has grown exponentially in recent years, with the genre now claiming a significant portion of the overall music market. This growth can be attributed to a number of factors, including the increasing availability of streaming services and the ever-growing global fan base for the genre.

In order to capitalize on this trend, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has announced that they will be featuring a series of documentaries on heavy metal music. The series will explore the history and influence of the genre, as well as its current place in popular culture.

This is not the first time that TCM has featured documentaries on music, as the network has previously aired programs on a variety of genres, including country, jazz, and blues. However, this will be the first time that TCM has devoted an entire series to heavy metal music.

The series is set to air in early 2020 and will feature a variety of films, including interviews with some of the genre’s biggest stars.

The Future of Heavy Metal Music

With the recent resurgence in popularity of heavy metal music, The future of heavy metal music looks bright. While the genre has always had a loyal following, it seems that more and more people are becoming interested in this type of music. This is likely due to the fact that there are now more ways to access this type of music than ever before.

In the past, people who wanted to listen to heavy metal music had to either go to concerts or buy CDs. However, now there are many online streaming services that make it easy to listen to this type of music. In addition, there are also a number of heavy metal festivals that take place around the world each year. This makes it easier for people to see live performances and connect with other fans.

With the increased popularity of heavy metal music, it’s likely that we will see more documentaries being made about the genre. This is a great way for new fans to learn about the history of this type of music and see some of the most iconic bands in action.


The four documentaries will offer an in-depth look at the history and culture of heavy metal music, from its origins in the 1960s to its influence on today’s music scene. Featuring interviews with some of metal’s biggest names, including Ozzy Osbourne, Slash, and Rob Halford, these films will explore the genre’s lasting appeal and enduring legacy.

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