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The 50 Heaviest Songs Before Black Sabbath — Songs 40 to 31

The 50 Heaviest Songs Before Black Sabbath — Songs 40 to 31

The origin of heavy metal is a very fuzzy thing, but most historians and fans can agree that Black Sabbath’s eponymous 1970 debut was the first true metal album.

Its thunderous drums, sinister riffs and downright evil lyrics left little to be debated, but what we at Guitar World wanted to know was this: What was the heaviest song before Black Sabbath?

We ranked these songs based on a variety of factors: distortion/fuzz, speed, darkness, volume and shock value. Most importantly, however, the song had to have been released before 1970. It would have been easy to list the first two Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix albums and call it a day, but we dug deep to find some hidden heavy gems from the era of peace and love.

We'll be revealing 10 new songs each week. Here's last week's batch of songs 50 to 41. Enjoy!


40: The Kinks, "You Really Got Me" (1964)

Some musicos consider this song the father—or at least the spastic uncle—of heavy metal. It doesn’t hurt its cred that it was covered by Van Halen a few decades back and was recently recorded by Ray Davies with Metallica for Davies’ See My Friends album.



39: Dragonfly, “Blue Monday” (1968)

Dragonfly represented Croatia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 in Helsinki, Finland, playing this very track almost 40 years after it was first recorded.



38: Captain Beefheart, “Diddy Wah Diddy” (1966)

The Good Captain first tasted success when he joined the Magic Band in 1965 and recorded this blazing cover of Bo Diddley's "Diddy Wah Diddy."

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