Have A Heart: Diamond Oz Presents His Top Ten Pro-Love Heavy Metal Songs
Band Photo: Guns N Roses (?)
Happy Hallmark card day everyone! Whether you're spending today with your loved one or your right hand, there's no denying that romance will be all around you today. Turn on the radio and you're likely to hear Lionel Richie's "Hello" or some other such soppy rubbish which you'll be told all day is a "classic." So why should we at Metal Undergound.com be any different? While there's never been one countdown that everyone agrees with, I'm going to take you through ten hard rock and heavy metal songs that I feel express the positive side to this strange phenomenon we call love.
For the opposite side of the spectrum, you can also check out our ode to anti-love metal as well.
10. Anal Cunt - "In My Heart There's A Star Named After You"
Yes you read that right correctly, the first song in our countdown is by the masters of offensive grindcore, Anal Cunt. You wouldn’t expect the band that wrote, "I Pushed Your Wife In Front Of The Subway" and "Women: Nature’s Punching Bag" to be included here, but the band actually wrote a whole album dedicated to the subject of love, albeit a very tongue in cheek one. Here’s the last song from the "Picnic Of Love" album, "In My Heart There’s A Star Named After You." It may seem a little silly to include in this list, but isn't love a silly old thing in the end?
9. KISS - "I'll Fight Heaven To Hold You"
We don’t want to overload this countdown with soppy ballads that belong is bad 1980s movies, so we’ll be leaving "Beth" way out of this. Instead, here’s a love song by KISS that covers all the usual topics traditionally found in ballads, but rocks hard. KISS have never been afraid to talk about love (as well as what Gene Simmons considers love, let's not mention "Lick It Up" here,) and more often than not, they could really pull off a great love song, which they've definitely done here, though not in the traditional way. From the "Crazy, Crazy Nights" album, this is "I’ll Fight Hell To Hold You."
8. Anthrax - "Bare"
There are many fans that criticise the John Bush era of Anthrax, feeling that it wasn’t thrash enough. Maybe it wasn’t, but they took some really interesting risks, not least with the song, “Bare,” which closed the 1995 album, "Stomp 442." The song appears to deal with a man who’s lover has passed away and struggles to cope with such a loss, comparing the death to losing his arm. It has a beautiful atmosphere throughout, but you didn’t think Anthrax would close an album softly did you?
7. Judas Priest - "Angel"
The metal gods had a few great ballads in their time, but one of their best came from their 2005 comeback album, "Angel Of Retribution" in the form of, "Angel." What makes this song so fantastic is that, while it’s clearly a love song, it’s ambiguous enough to let the listener create their own interpretation of what the lyrics really mean. Like any Priest track, the twin guitar skills of KK Downing and Glen Tipton shine through brilliantly here and the returning Rob Halford’s vocals are on as high a form as they’ve ever been.
6. Whitesnake - "Still Of The Night"
Well, be honest, could we really have an article about love songs without the band uses the word “love” at every given opportunity? You could skim through pretty much any Whitesnake album and find a heartfelt ballad, but instead we’ll look at, "Still Of The Night," which utilises all the usual Whitesnake clichés ("Ooooh baby!" and "I Just Wanna Get Close To You" etc) but displays a fairly heavy groove and a much harder edge than, “Is This Love?”
5. Scorpions - "Rhythm Of Love"
Much like Whitesnake, you can’t move through a Scorpions album without bumping into numerous songs about those romantic feelings (believe it or not, they do have them in Germany.) Their best known ballad may well be, "Wind Of Change," an them for the fall of Communism, but let’s leave politics alone for today and examine another of their classic fist pumping (takes all sorts I suppose) tracks, "Rhythm Of Love." It’s strange that this song stands out so much amongst the other hard rock and heavy metal ballads because it follows the same formula as most other tracks. Loud chouruses interspersed with soulful verses. Where it differs from most sugary nonsense however, is the awesome guitar work courtesy of Rudolf Schenker.
4. King Diamond - "So Sad"
King Diamond is renowned for his ability to tell a good story, no more is this more evident than on 2003’s, "The Puppet Master." The plot of the album concerns King witnessing a puppet show where the marionettes appear to be made out of human beings. After leaving the theatre, he falls in love with a woman named Victoria and the two hit it off immediately. One year later, King is unable to accompany Victoria to the theatre to witness the same show, but sense that something bad has happened to her, so he decides to head down there and see what the problem is, but shortly after his arrival, he witnesses the puppet master’s wife murdering a homeless man and is knocked out from behind. After a series of twisted events, he finds that both himself and Victoria are turned into puppets and are injected with their own blood every night so they may move better for their performances. While these bizarre rehearsals are taking place, Victoria accidentally stumbles into a shelf, breaking several jars of blood which belong to the other puppets. In a rage, the puppet master decides to send her away to his new theatre in Berlin. In the song, "So Sad," King promises Victoria that he will do whatever it takes to find her again and as she loses her sight with every drop of blood fading from her body, he comforts her by making her remember his face and that they will once again be together, in this life or the next.
3. Andrew W.K. - "She Is Beautiful"
After some ballads and evil puppeteers, perhaps it’s time to have a little fun? Believe it or not, Andrew WK actually does have songs which aren’t about parties, partying, attending parties, box socials and shindigs. On his debut album, "I Get Wet," Mr. W.K. launches into a frenzied rocking tirade about the love of his life, screaming "And though I never know you, I look at your face to tell you that I love you" and calling the subject, "the only thing I live for in the whole wide world," stopping only to make himself a banana milkshake before running down the street at god knows what time in the morning.
2. Triptykon - "My Pain"
Although this song was only released last year on Triptykon’s debut album, "Eparistera Daimones," "My Pain" has already touched the hearts of thousands with it’s soothing piano melodies and the haunting, though eerily beautiful vocals from Simone Vollenweider, who begs her lover to fall asleep in her arms and never wake up again, before frontman Tom Warrior shares his feelings in a typically depressing manner, explaining how he wants to heal his lovers pain with a single touch, though he fears if he falls asleep she will no longer be there.
1. Guns N Roses - "November Rain"
Already I can hear one big collective groan, but when you think about it, is there really a better hard rock or heavy metal love song than "November Rain?" It has practically everything you could want for such a topic. Axl Rose sings some of his best lyrics here, not because they’re particularly clever, they’re not, but they get the point across in a starry eyed romance, without being trying too hard to emulate Shakespearian quotes, as many hair metal ballads have tried (and failed) so hard to do. The song is clearly heavily influenced by Elton John, and at times, Rose even looks like John in the music video. Speaking of which, at the time, the video was the most expensive ever made, costing in excess of one million dollars, though I am honestly yet to watch it without someone saying, "Well what the hell was all that about?" at the end. Slash really shines through here, delivering one of his best solos and making sure he has everyone’s attention in the video by standing on top of Axl’s piano. The song could very well be described as GNR’s "Stairway To Heaven." Pretty much everyone knows the song, it’s considered a classic and it builds up from soulful beginnings to a climactic end whereby every instrument is being played with full force.
Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.
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