Why do bands seem to start heavy and get lighter as their careers go on? Think about it: Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Metallica and now bands like Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet for My Valentine all started heavy and progressed to more melodic music.
High n' Dry and Shout at the Devil are decidedly Metal, while Songs from the Sparkle Lounge and Theatre of Pain are certainly not.
Of course, the easy answer is that the bands wanted to, you know, sell albums. I mean, how dare they?!
While popularity and the desire to eat and have a home are one thing, many bands have stayed tried and true to Metal, especially Motorhead and Iron Maiden. Now, it's none of my business to talk about a person's financial status, but since members of both Motorhead and Iron Maiden are celebrities, they are exempt. I am going to go out on a limb and say both bands are doing pretty well for themselves.
Metallica are working on their new album right now. Drummer Lars Ulrich keeps saying it's "classic Metallica." Does that mean we're about to have another Kill 'Em All on our hands? Somehow, I'm having trouble buying what Lars is selling.
Let's face it: Metallica made the so-called Black album and it's been downhill ever since Metal-wise. Sales wise, the band has pretty much been on fire. Well, except for the pesky Load releases...
Were bands like Metallica, Motley Crue and Def Leppard mere products at the mercy of a new 80s medium known as MTV? I know Motorhead and Iron Maiden made videos too, but nowhere near as many as the Glam bands I talk about on here daily. MTV was (is) a genre for the beautiful. Let's face it: Nikki Sixx is considered more than attractive by quite a lot of women. I'm sure his looks and attitude didn't hurt Motley's sales any. It's no different than Beyonce or other pop stars because sex sells. Often when you throw sex into the picture, the product - in this case Metal - becomes somewhat diluted.
So, did bands like Metallica, Motley Crue, Def Leppard and all the rest evolve to become more commercially popular or was it just a sign of the times? Remember, the same is exactly true for modern Metal acts like Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet for My Valentine. With each album, both bands get a little more melodic. That's no issue for me - I seriously love every album by both bands, but I realize I'm in the majority when it comes to screamo Metal. Yes, the Glam mistress does enjoy the heavy stuff from time to time.
Just for fun, let's compare:
Here's Avenged Sevenfold's "Darkness Surrounding" from Sounding the Seventh Trumpet
Now, "Gunslinger" from the recent self-titled release.
Do you hear the differences? Spill it, my music maniacs.