According to popular opinion, Black Sabbath were the first metal band to exist, releasing their debut album in 1970, but many rock acts set up the devil’s favorite genre by recording some seriously heavy tracks in the 1960s and even the ’50s.

So what does “heavy” really mean? You could ask either of the surviving Beatles that question, as the British legends arguably brought the word into rock’s lexicon with “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).” The track has a seriously beefy riff that would make Tony Iommi blush, but even before that was “Helter Skelter.” Some call “Helter” the first heavy metal song, and whether you agree or not, it’s easy to hear how it’s abrasive tone and droning hammer-ons influenced the next generation.

You’ll find another group of “heavy” godfathers on this list, Led Zeppelin, along with their iconic track “Dazed and Confused.” Nobody rocked harder than Zeppelin back in the ‘60s (okay, maybe Deep Purple) and you’ll see how “Dazed and Confused” was one of the heaviest pieces of rock to exist in 1969.

Let’s bring it waaaaaaay back to the blueprinter of shock rock, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. His onstage persona was frightening to many, but the track “I Put a Spell on You” still causes goosebumps to rise over 60 years after its initial release.

Check out these 11 Seriously Heavy Songs From Before Metal Existed in the Loud List above!

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