The Who’s Pete Townshend: ‘We Sort of Invented Heavy Metal’
Where did heavy metal originate? Many will pinpoint Black Sabbath's arrival. Others may suggest the advent of Led Zeppelin turned music heavier. But there's another name to consider, as The Who's Pete Townshend says his band "sort of invented heavy metal" in a recent interview.
Speaking with the Toronto Sun, Townshend compared the band's early sound as to how they sound on their new album. He explained, "It doesn’t sound like The Who from those early heavy metal years. We sort of invented heavy metal with (our first live album) Live at Leeds. We were copied by so many bands, principally by Led Zeppelin, you know heavy drums, heavy bass, heavy lead guitar and some of those bands, like Jimi Hendrix for example, did it far better than we did. Cream, with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, they came along in ‘67, same year as Jimi Hendrix, and they kind of stole our mantle in a sense. So people who want to hear that old heavy metal sound there are plenty of bands that can provide it."
He went on to state that even though they played heavy in those days, it's not so much where his interests lie now. "It’s not really what we can actually do today," said the guitarist. "Even if we wanted to, it was never high on my list of wishes."
The Who's Live at Leeds was recorded in February of 1970 and released in May of that year. The six-song live recording found the band playing classic tracks like "Substitute," "My Generation" and "Magic Bus," as well as a cover of Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues."
Black Sabbath's self-titled debut arrived in February of 1970, while Led Zeppelin's self-titled debut album was released in January 1969.
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