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 Bands A-Z: Black Sabbath
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 1. Black Sabbath



 2. Judas Priest


 3. Metallica



 4. Iron Maiden



 5. Pantera



 6. Slayer



 7. AC/DC



 8. Motorhead



 9. Kiss



 10. Motley Crue



  Honorable Mentions



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  Celebrity Top 10's



  The MTV Metal Brain Trust


The Brain Trust has spoken and now the readers have weighed in. Check out their top 10s and share your own in You Tell Us.



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Heavy metal was always a musical form built on sonic excess and sensory overload. Then came AC/DC.

Embracing a less-is-more aesthetic, the Australian quintet stripped rock to its rawest essence with simple song structures, minimalist blues-based riffs, frill-free drumming and screeching vocals. Their unsophisticated, uncluttered songs made AC/DC the ultimate party rockers: The space between Angus and Malcolm Young's blaring guitars and thunderous beats provided a stunning sense of tension and release, and the slow, steady rhythm made the songs perfect for headbanging. The pulse of the music was aggressive and exciting, but more than anything it was raw and sexual. Tracks like "TNT," "Highway to Hell" and "If You Want Blood" gyrated and thrusted in just the right places, and each climaxed with one of Angus' patented freewheeling solos.

AC/DC's lyrics were cleverly stupid, packed with juvenile imagery and dirty double-entendres. "Big Balls," to cite a less-subtle example, could be a song about great parties. The band's sense of fun (as opposed to menace) led them to be embraced by a more mainstream crowd than the intimidating Black Sabbath and Judas Priest.

They were also exceptional showmen. In concert, Scott was plenty charismatic, yet he was completely upstaged by Young, who ran, leapt and rolled around in a schoolboy uniform, all the while making ridiculous faces that contrasted with the ferocity of his playing.

Tragically, Scott died from an alcohol overdose in February 1980 after recording six albums with the band. Incredibly, AC/DC immediately bounced back, hiring British singer Brian Johnson a month later and going right into the studio to record Back in Black. The album included the band's biggest hits — the title track and "You Shook Me All Night Long" — and has sold more than 20 million copies in the U.S. alone.

Since then, AC/DC have released eight more studio albums with Johnson, including their most recent, Stiff Upper Lip, which came out in 2000 and proved that while they have aged, they certainly haven't grown up.




Let There Be Rock (1977), If You Want Blood You've Got It (live; 1978), Highway to Hell (1979), Back in Black (1980).





"They were so raw and real and uncluttered and simple and direct. All of AC/DC's music is really simple, but that doesn't mean it's easy to pull off. Some of the songs that appear the most simple are the most difficult to achieve. I've got every one of AC/DC's records and you can put on any one of them on, and it could [have been released] today. They took Priest out on the last European tour before Bon Scott passed, and that helped us get a foot in the door in the metal world. So there's not only a love of the band and the music, but there's also a thanks to them." — Rob Halford, Judas Priest

"There's a couple key things that Angus and Malcolm did that I like doing. I love the simplicity of their riffs and how they can play something that's continuous without it sounding monotonous, because it's actually strong enough on its own. I'm partial to their earlier stuff because of Bon Scott, he had that never-say-die attitude. As a young boy, listening to AC/DC just resonated with me." — Dave Mustaine, Megadeth




Sure they rock, but are they metal? Read the arguments and weigh in with your take in You Tell Us.




NEXT: WWE champ Chris Jericho says of this band, 'They kind of enabled Metallica to take flight.' ...
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