Now Reading…. Electric Wizards – A Tapestry of Heavy Music, 1968 to the Present by JR Moores (2021)
Where did it all begin? JR Moores makes a pretty good argument that «heavy music» (feel free to interpret it any way you like) began with Paul McCartney’s Helter Skelter in 1968.
Moores makes a good argument, both as regards the early beginnings of “heavy music”, as well as what “heavy music” really is. Before I started reading I thought the book was about heavy rock as in “heavy metal”. I couldn’t have been more wrong. “Electric Wizards” is about heaviness in music, and not heavy metal (although that genre also gets a lot of attention). Heaviness, according to Moores, is more a feeling, a philosophy in music and not necessarily linked to heavy metal, hard rock or distorted guitars as such.
Moores makes a good argument, and deals with everything from the heartbreaking guitar solo in Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain” via the tectonic crush of Sleep and Electric Wizard to the post-rock philosophy behind bands like Sunn O)) and Slint.
It is all very fascinating and made me think about heaviness in music in ways that I haven’t done before.
And all this is anchored in two explicit examples: the song “Helter Skelter” and the first four albums of Black Sabbath, which the author believes are the very foundations on which all heaviness rests.
Electric Wizards is a brilliant book on the philosophy of heaviness in music. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like it.
Frode Singsaas | Now Spinning Magazine