Antedating of "Heavy Metal" as Musical Genre

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sat Dec 22 11:58:26 UTC 2012

Some years ago I initiated a thread on ADS-L about the earliest use of "heavy metal" as a descriptor of a musical genre, culminating in Ben Zimmer posting a 1970 citation in 2005.  I now see that Wikipedia refers to a 1968 citation as follows:

"The first documented use of the phrase to describe a type of rock music identified to date appears in a review by Barry Gifford<>. In the May 11, 1968, issue of Rolling Stone<>, he wrote about the album A Long Time Comin'<> by U.S. band Electric Flag<>: "Nobody who's been listening to Mike Bloomfield<>—either talking or playing—in the last few years could have expected this. This is the new soul music, the synthesis of white blues and heavy metal rock."

The Wikipedia footnote gives p. 20 as the page number for the 1968 occurrence.

Fred Shapiro

The American Dialect Society -

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