Pete Townshend Believes The Who Invented Metal

William Lee | 12-23-2019

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The Who

The Who guitarist Pete Townshend believes that his band "sort of invented heavy metal" with the release of their first live album in 1970, an honor that is usually credited to Black Sabbath.

Sabbath released their self-titled debut three months prior to The Who's "Live At Leeds" hitting stores. Townshend's comments came in an interview with The Toronto Sun and he was asked about the sound of their new album "Who".

The legendary band recently release their first effort in 13 years and Pete was asked about the record sounding different than their heavier classic sound. He responded, "It doesn't sound like The Who from those early heavy metal years. We sort of invented heavy metal with 'Live At Leeds'.

"We were copied by so many bands, principally by Led Zeppelin [who released their debut in January 1969] 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. So it's not really what we can actually do today. Even if we wanted to, it was never high on my list of wishes."

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