Timeline of Heavy Metal and Hard Rock Music
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Timeline of Heavy Metal and Hard Rock Music

This is a timeline of heavy metal and hard rock, from its beginning in the early 1960s to the present time.

1960

Newly formed band

1961

Newly formed band

1962

Newly formed band

1964

Newly formed bands

Popular songs

1965

Newly formed bands

Popular songs

1966

Newly formed bands

Albums

Popular songs

Note: The 13th Floor Elevators coined the term "psychedelic rock" in 1966, the first band ever referred to as psychedelic rock.

1967

Newly formed bands

Albums

Popular songs

1968

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Albums

Popular songs

Events

1969

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Albums

Popular songs

Events

1970

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Reformed bands

Albums

Popular songs

Events

1971

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Albums

Popular songs

Events

1972

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

1973

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

1974

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Reformed bands

Albums

Popular songs

Events

1975

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

  • Alice Cooper disbands, lead singer Vincent Furnier has name legally changed to "Alice Cooper" and launches solo career.
  • Hawkwind bassist Lemmy is fired when a drug arrest causes him to miss tour dates. He subsequently forms Motrhead.
  • Motrhead's original drummer, Lucas Fox, leaves the band. He is replaced by Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor.
  • Ritchie Blackmore leaves Deep Purple, and is replaced by ex-James Gang guitarist Tommy Bolin.

1976

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

1977

Newly formed bands

Reformed bands

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Disbandments

Events

  • Alice Cooper undergoes treatment for alcoholism and begins a period of career decline.

1978

Newly formed bands

Reformed bands

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

  • Brian Robertson exits Thin Lizzy, Gary Moore rejoins in his place.
  • Def Leppard's drummer Rick Allen joins at 15 as a permanent member.
  • The Who's drummer Keith Moon dies of a Clomethiazole overdose on September 6, he was 32.
  • Scorpions' desire to move to a more commercial type of metal sound causes Ulrich Roth to leave for a solo career. He is replaced with Matthias Jabs.

1979

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

1980

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Reformed bands

Albums

UK Chart information courtesy of the book Guinness Hits of the 80s

Compilation albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

  • Bon Scott, lead singer of AC/DC, dies at 33 on February 19 after a binge of heavy drinking.
  • John Bonham, drummer for Led Zeppelin, dies at 32 on September 25, after a binge of heavy drinking. His death was similar to Bon Scott's, and caused Led Zeppelin to disband.
  • Metal for Muthas - New wave of British heavy metal compilation albums are released. Volume One reaches UK #16 and features the likes of Iron Maiden, Sledgehammer, EF Band, Toad The Wet Sprocket, Praying Mantis, Ethel The Frog, Angel Witch, Samson and Nutz, whilst, Volume Two reaches UK #58 and features the likes of Trespass, Eazy Money, Xero, White Spirit, Dark Star, Horsepower, Red Alert, Chevy and The Raid.
  • Metal for Muthas Tour, featuring Iron Maiden, Samson and Angel Witch becomes a resounding success, thanks to fan support and rave reviews from music press journalists.
  • Rainbow headlines the initial Donington Festival 16 August 1980. Judas Priest, Scorpions, April Wine, Saxon, Riot, and Touch also play. 35,000 fans attend the event.
  • April 1: Brian Johnson joins AC/DC replacing Bon Scott as lead singer.
  • Mike Varney founds Shrapnel Records.
  • Iron Maiden lead guitarist Dennis Stratton leaves and is replaced by Adrian Smith.
  • Former Pink Floyd guitarist Snowy White joins Thin Lizzy.

1981

Newly formed bands

Albums

Album Chart Information courtesy of the book Guinness Hits Of The 80s

Film soundtracks

Live albums

Popular songs

Compilation albums

Events

1982

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Reformed bands

Albums

UK Chart Info courtesy of the book Guinness Hits of the 80s

Compilation albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

1983

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Albums

Popular songs

Events

1984

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

1985

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

1986

Newly formed bands

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

1987

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Reformed bands

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

1988

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Reformed bands

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

1989

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

1990

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Reformed bands

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

1991

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Reformed bands

  • Vanilla Fudge

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

1992

Newly formed bands

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

1993

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Reformed bands

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

1994

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Reformed bands

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

1995

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Reformed bands

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

1996

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Reformed bands

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

1997

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

1998

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Reformed bands

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

  • After three years off the air, the Los Angeles heavy metal radio station KNAC returns as an internet based radio station.

1999

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Reformed bands

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

2000

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

2001

Newly formed bands

Reformed bands

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

2002

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Reformed bands

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

2003

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Reformed bands

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

2004

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Reformed bands

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

2005

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

  • Tarja Turunen is dismissed from Nightwish via an open letter after a concert in the Hartwall Areena (Helsinki) on October 21.
  • Static-X lead guitarist Tripp Eisen was arrested in February for "lewd conduct against children."
  • Korn guitarist Brian "Head" Welch leaves the band after becoming a born again Christian and having conflicts with the band's subject matter.
  • Former Vader drummer Docent dies.
  • System of a Down is the first band since the Beatles to have two albums debut at #1 in the same year.
  • After Grammy Awards, #1 hits, and 3 out of 5 albums debuting at #1, System of a Down goes on an indefinite hiatus.

2006

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

2007

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Reformed bands

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

2008

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Reformed bands

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

2009

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Reformed bands

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

  • Metallica's 2008 album, Death Magnetic is nominated for four Grammy categories, winning Best Recording Package and Best Metal Performance for "My Apocalypse".
  • Metallica is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 4.
  • Evile bassist Mike Alexander fell ill and died at the age of 32 on October 5 in Lule, Sweden.
  • Ronnie James Dio was diagnosed with stomach cancer on November 25, and is treated at the Mayo Clinic.
  • James "The Rev" Sullivan, the drummer of Avenged Sevenfold, dies from an accidental drug overdose on December 28.
  • Bon Jovi releases The Circle which debuts at number 1 on the Billboard 200.

2010

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Reformed bands

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

  • Soundgarden reunites on New Year's Day.
  • Bassist and lead singer of Type O Negative, Peter Steele age 48 dies of heart failure on April 14, 2010.
  • Ronnie James Dio dies of stomach cancer at the age of 67 on May 16, 2010.
  • On June 16, "The Big Four of Thrash Metal", Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer and Metallica, play together for the first time at the Sonisphere Festival at Bemowo Airport in Warsaw, Poland.
  • Judas Priest wins the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance of "Dissident Aggressor."
  • Iron Maiden's The Final Frontier reaches No. 1 in the U.K. for the first time since 1992's Fear of the Dark. This album also marked Iron Maiden's highest ever chart position in the United States, debuting at No. 4. Overall the release peaked at No. 1 in 28 countries.[11]
  • Original Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson rejoins the band after departing in 2002.
  • After 25 years, Mike Portnoy leaves Dream Theater on September 8, 2010.
  • Scorpions announce that they will retire after touring in support of final album Sting in the Tail.
  • AC/DC headline Download festival, marking their return to Donington for the first time in 19 years, since 1991's Monsters of Rock. Also Rage Against the Machine and Aerosmith to headline.
  • Paul Gray of Slipknot dies on May 24, 2010 of an accidental overdose of morphine and fentanyl.
  • Michael Kiske formed the rock band Unisonic and began touring again after 17 years.

2011

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Reformed bands

Albums

Live albums

Extended plays

Popular songs

Events

2012

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Reformed bands

  • Metal Church
  • Static-X - Wayne Static and his solo band got rights to the name and converted the solo band to Static-X

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

  • Following the firing of Geoff Tate from Queensrche, Tate formed a band consisting of musicians from his solo career and titled it "Queensrche", despite Queensrche already existing with Todd La Torre as the singer. Tate believed he still owned the legal rights to the name "Queensrche", and following a preliminary court hearing, both band's are temporarily allowed to use the name "Queensrche" until the next court hearing in November 2013.[12] Both versions of Queensrche have since released new albums and are touring under the same name as of April 2013.
  • Tony Iommi Lead Guitarist of the band Black Sabbath was diagnosed with the early stages of Lymphoma on January 9.
  • Drummer Dan Zimmermann of Gamma Ray leaves the band after fifteen year stable lineup. New drummer Michael Ehre;.
  • Ian Watkins, lead vocalist of Lostprophets, was arrested and charged with child sex offences in December.
  • A Black Veil Brides song called "Unbroken" appeared on the soundtrack to the movie The Avengers on May 1, and is the only track released by Black Veil Brides solely on a compilation album.

2013

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Albums

Live albums

Popular songs

Events

  • After his car crash in 2008, original Deftones bassist Chi Cheng went into a coma. In April 2013 he died in hospital.
  • As part of the 2013 legs of their Maiden England World Tour, Iron Maiden will perform at their record breaking fifth Download Festival, their third performance at the Rock in Rio festival, as well as their very first show in Paraguay.
  • On May 6 Iced Earth drummer Brent Smedley steps down from the band due to personal reasons, was replaced by drummer Raphael Saini to play on the recording of their eleventh studio album which would later be confirmed titled as Plagues of Babylon as well as filling in on tour, Jon Dette took over as the touring drummer in November that year.
  • Black Sabbath's new album 13 became the first and only album by Black Sabbath to reach number 1 in America after 45 years of recording. Originally the closest they ever got to the number 1 spot in America was with their album Master of Reality which peaked at number 3.
  • Due to legal reasons, Ghost in the United States was forced to change their name to Ghost B.C.
  • Due to Tony Campos owning 50% name rights to the band, Wayne Static was forced to split up Static X again.
  • Former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr died at his home due to complications of multiple sclerosis.
  • Iron Maiden re-released their 1989 live concert VHS/live album Maiden England under the new title Maiden England '88 on DVD, CD, and LP formats.
  • Lamb of God singer Randy Blythe was acquitted of his manslaughter charges and was released.
  • Lostprophets frontman Ian Watkins pleaded guilty to a series of child sex offences including the attempted rape of a baby and was sentenced to 35 years in prison. A month prior to his guilty plea, the remaining members of Lostprophets announced that they were disbanding.
  • Rob Caggiano departed from Anthrax to pursue a different musical direction. A couple of weeks later, it was announced that he had joined Volbeat whom he recently helped with production on their most recent album.
  • Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo was dismissed from the band prior to the Australian Soundwave Festival and was temporarily replaced by former drummer Jon Dette. Former drummer Paul Bostaph later returned to fill-in on drums full-time.
  • Slayer guitarist and songwriter Jeff Hanneman died of liver failure on May 2, 2013, in a local Los Angeles hospital near his home in Southern California's Inland Empire. On May 9, 2013, the official cause of death was announced as alcohol-related cirrhosis.
  • Hammer Studios in Hamburg, Germany burned down on 18 November. No-one was hurt but a lot of valuable equipment was destroyed. Gamma Ray's upcoming album along with Deep Purple's new live album are expected to be delayed.
  • Slipknot On December 12, 2013, the band announced through their official website that long-time member and drummer, Joey Jordison had parted ways with the band after 18 years citing personal reasons.

2014

Newly formed bands

Disbandments

Reformed bands