Who’s the best hard rock band ever? It’s a subjective – and loaded – question. But according to a poll recently taken by BPI – the British Recording Industry’s trade group – Black Sabbath is the most important British hard rock band ever, followed by Iron Maiden. Led Zeppelin came in third, followed by Motorhead, Deep Purple and Judas Priest, although the top three dominated almost all of the votes.
The poll was taken from an online survey of more than 3,600 visitors to websites of record labels and metal publications including Roadrunner Records and magazines like Kerrang! and Metal Hammer. The questions weren’t just about which band is the baddest: there were lifestyle questions also.
The poll found that over 40% of fans of hard rock and metal discovered the genre before their teenage years.
As for metal being a bad influence? Unsurprisingly, the poll refutes that assumption, with 71% saying that hard rock music= got them through tough times and 65% saying that they have made friends through their shared love of the genre.
Black Sabbath released a statement upon hearing the news: “We are honoured and flattered to be acknowledged in a poll like this which is voted for by the fans. We thank you.” Those fans will be glad to know that the band is currently holed up in the studio working on their first album with original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne in over three decades. They occasionally post updates and photos on their Facebook page.
Meanwhile, Led Zeppelin can take solace in the fact that they’ll be presented with the very prestigious Kennedy Center Honors award next month in Washington D.C., an honor that Sabbath hasn’t received (yet).
— Brian Ives, CBS Local