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Metal Britannia

Documentary tracing the development of British heavy metal from its 60s beginnings in the Midlands with Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and Black Sabbath to its international triumph.

Nigel Planer narrates a documentary which traces the origins and development of British heavy metal from its humble beginnings in the industrialised Midlands to its proud international triumph.

In the late 60s a number of British bands were forging a new kind of sound. Known as hard rock, it was loud, tough, energetic and sometimes dark in outlook. They didn't know it, but Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and, most significantly, Black Sabbath were defining what first became heavy rock and then eventually heavy metal.

Inspired by blues rock, progressive rock, classical music and high energy American rock, they synthesised the sound that would inspire bands like Judas Priest to take metal even further during the 70s.

By the 80s its originators had fallen foul of punk rock, creative stasis or drug and alcohol abuse. But a new wave of British heavy metal was ready to take up the crusade. With the success of bands like Iron Maiden, it went global.

Contributors include Lemmy from Motorhead, Sabbath's Tony Iommi, Ian Gillan from Deep Purple, Judas Priest singer Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden and Saxon's Biff Byford.

1 hour, 30 minutes

Last on

Fri 13 Mar 2020 21:30

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • The Kinks

    You Really Got Me

  • Jimi Hendrix

    Wild Thing

  • Cream

    Sunshine Of Your Love

  • The Crazy World of Arthur Brown


  • Blue Cheer

    Summertime Blues

  • Vanilla Fudge

    You Keep Me Hangin' On

  • Edgar Broughton Band

    American Boy Soldier

  • Edgar Broughton Band

    Love In The Rain

  • Led Zeppelin

    Dazed And Confused

  • Black Sabbath

    Black Sabbath

  • Deep Purple

    Child in Time

  • Black Sabbath


  • Deep Purple

    Black Knight

  • Black Sabbath


  • Deep Purple

    Highway Star

  • Judas Priest

    Breaking The Law

  • Judas Priest

    Contract on You

  • Big Brother & the Holding Company

    Piece Of My Heart

    Singer: Janis Joplin.
  • Black Sabbath

    Children of the Grave

  • Motörhead


  • Saxon

    Wheels of Steel

  • Diamond Head

    Am I Evil?

  • Iron Maiden

    The Number Of The Beast

  • Iron Maiden

    Run to the Hills


Role Contributor
Producer Chris Rodley
Director Chris Rodley
Executive Producer Mark Cooper
Narrator Nigel Planer


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