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Its kindof funny that people still refer to Lemmy as a pioneer of speed metal when he always said that they weren't speed metal, but punk .
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Oh yes, I've seen many times both Van Halen and Led Zeppelin to be classified as Metal... Which they definitely aren't; as you say, what they are is Hard Rock. There's too much Blues and Rock n' Roll in their music for it to be Metal.
And about Black Sabbath, I actually have troubles considering their first era as Heavy Metal, though all the foundations are there. Once Dio came in I think they can be classified as such, but as for Ozzy's time I feel more comfortable calling it Hard Rock too, even though it gets really heavy. Again, there's a lot of Blues still in there.
The Blues was definitely huge with those early English bands. Strangely enough, Marlilyn Manson had some Blues on his recent album . Another hotly debated one is whether 'Helter Skelter" is metal or not. My general idea though is the Shakespeare saying, 'a rose by any other name...' One I'm not sure about is Kansas and Foreigner though. Obviously not metal and no one would say they were, but they seem to hard for soft rock too. I'm thinking Kansas may be on the progressive end and Foreigner seems like Hard Rock early on and went as far as pop at some point.
Oh I'm mostly ignorant about Marilyn Manson. I've listened very little of his music
About Helter Skelter I definitely don't call it Metal, though it is indeed a pioneer song that one of the genre's founding stones. But to me is Hard Rock.
And I don't how to call Kansas and Foreigner either lol. Kansas is definitely more close to progressive, but I always found Foreigner to be so dull Kinda Hard Rock-wannabe but too soft in the end, and way too pop for my liking.