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The Heavy playlist by Dan Franklin

Heavy by Dan Franklin

This playlist is a sonic journey through Heavy: How Metal Changes the Way We See the World. It follows the narrative pathway of the book, but I’ve been disciplined and limited it to one song per band.

Broadly speaking, the book’s first half looks outward, with songs that filter our experience of the world: Machine Head taking on the siege of Waco with ‘Davidian’; Metallica’s gleeful blazing through the nuclear era in ‘Fight Fire With Fire’; Venom Prison’s ‘Perpetrator Emasculation’ savaging misogynistic culture; and Sleep’s sci-fi stoner-anthem ‘Dopesmoker’, which is over an hour long (!)

Then we journey inward with Tool’s transcendent ‘Lateralus’ and Sunn O)))’s ‘My Wall’. The playlist also takes in the nu-metal schism that took place in late-nineties metal, culminating in masterpieces by Slipknot and System of a Down. After reclaiming the heavy heritage of grunge, it lands with the legacy of Iron Maiden and ‘Where Eagles Dare’.

Ultimately, it’s a personal list of songs. The main criteria for choosing something was that I had to love it. There are very popular bands here and also many lesser-known groups I wanted to highlight. Ultimately, there are lots of absences. But I hope that some, and maybe all, the songs on the playlist resonate with readers and impart something of the power and magic of heavy music.

Dan Franklin.