Let’s talk about the origins of the word “heavy”. It was a word closely associated to hippie and psychedelic culture in the late 60s to describe something that had great emotional weight. Although the word heavy is no longer a term we often use in our day to day, it’s used (almost exclusively) to describe music in the metal genre. I mean, I get why; it’s literally in the genre’s name. Let’s also not forget Steppenwolf single handedly named the heavy metal genre with their track “Born to be Wild(1968)” with the mention of “heavy metal thunder” in the second verse, and ba-da-boom-ba-da-bang, heavy has been super glued to metal ever since. But the truth is metal heads don’t deserve exclusive rights to the word. Some of the heaviest songs come from bands that aren’t even metal or hard rock, and some of the heaviest songs don’t solely rely on darker chords to convey heaviness.
Let’s take for example “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” (1969) by the Beatles. When I first heard this song, I fell in love with the Beatles; the track is pure genius. I mean between the cosmic back and forth between the synth and bass, the entrancing loop of electric guitar, and lyrics that are so simple yet so effective, this song is PERFECTION and the epitome of HEAVY. BUT maybe someone is reading this right now and disagrees entirely. Maybe they think that the Beatles only scratched the surface of hard rock and will never be thought of as “heavy”. This then begs the question: Is heaviness something we can even agree on? The heaviness a metal head feels on a Metallica track could never beat “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” in my mind. Yup, you heard it here. I believe the Beatles have a heavier track than any [insert metal band here]. Because if we go back to the very definition of the word it is “the emotional weight a song has”. Just like how a love a song doesn’t need the word love splattered all over it, a heavy track doesn’t need mammoth riffs or dark subject matter. And maybe it does, FOR YOU. But for me, I’ll take my Beatles track any day of the week.
SO, I guess what I’m really trying to say is. Reclaim the word heavy, and start using it to describe music that puts you in ~~aLL tHe FeEls~~. Fuck all those foo foo lame hoes that say heavy is synonymous to metal. Scratch that. They’re technically right. *sighs HEAVILY* I’m not going to go around in circles anymore. The argument isn’t “which song is heavier?” It’s “what’s heavy?” And, this my friends, is up to us. Call a song a heavy or don’t. Do whatever tickles YOUR kosher dill pickle. But let’s not forget that this word exists outside the heavy rock/metal world, and we need to start using it as such because that definition is just too damn beautiful.
HEAVY: THE EMOTIONAL weight something (i.e. a song) has, and don’t you music nerds forget it ;)