15. Blue Cheer
In the late 60's, rock was growing up to become something much more sinister. Acts like Iggy and the Stooges and the MC5 were taking large strides to create what would become the sound of punk rock later down the line. While Alice Cooper was making waves in the hard rock as one of the first heavy metal artists, most of the metallic sounds could only be found in British bands like Deep Purple and Black Sabbath.
In the middle of the mayhem, Blue Cheer emerged from the middle of the Haight Asbury scene of San Francisco and left the stoned-out hippies with their jaws wide open. While the band's music wasn't necessarily metal in melodic structure, they made up for it with some of the loudest records the genre had ever heard. Drawn to the more off-the-wall experiments of the hippie generation, the band's records were always designed to hit you with the same sonic power as a nuclear explosion.
Though they may not have seen the adulation as other metal innovators, the band did find fans in some of the biggest artists of the day, with Eric Clapton calling them the "progenitors of heavy" along with the open admiration of Rush's Geddy Lee. With just a few blues riffs and a lot of fury, Blue Cheer helped define a new sonic landscape for bands to wreak havoc in.