At a young age I was besides the interest in astronomy, also very interested in music. In the beginning there was the influence of my parents with classical music such as Beethoven or Rachmaninoff. But later on I listened a lot to the radio and found especially the bombastic music great. For instance Fly like an Eagle by the Steve Miller Band or music from Queen. In 1977 I discovered on the Dutch radio station Hilversum 3 a program called VARA's Beton uur (or in English: Concrete hours). It was hosted by the now deceased DJ Alfred Lagarde. In his show Alfred played the harder type of music, also called hard-rock. Bands like Rainbow, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath... And soon I was glued to the radio every Tuesday!

Deep Purple's classic Made in Japan (1972)

In 1978 I bought my first LP (= long-playing microgroove record): the album Recorded Live (1978) from Ten Years After. And after all these years I still like this album a lot! The second album I bought was a live double album called: Deep Purple: Made in Japan (1972). Yep, that was a real classic and I played this album so much that after a while it was completely worn out! Especially the long drawn-out Space Truckin, I found very cool! Soon I bought LPs from AC/DC, Kiss, Van Halen and Judas Priest. The first album I bought from Van Halen was Woman and Children First (1980): wow, what a brutal guitar sound. I quickly bought also the first Van Halen (1978) LP and was completely blown away. Hear the classic guitarsolo Eruption, the Who cover You Really Got Me or the single Running for the Devil.

Van Halen's first LP: Van Halen I is a classic!

AC/DC was also a favorite of mine: especially the LP's If You Want Blood (live album, 1978) and (studio album) Highway to Hell (1979). Both are strong albums. When in February 1980 their singer Bon Scott died the band went through with the singer Brian Johnsson. They came back with the album Back In Black (1980). Wow! Another masterpiece! Every song stands like a house and after 30 years, the album is still surprisingly strong! AC/DC made several good records, but they never got the level of Back in Black.

AC/DC's cover and backcover of the album If You Want Blood...You've Got it... (1978)

AC/DC's classic Back in Black (1980)

In 1982 I bought an lp called Live Evil from Black Sabbath. Wow, what a great guitarsound and also the singer Ronnie James Dio was awesome.

One of the best heavy metal/hardrock singers: Ronnie James Dio (10 july 1942-16 may 2010). RIP.

After buying the Black Sabbath LP's Heaven and Hell (1980) and Mob Rules (1981) I also bought LP's from Rainbow, a band formed by Ritchie Blackmore when he left Deep Purple. Dio was also the singer in Rainbow during the period of 1975-1979. They made hardrock classics: Rainbow Rising (1977), On Stage (1978) and Long Live Rock and Roll (1978). Unfortunately, Dio left Black Sabbath in 1982 and started his own band called Dio. He made some great records with this band to: Holy Diver (1983) and The Last in Line (1984). Nevertheless I find the music on this album 's slightly less like what Dio did in his previous bands Rainbow and Black Sabbath.

Rainbow's Long Live Rock 'n Roll album (1978) and Black Sabbath's Live Evil album (1982)

When I got my first album of Judas Priest (in 1981) I was disappointed. In magazines I read about the brutal heavy metal but this album Point of Entry (1981) I found disappointing. In retrospect this was a less successful attempt of Judas Priest to break into the U.S. market. When I was in the record store, on the advice of the salesman I listened to Judas Priest's Unleashed in the East. I was completely blown away! In my opinion the best studioalbums Judas Priest made were Screaming for Vengeance (1982) and Defenders of the Faith (1984). After this excellent LPs Priest released the album Turbo (1986). I was very disappointed, the brutal and dark guitar sound of the Defenders album was completely replaced with guitar synthesizers. Another attempt by Judas Priest to open up the U.S. market.

Two classics from Judas Priest: Screaming for Vengeance (1982) and Defenders of the Faith (1984)

Rob Halford, lead singer of Judas Priest, one of the best heavy metal singers.

In the early 80's there was another English band who could count on a growing interest. However, the first two LPs from Iron Maiden could not tempt me, but after the release of The Number of the Beast (1982) and Piece of Mind (1983), I was also a big fan of this band. Another good LP's followed such as Powerslave (1984), the legendary live-album Life After Death (1985) and Somewhere in Time (1986). The albums after Somewhere in Time were a bit disappointing (eg Seventh Son of a Seventh Son 1988 and No Prayer For The Dying, 1990).

Two classics of Iron Maiden: The Number of the beast (1982) and Piece of Mind (1983)

During the 80's so called speed/trash metal bands (eg Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax) were on the rise. Metallica released their Kill em All (1983) and Ride the Lightning (1984) . Unfortunately, often due to the small budgets of these bands the productional quality was very poor. This was mainly the reason why I did not buy many LPs of these bands . Still, I bought from the above mentioned bands also LPs. And more of this genre: think for example of Mercyful Fate (Melissa 1984) , Clovenhoof , Helstar and Exciter . However, when I sold all my LPs in the early 90's, I did not buy these records on CD... So in the 80's I had built a large collection of LPs, but in the early 90s I sold or gave them away. And just a part of this collection I eventually bought on CD.

Metallica's best album: Ride the Lightning

In the early 90s there I got more interested in the speed/trash metal bands. Because bands like Metallica and Megadeth had increasing budgets for their music, their CDs got better and better. When in 1991 the "Black Album" (Metallica) was released I listened more and more to their music. And when Metallica in 1993 released their "Live Shit, Bing & Purge"boxset (three live CDs, 2 video tapes and a booklet) I was most impressed to the older Metallica work. Especially the And Justice for All medley I found really cool!

Megadeth's best album: Rust in Peace and Metallica's live box set: Live Shit: Binge & Purge

In 1989 I read a review of a CD by a new band called Dream Theater: When Dream and Day Unite (1989). However, it never came to listen to this CD in the CD shop. A few years later I read a very positive review of Live at the Marquee. I bought this CD and I was just as impressed with this CD at the time as Van Halen's first and third CD. Now I am a big fan of this band and I have many CDs and DVDs of Dream Theater. I also have seen them many times live.

Meanwhile I have a nice collection of music. You can find a complete list of my CD collection here.

Dream Theater's first live album: Live at the Marquee

So after all these years the question is: " why am I after all these years still a huge fan of hardrock and heavy metal"? The answer? No idea! Maybe it's the loudness of the music, the sence of power caused by these walls of sound that is hitting you during the conserts. Loving hard rock and heavy metal is a feeling of pride, it gives you energy and strength to continue.

So, when I am old and worn out I think I still love hard rock and metal music...
Metal Forever!