Simpsons Sunday – Heavy Metal Simpsons

Hi there and welcome to another Simpsons Sunday post. Over the past week or so, I have come to realize how much the shows scope extends to many many different areas of show business, time periods and life in general. If you look at all the people who have guest starred on The Simpsons you will know what I mean. From time to time I have devoted posts to bands and people who have been on the show and this week is no exception.
This week I’m going to talk about another of my favourite Heavy Metal bands, the very influential, Judas Priest. They have been around for 40 years and have released 17 studio albums, with their latest album Redeemer Of Souls coming out this past Tuesday. They have shifted styles of metal over the years from time to time but have always stayed heavy. Of course, they wouldn’t be where they are today without singer Rob Halford and his high pitched style. He guest starred on The Simpsons on the episode Steal This Episode, parodying the classic Priest song Breaking The Law, singing instead “Respecting The Law.” On the show they were called a death metal band and some fans didn’t like that. The Simpsons producers apologized for this but I had no problem with it.
The fact that they were mislabeled is not a slap in the face but a sign of being misinformed and well, I guess, ignorant. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the producers of The Simpsons were even close to being misinformed or ignorant by any means. This is a comedy and sometimes you can get a laugh by stretching the truth.
Actually, Judas Priest does play some songs which are quite fast in the vain of Motörhead and early Metallica in the form of songs like: Exciter and Freewheel Burning. When you stop and think about it, speed metal is related to death metal and other extreme sub-genres of this form of music so it’s not that far from the truth. Also, the band were thought of as a punk band at one point in their career. Honestly, they were labeled as a punk band during punks first wave in the late 1970s. So, why are we surprised when The Simpsons calls them a death metal band?
The fact that they were called a death metal band is funny to me because it exposes some people’s miss categorization of a specific genre, dew to age. When you get to a certain age, you think anything that sounds a certain way is all the same and there are people who actually still think Van Halen is heavy metal. Well, maybe they are but they have stretched out their sound over the years and are much more tame than more current bands like: Pantera, Lamb Of God, Slipknot, Trivium, Avenged Sevenfold, Korn and many others from the mid 1990s to today.
If you want an example of a real death metal band, check out Cannibal Corpse. They are both musically and visually very very disturbing. Check out the movie Metal: A Headbangers Journey. There is some stuff in there that even scares me, and I am a fan of this kind of music. I’m not going to get into detail about burning churches and other things discussed because it would take up space and we are getting away from The Simpsons. So, I digress.
Of course, Judas Priest isn’t The Simpsons first metal band. Don’t forget that Metallica guest starred in Season 18 as themselves and they were naturally funny. When I heard that Rob Halford was going to guest star I was like “wow! now The Simpsons is the coolest show ever.” I wonder if anyone from Slipknot will be on the show. If they do choose to get on, they will be the only characters I have met in real life. I have detailed this in a very early post.
Oh, let’s not forget that Spinal Tap also were on the show during the Season 3 episode The Otto Show. If you know the band well, you know that Harry Shearer who is one of the principal voice actors on the show, also portrays Derek Smalls, the bass player for Spinal Tap. If you want to get technical, they were the first heavy metal band on the show, ever.
Before I get onto other stuff I will pose this question to you. If there was no Judis Priest would there be a band like Pantera? I don’t think so because of the influence on their first album Cowboys From Hell. You can hear some Rob Halford type vocals in most of the songs with high screaming parts.
Oh, you can also connect Pantera to The Simpsons through: singer Phil Anselmo. One of his other bands Superjoint Ritual, which features bass player Hank Williams III. On the episode The Last Temptation Of Krust, his Father Hank Williams, Jr. sings the song Canyonero. Well, it’s true and I’ve been wanting to make that connection in this blog for a while now.
As for Simpsons news this week, Harry Shearer has been nominated for an Emmy award for the first time, for voicing Mr. Burns. Also, the sound editors of the show have been nominated for Emmy awards. I certainly hope they win.
Also, it is now official that the season premier of Season 26 will be on Sunday September 28th. The episode Clown In The Dumps will be the season premier and I for one, am looking forward to it. Obviously, because of the character death. Once again, I refuse to speculate on it because I don’t want to get all caught up in it now. I’ve already done that when it was announced last October and right now I am just going to wait and see who it is that will be taking the big dirt nap.
As usual to end each Simpsons Sunday post, I recommend checking out Chris Ladesma’s blog. He is the Music Editor for The Simpsons and has been since day 1.
http://simpsonsmusic500.wordpress.com/author/simpsonsmusic500/
I also recommend checking out Yeardley Smith’s blog at http://gobbingoff.tumblr.com
I should also mention Marchez Vous, which is her women’s shoe designer company, which she started earlier in the decade. You can check out their website at
http://www.marchesvous.com
For some strange reason everyone I know hasn’t heard of them yet. Hopefully I can change that.
You can also comment here or you can email me at blindgordie@gmail.com and I will reply as soon as I can to all messages I receive. I would much prefer getting an email so I can reply directly to you, but that’s just me.
One final thing to mention is that you can follow Simpsons Executive Producer Al Jean on Twitter and his Twitter handle is @AlJean.
He has ran the show since Season 13 and it is still going strong, despite how it seems to be not as good as it was in its prime.

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