Heavy Metal magazine's 1981 movie soundtrack

Heavy Metal magazine's 1981 movie soundtrack cover

Takin’ a Ride with Heavy Metal–the original movie soundtrack

When the Heavy Metal  movie came out in 1981, it was accompanied by a unique and impressive soundtrack, not only on screen, but also as an album release.

It was unique because it featured sixteen tracks from various genres, which is something that is not often done. For example, 1967’s The Graduate featured mostly Simon & Garfunkel tracks, 1971’s Shaft included an entire album of soul from Isaac Hayes, and 1977’s  movie soundtrack for Saturday Night Fever was a double album of disco.

On the other hand, Heavy Metal’s soundtrack had everything from hard rockers Sammy Hagar and Nazereth, to 70s rock bands Cheap Trick and Journey, to new wave band Devo, and of course a track from the heavy metal band Black Sabbath (featuring Ronnie James Dio).

Here’s the full track listing:

1. “Heavy Metal” (Original Version) (Sammy Hagar) (3:50)

2. “Heartbeat” (Riggs) (4:20)

3. “Working in the Coal Mine” (Devo) (2:48)

4. “Veteran of the Psychic Wars” (Blue Öyster Cult) (4:48)

5. “Reach Out” (Cheap Trick) (3:35)

6. “Heavy Metal (Takin’ a Ride)” (Don Felder) (5:00)

7. “True Companion” (Donald Fagen) (5:02)

8. “Crazy (A Suitable Case for Treatment)” (Nazareth) (3:24)

9. “Radar Rider” (Riggs) (2:40)

10. “Open Arms” (Journey) (3:20)

11. “Queen Bee” (Grand Funk Railroad) (3:11)

12. “I Must Be Dreamin'” (Cheap Trick) (5:37)

13. “The Mob Rules” (alternate version) (Black Sabbath) (2:43)

14. “All of You” (Don Felder) (4:18)

15. “Prefabricated” (Trust) (2:59)

16. “Blue Lamp” (Stevie Nicks) (3:48)

When looking to create a soundtrack for Heavy Metal magazine’s GATES the comic, I (Hal Hefner) wanted to assemble something similar. Something just as diverse — something that would match the moods of different scenes in the comic. With the soul of the original soundtrack as my influence, I really wanted to give online comic readers something special.

I am a huge fan of Devo and love the fact that they are geeky, awkward sci-fi, new wave nerds with a unique sound. I loved Stevie Nicks’ song Blue Lamp and Don Felder’s, Heavy Metal (Takin a Ride). Blue Oyster Cult’s Veteran of the Psychic Wars of course the Mob Rules by Sabbath round out the list of my favorites. And I know many people love Sammy Hagar but man, I can’t do it. To me, he killed Van Halen and his voice just makes me want to vomit dog poop all over.  So I was determined to avoid a “Hagar”.

I’m pretty excited about all of the great bands I have found for the soundtrack  for GATES the comic so far and have pushed the envelope even further in terms of musical variation.  I’m looking forward to continuing the search for more music as well.

What was your favorite song on the original Heavy Metal soundtrack? hmmmmmm?