Looking for something to watch? This classic 1989 BBC Arena Heavy Metal documentary starring Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Metallica and more has it all!
Since it began running in 1975 the BBC’s Arena programs have prided themselves on producing “gold standard” documentaries. And in 1989 it turned its sights on the musical phenomenon that had arguably ruled that decade: heavy metal.
Originally shown on BBC Two as part of their Heavy Metal Heaven Night, presented by Elvira Mistress of the Dark. The simply-titled Heavy Metal tried to get under the skin of metal music in all its guises. With amazing live Clips of Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Deep Purple, Steppenwolf, Megadeth, Napalm Death and more.
But maybe best of all are the heavy metal documentary interviews… An all-star cast that includes Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler, Dave Lee Roth, Axl Rose, Bruce Dickinson, Lars Ulrich, Tom Araya, with talk about the roots of metal, deafness, the devil and everything in between.
Witness a slightly pickled Jimmy Page play Kashmir unplugged, go backstage at The Monsters of Rock festival and – for some reason – watch Bruce Dickinson sword fight and then demonstrate a crazy new invention: the exercise bike.
As you would expect of Arena, it’s well produced, funny and insightful, with epic footage of metal clubs and the hordes of Castle Donington. Not forgetting a snarky Axl Rose.
Interviewer: “Have you got anything in common with Iron Maiden?” Axl: “I hope not.”
Is it the greatest heavy metal documentary ever made? Well, that’s still probably The Decline Of Western Civilization Pt 2, or Sam Dunn’s epic Metal Evolution series, but it’s pretty damn close.
Heavy Metal Heaven Full BBC Documentary
Credit to Tom Poak