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What are the Heaviest Keyboard Songs/Albums in Rock History?

Robbie G

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As we put the final touches on the Heavy Issue, I thought it would be a great idea to ask you all what you think are the most iconic keyboard moments in "Heavy" rock or metal. Of course, the term "heavy" is subjective, but we're looking for sonically heavy stuff, not necessarily the deepest subject matter. So what have you got, Forum Peeps? Time is of the essence so start listing! Thanks for all you do~ RG
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Great to see you here, brother Rob! :wave:


Heaviest? Hmmmm...keyboards heavy, Song heavy? Both? Heavy keyboard line or sound?


A few off the top of my head would be Space Truckin', Kashmir, Won't Get Fooled Again, Hold Your Head Up, Tarkus, Chest Fever, Gimme Some Lovin', Green Eyed Lady, Cars, Back Door Man....





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In absolutely no particular order:


Highway Star-Deep Purple

Perfect Strangers Deep Purple


Tarot Woman Rainbow

Subdivisions Rush

Between The Wheels Rush


Deeper and Deeper The Fixx

Reach The Beach The Fixx

Sunshine In The Shade The Fixx


Watcher of the Skies Genesis


Alaska U.K.

Carrying No Cross U.K.


Echoes Pink Floyd

Time Again Asia


Gates of Babylon Rainbow*

Kasmir Zeppelin*


*Unfair as the real orchestral stuff adds serious girth to already heavy music.



I went heavy in terms of the sound of the songs, not the subject matter, not the songwriting, and certainly not necessarily the playing itself, although there is some heavy playing on a few of these cuts.

Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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Smokin' & Foreplay/Long Time - (Boston), Carry On Wayward Son (Kansas), Mr. Crowley & No More Tears (Ozzy Osbourne), Blue Collar Man (Styx), In The Dead Of Night (UK)...


Those came to me immediately... I'm sure you'll get hundreds of suggestions, and I'll post more when I think of them. ;)

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Two songs from Spooky Tooth: Waitin' for the Wind and Evil Woman.


The organ sound that Gary Wright got on those tunes still gives me shivers.



"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker


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Some good suggestions already.


I'd add:


Astronomy Domine

One OF These Days

No Quarter (live version from Song Remains The Same)

Misty Mountain Hop

Custard Pie

Trampled Underfoot

Hope Your Feeling Better

Cheap Sunglasses


And The Cradle Will Rock

Right Now

Fly On A Windshield

In The Cage


Dance On A Volcano

Locomotive Breath

Tom Sawyer

New World Man

Distant Early Warning



Ian Benhamou



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Zeppelin of course comes to mind I would nominate In Through the Out Door as being arguably the most keyboard heavy Zep album and Carouselambra as a standout heavy keyboard cut from that album.


This topic has high school-afternoon-hangout-debate written all over it. I'm getting a residual buzz just from typing this post.

Gigging: Crumar Mojo 61, Hammond SKPro

Home: Vintage Vibe 64


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The unrepentent old hippy vote:


Procol Harum Outside the Gates of Cerdes :great heavy blend of piano organ and guitar.


Small Faces Tin Soldier: hammond and wurly drive this most rocking soul enfused song.


Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Chile, though Winwood deserves credit for his own work this is probably his heaviest, Low Spark worth a mention of course!


Hammond XK3, Rhodes 73 Mk1, Wurlitzer 140B, Kurzweil Pc2R,Kurzweil K2000, Wurlitzer 7300 combo organ
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No mention of anything by Dream Theater yet, arguably the hardest of the bands that actually features keyboard as an instrument (at least in the last 10 years or so). This probably says more about the age and musical tastes of people on this Forum than it does about Dream Theater, but still....


Also, I didn't see mention of Rainbow in the Dark by Dio. That song is heavy as hell, although frankly the lead keyboard line sounds cheesily awful today.






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OK, I'm old enough to remember (and still play them), all the keyboard heavy songs on the first seven Moody Blues albums.


(added): and what better for post #1,000 than a Moody Blues reference???


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HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

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Since I agree this has that high school hangout/debate all over it, Ill kick it into gear:


Wow...I just can't think of In Through The OutDoor as Heavy. I love the other Zep stuff too, but


I disqualified Tom Sawyer and Squonk from my list cuz it's actually bass pedals/triggers that make them heavy.


+1 on the Spooky Tooth!


Cheap Sunglasses??? Two chords on a Wurli (maybe!?!...I cant be sure its still not guitar), and a theremin (again, is it theremin or guitar?) part.I love the song, but heaviest keyboard tunes in rock?


That synth on Rainbow in the Dark sounded awfully cheesy when it came out, time has nothing to do with it!


Regarding the lack of industrial or modern prog.the fact is, I dont find that stuff nearly as heavy as most of what was listed here. We lived/experienced a serious artistic peak with rock in the 60s/70s.


Let the fray begin.continue.er


Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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The March To The Eternal City - Triumvirat


Good one, Dan! Spartacus rawks...


We're such old guys - no NIN, nothing industrial....here, watch. Radar Love. Old guy.




Still have the vinyl, and just put March on my iPod.

My brother's band used to play it in high school!!!

Aaaaah the good old daze.... :laugh:

What we record in life, echoes in eternity.


MOXF8, Electro 6D, XK1c, Motif XSr, PEKPER, Voyager, Univox MiniKorg.


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