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All of the bands you mentioned i think played a huge roll in the influence of hard rock and heavy metal. I'm a huge Doors/Jim Morrison fan and in my opinion they were, along with the who, one of the first punk rock bands. Thanks for your answer.
Some interesting information here. Ive never personally thought of Zeppelin as heavy metal but i do see how their influence could spawn a heavier generation. I think the same goes for Deep Purple and Blue Cheer.
I think that LZ is seen as precuser of HM in the same way that JMW Turner is seen as a precurser to the Impressionists
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Black Sabbath definitely had a deep defining heavy sound that no one else had at the time. Their drummer Bill Ward, had the idea that people would pay money to be scared by a horror movie, why wouldn't horror music have the same effect.