Los Angeles, the city of angels, has had astounding effects on many categories of music.
From punk rock to “gangster” rap, the unique artistic environment of the city has created a constant surplus of good music.
Metallica, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Guns N’ Roses all got their start in the neighborhoods of the metropolis.
The L.A. music scene has always been a hot spot for rising trends and emerging styles.
The following bands are some of the best from the city.
The thrash metal band got its start in 1981, when frontman James Hetfield responded to drummer Lars Ulrich’s ad in the LA Recycler.
The band released its debut album “Kill ‘Em All” in 1983 and reached 155 on the Billboard 200 chart.
The album featured metal staples, such as “Four Horsemen” and “Whiplash.”
This success, however modest, caused them to receive a growing fanbase in L.A.’s underground metal scene.
The album’s success led them to release “Ride the Lightning” a year later.
The album was good enough to get them a record deal with Elektra, the record company they would stay with until 2008’s “Death Magnetic.”
Metallica has produced countless hits, including “Enter Sandman” and “One,” and six of their albums have reached the top of the charts in multiple countries.
Metallica’s 2016 album, “Hardwired… to Self-Destruct,” reinstated them as one of the best current metal bands and added to their status as one of the greatest metal bands ever.
Without their start in L.A., the band likely would not have had the success it received, and the members certainly wouldn’t have met.
Sophomore Jared Haack enjoys listening to Metallica.
“They vary their style of metal from song to song,” Haack said. “It’s a surprise each song you listen to.”
Guns N’ Roses
Guns N’ Roses got their name from a previous band, L.A. Guns, and the singer Axl Rose’s name.
Guns N’ Roses signed to Geffen Records in 1986 one year after the band’s formation.
The band released its debut album on July 21, 1987.
The album was called “Appetite for Destruction,” and it went triple diamond with 30.8 million copies sold.
Featuring tracks like “Welcome to the Jungle,” “Paradise City,” and “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” this album is by far the band’s masterpiece.
Guns N’ Roses’ third album and fourth albums, “Use Your Illusion I” and “Use Your Illusion II” featured songs like “November Rain” and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.”
The band’s later albums include its 1993 cover album “The Spaghetti Incident?” and the 2008 album “Chinese Democracy.”
Without the influence of L.A.’s tough streets and the band’s status in the early L.A. club scene, Guns N’ Roses would have never achieved the fame it has today.
Sophomore Cole Zemore listens to Guns N’ Roses.
“They have a lot of good music,” Zemore said. “They’re just great.”
Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Red Hot Chili Peppers formed in 1983 and consists of frontman Anthony Kiedis, drummer Chad Smith, bassist Flea, and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer.
The band, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, has sold 80 million records and has been a renegade of modern alternative rock.
The band’s first album, called “The Red Hot Chili Peppers,” was released in 1984.
The album was played on college radio stations and MTV, sparking a growing fan base in California.
“Blood Sugar Sex Magik,” their fifth album, peaked at No. 3 on U.S. charts.
The album featured “Suck My Kiss” and “Under the Bridge.”
“Under the Bridge” has continued to be the defining piece to the Chili Peppers’ discography.
The song is about Kiedis’ substance abuse problem and the comfort the city gave him during his struggles.
The band rebounded with “Californication,” which features their hit “Californication,” one of their best compositions.
“By the Way” was released in 2002 and reached the No. 2 spot in the United States.
It features “Can’t Stop,” as well as the title track.
The band followed the album up with “Stadium Arcadium,” its only album to reach the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart. It is one of the Chili Peppers’ most popular works.
Sophomore Ethan McArthur listens to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
“I’ve been listening to them my whole life,” McArthur said. “I like their music.”
Rage Against the Machine
Rage, as they were called, consisted of vocalist Zach de la Rocha, bassist Tim Commerford, guitarist Tom Morello, and drummer Brad Wilk.
The band released its self-titled debut in 1992, featuring hits like “Killing in the Name” and “Bombtrack.”
The album gave the group a lot of popularity, especially in Los Angeles and California.
Rage released “Evil Empire” in 1996, and the album reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200.
It featured Grammy-nominated songs like “Bulls on Parade” and “People of the Sun,” as well as “Tire Me,” which won a Grammy for Best Metal Performance.
“Bulls on Parade” is one of their best songs, featuring memorable guitar work and amazing lyrics from de la Rocha.
The group released its next album “The Battle of Los Angeles” in 1999, which became its second No. 1 album in the Billboard 100.
The album features “Testify” and “Guerrilla Radio,” two of the group’s greatest tracks, as well as “Sleep Now in the Fire.”
This album, like Rage’s whole discography, has a protest edge that could only be sharpened by the band’s time in Los Angeles, a city with a rich history of demonstration.
Although the original band broke up in the early 2000s, it lives on in Prophets of Rage, a supergroup consisting of Wilk, Commerford, and Morello, as well as Chuck D of Public Enemy and B-Real of Cypress Hill.
Without the unique cultural fusion of Los Angeles, the band would likely have never had the viewpoint and audacity to express it that made the Rage so legendary.
Mr. Chris Schmidt, who coaches the quiz bowl and chess teams, respects the group’s political views.
“I like the fact that they have an apolitical stance,” Schmidt said. “They’re not afraid to be political.”