Blue Cheer's version of Eddie Cochran's Summertime Blues is number 73 on Rolling Stone magazine's top 500 "greatest songs of all time." Blue Cheer recorded it in 1967, and released it on their 1968 album, Vincebus Eruptum. The single reached 14 on the Billboard top 100, and that pushed the album sales to number 11. This is psychedelic metal, and it came out months before In-A-Gada-Da-Vida and Born to Be Wild. Many "scholars" of rock and metal bands consider this to be the first heavy metal song to make the pop charts. Geddy Lee, frontman for the legendary Canadian rock band Rush, has said that Blue Cheer is the first heavy metal band.
Blue Cheer was one of the first three-man power bands, along with Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Band members said they decided to form a three-man power band after seeing Jimi Hendrix perform at Monterey. Later three-man power bands included Grand Funk Railroad, The James Gang, Motorhead, The Police, Z Z Top, Robin Trower, the Jam and, of course, Rush.
I really like Hawkwind. I was into them a lot when I was a teenager and I've got back into them recently. I don't really think of them as heavy metal which never quite chimed with me. Then again I don't consider Motorhead heavy metal. I love hard thrashing rock, but never got the hm culture.