Inspired by the recently released Rolling Stones’ top 10 metal albums of the 80s, I am chiming in. This was a difficult decision, but keep in mind, I tried to keep it to one album per band and tried to categorize the music that if felt could only be considered heavy metal, i.e. not hard rock or thrash. I welcome your opinions if you feel like I left any out. By the way, hope you don’t mind, mine is more of a top 12. Just couldn’t whittle it down!
12. Too Fast For Love- Motley Crue
I know the musical integrity may not be there for some, but to me, this was definitely a defining album in 80s metal. And besides, I was 13 years old and Vince Neil’s crotch was on the cover so…
11. Stay Hungry – Twisted Sister
Once again, probably not among the tops for people with refined music tastes but raw, rebellious, and definitely the definition of all the was 80’s heavy metal. How do you want to live your life?
Right before they sold out, went rap, and Joe Elliot turned into Nancy Wilson, Def Leppard proved that they had one more in them, quite possibly their best.
9. Balls to the Wall – Accept
Who cares if Udo Dirkschneider resembled a little frog? Who cares if Accept disappeared into virtual obscurity following the release of this album? Who cares if we really can’t understand the words and there’s some German dude in leather panties on the front cover? This album rocked!
8. Killers – Iron Maiden
I know what your thinking but I loved Paul Dianno. I think he was an awesome singer with a sexy, bluesy voice that gave Iron Maiden a punk edge. There’s more Iron Maiden to come so don’t get your panties in a bunch. I allowed two Iron Maiden because I almost feel like Bruce Iron Maiden and Paul Iron Maiden are two different bands. Also, I almost creamed my jeans when i heard Murders in the Rue Morgue for the first time.
7. Holy Diver – Dio
Shout out and big old two fingered salute (and I don’t mean two middle fingers) to Ronnie James Dio, nuff said.
6. Blizzard of Ozz – Ozzy Osbourne
Premier album from Ozzy Osbourne solo with the late great Randy Rhodes. Great songs plus Ozzy on the cover doing something appropriately deranged and blasphemous.
5. Love At First Sting – Scorpions
Hats off the another great German midget with a pair of lungs. Klaus Meine may not have looked the part but he sure was a romantic guy.
4. Ace of Spades – Motorhead
Part of the inspiration for me writing this list was the fact that the Rolling Stones article made no mention of Motorhead. Don’t be dissing on my boy Lemmy! Fourth and probably the pinnacle of all Motorhead albums (although for me it was a toss up between this and Orgasmatron), and yes, it was released in 1980.
3. Defenders of the Faith – Judas Priest
Barely beating out Screaming for Vengeance in the fight to the finish. True it does not have the Hellion/ Electric Eye medley but I think it’s a better album through and through. Also, there’s something about this album that makes me wish I was a teenager on a hot summer night.
2. Number of the Beast
Ha! I told you… I told you I was gonna add it and see, I did!! Bruce Dickinson joins the band, Steve Harris finds his muse and writes the album he always wanted to write.
1. Ride the Lightening – Metallica
I know many would argue that Metallica’s career became more refined after this album, oh yeah, after James Hetfield got singing lessons, and they started making videos and Lars became an asshole, and they publicly spewed their differences in Some Kind of Monster, and they started caring about their paychecks and forgetting that is was “All About the Kids” and of course, who could forget poor Cliff. Just give me good old fashioned raw Metallica, please. I’ll take this one, thanks.