"The Soundhouse Tapes"-1979
New Years Eve,`78/`79; Iron Maiden record a 4-song EP,but at the end of the sessions realize that they don`t have the money to pay for them! Convincing the studio owners to hold the tapes `til they can come up with the pounds,the band returns two weeks later only to discover that the master tapes have been accidently erased! Left with just the rough mixes,Maiden gives a copy of the tape to Legendary Metal DJ Neal Kay,who put it in heavy rotation at his club,The Soundhouse Disco.Reaction from the "punters"[club goers] was enthusiastic to say the least and the four songs,"Prowler","Iron Maiden","Invasion".and"Strange World",would later be included on Maidens` S/T debut.The rest,as they say,is history...
"Ride the Lightning"-1984
"Master of Puppets"-1986
Before they became Alternative Nation poster boys,there was a time when the above mentioned band lived up to their moniker; They actually played METAL! These albums are Alternica,er,I mean Metallica at their BEST! I won`t go into the bands history,but any self-respecting Metal head should own AT LEAST 2 of these discs; this way you can hear what these guys USED to sound like.The newer releases? F**k `em..
One of the BEST Metal albums EVER! This one established Priest as a force to be reckoned with even as the band fought to stay afloat in Punk-infatuated England.The classics are all here;"Victim of Changes","Genocide",and of course 'The Ripper".A blueprint for all Metal bands that came later!
This Long Island-based outfit had a MANIACAL following in the late `70s-early `80s, when they played their own songs,set up their own shows,and pretty much did as they pleased. Vocalist [and leader] Dee Snider garnered most of the attention with his Rocky Horror meets Bozo the Clown on acid look and his habit of verbally abusing and taunting the audience, to the utter delight of the crowd! They released "Under the Blade" in `82, but I`ve put this one here cuz it has one of my favorite Metal tunes of all time,"Ride to Live [Live to Ride]". Later on, TS became a grotesque MTV cariciture of themselves and went down soon after.
Tokyo Blade-"Tokyo Blade"-1983
One of my all-time personal favorites! Originally known as Genghis Khan, this British 5-piece was formed by schoolmates Andy Boulton [guitar], Andy Robbins [bass], Alan Marsh [vocals], Steve Pierce [drums] and later John Wiggins on 2nd lead guitar. Changing their name to Tokyo Blade,the band released a 2-song EP that featured "If Heaven is Hell", one of the BEST Metal songs ever written [in my totally unbiased opinion]! This was the most requested Metal song in Scotland, at one point. Later in the year they released the above album to tremendous praise; this led to several prestigious gigs, including the Aardshok festival in Holland [along w/ Metallica & Venom], and as head-liners at the Earthquake festival, also in Holland. The band was sort of a cross between DiamondHead, early Def Leppard [1st album], and early Maiden, and this was reflected in songs like "Powergame","Break the Chains", "Midnight Rendezvous", hell, ALL of `em! Metal classics, thru & thru. This is their best album. Marsh left after recording the next one, "Night of the Blade", and was replaced by Vic Wright, and the band went in a more commercial direction. You can guess what happened after that.....!
Master-minded by the infamous Blackie Lawless,WASP [which stands for We Are Sexual Perverts,by the way!] were among the better bands to emerge from the Glam-infested Sunset Strip scene,both in terms of Song-writing AND showmanship.This album Rocks like a Motherf#*%!! "B.A.D.","School Daze","Sleeping in the Fire",all kick with an intensity that few groups have matched even today.Later albums were not as consistent [`89s`"The Headless Children",and `92s`"The Crimson Idol" being the exceptions];Blackie & co. seem to have a Marilyn Manson thing going these days,which is NOT good!
OK,OK,I`ll probably catch Hell for putting these guys in here,but let`s face it,this one does kick ASS! Forget about what Ratt did later on,this EP Rocks HARD! Raw,unpolished,the way Metal was meant to be,the six tracks found here showcase the band at their best. "You Think You`re Tough","Tell the World",and the original version of "Back for More",hold up against the Heaviest Metal tunes of the day,with the twin-guitar attack of Warren De Martini & Robbin Crosby cutting thru loud and clear! [Stephen Pearcys`vocals were something of an aquired taste,though..]
Motley Crue-"Too Fast For Love"-1982
This band pretty much got the ball rollin` as far as exposing the "LA Scene" to the masses.The Crue never put out anything afterwards that was NEARLY as Heavy as this![Maybe "Shout at the Devil was a close second,but after THAT...] Some of the songs approach a Thrash-like sound,but they all ROCK,and in 1982,we NEEDED this kind of stuff;at the time, Men at Work,38 Special, and Journey were dominating the airwaves [shudder!], and REAL music was hard to come by! They were hard times,let me tell ya...
"Live ?!'@ Like a Suicide"-1986
"Appetite for Destruction"-1987
After putting out a self-financed EP in `86,GNR got signed to a major label and released one of the biggest selling debuts of all time! This album quite literally changed the face of Hard Rock,as high-tech,neo-classical guitar shredders dumped their Jacksons in favor of low-slung Les Pauls and started playing Blues riffs,vocalists covered themselves in multi-colored bandannas and copped Axle Roses` patened "Snake Walk",and "Sweet Child o` Mine" & "Welcome to the Jungle"became virtual anthems for the summer of `88! I,like most people,have NO idea what`s going on with the band these days. At the time,the press dubbed the band"The new Rolling Stones";the problems started when they began to ACT like it! "We been dancin` with Mr. Brownstone..."