Frank Listens to the 80's - The Best of the 80's
380 81. Appetite for Destruction - Guns N' Roses
"Loaded like a freight train
Flyin' like an aeroplane
Feelin' like a space brain
One more time tonight."
GNR takes my #1 spot for obvious reasons.
I owned this on cassette and wore out 2 tapes, and even my first cd copy was worn out from playing it so much. There was one album I knew every lyric to from start to finish, it was this album. It was drilled in my brain.
It's hard to praise Appetite with something that has never been said before, but for me it was the whole attitude of this album. It was straight up "In your face" full of emotions that could be painted by Slash and the band. It's really no surprise at all to me this album is in the top selling of all time. It was everything you could wish for on an album in the late 80's.
It's been in my all time top 5 for so many years now, and I will hold it at the Number 1 spot for the entire 80's. I can't list every song, but I guess other than the singles (Welcome To the Jungle, Sweet Child O' Mine, and Paradise City), Night Train and My Michelle are big impressions.
90 8.12. Blizzard of Ozz - Ozzy Osbourne
"Evil thoughts and evil doings
Cold, alone you hang in ruins
Thought that you'd escape the reaper
You can't escape the master keeper."
Ozzy's solo debut, still sounding fresh and as if you just heard it for the first time. The impact of this record is phenomenal. It's the one album I have heard on the radio played more than anything (Crazy Train, Goodbye To Romance)
Randy Rhoads easily established himself as one of the best guitar players in the world on this debut, his melodic frenzy of solo work was all Ozzy needed to make a statement that could make it on his own without Black Sabbath.
This album is like the 80's Ziggy Stardust to me. The impact it had on the rest of the decade, it seemed everyone in Hard Rock/Metal was heavily influenced by this work here and wanted to chase the album. Even today, I still come across riffs in the new age that remind me of something along the lines of Randy Rhoads melodic notes.
Other than the well known classics in Crazy Train, Crowley, and Goodbye To Romance, Revelation Mother Earth and Suicide Solution are my favorite songs.
25 8.33. Texas Flood - Stevie Ray Vaughan
"You said you'd call the shots darlin'
All your friends thought that was so cool
Yeah, but when you shot at the eight ball baby,
I knew you were playin' dirty pool."
Going into the 80's, Blues was starting to die out and had already become known as a thing of the past. The original greats were now legends, and it seemed that time passed by too quick on a genre you can't modernize.
When Stevie Ray debuted with Texas Flood, it was the coming of a Blues Messiah. This album proved that Blues was still alive and very well, as his classic roots made it relevant for the new decade.
You can't modernize Blues, but SRV proved you can make it very relevant again. The blistering solo work and shuffling on this album would follow new comers to Blues for years. Pride and Joy, the title track, Dirty Pool, and Testify shows Blues screaming to life on the guitar.
15 8.54. British Steel - Judas Priest
"We've taken too much for granted
And all the time it had grown
From the techno seeds we first planted
Evolved a mind of its' own."
Another ultimate metal album from the 80's, British Steel was Priest in their prime. Still heavy on their late 70's sound from previous albums built up. There are so many elements in this album that proved to be a major influence in the 80's, even more so in today's era of music, it's still popular among younger generations.
My 2nd or 3rd Priest album I ever owned, and I listened to it the most. A still hungry band for more success is displayed in the songs, other than the big hits (Living After Midnight, Breaking the Law), The Rage, Steeler and Rapid Fire go for my other favorites.
57 7.65. Power, Corruption & Lies - New Order
"I thought I told you to leave me
While I walked down to the beach
Tell me how does it feel
When your heart grows cold."
Power, Corruption & Lies. When this album came out it shook the grounds for Dance and New Wave/Synth Pop forever. New Order had totally revolutionized the synth keyboards to a new level and their drums were something new. After Blue Monday came out, everyone wanted triple drums and heavy bass to follow through, just like what you hear on this album. Even in today's new dance/electronica music, they rely very heavily on the drums and progression heard from this album.
I knew nothing about these guys when I first bought the album. It was only until I first had internet in the 2000's did I learn that most copies of the album did not include Blue Monday (but the QWest U.S. edition does) but you can't discount the entire album full of classic tunes that are essentials to New Order. This album was like a drug to me, I couldn't stop playing it for many years and still pop it up in the car stereo every now and then. Leave Me Alone, Ecstasy, and Age of Consent are instant favorites.
5 106. Showdown! - Albert Collins,Robert Cray,Johnny Copeland
"Let your hair down baby
Let's have a natural ball
Let your hair down baby
Let's have a natural ball
If you don't let your hair down woman
We can't have no fun at all."
There isn't so much active and new Blues in the 80's, but when Albert Collins, Johnny Copeland, and Robert Cray got together for a Showdown, the heat was on.
This is easily one of my favorite Blues albums of all time, and proof that you can make a classic album with a super lineup. The name Showdown is pretty much how to describe this album, and it also introduced me to Johnny Copeland and Robert Cray. I am shocked at how lesser known this album is. I put it in the top 10 as it deserves to be, but when it comes to Blues, hardly anyone knows who these guys were, and they are blazing guitar players on this album. All 3 of them have their fair share of guitar work, with Johnny Copeland's deep powerful voice leading the vocals on most tracks.
While most the songs are covers, this album has the best version of T-Bone Walker's classic T-Bone Shuffle. She's Into Something, and Blackjack are my other favorites.
101 7.97. Black Celebration - Depeche Mode
"You can't change the world
But you can change the facts
And when you change the facts
You change points of view
If you change points of view
You may change a vote
And when you change a vote
You may change the world."
Depeche Mode always managed to hold a good grip on the world of Dance/New Wave/Synth Pop. They were a core band that could not be shaken. After Some Great Reward, no one expected them to exceed that album and put out an even greater effort, and they did with Black Celebration.
Lyrically it takes on some depressions and is not your average happy/lovey dovey album you would expect from Depeche Mode after other albums, but it lives up to it's title of a dark album that exceeds all their other work before it. Songs like Stripped, New Dress, the title track, and Fly On the Windscreen are classics from Depeche Mode.
61 8.18. Diary of a Madman - Ozzy Osbourne
"Lookin' through eyes of time
Mirrors reflecting their stories untrue
Telling me all of my glories overdue
How many times have I heard it before
And I'll probably hear it again
King of a thousand knights, pawn in a table light
Losing to you."
Still riding high on the success of Blizzard of Oz, the Ozman would impress the world again with Diary of a Madman. When I first heard the arrangement of guitar layers on You Can't Kill Rock and Roll, I was just thrilled.
One can easily see the Mick Ronson/David Bowie Ziggy era influence on Randy Rhoads complex guitar playing on these songs. The whole arrangement of acoustic guitar layers as rhythm and then distorted electric guitars as leads and solos has it written all over it, young Randy was carrying on genius work from a decade ago and making it blend so beautifully. It also shows that the music here was not limited to just Ozzy's sound from the previous album.
There are some very important songs on this album. First and foremost You Can't Kill Rock and Roll. Followed by Over the Mountain, the title track, Believer, and Flying High Again. This album is straight classic, a must have from the 80's.
11 8.89. Couldn't Stand the Weather: Remastered - Stevie Ray Vaughan
"Ain't so funny when things ain't feelin' right
Then daddy's hand helps to see me through
Sweet as sugar love won't wash away
Rain or shine, it always here to stay
All these years you and I've spent together
All this, we just couldn't stand the weather."
I'll never forget my first real introduction into Blues as a young man. It was the opening riff to the first track from Couldn't Stand the Weather. That super fast ripping fire to Scuttle Buttin. My jaw dropped, and words were not spoken and my mind had collapsed, and with that started my love for Blues.
Texas Flood established Stevie Ray Vaughan in the world of great guitar players, but Couldn't Stand the Weather took it even further. When SRV gave his own hand at Hendrix' classic Voodoo Chile, the world knew this man meant business and was one of the best. This album was the real breakthrough for Stevie Ray. Big hits like Cold Shot, and the title track were big hits on the radio and still inspire guitar players with his fiery Texas R&B shuffles.
Classics are Scuttle Buttin', the title track, Cold Shot, and Voodoo Chile.
90 7.910. Heaven and Hell - Black Sabbath,Ronnie James Dio
"We made the mountains shake with laughter as we played
Hiding in our corner of the world
Then we did the demon dance and rushed to nevermore
Threw away the key and locked the door."
Ronnie James Dio in Black Sabbath was a miracle to keep this band alive going into the 80's. Of all the things Dio did in the 70's, Black Sabbath was the one band that he fit in so well as their music could mold walls around his story telling lyrics.
From a standpoint, it's been argued for years that this is the best (or one of) Black Sabbath album of all time. I tend to take it as that too, I love Ozzy too but this album was miles ahead of everything Ozzy did with them.
The opening 4 songs is enough to start drooling over this album. Neon Knights, the title track, Children of the Sea, and Lady Evil are straight up in my top 10 Black Sabbath songs.
185 7.711. Killers - Iron Maiden
"As I lay here lying on my bed,
sweet voices come into my head.
what it is I wanna know
Please won' t you tell me it's got to go."
Iron Maiden's Killers has been one of my favorite albums of the 80's, and Metal as a whole for a long, long time. When I first heard it I fell in love, and sometimes I am shocked at how over looked it tends to be when in regard of their first 4 albums.
This album first introduced Adrian Smith to the band, and would mark the end of Paul Di'Anno's time as the singer. Adrian Smith and Dave Murray's fury of guitar melodies come to work easily from the opening instrumental to the final tracks. Classics are the obvious, Wrath Child, Murders In the Rue Morgue, title track and one very over shadowed song, Another Life.
103 7.712. Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) - David Bowie
"They got a message
from the Action Man
"I'm happy, hope you're happy too
all I've needed to love
Sordid details following".
Following Bowie's long line of gold success in the 70's, I don't think anyone really seen him doing much in the 80's. Without Brian Eno, Bowie proved he had enough juice left for one more great classic album, and did it with Scary Monsters.
A hard rocking record, this is classic Bowie at it's finest. With the Japanese like influence in the artwork and costumes, Bowie used Robert Frip on guitar to a great momentum of electric guitar work that became a key to this album. Bowie even explores the character of Major Tom from his first hit giving it a sequel in Ashes to Ashes, along with Fashion, the title track and Teenage Wildlife, this album is a must have for any Bowie fan.
169 7.913. Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden
"Spent the night in an L. A. jail, and listened to the sirens wail.
They ain't got a thing on me, I'm running wild, I'm running free."
Iron Maiden's first album is still a landmark in Heavy Metal history, and I find it still be an essential classic (along with their whole first 5 albums)
The heavy influence of dual guitars (Judas Priest) and heavy bass, and Paul Di'Anno's punk style vocals took things beyond boundaries for the year 1980, and would serve as the future of Heavy Metal for the decades to come.
The lyrics in style of telling stories ranging from a love affair prostitute (Charlotte the Harlot) a creepy perverted stalker (Prowler), war stories (Remember Tomorrow) and a classic play (Phantom of the Power) easily fade into all the harmonized melodies of the music and make it a classic as the stepping stone for all Iron Maiden albums, becoming their signature sound.
You should already know the classic tunes, if not, the title track, Prower, Phantom of the Opera, Running Free, and Transylvania.
5 9.314. Melissa - Mercyful Fate
"You know my only pleasure
Is to hear you cry
I'd love to hear you cry
I'd love to feel you die
And I'll be the first
To watch your funeral
And I'll be the last to leave
I'd love to hear you cry."
One of the first times I ever found myself truly frightened listening to music, was those lyrics and the entire debut album from Mercyful Fate.
Though Venom gets all the credit for the name Black Metal, Mercyful Fate was the real deal as far as scaring you into a nightmare. It may seem chessy on today's standards because there is now a whole world of media, but for 1983, this album was ground breaking and an instant classic in the world of Metal, and serves as a heavy influence on most Thrash and Speed Metal bands.
I taught myself how to play guitar from this album, and for that I may be a little over protective of it even though I have not listened to it much in some time, but it's special for me as memories of playing my first Fender strat to this album spring to mind everytime I heard the name Mercyful Fate
Satan's Fall's epic 11 minutes, Evil, Curse of the Pharaohs, and Into the Coven are top songs.
25 7.215. Peace Sells...But Who's Buying - Megadeth
"Behold the flames rise,
From the compass' cardinal points,
Burn the sacred oil,
And, with the ashes you'll annoint."
With Thrash becoming the big thing of 80's Metal, I have this album ranked the highest of all the Thrash/Speed Metal albums, as I find it the most important.
Megadeth and Dave Mustaine established themselves the front runner of Thrash with Peace Sells, the gruesome lyrics about black magic, and while men were dressing up like whores and writing whiny lyrics about their girlfriends, Megadeth was writing lyrics about the problems of the world.
The guitar work here is a frenzy of crazy things, showing the talent of Mustaine, but more important I find the lyrics to be the top of the game for Megadeth. Songs like Bad Omen, Good Mourning/Black Friday, and of course the classic title track. A must have album for Thrash and Speed Metal.
77 8.116. Holy Diver - Dio
"If your surface stays unbroken
then you're a lucky man
'cause it never, never, never has for me
In the palace of the virgin
lies the chalice of the soul
and it's likely you might find the answer there."
After leaving Black Sabbath, Dio finally put out his own debut with his solo band. Holy Diver became a classic almost right away and showed Dio to still be a top notch wizard in the art of writing lyrical stories and blending his music together.
Thing I love the most about Holy Diver is just the sound. It don't over kill the guitars, don't turn the bass too loud, and the synth is just perfect in songs like Rainbow in the Dark, and it has that happy feel to the music, putting you in a great mood for the day.
Of course the classic picks would include Rainbow in the dark, the title track and Don't Talk to Strangers, but also I like Gypsy, Stand Up and Shout and Invisible.
90 7.917. Substance - New Order
"I feel so extraordinary
Something's got a hold on me
I get this feeling I'm in motion
A sudden sense of liberty
The chances are we've gone too far
You took my time and you took my money
Now I fear you've left me standing
In a world that's so demanding."
It's not everyday you find a good compilation album that is an absolute must have for your record collection. Substance is a compilation of all of New Order's 12 inch singles, most were not included on albums, and Disc 1 you get the A sides, and Disc 2 is the B sides.
What makes this album such a special commodity is that all their hits are here. You get the two best songs, Blue Monday and Thieves Like Us in their glory of extended full length 7 minutes, and then newer versions of older tracks that are really great (Confusions, Temptation, Everything's Gone Green), and even a few new songs (True Faith, State of the Nation). While on the second disc, is those B sides and remixes of the singles, including the heavy remixes of Shame of the Nation, Perfect Kiss, the classic B side of True Faith (1963) and my absolute favorite, the instrumental of Thieves Like Us.
This album is a must have, as you don't need a greatest hits album for New Order, just pick this up. All their great singles, and the B sides on the second disc. You can forget about the blank album cover, cause these songs are all you need. Most importantly, it houses what I call their best song of all time, Thieves Like Us, and the instrumental. Best songs: Thieves Like Us, Blue Monday, Perfect Kiss Extended Mix, True Faith, State of the Nation.
8 8.318. Telekon - Gary Numan,Tubeway Army
"Sometimes I get these questions
It reminds me of the skin game
We used to stand around on corners
Saying 'well here we are again'".
By 1980, Gary Numan had already established himself as the core of synth in such a short period of time. Telekon would expand the creative output from Pleasure Principle and now is known as a land mark in New Wave/Synth and even Goth and Industrial Rock.
It's known as Numan's peak in music, the lyrics tackling some depressing subjects from ghost stories of pilots (Aircrash Bureau), pain (Joy Circut, Please Push No More) and pure anger (I'm An Agent). There's a lot more going on instrument wise on this album than what you heard on Pleasure Principle. The keyboards and synth sink right into the gloomy pianos and heavy Bass.
As this came out in 1980, it became a stand point for synth, as everyone had to have their keyboards like Gary Numan afterwards. It's amazing just how underrated this work is compared to what still gets played from the 80's. Track selection would be This Wreckage, Joy Circuit, I'm An Agent, and Remember I Was Vapor.
26 8.319. Don't Break the Oath - Mercyful Fate
"So as they're approaching Ghostly Hour
Seven People here are joining Hands
They think they know the Spirit to appear
Contact, the Table starts to dance."
From Melissa, Mercyful Fate already was a top Metal band going into the mid 80's. Their dual guitars and creepy occult lyrics are still a heavy influence and this comes in with Don't Break The Oath.
Still with a heavy edge to their music, Don't Break the Oath took a more melodic approach to solos, and Mercyful fate rightfully extends to a sequel of their first album lyrically with the same subjects, and even a carry over of the song Melissa (Come to the Sabbath).
A must have for anyone that likes King Diamond. Come to the Sabbath is personally my favorite MF song of all time, along with A Dangerous Game, Nightmare, and Gypsy.
4 820. Cold Snap - Albert Collins
"Everyday baby, when the sun go down
I get with my friends, an' I begin to clown
I don't care, what the people are thinkin'
I ain't drunk, I'm just drinkin'."
The things that Albert Collins did on the guitar seem to be forgotten as time passes by, and I like to credit him as one of the most underrated guitar players easily in Blues history that gets over shadowed.
Following into the 80's, Collins had a number of great albums, but possibly the best one is Cold Snap. The Texas R&B influenced with some heavy funk, Collins tears it to shreds on this album with his stories about money (Cash Talkin') and even the light hearted happy I Ain't Drunk. His funky tone with his lightning fast Blues riffs, is the signature to this album. A must have for any Blues fan, and a definite classic. Anyone that listens to SRV can easily pick up and see the influence Collins had on him.
Favorite tracks, Bending Like A Willow Tree, I Ain't Drunk, Cash Talkin', A Good Fool Is Hard To Find.
77 821. Ace of Spades - Motorhead
"It's suicide, to live on pride,
You claim you own, your skin your bone,
Your own life, cuts you like a knife,
The rider wearing black,
He's gonna Shoot You In The Back."
I've always had this crazy opinion on Ace of Spades, calling it the "Western" album of the 80's. Growing up and Clint Eastwood and John Wayne, you might not get it but when I heard Ace of Spades, it felt like background music to those movies. I can just picture Clint Eastwood riding a horse in a chase to these songs.
Late 70's to early 80's, Lemmy and Motorhead were at their peak. Known for their rugged dirty sound in their guitars and bass, this album was where they truly fit. You can call it cowboy music with songs like Shoot You In The Back, Dance, Fire Fire, Jailbait, and of course the title track that has been an anthem for Hard Rock/Metal forever.
245 822. The Number Of The Beast - Iron Maiden
"I'm waiting in my cold cell, when the bell begins to chime
Reflecting on my past life and it doesn't have much time
'Cause at 5 o'clock, they'll take me to the gallows pole
The sands of time for me are running low."
Introducing Bruce Dickinson into Iron Maiden was a blessing, and would only make them a better band. Number of the Beast picked up right where Killers left off as far as lyrical stories that are almost like watching a movie with their detail. Unlike Killers, there is no old songs, and everything is straight up written together without Adrian Smith going over someone elses guitar lines.
This is where Iron Maiden make their peak as a classic band. Their dual lightning melodies on guitar are all out on this album. My songs to pick are Halloweed Be Thy Name, title track, Children of the Damned, and 22 Accacia Avenue.
40 7.423. Technique - New Order
"The picture you see is no portrait of me
It's too real to be shown to someone I don't know
And it's driving me wild
It makes me act like a child"
In 1989 New Order said farewell to the decade that they helped change with their ground breaking music, and in the process they did it with what is now arguably their best album.
Technique is what every New Order album built up to. This hard hitting synth/disco wave of music behind the genius of Peter Hook and his virtuoso bass playing. It has the hard hitting drums from Power, Corruption, and Lies, the edge of guitars from Low-Life, the attitude from Brotherhood and wrapped up nicely in it's own line of cocaine. It's a shame I am finally catching onto this album but it's better to start somewhere instead of no where. They call this "acid house" today, and look no further, without New Order you wouldn't have half of that new techno bullshit you kids are listening to right now.
There is no weakness in this album at all, though it favors the later tracks. Listen to Round and Round, Run (One of the best New Order tracks ever), Mr Disco, Vanishing Point, Guilty Partner, and Fine Time.
39 7.624. Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste - Ministry
"Children gasping the second-hand air
Death and desperation
We've got to cut the lies with truth
Ministry in the 80's was a stepping stone and the fore fathers of a decade heavily into Industrial metal going into the 90's. You can thank the Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste for all of that.
Always in aggression and anger, Al and Paul go full out here. This is a straight up metal album, that does not piss around and waste time like certain tracks on the previous album (Unless you want to count the hilarious Test song). You have Burning Inside focusing on the drug war, Thieves focusing on crooked politicians, and Breathe also covering a big problem in the world. Most of all, one of the greatest songs of all time, So What.
If you listen to anything Industrial from the 90's and never heard this record, you best go out and buy it. Once you hear Burning Inside, Thieves, So What, and the hallucinogenic Dream Song, this will be a favorite of yours.
24 8.625. Abigail - King Diamond
"In 1777, on the 7th Day of July. . . .
The Countess broke her neck,
And the embryo came out dead.
Then he burned his beloved wife,
And the embryo he gave a name. . .
"Abigail, you must rest in shame!
Rest in shame!""
A solo album from King Diamond that has forever eclipsed his work with Mercyful Fate. Abigail is one of two very good albums, that has quite a difference from what to expect from King Diamond after hearing Mercyful Fate.
Sticking with his guitar player from Mercyful Fate (Michael Denner), and adding Andy LaRocque would prove a big drastic change in harmonizing melodies and has become the key difference between KD solo and MF as a band. Abigail's layered complex of melodic guitars is just the background for King to tell you a very grim story in a concept album.
Best tracks, Arrival, 7th Day of July 1977, Black Horseman.
161 8.326. Reign in Blood - Slayer
"Quarters for the criminally insane
Escape for me has fast become a game
Soon to be, I'll leave without a trace
Endangered species end the human race."
You either love 'em or you hate it, there is no in between when it comes to Slayer's signature speed metal sound. The funny thing about it is with a 10 track album, it still runs to a total around 30 minutes from start to finish. Due to this short run in time it's easy to just set the album on repeat and listen to the entire thing 4-5 times within one day.
The soundtrack to purgatory I'd like to call this album. There's very few times in life you find something that makes you feel closer to heaven or deeper in hell, but listening to Reign in Blood is quite a terror, all the way from start to finish. Slayer has given me a share of nightmares from listening to this album. I don't think I have to really explain the lyrical detail (or do I?) just listen to Piece by Piece and the title track to get the big picture.
Standout tracks; Title track, Angel of Death, Criminally Insane, Jesus Saves.
33 7.527. Defenders of the Faith - Judas Priest
"The figure stands expressionless
Impassive and alone
Unmoved by this victory
And the seeds of death he's sown
Sworn to avenge condemn to hell
Tempt not the blade all fear the Sentinel."
What is the best Judas Priest album of the 80's? For years I've had a big argument in my own mind between Defenders of the Faith, British Steel, and Screaming for Vengeance, where I am stuck with this album remaining my favorite. I tend to take this album easily over Screaming for Vengeance which is why I have it higher for that reason alone. It's almost sad how often people over look this album. It's one of those that gets lost in the cracks of time today since Priest's catalog is loaded with so many great albums.
An edgier, and more speed thrilled album than anything they had done before, Defenders of the Faith put Priest right in the middle of the power 80's movement, but only with a big difference; they were far ahead of most power 80's bands, and even the men dressing up like women still couldn't hang their guitars as high as them.
With 3 modern Priest standards, Heads Are Gonna Roll screams classic Priest from the 70's only with a modernized sound. The Sentinel grabs all highlights as the best song on the entire album with it's blistering solo work. I also take the single Freewheel Burning, and Rock Hard, Ride Free as favorites.
72 828. 1999 - Prince
"They say two thousand zero, zero, party over,
Oops, out of time!
So tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999!
Hitting success in the 80's, Prince was well established as the funky musician that was a blend of so much life. Miles Davis once explained Prince as parts of James Brown, Jimi Hendrix and Marvin Gaye all mixed into one.
When 1999 came out, it angered people and gave a lot of joy to the young. Prince pushed boundaries with his sexual lyrics in D.M.S.R. and Automatic, that showed the James Brown influence all over him, then with the song Free, you can give credit to Marvin Gaye and while he don't get much credit as the guitar player he is, 1999 still delivers it's music. Prince also taps into some big subjects for the old days with fear mongering apocalypse and nuclear warfare (1999). Easily my favorite Prince album of all time, and one of the best from 1983. Some very funky tracks with their synth keyboards mixing in for such long periods of times.
Best tracks: 1999, Little Red Corvette, Automatic, International Lover.
238 7.829. Bad - Michael Jackson
"A Rather Nation
Fulfill The Truth
The Final Message
We're Bring To You
There Is No Danger
Fulfill The Truth
So Come Together
We're Mean Is You"
When I first listened to Bad all the way through, I had to wonder to myself, if this truly was Michael Jackson's best album. He gives us a run for the money when we praise Thriller, as Bad is a second close to it. Personally, I'd say it's his best album, but that's just me.
Gone are the Disco elements and replaced with more heavy dance music, as this was 1987. This album straight up jams with it's hard hitting track list yet at the same time keeps the ballads in place that Michael was always known for.
I would argue Dirty Diana is probably Michael's best underrated song ever, but I also like Smooth Criminal, the title track, Speed Demon The Way You Make Me Feel, Another Part of Me, Man in the Mirror and Leave Me Alone.
12 930. In Step - Stevie Ray Vaughan
"Day by day, night after night
Blinded by the neon light
Hurry here, hustling there
No one's got the time to spare
Money's tight, nothing free
Won't somebody come and rescue me."
A comeback in late 1989 after rehab,, this album was a huge comeback for his career and put him on top again just before his tragic death a year later.
The creative output was reaching new heights. SRV and Double Trouble, formally known as a Power Trio (3 man band) now had a new supporting cast with a keyboarder, and even saxaphone and trumpets on some songs. The keyboard addition would become a heart in these songs as most of them flowed with the old school Blues sound. The whole sound of the band does not sound anything at all from previous records, as a more a more dark sound seems to have been approached.
A cover of Willie Dixon's Let Me Love You Baby, and of course Crossfire, Tightrope and The House Is Rockin' are my standout songs of choice.
37 7.131. Spreading the Disease - Anthrax
"Trapped up inside here, like lions in a cage
I've been a mark of injustice
Bound by these chains
Can't find a reason, I'm on my own
My destiny waits for a sign of me
I'm leaving alone."
Anthrax, one of the big 4 when it comes to thrash metal and a good stepping stone in that era of Metal. When I first heard Spreading the Disease I was in love. This was an album I had to have and became an instant favorite as a teenager.
I would consider this the real debut of Anthrax. Joey Belladonna, not the world's best singer but he does enough to make this album stand out. I take it over Among the Living easily as it has the best 4 Anthrax songs of all time; Lone Justice, The Enemy, Madhouse, and Armed and Dangerous. This album belongs in your collection if you listen to Metal.
138 7.532. Like a Prayer - Madonna
"Don't go for second best baby
Put your love to the test
You know, you know, you've got to
Make him express how he feels
And maybe then you'll know your love is real."
This is by far Madonna's best album, and I believe anyone that has broken down her catalog would agree with me on that. This time Patrick Leonard finally hits it along with another genius in Prince helping her out with a song on this. The difference between this album and it's predecessors is that it finally feels like something that is truly dedicated and not another product of the era.
Express Yourself is a key song here, along with the tune with Prince; Love Song, Cherish, and Promise to Try.
5 933. Randy Rhoads Tribute - Ozzy Osbourne
I thought you were gonna go wild tonight?
A late Tribute to Ozzy's lost guitar player Randy Rhoads, and a classic live album. Much of Tribute was a split between 3 different shows, to focus primarily on Randy Rhoads' blistering fret work. Every song from Blizzard of Ozz is here (except Dee, studio outtake don't count) and including Goodbye to Romance which is hard to find on bootlegs.
Most notably, the one reason this album is so popular is Randy's guitar works on the older Black Sabbath songs. Now all due respect to Tony Iommi, but Randy totally OWNED the originals, specifically Paranoid when he turned them into melodic leads and tricky fretwork. Interesting enough, Randy hated playing the old Black Sabbath songs live with Ozzy, and probably explains why his version of Children of the Grave sounds so angry and aggressive.
61 8.434. Sign O the Times - Prince
"You've got the look, you've got the hook
U sho'nuf do be cookin' in my book
Your face is jammin'
Your body's heck-a-slammin'
If love is good, let's get 2 rammin'
U got the look, U got the look"
Here we have Prince's first solo album as he split the Revolution and proved once and for all he could make great music without them. This is probably Prince's best album. If it wasn't for 1999, I'd have it a lot higher than this. It says a lot itself when it's a double album loaded with over a dozen tracks.
The album blazes through Prince's signature funky dance stuff in the title track, and mixes hip hop (Housequake) with R&B (Adore) and of course, it's not Prince without the nasty sexual lyrics such as 'It' and 'Hot Thing' and the sexual temptation of 'U Got the Look'. Prince jams this one through and does not disappoint.
I will take the title track behind Housequake, Play in the Sunshine, It, Hot Thing, U Got the Look, and Adore as my favorite tracks.
63 7.335. So Far, So Good... So What! - Megadeth
"Rewrites every story
Every poem that ever was
And those who break the laws.
Follow the instructions of the New Ways' Evil Book of Rules
Replacing rights with wrongs
The files and records in the schools
I'm not a fish
I'm a man
Hook in Mouth!"
Upon the success in the late 80's, Megadeth was already one of the standing grounds as one of the biggest Thrash bands around. Already a solid debut, and even better sequel album, the roots of punk rock in contrast of speed and Dave Mustaine's fueled lyrics displaying problems in the world would begin the peak of the band with So Far, So Good... So What.
For my own opinion, this is possibly the most underrated Megadeth album ever. It's my 3rd all time favorite of the band, and it has one of the best opening instrumentals to a metal album of all time with 'Into The Lungs of Hell'. Dave Mustaine's solo on In My Darkest Hour also is him reaching the peak of his blistering talents.
There are some songs here that are very important as far as Megadeth goes. Hook In Mouth is one of very much concern as it tells how history books are re-written to schools (and is true BTW), 504 tells a story of high speed pursuit, Mary Jane tells the story of love, and the cover of Anarchy in the UK totally blows away the original version.
Best tracks: In My Darkest Hour, Into the Lungs of Hell, Mary Jane, Hook In Mouth.
66 8.336. Screaming For Vengeance - Judas Priest
"Tie a blindfold all around your head
Spin you round in the torture before the dread
And then you're pushed and shoved into every corner
Then they lead you out into the final slaughter."
Power Rock Mania! Judas Priest already had started to climb the stairs of their peak of success with British Steel. Screaming For Vengeance would follow along as one of the bands more popular records for the time, and one of the best.
The difference in all of Priest's albums at this time was blending in with the times, yet managing to keep their signature sound from the 70's with their guitar duo and Halford's commanding voice. Electric Eye already is one of the more famous songs here, along with You've Got Another Thing Comin', but my favorite track here was always Devil's Child. The song screams classic 70's Priest yet manages to blend well with the early 80's.
Best tracks; title track, The Hellion/Electric Eye, You've Got Another Thing Comin', Devil's Child.
15 7.537. Can't Slow Down - Lionel Richie
"We were running with the night
Playing in the shadows
Just you and i
Till the morning light
Running with the night
We were so in love you and me
On the boulevard wild and free
Giving all we got, we laid it down
Taking every shot, we took the town."
Lionel Richie represented MoTown all by himself in the early 80's with the release of Can't Slow Down. Now today it's widely known as his best album housing all his hits behind the guitar driven Running With the Night to the romantic ballads of Hello and Penny Lover to the straight dance-ability of R&B in the title track.
Put this one on your 'must have' list if you want to say R&B and Soul music was dead in the 80's, this album will prove you totally wrong. Just listen to Hello, All Night Long, Running With the Night and The Only One for some real soul power.
93 6.938. Like a Virgin - Madonna
"Walking down a crowded avenue
Other faces seem like nothing next to you
And I can't hear the traffic rushing by
Just the pounding of my heart and that's why".
I love this album but at the same time it's pretty depressing seeing it's a blue print to society. Our material girl and how in America material needs are the drive for consumerism. Enough of my rants, Like a Virgin is Madonna's 2nd album of the 80's and a big improvement from her debut for one reason and that reason is Nile Rodgers.
Praise Nile Rodgers for the genius he is working with Bill Sharpe, David Bowie, Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan, and finally the material girl herself. This album would not be near as danceable without him. Deep down it's my favorite Madonna album despite it not being her best effort. She does try and prove she can sing a good ballad with the track Love Don't Live Here No More.
Stand out tracks, Angel, Like a Virgin, Material Girl, Love Don't Live Here No More, Stay.
229 8.139. Powerslave - Iron Maiden
"Tell me why I had to be a Powerslave
I don't wanna die, I'm a God,
Why can't I live on?
When the Life Giver dies,
All around is laid waste,
And in my last hour,
I'm a Slave to the Power of Death."
As Iron Maiden beats every band on my list with the most records, counting their first five total albums, I couldn't resist adding Powerslave, as it was my first Maiden album I ever owned and I will never forget the first time I heard Aces High.
Powerslave musically combined every element of the first 4 albums and put it into one. The incredible length in the build up songs has extended, the guitars dynamic duo of furious melodies is at an all time high, Bruce Dickinson's vocals are even better and higher than the first two albums he was on, and most of all is the bass heavy oriented riffs as blue print to the guitars.
I could really end this review here and just tell you to buy the album if you don't own it, but my song selection is Aces High, Two Minutes To Midnight, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and the title track.
511 8.240. Ride the Lightning - Metallica
"Flash before my eyes
Now it's time to die
Burning in my brain
I can feel the flames."
(First off; I am not a Metallica fan, nor have I bought any of their records outside the first 3 albums I owned on cassettes, my opinion only. So please don't give me anything over not having them in the Top 10.)
Metallica already gets enough credit as the biggest Metal band in the 80's, so I really am not going to talk about how ground breaking their work is. If anyone asked me what my favorite album from them was, I'd say Ride the Lightning. The solos in the title track are my favorite and the lyrics on Creeping Death make it worth listening to,even if you are like me and don't care for them.
Essential Hard Rock/Metal album, for any fan of those musical genres; best tracks, Fade to Black, title track, Escape, Creeping Death.
79 8.141. South of Heaven - Slayer
"You say you'll help us find the lord,
Tell me preacher how do you know
A simple quest for a visible savior,
To lead us through our final prayer.
A favorite of mine, and a toss up when it comes to saying what is Slayer's best album. South of Heaven reeks it's horror lyrics filled with aggressive speed metal, but my favorite part is it having the coolest cover of a Judas Priest song ever. The band pays their respect in a thrashing fashion to Dissident Aggressor, which bleeds their influences.
Great music to play the Shadow Man video game too (Anyone else play this before?)
Best tracks; Dissident Aggressor, title track, Ghosts of War, Behind the Crooked Cross
48 7.842. Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Go... - Megadeth
"Ask not for salvation
My death shall mean their lives
Hatred and guilt the alter they've built
High priests of sun
Destiny, fate the wicked ones gate
Beckoning you in
Down the walkways
Through the blood stained town
Looking down the cross.
The debut from Megadeth seems to pass by through the 80's and has only become more relevant in today's age thanks to the internet and the big fans of the band. Now let's set all Metallica comparisons aside and look at the album as it should be looked at.
The first Megadeth album reminds me a lot of the first Iron Maiden album as far as introduction goes. Maiden set the scale of a blueprint of things to come in their later albums, and so did Dave Mustaine with Megadeth's debut. Songs of death and destruction, and of course murder. Then The Skull Beneath the Skin telling the backing story to the band's logo and motto, Vic, but what makes Killing Is my Business stick out the most for me is Looking Down the Cross. The lyrics describing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in very haunting detail. The album ends with a goofy cover of These Boots (also showing Dave Mustaine's goofy side to go on other albums with funny songs like I Ain't Superstitious)
I'm sure everyone has heard the story of Mechanix and The Four Horseman, which I am not going to go in detail with (Yet Mechanix is far more faster, and without Dave Mustaine, Metallica wouldn't have near as many solos on their good few albums)
A solid album never the less, but one thing that always stuck out to me is the mixing on this record. Even the 2002 remaster that has upper quality sound still comes out with the noise of an old tape recorded bootleg, and since the music is so fast paced, this is a damage to the recording. Also, due to copyrights the remaster is loaded with bleeps on the cover of These Boots.
Must have songs; Rattlehead, Looking Down the Cross, Mechanix, Skull Beneath the Skin.
35 7.543. Low-Life - New Order
"What do I get out of this
I always try, I always miss
One of these days you'll go back to your home
You won't even notice that you are alone
One of these days when you sit by yourself
You'll realise you can't shaft without someone else
In the end you will submit
It's got to hurt you a little bit."
Already a core in the New Wave/Synth world of the 80's, New Order released the album Low-Life to prove that they were still on top and would be hard to push over for a long time.
One can argue with another for years if this is the best N.O. album, as one cannot ignore what it done. There is tales of soldiers coming home from war (Love Vigilantes) loneliness (This Time of Night, and love betrayal (Sub-Culture). Musically, you can't beat this album. There is more guitars, more bass, and most of all the synth is all over the place in layers of keyboards.
But most of all, the biggest standout to Low Life is the instrumental track Elegia. That is something you just have got to hear. The song starts like the sun rising over land and builds up to a height of complex. If I had to pick any other tracks it would be The Perfect Kiss, Sub-Culture, and Love Vigilantes.
437 8.244. Thriller - Michael Jackson
"Just Beat It, Beat It, Beat It, Beat It
No One Wants To Be Defeated
Showin' How Funky Strong Is Your Fight
It Doesn't Matter Who's Wrong Or Who's Right."
I felt I had to put this on here, one way or another, though I am not much of a fan, or even bought any of Mr. Jackson's records, I can say personally I know how to beat it, and that is one awesome song.
Though not much of a fan, I have the deepest respect for Michael Jackson as a musician, cause the man really put his heart and soul in his music.
Best tracks; Billie Jean, title track, Beat it
198 7.845. Piece of Mind - Iron Maiden
"I've no doubt that you think I'm off my head
You don't say but it's in your eyes instead
Hours I spend out just gazing into that pool
Something draws me there I don't know what to do."
If you're gonna die, die with your boots on like a real trooper with still life! Album after album in the 80's, Maiden continued to rule through Piece of Mind, proving a phenomenal sequel to Number of the Beast, yet a bit different and for good reasons.
What makes this album something to adore is the lyrical texture. Most of the lyrics centered around war (Where Eagles Dare, The Trooper, Quest For Fire, Sun and Steel, To Tame a Land), insanity/asylum (Still Life), and the final 2 on stories of biblical prophecies and greek mythology (Revelations, Flight of Icarus)
Before 7th Son, this is the one album that comes closest to a concept album in Maiden's catalog, but also the stamp of some of their most well known hits, as we know of The Trooper and Revelations.
Favorite track; Still Life, best tracks: The Trooper, Die With Your Boots On, Revelations.
94 7.246. True Blue - Madonna
"I know where beauty lives
I've seen it once, I know the warm she gives
The light that you could never see
It shines inside, you can't take that from me."
In 1986 Madonna gave her first attempt to out do the widely successful Like a Virgin and gave a solid album yet again with True Blue. It embraces the mid 80's dance pop that was big at the time, and puts her own trademark through it replacing the genius production of Nile Rodgers.
One of her better albums in the era, Madonna gives Dance highlights to True Blue through Jimmy Jimmy, Live to Tell, and White Heat are the real stand outs.
2 1047. Frostbite - Albert Collins
"I got a brick, baby, I'm gonna throw it upside your head
I said a brick, baby, I'm gonna throw it upside your head
Yeah, ya got me so worried, ya got me talkin' outta my head."
Funk guitar of the 80's in it's finest form. Following on from his other Icey album of the 70's (Ice Pickin)Albert Collins funky side of the Blues comes out very strong on this record. I would call this record an essential must have for anyone trying to funk up their Blues, yet remain true to the original form of music.
Best tracks; Brick, Give Me My Blues, Blue Monday Hangover
21 6.848. Twitch - Ministry
"In the east where the bear is dancing
In the west where the eagle flies
In the middle we stand our ground
The forces pull us down down down."
This is really my favorite Ministry album, and I have been arguing for years that it should be in a top 3 when someone is discussing what is the best album. Al and Paul set their trademark into stone with this album, gone are the cheesy lyrics from With Sympathy, but they keep part of that synth sound. The electronics on this album are absolutely fascinating.
The lyrics get their point off very well too; We Believe is the real setting stone of their political lyrics and Isle of Man, a nice story telling sequence.
Favorite tracks; All Day (Remix), We Believe, Over the Shoulder (12 inch mix)
14 7.849. Purple Rain - Prince
"Honey, I know, I know, I know times are changing
It's time we all reach out for something new, that means you too
You say you want a leader,
But you can't seem to make up your mind
I think you better close it
And let me guide you into the purple rain."
The typical typecast of Prince when his name is said. Almost everyone that knows him, has heard Purple Rain, or at least the song before. Still strong from his breakout in the album 1999, the Purple Rain soundtrack explored more of Prince's mind. The obvious James Brown influence heavily in his nasty lyrics describing sexual fantasy with women, but unlike 1999 I thought Purple Rain showed more of Prince's side as a guitar player with his fantastic solo work on When Doves Cry and the title track.
While it's not as good as the predecessor album (mostly due to short length in songs, when compared to 1999) Purple Rain still packs a big punch and can be challenged as Prince's best album. Songs like Let's Go Crazy, the title track, When Dove's Cry, and Baby I'm A Star made this album all it's worth.
52 7.750. Mob Rules - Black Sabbath,Ronnie James Dio
"From the book, the word is spoken
whispers from forgotten psalms
Gather all around the young ones
they will make us strong
Reach above your dreams of pleasure
given life to those who died
Look beyond your own horizons
sail the ship of signs."
Black Sabbath seemed to already hit their peak with Dio on Heaven and Hell, but one more album to solidify this dream lineup did come about, and it would stand as a top album in their discography.
There's a lot of eerie feeling in Mob Rules. E5150 the intro to the title track explains that pretty much, into quite a scare it can give you. The lyrics still don't disappoint with their stories in Sign of the Southern Cross, Voodoo, and Falling Off the Edge of the World.
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