Is there any artist or band out there that can totally wow us like the first time that bands like Dream Theater, Motley Crue, Metallica, Guns N Roses, Pink Floyd, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Van Halen, Twisted Sister, KISS, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Blizzard Of Ozz, Rainbow and so many others did.
Don’t get me wrong, I hear bands that are good all the time and most of those bands sound like the bands that I have mentioned however they still do not make me feel like when I first heard those classic bands mentioned above.
I know that people will argue the point, however they really need to put themselves back into that head space of that era.
Just think about it.
Put yourself back in 1983 and Metallica is on stage. You are watching this band play a hundred miles a hour and they are in your face. Then think back 10 years from that point and pick anything that resembles what Metallica does on that night in any shape or form.
The same for Van Halen. Imagine it is 1978 and you are there watching Eddie Van Halen on stage and he is ripping up the fretboard with hammer ons, legato runs and finger tapping. He isn’t doing it as part of an extended jam or a guitar solo moment, he is doing it as part of the songs riffs and leads. Then think back 10 years and find another guitarist that resembled what Eddie Van Halen is doing on that night.
Of course, people will argue that Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix were all doing the rounds in 1968. That’s a decent argument. Then I say go back another ten years from then to 1958 and then you will see what a massive change was happening during that twenty year period.
Hell, the sales of guitars jumped astronomically from the fifties to the eighties. That should be proof enough of the change that was happening during that time as music started to cross boundaries and become worldwide.
There is no doubt that music has played a vital role in our society. We listen to it, we play it, we create it and we use it for almost everything.
Regardless of where people’s loyalties lay when it comes to their favourite artist, the truth is this; there are only a handful of truly great hard rock albums from start to finish that will stand the test of time. Of course there there are albums with a handful or just one truly great rock songs that will stand the test of time.
Since Metallica is in the news a lot with their request by fans tour happening, the new song “The Lords Of Summer” doing the rounds, plus all the petitions in place to kick them off a festival, lets kick off with them.
There is no doubt that the “Black” album is their TRULY Classic moment. One album that encapsulated and re-defined and re-classified a genre. A game changer in every sense.
What about the albums that came before the Black album?
“…And Justice For All” had two defining songs in “One” and “Harvester Of Sorrow”. Other songs that on any given day could be up there or are up there are “Blackened” and “And Justice For All”. The album wasn’t a game changer in any way as it just built on the three albums that came before it.
“Master Of Puppets” is a pivotal album in Metallica’s career for two reasons. It was the first Metallica album that was a true Metallica album, written by the band and it was the last album to feature Cliff Burton before his tragic death.
The one two knock out punch of “Battery” and “Master Of Puppets” is undeniable. However the next two songs, although good are mere imitations of songs 3 and 4 from the “Ride The Lightning” album. “Disposable Heroes” picks it up, while “Leper Messiah” is a foreshadowing of the “Black” album style. “Orion” is a great instrumental to fans of instrumental music like me and “Damage, Inc.” is jarring and in your face, which people either dig or detest.
The first four Metallica albums could easily be packaged into one GAME CHANGER album.
2. Master Of Puppets
3. For Whom The Bells Toll
5. Disposable Heroes
6. Harvester Of Sorrow
7. Creeping Death
8. The Call Of Ktulu
9. Seek And Destroy
Same deal for Motley Crue. Their first four albums could easily be packaged into one GAME CHANGER album.
1. Live Wire
2. Shout At The Devil
3. Looks That Kill
4. Red Hot
5. Home Sweet Home
6. Wild Side
7. Girls, Girls, Girls
8. Too Young To Fall In Love
9. Too Fast For Love
10.On With The Show
Here are a few more game changer albums from the Eighties;
Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet
It gave Jon Bon Jovi a career that he is still doing victory laps on almost 30 years later.
Guns N Roses – Appetite For Destruction
It gave Axl Rose a career that he is still doing victory laps on it. It also gave Slash and Duff a springboard to go solo.
Def Leppard – Hysteria
“Pyromania” got the ball rolling and “Hysteria” after laying dormant for a year went viral.
Motley Crue – Dr Feelgood
Sobriety leads to a lot of clarity and groove and a number 1 album.
Van Halen – 1984
The definitive statement of Californian Rock, launching David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen into every household of the planet
AC/DC – Back In Black
It launched the band world wide and solidified the growing reputation of a young producer called Mutt Lange.
Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry
It gave the band two cultural video clips and when they reformed in 2001, it was the launching pad for the next wave of SMF’s.
Ozzy Osbourne – Blizzard Of Ozz
It re-established Ozzy by giving his solo career a real boost and it gave the world the talents of Randy Rhoads and the lyrical writing talents of Bob Daisley.
Judas Priest – Screaming For Vengeance
It paved the way for metal to burn up the charts again in the U.S that no one saw coming.