Two releases come to mind immediately for 1985, that I can never forget. They are “Live After Death” from Iron Maiden and “Come Out And Play” from Twisted Sister. I’ve written about these albums before and will probably keep on writing about them.
Iron Maiden – Live After Death
It’s the best live album ever and my first proper exposure to Iron Maiden, as prior to this it was just the few video clips I taped from the music TV shows.
Because this was my first proper exposure, I got to hear Bruce Dickinson sing the DiAnno era songs before Paul DiAnno and I didn’t know it at the time, but the tempo of the songs had a small increase compared to the recorded versions. So when I eventually got to the first two albums, DiAnno’s voice (along with Blaze Bayley many years later) proved to be a struggle, but when Bruce did those songs live, wow.
Maiden hit the bullseye again with the “Rock In Rio” release, especially the live footage in the DVD release. And on that “Rock In Rio”, Bruce Dickinson also gave the Blaze era songs a new life.
Maiden did it again with “Flight 666” which is a great memento for me for the two nights I watched em perform the same set.
Twisted Sister – Come Out And Play
I just remember dropping the needle on this, laying in my bed, reading the lyrics of each song and looking at the graffiti art on the back cover.
So what was happening in the Twisted Sister department?
By the time this album hit, Twisted Sister was on an album per year cycle and while the “Stay Hungry” album was written during the recording of “You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll”, this one was written after the “Stay Hungry” tour.
And it didn’t sell as much as “Stay Hungry” and “You Cant Stop Rock N Roll”, because everyone were still buying those albums.
And just because the sale didn’t match the label expectations, it didn’t mean that this album is not a quality album.
But I wasn’t a fan of the singles like “Leader Of The Pack” and “Be Cruel To Your School”. All of the other tracks definitely resonated and the bonus track “King Of Fools” is one of my favourite Sister tracks. But those two singles proved to be a bad decision.
And they didn’t soften their sound just because they made it with “Stay Hungry”. They came out all guns blazing with the title track and “The Fire Still Burns” is a speed metal classic.
Dee said to “join our cavalcade” and join I did.
But the cavalcade that jumped on the ship with “Stay Hungry” didn’t all come back in 1985, but they would return ten fold in the 2000’s.
One more album later in 1987 and the band would cease to be until the 2000’s.
Dokken – Under Lock And Key
It was the “Unchain The Night” video release which got me interested. My cousin Mega dubbed it off some other guy who dubbed it off some other guy. And I dubbed it off my cousin. The video sounded dodgy, with that white noise effect running in the background, due to it being copied so many times.
So I didn’t get this album until two years later, because the cover didn’t scream out “buy me” either.
There are songs which do sound like they are written for the charts, but its tracks like “Unchain The Night”, “Lightning Strikes Again”, “Will The Sun Rise” and “Till The Living End” which showcase the metal side of the band and still to this day, stand out as favourites. And when you add the rock tracks like “The Hunter”, “In My Dreams”, “Its Not Love” and “Don’t Lie To Me”, well, you have a pretty solid little album even though it was made from punch-a-thons, arguments and arm wrestles.
Pilson likes this album, but in a recent interview he said that “Tooth And Nail” is his favourite. And he had a co-write in all of those tracks. The true unsung hero of Dokken.
Yngwie Malmsteen – Marching Out
One of the bands I was in, the co-guitarist was a devoted Yngwie fan. He would make fun at my tastes of guitarists because according to him, none of them came even close to the maestro level of Malmsteen. It was this elitism from him that made me hate Malmsteen at the start, but I also understood that in my journey to be a guitar player, I would need to check out some of the Malmsteen recordings.
This is a good album.
Jeff Scott Soto on vocals brings it on songs like “I’ll See The Light Tonight”, “Don’t Let It End” and “Caught In The Middle” which he also co-wrote with the man known as the Fury. The other standout to me is “On The Run Again” which Malmsteen originally wrote while he was in Steeler with Ron Keel. At the time it was called “Victim Of The City”.
And I became a fan up to the “Fire And Ice” album. As soon as grunge hit and his albums were not available in Australia, he wasn’t on my radar anymore. I’ve heard a few albums since on Spotify and I can honestly say those 80’s and early 90’s albums are the go to albums for me.
Malmsteen would use JSS for one more album, “Trilogy”, and then many years later would diss him by saying that he (Malmsteen) came up with everything and JSS did nothing.
Malmsteen is the fury.
Motley Crue – Theater of Pain
Only two video clips came out to support the album. And it was enough because the Crue generated enough controversy to remain in the press permanently.
“Louder Than Hell”, “Tonight”, the Bad Company sounding “Raise Your Hands To Rock”, “Fight For Your Rights” and “Save Our Souls” are some of my favorites.
Even tracks like “Keep Your Eye On The Money” and “City Boy Blues” are worthy tracks. So to me, there isn’t really any filler on this album. Actually I would put “Smokin In The Boys Room” as a filler track.
Was there really an imposter pretending to be Nikki Sixx during this period?
Mick Mars, riffs away on this album and he’s playing is so underrated, it’s criminal. And Tommy Lee is a pocket drummer, something he doesn’t get enough credit for.
Ratt – Invasion Of Your Privacy
“Lay Me Down” and “You’re In Love” sold this album as the clips got a lot of TV time in Australia.
And when you drop the needle on it, you are greeted with a triple knockout punch. It kicks off with that LA Sunset riff for “You’re In Love” and it moves to “Never Use Love” and “Lay It Down”.
The album came out too early as “Out Of The Cellar” was still selling a lot, so people would have had to choose between those albums. In other words, Ratt and their label cannibalized their sales.
It’s a solid album.
And that’s it for 1985 part 1. Now I’m off to 1977.