30 Extraordinary Albums That Turn 30 Years Old in 2015
12. Saxon – Innocence Is No Excuse
Saxon released a seemingly endless stream of quality albums throughout the 80’s and although Innocence Is No Excuse may not be as well known as Wheels Of Steel and Denim And Leather, it is an underrated classic and more than just a strong addition to their considerable back catalogue.
Settled comfortably amidst the polished Hard-Rock anthems sits the album highlight, “Broken Heroes”. A Hard Rock ballad that avoids cheesy cliches is almost impossible to find but “Broken Heroes” achieves the impossible via hard-hitting subject matter and disciplined musicianship; Innocence Is No Excuse is great, “Broken Heroes” is extraordinary.
11. Savage Grace – Master Of Disguise
Savage Grace are one of those bands that get a bum deal, acknowledged as influential by peers yet left to rot by the record-buying public.
A situation that is grossly unfair and one listen to Master Of Disguise should explain why. If lightning-fast Heavy Metal tickles your fancy this will leave you practically giddy and fans of Helloween, Agent Steel and Exciter should consider this a must-own album.
Master Of Disguise is accomplished NWOBHM-inspired-Thrash that should have been massive, make amends for your ambivalence and buy it…NOW!
10. S.O.D – Speak English Or Die
The Stormtroopers Of Death were something else; completely devoid of tact, full of humour (very black humour) and capable of Thrashing your nuts off!
One of the first bands to throw Hardcore Punk and Thrash into a blender, S.O.D were just some young punks letting off steam (Anthax’s Scott Ian and Charlie Benante reuniting with ex-bassist Dan Lilker and recruiting vocalist Billy Milano) but turned out to be one of the Eighties most influential bands.
S.O.D invented Crossover Thrash and systematically crushed your head in with heavy-hitters such as “Sargent D and the S.O.D.”, “Milano Mosh” and “Identity”.
Speak English Or Die was no joke, it was a Crossover Thrash masterpiece!
Wow! So many good albums that year. This was a great trip down Memory Lane. Great article, Chris! \m/>
I think my favorite from that year has to be Trouble’s “The Skull”. Crushing. Chilling. Completely rockin’!
You missed a few great ones such as Bathory – Return of the Darkness, C.O.C. – Animosity, D.R.I. – Dealing with It, Venom – Possessed(I really like it), and the last two Black Flag albums were both released in 1985 In My Head and Loose Nut. I think it’s fair to include C.O.C., D.R.I. and Black Flag if you include S.O.D.
Good call Greg…especially C.O.C’s Animosity, I hold my hands up, I don’t know how I forgot that. Thanks for reading and commenting \m/
TYTAN “rough Justice” too 🙂
Tytan! What a great shout, missed that! \m/
Good to See Artillery, Pentagram, Trouble one here. I would have added Hallow’s Victim by Saint Vitus and Power of the Night by Savatage too 😉
Gonna agree with another’s suggestion of “Power of the Night” by Savatage. Also, I feel Live After Death deserves an honorable mention for being one of the best and most energetic live albums in the history of music!
There’s a lot of love for Savatage out there, personally I prefer Hall Of The Mountain King but Power Of The Night is a quality release, no doubt.
I purposefully steered clear of live albums, hence no Live After Death but there’s no denying its pedigree
One of my favorite 1985 albums:
LOUDNESS “Thunder In The East”
Here are a few that I would include, and the reasons for inclusion.
Earthshaker – Midnight Flight: A classic from the legendary and influential Japanese band, with their characteristic combination of melody, energy, and technical precision. (To a certain degree, Earthshaker could be considered the more melodic, more “Japanese” Loudness.)
Alcatrazz – Disturbing the Peace: Not “No Parole From Rock and Roll,” but full of great songs with great guitar work from Steve Vai. Plus, you’ve got the vocals of Graham Bonnet in his prime.
Electric Sun – Beyond the Astral Skies: If you can get past the hippie stuff and Uli Jon’s vocals (an acquired taste, to say the least), you’ll find a masterpiece here. I shows very clearly why Yngwie Malmsteen called Uli Jon Roth the world’s greatest guitarist.
Lizzy Borden – Love You To Pieces: It’s a classic. All the elements come together to make something close to the ideal balanced metal album. It’s unfortunately overlooked, as is Lizzy Borden the band itself.
Gary Moore – Run for Cover: Gary Moore’s amazing guitar work, memorable melodies, and guest vocals by legends Phil Lynott and Glenn Hughes. That description alone should be enough to make a rocker/metalhead buy the album immediately.
Rough Cutt – Rough Cutt: Sadly and surprisingly overlooked and short-lived, but they released two albums that were great metal albums back then, and they still hold their own today. Raw, tough, heavy, and melodic, with just the right amount of the blues. As an added bonus, Mr. and Mrs. Dio co-wrote a couple of the songs.
Sinner – Touch of Sin: Mat Sinner was confident enough in the compositions that he re-recorded about half of them 3 decades later for “Touch of Sin 2.” A great early example of the more melodic side of Sinner.
UFO – Misdemeanor: More of a Phil Mogg solo album than a UFO album (although, in a very real sense, Phil Mogg IS UFO), but Atomik Tommy M’s guitar work, Phil’s always great delivery, and engaging melodies/compositions make this a great album. There was enough of a difference from both the Schenker era and the Chapman era that it would probably have gotten more attention and been more highly appreciated if it hadn’t been released as a UFO album. Taken as it is for what it is, it’s an album of quality songs and performances, whether it says “UFO” on the cover or not.
Waysted – The Good The Bad The Waysted: Everything that makes Pete Way so great is in this album. Heavy, raw, melodic, with attitude and a wry grin. Fin Muir’s raspy vocals rip your face off your head and make you grateful for the act. Excessive volatility in the band and a revolving door of members unfortunately made consistent activities impossible. It’s one of those albums that has the power to make everything all better when you’ve had a bad day, for whatever reason.
Yngwie J. Malmsteen – Marching Out: Yngwie, Jeff Scott Soto, Jens Johansson, Anders Johansson, and the late Marcel Jacob. Hard to get a more talented lineup than that. “I Am a Viking” and “I’ll See The Light Tonight” have been semi-permanent parts of Yngwie’s set list since the album was released, as well as frequently being performed at Jeff Scott Soto’s live shows. Say what you will about Yngwie, in 1985 he was doing what nobody else was doing (or could do), and “Marching Out” was an integral part of setting the stage for neo-classical and power metal (not to mention shredders like Vinnie Moore, Tony MacAlpine, Paul Gilbert, and thousands more) in the decades to come.
Sweet baby Jesus, that’s a cracking comment Mr Immortal Headbanger! Can’t argue with any of your suggestions and your reasons…some truly great albums! Fancy writing for us?
METAL CHURCH self titled album for sure one of the best of 85!!!!! A very underrated band! Many lineup changes over the years though!
Metal Church’s self-titled debut was 1984 dude. I agree that they’re underrated though \m/
Hirax – Raging Violence, great fast thrash with unique vocals.
Sepultura – Bestial Devastation, crude beginnings, but not much as brutal as this in 1985.
Amebix – Arise!, not metal but heavy as hell and hugely influential.
Carnivore – Carnivore, again not metal but deserves a mention.
Iron Maiden – Live After Death, surely the greatest live album of all time.
Omen: Warning of Danger
Dokken: Under Lock And Key
White Lion: Fight To Survive
Awesome segment… I too am also 30 this year so I look forward to your indepth review of me and mine 😉
Pretty solid list, but I agree that I would definitely add Yngwie J. Malmsteen’s Rising Force “Marching Out” album on there. I LOVE that album.
And “Live After Death” is to me, the quintessential Iron Maiden album.
I’d also add the fantastic “Mystery Of Illusion” by Chastain and “Soldiers Of The Night” by Vicious Rumors.
And maybe Savatage, Armored Saint, Agent Steel…
There was just too many great albums!! Thanks for the comment Jim \m/
Fantastic list. It doesn’t look like live albums were up for consideration, but if they were I’m sure Live After Death by Iron Maiden would have been near the top.
Exactly Matt! Thanks for reading and commenting, glad you enjoyed the article \m/
Great article, still listen to about ten of them. Was wondering what happened to savatage , still love listening to their gutter ballet masterpiece.
Side note: This list has inspired me to listen to a bunch of these entire albums during the past week, so “Thanks”!
Great list, there are many things i still have to discover. I would add Dark Angel’s “We have arrived” and Black Hole’s “Land of mystery”.