Thursday, August 17, 2006

Hard rock and metal in 1984

Hard rock and heavy metal were huge in the 80's and I believe the best year of the decade for this music was 1984. Why was this the best year? Was it because all of the planets were aligned in a certain way? maybe not, but so much happened during the year as there were so many good releases, so many good debuts came out and the metal scene looked very promising that year. The New Wave of British heavy metal was dying down, but the LA scene was heating up, a new kind of metal called speed metal was also gearing up with bands emerging from different countries and more major labels were noticing the possibilities of metal and more bands were signed. So who had debut lp's in 1984? How about these bands-Ratt, Queensryche, WASP, Black -n- Blue, Keel, Trouble, Fates Warning, Pretty Maids, Saint Vitus, Anthrax, Grave Digger, Metal Church, Helstar, Celtic Frost, Running Wild, Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force, Kick Axe, Armored Saint, Voivod and Grim Reaper. A pretty impressive list I would say and I am sure that I forgot someone. Outside of some good debuts, what else happened that year? There were also releases from Van Halen, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Scorpions, Metallica, Whitesnake, Dio, Mercyful Fate, Dokken, Twisted Sister and Accept. That's a good a list of bands to all have releases in the same year, but what may be more impressive is that the albums these bands released in 1984 are all either my favorite or second favorite albums released in those band's respective careers. Not to mention that several of the bands I listed as having debuts also fall in this last category for me as well. So it that it for 1984? Well, there was also the album that I consider to be the best hard rock/metal reunion album of all time and that is Deep Purple's Perfect Strangers. Motorhead also released a double best of called No Remorse and it also featured a few new tracks done by their brand new tow guitarist line-up. So is that it then? Well, how about very good to great ep's from Slayer, Lizzy Borden, Destruction, Sodom and one from AC/DC called '74 Jailbreak that featured five songs with Bon Scott singing and it the songs had only previously been released on Australian albums. Anything else? Well, let's see Saxon released Crusader which was their last really good album for some time. Raven released a live album called Live at the Inferno which is a great live album and Raven's last really good effort for some time. Lita Ford released Dancin' on the edge which I consider to be her last good album. If I can consider Rush as hard rock then Grace under pressure was a really good album and it would be the band's last really good album until Counterparts in 1993.
So is that it then? Well, then that might be most of it and I think that's more than enough to show how great of a year that 1984 was for hard rock and metal.

***On Friday "Eight days of the 80's" continues with my favorite movies of the decade.


Blogger OnMyWatch said...

you nailed this stuff right on, Mark. And besides, I graduated from HS in 1984 - - don't get any better than that. ;)

8:24 PM  
Blogger Strutter71 said...

KISS' "Animalize" also came out in '84...
I'm such a one-trick pony!

9:06 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

Great post Mark, and a timely reminder as to just how strong HM and hard rock were in that year.

Of all the albums that epitomise that year and the one I was most significantly surprised by was Van Halen's "1984".

2:55 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

Right on. And Strutter got the main one I was going to add--I really like most of Animalize. Wasn't Steve Vai's Flex-Able in 1984, too?

-- david

4:10 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Onmywatch-1984 was definitely a good year.

Strutter-Yes it did. I didn't include it because I think that Animalize was okay. I liked both Lick it up and Asylum better.

Ben-Thanks. I think that Ride the lightning was the biggest surprise of the year. Metallica improved so much from Kill 'em all.

David-Flexible did come out in 1984. Unlike say Passion and warfare, Flexible is almost more an avant garde kind of an album than a hard rock album. Most of it is real off the wall stuff.

4:46 AM  
Anonymous fred charles said...

Thanks for the flashback. I tend to think of 1986 as being a great year since a lot of landmark metal albums were released around then.

I think that Live at the Inferno was probably Raven's last good release. I was a huge fan of theirs back in the 80s. I still listen to their first three records. Awesome stuff.

5:24 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Ah yes...........1984. I was just getting into hard rock music and some of those albums really helped me to get into it.

6:04 AM  
Anonymous Rhodeislandrock said...

1984 for me is Animalize.

9:30 AM  
Blogger T-_Bone said...

1984 was indeed a great year. There were so many great albums, Powerslave, Defenders, Last in Line. Really an incredible year for sure!

6:34 PM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

I'm sorry, I still love Raven's "Life's a Bitch." What a turnaround from "Stay Hard." Whoa.

1984, wow, Mark and I had only been friends a year and we were beginning a long line of music and comic book trading...I remember the comics were good sometimes, lame a lot, but I kept the faith because I read them with metal, and Mark, you hit it nicely with this post...

1984 is also the year the Colts abandoned Baltimore and I became a Steelers fan instead...I remember a Christmas photo of 1983 of me holding a Colts pennant and Iron Maiden's "Piece of Mind" on vinyl...the next Christmas I'm holding a Steelers pennant and I had a stack of new metal tapes beside me...good times

8:23 PM  
Blogger José Carlos Santos said...

there was also manowar's 'hail to england' in 1984. cheesy as it is, it's actually full of great viking-metal songs. they were the first metal band i got into, i was like 10. :)

3:33 AM  
Anonymous Rob Williams said...

Van Halen, what can you say, awesome stuff, Crue's 'Shout' was a good release but for me second to the mighty VH was Ratt and the excellent 'Invasion Of Your Privacy'.

I saw Manowar in '84 on the Hail To England tour, christ they were loud!!

3:56 AM  

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