The 1980s saw heavy metal go mainstream and reach a large audience worldwide. The genre was split into sub-genres like Glam Metal, Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, NWOBHM, Traditional Metal, and more. Regardless of which sub-genre you preferred, there was no doubt that heavy metal music absolutely ruled the 80s music scene. The metal scene during this time period was crowded with bands all vying for attention and radio/video airplay. We’ve put together a huge list of over 200 (241 to be exact) of the best hard rock and metal bands from the 80s that you need to check out and hopefully give a listen to.
This is our 2nd part in the series. If you prefer to see the entire list on one page in alphabetical order click HERE!
Danger Danger released their self-titled debut in 1989 and with the help of MTV had success with the single “Naughty Naughty”. The band mixed a lighter keyboard sound with glam metal to offer a radio-friendly sound. They didn’t release their second album until 1991 and by then the 80s metal genre was already in decline due to changing tastes in music. Currently, the band continues to record and perform and though they have had a few lineup changes over the years including different vocalists, they still have a devoted fanbase.
Texas made it’s contribution to sleaze metal with Dangerous Toys. They released their self-titled debut in 1989 to decent reviews. With critics comparing vocalist Jason McMaster’s voice to everyone from Bon Scott to Axel Rose. The band appealed to a little more of a rough and tumble kind of crowd than most of the glam bands. LEaming on the straight-ahead rock style of AC/DC to deliver the goods rather than a glamourous look. It seemed to work well and the band did quite well for several albums, but the changing music scene eventually took away any opportunities for major record labels to keep them aboard.
While Glenn Danzig was already known for fronting the punk rock outfits The Misfits and Samhain, the 80s saw Danzig push his solo band in a little more metal direction than his previous bands. Danzig struck a hit with the song “Mother” with his 1988 album, simply titled “Danzig”. And while he maintained decent record sales as a solo act, he never seemed to quite reach the mainstream metal audience again. Danzig still performs as a solo act to this day and recently completed a reunion tour with his former band The Misfits.
Another Japanese band that tried to reach the shores of the U.S., Dead End achieved only modest sales with their Ghost Of Romance album. The band received airplay on MTV with the song “Danse Macabre”, but never really achieved the level of success Of Loudness and X Japan. The band had a unique style and image that was often confusing to American audiences, who were right in the middle of the glam metal movement at the time.
A product of the San Franciso Bay area thrash scene along with bands like Metallica and Megadeth, Death Angel was one of the original bands to start the scene. However, the band struggled to find the mainstream success that many of their peers found. The band has consistently created great quality metal albums over the years and received heavy rotation on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball with the release of their album Frolic Through The Park in 1988. The band is still regarded as one of the classic metal bands of the bay area metal scene.
Having started way back in the 1960s and finding decent success in the 70s, Deep Purple reinvented themselves slightly to drop into the 80s hard rock scene and it paid off. The band scored several hits in the 80s including “Perfect Strangers”, “Nobody’s Home”, and “Knocking at Your Back Door” from their 1984 album Perfect Strangers. However, their commercial success soon declined again and ended after the release of “House Of The Blue Light in 1987.
Def Leppard is arguably one of the most successful bands to emerge from the 80’s hard rock and heavy metal scene. The band found success early on, hitting the scene with their debut full-length album “On Through The Night” in 1980. Followed up, only one year later with “High N’ Dry”, the band was quickly gaining a large fan base and praise worldwide. Def Leppard hit the big time with “Pyromania” in 1983 striking up huge record sales sparked by the enormously popular single “Photograph”. It would be three years of recording before the band would release “Hysteria” to massive critical acclaim. It’s Def Leppard’s biggest-selling record to date.
Most famous for being a major influence on Metallica, who has covered many of their songs over the years including Am I Evil, It’s Electric, The Prince, and Helpless. Diamond Head was part of the NWOBHM scene, but somehow missed the commercial success that bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motorhead and even Venom achieved. When Metallica hit it big they helped Diamond Head receive the credit they deserved as one of the originators of the early 80s metal scene. Diamond Head although with a different lineup, still performs and records to this day.
Diamond Rexx is a unique band. The band seemingly combines glam metal, sleaze, and punk all into one unified sound. That uniqueness may also be their Achilles heel. Admittedly, the mixture of sounds might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it was good enough to get them signed to Island Records in 1986. The band comes from Chicago which also contributes to the fact that they sound different than a lot of the other glam bands that were flooding the L.A. music scene at the time. The band released the following albums, Rated Rexx (1990), Golden Gates (1991), Rexx Erected (2001), The Evil (2002), and are set to release a new album in 2020 called Psycho Ward.
This short-lived solo outing by former Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno saw him try a go at a lighter sound than he had previously done. The band was very keyboard-heavy and the songs leaned more in the direction of AOR radio-friendly material. While it made a decent splash in the UK charts, fans didn’t really take to his new lighter style of rock. Paul Di’Anno would continue to record albums throughout the 80s and 90s but not under the moniker of Di’Anno. Following the demise of Di’Anno as a solo project, Paul Di’Anno’s Battlefield was the most popular band that he would front following his dismissal from Iron Maiden.
Ronnie James Dio had successfully transitioned from the band Rainbow to Black Sabbath and in the 80s, he branched out on his own as a solo artist. Starting his solo band in 1983 with former Rainbow bass player Jimmy Bain, former Black Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice and a then relatively unknown guitarist Vivian Campbell, Dio set out to conquer the world. With the album Holy Diver, the band immediately had a hit with the singles “Rainbow In The Dark” and “Holy Diver”. This was the beginning of Dio’s reign and musical legacy that is highly regarded as one of the classic metal bands of the 1980s. The tension was brewing within the band and after three studio albums, guitarist Vivian Campbell parted ways with Dio. While the following “Intermission” EP and “Dream Evil” were still considered great albums, the classic lineup on the albums “Holy Diver”, “The Last In Line” and “Sacred Heart are still considered the best albums by the band. Dio continued with his solo band until his untimely death in 2010 from stomach cancer.
Dirty Blonde is a diamond in the rough. Having released their only album, “Passion” in 1989. By this point in the 80s, glam metal bands were practically everywhere. This made it much more difficult to get noticed and Dirty Blonde was a victim of being one of many in a scene that was already jam-packed. The band was quite talented and remain an underground favorite for many fans of the genre. Their album is still highly sought after by collectors.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Dirty Looks moved to California to be apart of the 80s metal movement. The band released the following albums in the 80s: (1985) Dirty Looks, (1986) In Your Face
(1987) I Want More, (1988) Cool from the Wire, (1989) Turn of the Screw. But it was finally the Cool From The Wire album in 1988 that saw the band lead by Henrik Ostergaard, make waves. The band received heavy rotation of the title song from the album on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball and brought them to a larger audience. Henrik Ostergaard died in 2011 from liver failure. But the band has released 17 studio albums before and after Ostergaard’s death. The band found a similar bluesy hard rock sound to that of AC/DC.
Dokken released their first album “Breaking The Chains” in 1981 which garnered the band their first taste of success with a hit single for the title track. The lineup for the first album included Don Dokken on vocals, George Lynch on Guitar, Mick Brown on Drums, and Juan Croucier on Bass. Croucier would soon depart Dokken to become the bassist in Ratt. Jeff Pilson joined the band with Croucier’s departure. Dokken continued to grow their fanbase with their next few albums Tooth and Nail (1984), Under Lock and Key (1985), and Back for the Attack (1987). In-fighting between the band members led to their breakup and the original members wouldn’t reunite again until 1995 with the album Dysfunctional. The band reached the commercial peak of their career with the albums “Tooth and Nail” and Under Lock and Key. Guitarist George Lynch is widely regarded as one of the best metal guitarists in the world.
Doro Pesch released her first solo album Force Majeure in 1989, but by this point, she was already well-known on the metal scene from fronting the band Warlock. Force Majeure helped establish Doro as a solo artist which she still continues to this day. Over the years, Doro has earned the title the Queen Of Metal by her loyal fans. Doro has often stated that she never married or had kids so that she could concentrate solely on creating quality rock music. She has earned many accolades from critics and fans for being one of the few female metal singers to not flaunt her sexuality and succeed on merit and talent alone.
Earthshaker is one of the early Japanese metal bands. They were unfortunately overlooked in the U.S. market with bands like Loudness, E-Z-O and Anthem reaching an American metal audience. Early on Earthshaker actually featured Loudness vocalist Minoru Niihara as their singer and bass player. Earthshaker are still well-known in Japan and have released a large discography over the years. In the 80s they released the following albums: Earthshaker (1983), Fugitive (1984), Midnight Flight (1984), Passion (1985), Overrun (1986), Aftershock (1987), Smash (1988) and Treachery (1989). The band released their latest album “The Story Goes On” in 2018.
Enuff Z’Nuff was founded by vocalist Donnie Vie and Chip Z’Nuff back in 1984. They released their self-titled debut album in 1989. “New Thing” and “Fly High Michelle” were both hits for the band in terms of sales and video rotation on MTV. It is still regarded as the bands’ greatest album. The bands’ fans have often compared their sound to that of a harder rocking Beatles with a psychedelic edge. The band would go to produce many great albums but failed to live up to the commercial success of the first album. Donnie Vie parted the ways with the band and now only Chip Z’Nuff remains as the only original member who now handles vocals for the band as well.
Europe originally started in 1979 in Switzerland. Their first studio album wouldn’t arrive until 1983, simply called “Europe”. The band would release the following albums during the 80s: Wings of Tomorrow (1984), The Final Countdown (1986), and Out of This World (1988). The band finally achieved worldwide commercial success with the album “The Final Countdown”. The single of the same name gave the band their first number 1 single in over 25 countries and went triple platinum in album sales. The Out Of This World album was also a platinum-selling album for the band in the U.S. Currently, Europe continues to perform and record new albums with their latest album “Walk The Earth” being released in 2017.
Hailing from Canada, Exciter is considered to be one of the first speed metal bands. The 80s saw them release the following albums: Heavy Metal Maniac (1983), Violence & Force (1984)
Long Live the Loud (1985), Unveiling the Wicked (1986) and Exciter (O.T.T.) (1988). They started out with Shrapnel Records and then signed to Megaforce Records in 1984. Commercially, the band would never reach the level of other bands of the time including Metallica, Exodus, Megadeth, and Anthrax. Exciter has continued on as a band for many years with different lineups and is currently active.
Exodus is a thrash metal band that has gone through many changes over the years including the deaths of two band members. Early on, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett was a member of Exodus but left before they recorded their first album. The band released the following albums during the 1980s: Bonded by Blood (1985), Pleasures of the Flesh (1987), and Fabulous Disaster (1989). The band is considered to be one of the top thrash bands in the U.S. Guitarist Gary Holt is the only band member to appear on every album. The band is currently working on material for a new album to be released in 2021.
Extreme released their debut, self-titled album in 1989. Fronted by future Van Halen vocalist Gary Cherone and guitar wiz Nuno Bettencourt, the band received rave reviews for their first album. However, the commercial success and peak of the band culminated with the release of their second album Extreme II: Pornograffiti. The singles “More Than Words” and “Hole Hearted” brought the band international acclaim and put them at number 1 and 4 for the billboard singles charts. The band disbanded in 1996 and while Cherone joined Van Halen for one album, Bettencourt pursued a solo career. The band eventually reunited and continue to record and perform with a new album in the works for a possible 2021 release.
In terms of mainstream success in the United States, E-Z-O was probably one of the closest to breakthrough. The band’s video for the single Flashback Heart Attack” received airplay on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. The band was helped along by Gene Simmons of Kiss and released their debut album on Geffen Records. The band wore leather and black and white make up that represented the different elements of Japanese folklore. The band was originally called “Flatbacker” and recorded several albums in Japan before changing their name to E-Z-O at Simmons’s request. After the band disbanded, leader singer Masaki Yamada joined Loudness for a succession of albums replacing vocalist Mike Vescera, who had replaced original Loudness vocalist Minoru Niihara.
Faith No More
Faith No More originally started in 1979. After several albums with vocalist Chuck Mosely, the band replaced him with singer Mike Patton. Patton made his debut on the album Real Thing in 1989. The band released the single “Epic” and the radio airplay coupled with heavy MTV rotation earned the band a platinum album. The band still performs and released their latest album in 2015. Faith No More’s sound is often described as alternative metal.
Faster Pussycat debuted in 1987 with their self-titled album which garnered the band several hits including “Bathroom Wall” and “Don’t Change That Song”. Faster Pussycat leans more into the sleaze rock genre and has been compared to everyone from Hanoi Rocks to Guns ‘N Roses. After a successful first album, the band released Wake Me When It’s Over in 1989 which became a Gold-selling record for the band primarily from the hit single “House Of Pain”. The band would record one more album, Whipped! in 1992 before breaking up. The band members were in a legal dispute over the rights to the band name for many years with vocalist Taime Downe ultimately becoming the only original member of the band. The current lineup has been together for many years and last released the studio album “The Power and the Glory Hole” in 2006. The band tours relentlessly and has a great reputation for their live shows.
Of the best debut albums of the early ’80s was the self-titled album by Fastway. The band’s name was a hybrid of “Fast” Eddie Clarke and Pete Way, who started the band together. Vocalist Dave King often drew comparisons to Robert Plant. The band would go on to record several albums for CBS / Epic Records and performed the soundtrack for the horror movie “Trick or Treat” which featured Ozzy Osbourne and Gene Simmons in cameo appearances. While the band continued to record great albums, none of them reached the level of the debut and the band eventually parted ways. Dave King is currently the lead singer in the Celtic punk band Flogging Molly. Sadly, Pete Way passed away in 2020 from serious injuries.
Fates Warning formed in 1982 and released their first album in 1984. Soon, the band had a devoted following with their progressive metal sound that has often been compared to that of Queensryche. Fates Warning released the following albums in the 1980s: Night on Bröcken (1984), The Spectre Within (1985), Awaken the Guardian (1986), No Exit (1988), and Perfect Symmetry (1989). The band’s defining album Parallels (1991) is considered to be one of the best of the genre and has been listed as inspirational to many other bands. The band has recorded an album slated to be released in the near future.
Femme Fatale, lead by vocalist Lorraine Lewis released their self-titled album in 1988 and immediately found success on MTV with their video for “Waiting For The Big One”. It was enough to propel them into the top 200 charts in the U.S. However Femme Fatale didn’t release a second studio album with MCA records. Essentially, a one-hit-wonder when it comes to commercial sales, the band still attracted a decent audience. Sadly, guitarist Bill D’Angelo died of a heart attack in 2005. Lorraine Lewis had a brief solo career and now fronts the band “Vixen” replacing Janet Gardner as vocalist.
Fifth Angel was a band filled with incredible talent and great musicians. However, despite that fact, the band never found mainstream success. The band was compared to bands like Queensryche, Fates Warning, and others. Ted Pilot was an amazing vocalist. Ken Mary, former Alice Cooper drummer provided an incredible thunderous rhythm and James Byrd was spectacular as the guitarist. The band releases a second album “Time Will Tell” but eventually disbanded afterward.
Flotsam And Jetsam
Flotsam And Jetsam formed in 1981 in Arizona. This thrash metal band released Doomsday for the Deceiver (1986) and No Place for Disgrace (1988) during the 80s. Jason Newsted played bass on the debut album before leaving to replace Cliff Burton in Metallica after his tragic death. Flotsam And Jetsam have a long history and have released many albums since their inception. Their latest release was 2019’s The End Of Chaos. While the band lineup has changed many times, they still continue to release quality thrash metal albums, time and time again.
This British band is known as FM (UK) in the U.S. Formed in 1984, FM released two studio albums in the 80s: Indiscreet (1986) and Tough It Out (1989). They garnered moderate success, especially in the U.K. but failed to break on a big scale in the U.S. during the 80s metal boom. FM is a talented group lead by vocalist Steve Overland. The band is mostly known for the singles “Frozen Heart” and “Bad Luck”. They’re still together with a different lineup than the original and most recently released the album Synchronized in 2020.
When Ace Frehley departed from KISS in 1982 he owned a share of KISS but was bound by contract to refrain from any solo work until 1985. In 1987, Ace was set to resume the solo career that he had started in 1978 with the KISS solo albums, but decided to actually call his band Frehley’s Comet, a name he had chosen as the title for the first album. The self-titled album was released in 1987 and earned the band a modest hit with the opening single “Rock Soldiers”. The album features vocals from both Ace Frehley and Tod Howarth. The band quickly released the follow-up album “Second Sighting” in 1988 and a live EP called “Live+1” before Ace departed for a full solo career in 1989. While Ace Frehley has a successful solo career, some of his best work outside of KISS came from the first two Frehley’s Comet albums.
Giant was founded by Dan and David Huff, founding members of the Christian rock band Whiteheart. They released the album Last of the Runaways in 1989. They scored a radio hit with the single “I’ll See You in My Dreams”. The band was critically acclaimed and developed a fan base rather quickly, in part from fans of Whiteheart and then new fans from MTV and radio airplay. Giant disbanded in the early 90s but has returned with different lineups, most recently in 2010 with the album “Promised Land”.
Girl is famous for having two members that went on to be in successful bands in the 80s. Frontman Phil Lewis would later go on to be the vocalist for L.A. Guns and guitarist Phil Collen would find fame with Def Leppard. While the band only released two studio albums before breaking up, Sheer Greed (1980) and Wasted Youth (1982) they left a lasting impression and had a significant impact on the future work of Lewis and Collen. The song “Hollywood Tease” from Girl’s Sheer Greed album would reappear on the self-titled L.A. Guns album.
This British all-girl metal band showed that women can rock just as hard as their male counterparts. They released a series of albums in the 80s: Demolition (1980), Hit and Run (1981), Screaming Blue Murder (1982), Play Dirty (1983), Running Wild (1985), Nightmare at Maple Cross (1986) and Take a Bite (1988). After finding success n the U.K. the band set its sights on the U.S. and signed a record deal with Mercury Records for their 1985 album Running Wild. However, it failed to achieve the commercial success that the label was hopeful for and Mercury dropped the band from the label. This didn’t detour the band and they have continued to record to new albums and tour with a varied lineup ever since. Their latest release was an EP in 2015 called Propaganda!.
Originally a side project formed by Greg Giuffria after his band Angel ended, Giuffria became a full-fledged band. During the 80s they released Giuffria (1984), Silk + Steel (1986) to good reviews. Singer David Glen Eisley drew comparisons in vocal style to that of Journey’s Steve Perry. The band had their first taste of success with the single “Call To The Heart” which helped push the album to #26 on the U.S. charts. The band received MTV airplay for their single “I Must Be Dreaming” form their sophomore album Silk + Steel but failed to break into the big time commercially. Greg Giuffria would go on to form the band House Of Lords and then ultimately retire from music altogether. David Glen Eisley and Craig Goldy reunited in 2017 for an album called Blood, Guts, and Games. The album also included work from former Giuffria member Chuck Wright.
After the fall of Communism in the U.S.S.R., this Russian band quickly embraced the western culture of rock and metal music. They were signed to Mercury Records where they released their debut album in 1989. The band released “Bang” as their first single and were the first Russian band to be featured on MTV. They also received radio airplay with the singles “Try to Find Me” and “Peace in Our Time”. They performed at The Moscow Music Peace Festival with Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe, Skid Row, Cinderella, Ozzy Osbourne, and Scorpions. However, this would be the peak of their career outside Russia. Gorky Park released their last album Protivofazza in 1998.
This German metal band turned out the following albums in the 80s: Heavy Metal Breakdown (1984), Witch Hunter (1985), War Games (1986), and Stronger Than Ever (under name Digger). They received critical acclaim for the Heavy Metal Breakdown album. They toured with Helloween with the release of their second album, which exposed them to more new fans. Grave Digger’s style is considered classic heavy metal. The original band members split up and the lineups changed but the band reformed eventually with only vocalist Chris Boltendahl remaining as a constant. Their latest album Fields Of Blood was released in 2020.
Great White originally started in the 70s as Dante Fox but later changed their name to that of the shark. They didn’t release their debut album until 1984. The band was offered tour slots with other metal bands that help their exposure. During the 80s the band released Great White (1984), Shot in the Dark (1986), Once Bitten (1987), and …Twice Shy (1989). The band peaked commercially with the Twice Shy album and a huge hit with their cover of Ian Hunter song “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”. This propelled the band to superstar status with heavy rotation on both radio and MTV. While fans still followed the group in the 90s, trouble was brewing within the band and ultimately they parted ways with singer Jack Russell. Jack Russell went on to form his own band under the name Jack Russell’s Great White, while Mark Kendall kept going with the original name. Both bands still exist, record, and perform live with Great White now being on their second replacement singer since Jack Russell’s departure.
Grim Reaper’s output in the 80s consisted of See You in Hell (1983), Fear No Evil (1985), and Rock You to Hell (1987). This British metal band was known for great guitar work from Nick Bowcott and strong vocals from Steve Grimmett. Their classic melodic heavy metal sound made people take notice and they received their fair share of airplay on MTV, but commercially they failed to connect with a large audience like their peers Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. Grim Reaper is well respected and still has a loyal fanbase. In recent years, singer Steve Grimmett has revamped the band as “Steve Grimmett’s Grim Reaper” and they have released two albums under that moniker to date.
Starting out as a more traditional metal band, Guardian soon changed vocalists and went for a more every man’s hard rock sound, in the lines of Tesla with a slightly more glam image and sound. Guardian was formed in 1982 under the name Fusion, by singer, Paul Cawley and bassist David Bach. The original band lineup also featured drummer Steve Martinez and guitarist Gene Thurston. Originally signed to Enigma Records, they wanted a more Christian focused record label and asked to be released from their contract. Cawley left and the band brought in Jamie Rowe with a new sound and vocal style.
Guns N’ Roses
Guns ‘N Roses split into two bands. Originally having Tracii Guns as the guitarist and Axel Rose as vocalist, thus explaining the name of the band. However, Tracii Guns left to start L.A. Guns, while Axel Rose recruited new members for what would become the classic lineup of Guns ‘N Roses. With the lineup of Axel Rose, Slash, Duff, Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler on drums, the band made a huge impact on the Sunset strip scene that was already thriving. The band presented a sound that mixes the bluesy hard rock of AC/DC with the punk stylings of The Sex Pistols. When the band released a limited EP called Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide, fans and critics alike began to spread the word that a new rock juggernaut was about to emerge. In 1987 the band released their debut album “Appetite For Destruction”. The album went 18X Platinum in sales and earned it a rare rating of Diamond in album sales. Pushed by the singles “Welcome to the Jungle”, “Sweet Child O’ Mine and “Paradise City” the band dominated the airwaves and MTV and quickly became one of the most popular rock bands of the 80s.
Gypsy Rose was one of the first bands to sign to Gene Simmons’ record label. This Canadian band released two singles, “Poisoned By Love” and “Don’t Turn Your Back On Me Now” from their debut album “Prey” and garnered them a growing fanbase. While the band disbanded when the height of the glam metal era began to fade, vocalist Michael Ross returned with solo material and has also returned with a new lineup of Gypsy Rose. The band has since released several albums with FNA Records.
Not to be confused with the German metal band Helloween, Halloween commanded quite a cult following. The band is known for their album Don’t Metal with Evil (1985). Formed in Detroit, the band was outside of the glam metal scene that took Hollywood by storm. Unfortunately, their geographic location probably kept the band from being big. As many bands were relocating to L.A. to play the clubs in search of big record deals. Halloween never made the jump, but are one of the hidden gems that collectors still look for. The band went through many different lineups and released several albums throughout the 90s and 2000s.
Hanoi Rocks are one of the bands that helped the glam metal image into the scene during the early 80s. The band released Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks (1981), Oriental Beat (1982), Self Destruction Blues (1982), Back to Mystery City (1983), and Two Steps from the Move (1984). Unfortunately, the band became even more famous for the death of their drummer Razzle in a car accident of which Vince Neil of Motley Crue was driving. Hanoi Rocks never received the commercial success that their contemporaries did, but were quite influential on the music scene. The band eventually completely broke up and vocalist Michael Monroe now has a thriving solo career.
Hawk was the band founded by Doug Marks, which you may remember from all of the 80’s Metal magazine ads for his “Metal Method” Guitar Lessons. Members of Hawk included: Doug Marks (MetalMethod.com), Scott Travis (Judas Priest), Charles Morrill (Charlie Wayne Morrill), Lonnie Vencent (Bullet Boys), David Fefolt, and Matt Sorum (Guns ’N Roses). The band imploded due to personal differences after releasing only one studio album. However, that self-titled Hawk album remains a hard to find classic metal album.
Hear ‘N Aid
This all-star metal project was organized by the members of the band Dio, Ronnie James Dio, Jimmy Bain, and Vivian Campbell. The proceeds of the album went to charity to provide food for famine relief in Africa. 40 different musicians contributed to the lead single “Stars” included members of Judas Priest, Quiet Riot, Queensryche, Dokken, Y & T, Motley Crue, and more. The rest of the album consisted of singles contributed by bands such as KISS, Motorhead, and Rush. This rare combination of metal musicians on one project makes it worth owning, if even just for the single “Stars”.
Having found success in the 70s as a hard rock outfit fronted by sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, the band reinvented themselves in the 80s. Not only did they equal their earlier success but surpassed it in many ways with great album sales. They released the album “Heart” in 1985. The album had four top ten hits and sold over 5 million copies. Heart released the following albums during the 80s: Bébé le Strange (1980), Private Audition (1982), Passionworks (1983), Heart (1985), Bad Animals (1987). Bad Animals provided the band with their number one hit “Alone. Heart still performs live and their latest studio album was Beautiful Broken in 2016.
While the band got its start in 1984, it wasn’t until 1987’s Breaking The Silence that the band hit its stride. The band released their cover of The Sweet’s “Set Me Free” as the first single and it proved to be quite successful. MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball put the video in rotation which allowed the band to reach a much larger audience than before. The band’s early sound was more reminiscent of the bay area thrash metal but became more technical metal sounding after Breaking The Silence. The band has gone through many lineup changes over time but still releases new material. They are set to release their latest album in 2020 called “Empire Of The Blind”.