200+ Hard Rock And Metal Bands From The 80s That Are Worth Listening To (Part 3)

judas priest

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HeavenHeaven

Australian band Heaven released three studio albums “Bent”(1982), “Where Angels Fear to Tread” (1983), and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” (1985). The band toured the U.S. under support for their single and video for “Rock School” and picked up news fans. However, they never seemed to break through to the mainstream U.S. metal audience. Early on their sound was closer to that of AC/DC but on later albums went in a more commercial, radio-friendly version. Fans regard all of their albums as quality releases and they are still collected heavily by metal fans. In 2015, vocalist Allan Fryer died after a lengthy battle with cancer.

 

HEAVY PETTIN's 1983 debut album 'Lettin Loose' will be reissued on CD on November 29thHeavy Pettin

Heavy Pettin is a Scottish band that released its debut “Lettin Loose” in 1983. The band’s sound was often similar to that of early Def Leppard material. They seemed to be a band on the rise with the release of their second album “Rock Ain’t Dead”(1985) but their sound became more commercial and keyboard-heavy by the time they released “Big Bang” in 1989. Melodic metal fans still seek out all three albums and recently the band has re-formed to release a new EP called 4Play.

 

 

helixHelix

This Canadian band deserves far more credit than they have received over the years. During the 80s they released White Lace & Black Leather (1981), No Rest for the Wicked (1983), Walkin’ the Razor’s Edge (1984), Long Way to Heaven (1985), and Wild in the Streets (1987).  Helix had their first hit with “Heavy Metal Love” from the No Rest For The Wicked album. The next album would be the one to launch the band to superstar status. With the release of Walkin’ The Razor’s Edge, the band had two singles chart with “Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’ and the song that Helix is most famous for “Rock You”. Brian Vollmer and company continue to record new albums with Old School in 2019 being their latest release

 

hellionHellion

Hellion released their self-titled Ep in 1983 and the album Screams in the Night (1987), and another EP, Postcards from the Asylum (1988) during their run in the 80s.  Lead by vocalist Ann Boleyn, the band often headlined shows on the Sunset Strip clubs but failed to find a major record label offer. Ronnie James Dio offered his help to the band and worked on demos with Boleyn.  The members of the band decided to split from the singer. Undeterred, Boleyn reformed Hellion and formed her own record label, New Renaissance Records. The band continued to release material into the 2000s. T

 

helloweenHelloween

Helloween released Walls of Jericho (1985), Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part I (1987), and Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part II (1988) during the 80s. It was the Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part I that really introduced the band to a larger American audience. The video for the single “I Want Out” got played heavily on MTV and help drive sales of the album. But this German band was far from done. While known primarily as an 80s metal band, their larger output of albums would actually occur in the 90s and the 2000s. he band is scheduled to release a new album in early 2021.

 

holy soldierHoly Soldier

When glam metal hit it big in the ’80s, many Christian metal bands went the same route. Holy Soldier had two really good albums before changing personnel and going in a more acoustic-based alternative. Holy Soldier is a band that has secured their position as one of the most important and identifiable bands of Christian rock & roll history. The group, which formed in Los Angeles in 1985, distilled so much of the music that had come before them and has exerted a decisive influence on so much that has come after. Very few artists and musicians in their genre have achieved that stature, and stand proudly among them. They looked the part and had a decent sound, but ultimately they just faded away like so many bands from the era.

 

house of lordsHouse Of Lords

When former Angel keyboardist Gregg Giuffria ended his solo band Giuffria, he started House Of Lords and signed to Gene Simmons record label. Their debut album launched in 1988 with vocalist James Christian as the frontman. The band had a hit with “I Wanna Be Loved” and followed it up with “Love Don’t Lie” which also received airplay. The band would change band members over time including losing Gregg Giuffria after The Demons Down album in 1992. The band has a lengthy discography including House of Lords, Sahara, Demons Down (1992), The Power and the Myth (2004), World Upside Down (2006), Come to My Kingdom(2008), Cartesian Dreams (2009), Big Money (2011), Precious Metal (2014), Indestructible (2015), Saint of the Lost Souls (2017) and New World – New Eyes (2020)

 

HSASHSAS

HSAS, which stands for Hagar, Schon, Aaronson, and Shrieve was a one-off project that allowed Journey guitarist Neal Schon to work with Sammy Hagar. The supergroup’s only album was “Through The Fire” and was actually recorded on several live dates and then re-edited in the studio to remove the crowd noise. It was then released as a studio album. Neal Schon returned to Journey and Sammy Hagar recorded V.O.A. afterward which lead to the huge hit single “I Can’t Drive 55” and subsequently lead to his joining Van Halen after the band split with David Lee Roth. While HSAS was a small snapshot in time, the album produced some really great songs, and both Schon and Hagar definitely had interesting band chemistry together.

Hurricane

Hurricane is notable for having the brothers of Carlos Cavazo and Rudy Sarzo from Quiet Riot, Tony Cavazo, and Robert Sarzo as bassist and guitarist. Kelly Hansen, who now fronts Foreigner was the fantastic vocalist that rounded out the band along with drummer Jay Schellen. The band had the biggest success with 1988’s “Over The Edge” album, but never quite made it the level of bands like Motley Crue, Ratt, and others that were dominating the L.A. music scene at the time. Recently, Hurricane has reunited with only Sarzo and Cavazo as the original members and has plans to record new material in the near future.

 

Icon

Icon released their debut album Icon in 1984. The band showed extreme talent and promise for the future. Then in 1985, they released the appropriately named “Night Of The Crime”, because it’s simply a crime that this album didn’t top the hard rock and metal charts at the time. If any band had everything that it needed to hit the big time it was Icon. One of the best albums to come out in the 80’s it’s criminally underrated. The band seemed to suffer from a lack of exposure problems, which cost them their rightful place as one of the best bands in the ’80s. While bands like Quiet Riot, Motley Crue, Ratt, and Cinderella were getting airplay on radio and coverage on MTV, this Arizona band simply seemed to fall through the cracks. Night Of The Crime is a brilliant album from beginning to end, with outstanding production and talent to spare. The band released several albums after this with a different vocalist, A More Perfect Union (1987), Right Between the Eyes (1989) but it just didn’t have the same magic that Night Of The Crime did.

 

ImpellitteriImpellitteri

Lead by guitar shredder Chris Impellitteri, the band released an EP simply titled Impellitteri (1987) and Stand in Line (1988). Former Rainbow and Alcatrazz vocalist Graham Bonnet joined for Stand In Line and the album also featured a song of the same title released as a single. It hit the top 100 charts and handed the band their first hit. The band also found great success in Japan. Impellitteri is still recording, now with original vocalist Rob Rock with their latest album being Nature Of The Beast in 2018.

 

iron maidenIron Maiden

Starting out with Paul Di’Anno, the band made a name for themselves and were poised for greatness. The band had a major label deal with EMI records in 1979. With Di’Anno at the helm the band recorded their debut album “Iron Maiden” and “Killers”, but due to Di’Anno’s self-destructive behavior and extreme drug use, the band parted ways with him and hired then Samson vocalist, Bruce Dickinson. And the rest as they say….is history. Iron Maiden scored their first No. 1 UK hit with “The Number Of The Beast” and built one of the biggest followings worldwide with Dickinson. In 1993 Dickinson left Iron Maiden to further his solo career. The Band hired Blaze Bayley, who only made two albums with the band before Dickinson returned. The band is currently one of the most popular metal bands in the world.

 

jack starrs burning starrJack Starr’s Burning Starr

Releasing Rock the American Way (1985), No Turning Back (1986), Blaze of Glory (1987) and Jack Starr’s Burning Starr (1989), the band proved to be talented but lacked great promotion and good tours with other bands to really help them reach a large audience. Lead by former Virgin Steele guitarist, Jack Starr Burning Starr produced some solid albums during the 1980s. The band reformed with a different lineup and have released three more studio albums in the 2000s.

 

 

jetboyJetboy

Originally based in San Francisco, Jetboy relocated to L.A. in the 80s to be a part of the growing glam/hair metal scene at the time.  Jetboy fused everything from metal, punk, and rockabilly into their sound.  Their debut album, Feel the Shake (1988) was a modest success, but it took the band two years to release a follow-up and by then the scene had began to disappear. Undaunted, Jetboy would go on to release the albums Damned Nation (1990), A Day in the Glamorous Life (1997), Make Some More Noise (1999), One More for Rock N’ Roll (2002), Off Your Rocker (2010)
and their most recent release, Born to Fly (2019).

 

joe satrianiJoe Satriani

Prior to establishing his own solo musical career, Joe Satriani was a guitar teacher who taught such well-known guitarists as Steve Vai, Kirk Hammett, Alex Skolnick, and Andy Timmons. However, Satriani established himself as a guitar hero rather quickly releasing the albums Not of This Earth (1986), Surfing with the Alien (1987), and Flying in a Blue Dream (1989) during the 80s.  Satriani has been Grammy-nominated 15 times throughout his career.  He is ranked among the world’s best rock guitarists including Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, George Lynch, Yngwie Malmsteen, and more.  Surfing with the Alien is not only his most commercially successful album but also the highest acclaimed of his career.  He currently continues to record and perform.

 

judas priestJudas Priest

Judas Priest is considered one of the best metal bands in history, and rightfully so.  Having made a name for themselves in the 70s, the band exploded during the 80s. Releasing the albums British Steel (1980), Point of Entry (1981), Screaming for Vengeance (1982), Defenders of the Faith (1984), Turbo (1986), and Ram It Down (1988), the band practically dominated the metal scene.  They scored a huge hit with You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’. Featuring guitarists Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing and Rob Halford incredible vocal ability the band continued to sell out arenas and sell lots of albums. Halford split from the band for several years and has returned in recent years and the band still continues to create new material and tour.

 

keelKeel

Formed by former Steeler vocalist Ron Keel, Keel featured two guitarists, Marc Ferrari and  Brian Jay with exceptional skills, that managed to play completely different styles and still create a cohesive sound. Keel released their debut album, “Lay Down The Law” in 1984. It showcased the vocal dominance of Ron Keel, the thunderous drumming of Dwain Miller, and a massive guitar sound.  Their second album, “The Right To Rock (1985) put the band squarely on the map with the single of the same name.  MTV played the video in heavy rotation and suddenly, along with Ratt, Dokken and Motley Crue were on every rock magazine around.  While the Right To Rock got them known, it would be their next album The Final Frontier (1986) that would chart the highest. It was powered by the band’s cover of The Patti Smith song “Because The Night” that showed the band was more than all hair and screams.  The band would continue to sell well on their self titled album, Keel (1987), and Larger Than Live (1989). The band would eventually split up. However, the band would reform again and release two more studio albums. The band is still technically together at present time.

 

kick axeKick Axe

Canadian metal band, Kick Axe never seemed to get a fair shake. They were another band that just didn’t receive enough exposure to be well known with hard rock fans. The band released several great albums, with “Vices” being their most widely known album. The band always had great songs and arrangements to make any metalhead go wild, but the band seemed to die a slow death with very little promotion.

 

 

killer dwarfsKiller Dwarfs

This product of Canada released their debut album in 1983. The original lineup consisted of Russ Graham (vocals), and Darrell Millar (drums),  Bryce Trewin (guitar) and,  Ange Fodero (bass).  Guitarist Mike Hall and bassist Ron Mayer the latter members soon after. The band found a decent amount of success with their second album “Stand Tall”. Armed with a sense of humor, (all the band members adopted the stage surname Dwarf) the band found MTV airplay helpful to reaching a larger audience outside of Canada. Big Deal would be their last album during the 1980s and it also did moderately well. The band is currently still performing and released the album Start @ One, most recently in 2013.

 

King Diamond

King Diamond left Mercyful Fate and took guitarist Michael Denner, and bassist Timi Hansen with him to form his solo band. They added drummer Mikkey Dee and guitarist Andy LaRocque before recording their debut album Fatal Portrait in 1986. The band would continue releasing albums throughout the 80s including Abigail (1987), “Them” (1988), and Conspiracy (1989). King Diamond kept the overtly satanic image from Mercyful Fate and often times pushed it even farther.  King Diamond has a 4-octave vocal range. Dressed in black and white corpse paint has been a hallmark of his career.

 

King Kobra....Where Are They Now?King Kobra

King Kobra was the brainchild of drummer Carmine Appice, who had played with Rod Stewart and the king of metal, the madman himself, Ozzy Osbourne. The band featured band members that would later go on to other bands like W.A.S.P. and the Bulletboys. King Kobra’s look was unusual, to say the least with all members except for Appice having extremely bleached blonde hair. Ready To Strike was a great album and promised great things to come, but unfortunately the band never quite reached this level again. The band recorded the soundtrack to the movie Iron Eagle” and several other albums but ultimately disbanded. Lead vocalist Mark Free has since changed his gender to female as in now known as Marcie Free. Carmine Appice is currently performing with his brother Vinnie Appice in Drum Wars.

kingdom comeKingdom Come

Kingdom Come was founded by singer Lenny Wolf who had previously found some success with his band Stone Fury. Critics accused Kingdome Come of being a rip-off of Led Zeppelin, but that didn’t stop them from being successful with their debut album. Unfortunately, the band didn’t quite live up to the same hype or commercial sales for their second album, cleverly titled “In Your Face”.  While the band only released two albums in the 80s, they would go on in different lineups through 2013 before vocalist Wolf decided to end the band.  The band has been resurrected in recent years with Keith St. John taking over the vocals.

 

kings of the sunKings Of The Sun

This Australian band barely got noticed in the U.S., but if you did happen to hear them, it was usually met with rousing approval from hard rock fans.  The band forged a raw hard, bluesy hard rock sound that had a bit of a 70s rock sound mixed in.  It was different from what most of the metal bands were doing, but none the less energetic and rousing rock. The band was formed by Jeffrey Hoad and Clifford Hoad in 1986. Kings of the Sun released their self titled album in 1988. It charted in the top 200 in the U.S.

 

King's XKings’s X

This Texas trio brought a unique sound into the metal world with Beatlesque harmonies on top of heavy music.  The band proved to be different and talented enough to get signed to a major label deal.  Doug Pinnick (bass guitar, lead, and backing vocals), Jerry Gaskill (drums, percussion, backing, and lead vocals) and Ty Tabor (lead guitar, backing, and lead vocals)  took their brand of progressive metal on the road and amassed a huge following of fans with an energetic live show. The band released Out Of The Silent Planet (1988) and Gretchen Goes To Nebraska (1989). Both of these albums helped increase their audience and they had their biggest selling album with Fath, Hope & Love in 1990. King’s X is still recording and performing to this day.

 

kissKISS

While KISS had already been around for several years, the 80s proved to be a decade of huge change for the band including changing members and removing their trademark makeup. KISS released the following albums in the 80s: Unmasked (1980), Music from “The Elder” (1981), Creatures of the Night (1982), Lick It Up (1983), Animalize (1984), Asylum (1985), Crazy Nights (1987)
and Hot in the Shade (1989).  The first two albums in the 80s were not well received by most fans or critics. Things started to change when KISS brought in Vinnie Vincent to replace Ace Frehley. Even though he wasn’t actually a member of the band yet, Vincent played on The Creatures Of The Night album. Eric Carr was also brought in to replace longtime drummer Peter Criss.  New blood in the band seemed to energize KISS and they decided to remove their makeup with the release of Lick It Up in 1983.  The move turned out to be a good choice as metal bands were becoming more mainstream in the 80s and KISS jumped right into the mix. Not only did the albums sell more, but KISS was again receiving radio airplay and MTV airtime for most of the new videos. The band would move on from Vincent, only to replace Mark St. John after one album. Eventually, the band enlisted Bruce Kulick and the band continued to be a big success throughout the 80s.

 

kixKix

This Maryland band released its debut album in 1981 fusing an AC/DC sound with glam rock. They released the following albums in the 80s: Kix (1981), Cool Kids (1983), Midnite Dynamite (1985), and Blow My Fuse (1988). The band really got noticed with the release of Midnite Dynamite and went platinum with the release of Blow My Fuse, driven by the single “Don’t Close Your Eyes”.  Kix continues to record new music and is a regular on the touring circuit and metal festivals. The band’s most recent album was 2014’s Rock Your Face Off, which received great reviews from fans and critics alike.

 

KrokusKrokus

Krokus had already released three albums in Switzerland during the 70s before releasing the albums: Metal Rendez-vous (1980), Hardware (1981), One Vice at a Time (1982), Headhunter (1983), The Blitz (1984), Change of Address (1986) and Heart Attack (1988). The band had gone both gold and platinum overseas but sought success in the U.S. They received their first U.S. Gold record with the release of Headhunter. “Screaming In The Night” proved to be a big commercial hit and the album hit 25 on the U.S. Billboard charts. The follow-up album, The Blitz would also achieve a Gold record driven by the singles “Midnite Maniac” and their cover of The Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz”. This would prove to be the commercial peak of the band but the band released albums through 2017 and are now finishing their farewell worldwide tour.

 

la gunsL.A. Guns

After Tracii Guns left Guns N’ Roses, he started L.A. Guns, originally featuring singer Paul Black. Former Girl vocalist Phil Lewis would join the band as the new vocalist and the classic lineup of L.A. Guns with Phil Lewis, Tracii Guns, Steve Riley, Mick Cripps, and Kelly Nickels would get signed to a major record deal. The band released their debut album, simply called L.A. Guns in 1988, and had a hit single with the song “Sex Action” and the album would reach number 50 on the Billboard album charts.  The band followed it up Cocked And Loaded in 1989, this time finding a hit with the ballad “The Ballad Of Jayne”. Cocked and Loaded would make it to 38 on the Billboard charts and MTV played L.A. Guns’ video on frequent rotation. The band would then split multiple times starting in the 90s and continues to this day, with two versions of L.A. Guns around, one with Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis and another with Steve Riley and Kelly Nickels. Since Steve Riley owns a percentage of the name, the band name is essentially split between two very different groups of musicians.

 

laaz rockitLaaz Rockit

This 80s pseudo-thrash band released City’s Gonna Burn (1984), No Stranger to Danger (1985), Know Your Enemy (1987) and Annihilation Principle (1989) during their 80s run.  While these guys were part of the Bay Area metal scene, they have never gotten the recognition that bands like Metallica, Testament, Death Angel, and Megadeth have. When the band signed with Enigma Records and released Known Your Enemy, it was a much needed shot in the arm for the band and saw them get larger record distribution. The album as well as the follow-up, Annihilation Principal both received good critical reviews and the band hit the tour circuit with bands like Metallica, Anthrax. Megadeth, Overkill, and more. However, the band just never seemed to reach a large commercial audience The band is currently thought to be still technically active, but their last recorded album was in 2008.

le mansLe Mans

Le Mans was an underrated band that released two albums and featured original Enuff Z’ Nuff guitarist Derek Frigo. Their first release “On The Streets”(1983) was straight ahead classic-sounding heavy metal with a glam look, but the band quickly went to a much softer overall sound for their second album, simply titled Le Mans (1986). The band was obviously trying for radio airplay and MTV attention with the more commercial material, but it failed to materialize into anything longterm. The band briefly featured Randy Castillo (Ozzy Osbourne, Lita Ford, Motley Crue) and Leonard Haze (Y&T).

 

leatherwolfLeatherwolf

Leatherwolf released their self-titled album in 1987 which featured a triple axe attack and incredible power metal sensibilities. The band garnered great reviews from fans and critics alike. The song “The Calling” was a great anthemic metal track that propelled this album to reach new fans. Unfortunately, the band could never seem to duplicate the same formula in later releases. The band has reformed in recent years and has released several quality albums since.

 

 

Lee_AaronLee Aaron

Canadian, Lee Aaron whose real name is Karen Lynn Greening released her debut album “The Lee Aaron Project” in 1982. Followed up by the album “Metal Queen” in 1984, she signed a multi-album deal and was heavily promoted in major rock magazines. Metal Queen produced a minor hit of the same name. She would go on to release such albums as Call of the Wild (1985),  Lee Aaron (1987) and, Bodyrock (1989).  She continued to release albums throughout the 90s and 2000s with Diamond Baby Blues being her latest release in 2018. Lee Aaron is currently still active in music.

 

lillian axeLillian Axe

This New Orleans based band received a nice start when Ratt’s Robbin Crosby produced their debut album in 1988. The band lead by guitarist Steve Blaze included Ron Taylor (lead vocals), Jon Ster (rhythm guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), and Rob Stratton (bass guitar, and Danny King (drums). Their second album. 1989’s Love + War was a critical success but failed to chart the band highly on commercial charts.  Lillian Axe has since released the albums Poetic Justice, Psychoschizophrenia, Fields of Yesterday, Waters Rising, Sad Day On Planet Earth, Deep Red Shadows, and XI The Days Before Tomorrow. The lineup has changed over the years but Steve Blaze is still the mainstay of the band. They are the first hard rock band to inducted into the Louisana Music Hall Of Fame.

 

lionLion

Lion came out of nowhere with Dangerous Attraction to deliver one of the most underrated metal albums of the ’80s. Featuring Doug Aldrich on guitar who would later go on to work with bands like Dio, Whitesnake, and currently Dead Daisies. Kai Swan’s vocals were incredibly powerful. In an untimely and unfortunate accident, drummer Mark Edwards suffered a broken neck which lead to the band breaking up a month later. Aldrich and Swan continued on in a new band called Bad Moon Rising. Lion was probably best known for recording the Transformer’s Movie Theme. While the band was on a major label at the time of Dangerous Attraction’s release they were never truly exposed to the large American mainstream metal audience that could have helped them reach the level of bands like Whitesnake, Motley Crue and Def Leppard who were dominating the airwaves at the time.

 

lionLita Ford

When The Runaways disintegrated as a band, Lita Ford decided to pursue a solo career. She released the following albums in the 80s: Out for Blood (1983), Dancin’ on the Edge (1984) and,
Lita (1988).  She scored her first hit with the song “Gotta Let Go” from the Dancin’ On The Edge album. But it would prove to be her self-titled album “Lita” in 1988 that was her most successful. The duet with Ozzy Osbourne, “If I Close My Eyes Forever” was a huge hit and would reach #8 on the Billboard charts. “Kiss Me Deadly” would also become one of her most well-known songs. She took a hiatus for almost 14 years before returning to the music scene. Her latest release was “Time Capsule” in 2016, but she tours on a regular basis and is known for her energetic live shows.

lizzy bordenLizzy Borden

Lizzy Borden was started in 1983 by brothers Lizzy Borden (real name Gregory Harges) and Joey Scott.  Lizzy Borden had a large output during the 1980s including the following albums: Give ‘Em the Axe EP (1984), Love You to Pieces (1985), The Murderess Metal Road Show Live (1986), Menace to Society (1986), Terror Rising EP (1987), Visual Lies (1987) and Master of Disguise in 1989. The band reached their commercial peak with the Visual Lies album. They were featured in the documentary The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years and still continue to this day.

 

londonLondon

Sadly London is more famous for being a stepping stone for other band members that went on to bigger things including Blackie Lawless (WASP), Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue), Steven Adler (Guns N’ Roses), Slash (Guns N’ Rose), Izzy Stradlin (Guns N’ Roses) and Fred Coury (Cinderella).  London released two albums in the 80s, Non-Stop Rock (1985) and, Don’t Cry Wolf (1986). Lead by Nadir D’Priest and guitarist Lizzie Grey these albums are worth listening to but failed to chart commercially.  The band was a staple on Sunset Strip during the glam metal years and appeared in the documentary The Decline of Western Civilization Part 2: The Metal Years. London has released two albums since then with the latest being in 2018.

 

lord-tracyLord Tracy

Lord Tracy released The Deaf Gods Of Babylon” in 1989 and the single “Out With The Boys,” reached #40 on theBillboard charts.  The band featured former Pantera vocalist Terry Glaze, who performed with the band during their glam era before Phil Anselmo joined.  The album was filled with a sense of crass humor and developed a cult following because of it. Unfortunately, it didn’t sell well on a commercial level and the band split up. The band has released several albums since comprised of demos and unreleased material.

 

loudnessLoudness

The first Japanese metal band to secure a major record deal with a company from the United States. That band is “Loudness”. Loudness started in 1981 and is one of the most popular metal exports from Japan. In May of 1981, Munetaka loudnessHiguchi (drums) and Akira Takasaki (guitar) from the Japanese band, Lazy decided to form their own band to pursue their favorite music style. Minoru Niihara (Vocals), a former member of Earthshaker, became the original lead singer of Loudness after auditioning. Masayoshi Yamashita (bass), an old friend with Takasaki, was also selected after a few auditions. The band released six releases consisting of full albums and EP’s before recording their debut album for Atlantic Records, entitled “Thunder In The East”. Loudness had made an intentional attempt to reach international fame. When Thunder In The East was recorded, Minoru Niihara did not speak English and learned to sing all of the vocals phonetically. The band received airplay on MTV, which brought them to a whole new audience of American rock fans. The album released in 1985, reached no. 4 on Japanese charts and landed at no. 74 in the U.S. They toured the U.S. with Motley Crue and became the first Japanese rock band to play Madison Square Garden. The band released Lightning Strikes and Hurricane Eyes in the United States and Akira Takasaki began to get noticed as a guitar hero, alongside the likes of Eddie Van Halen, George Lynch, Yngwie Malmsteen, Jake E. Lee, and others. The band went through a few lineup changes when Niihara left the band as was replaced by American vocalist, Mike Vescera and later by Masaki Yamada of the Japanese band EZO. Niihara returned to the band in 2001. To date, Loudness has released a total of 26 studio albums and remains a legendary band, both in Japan and the United States. Today, Akira Takasaki is considered among the best rock guitarists in the world.

 

lynch mobLynch Mob

When Dokken split up after The Back For The Attack album, George Lynch started his own band called Lynch Mob which included Dokken drummer, Wild Mick Brown. Their debut album Wicked Sensation found moderate success for the band with Oni Logan handling the vocals.  However, Logan and Lynch had issues with each other and future Warrant vocalist Robert Mason sang on the second self-titled album which had a minor hit with the song “Jungle Of Love”.  Oni Logan would return in 2009 and the band has continued to record new albums and perform live ever since. However, George Lynch has stated that he will no longer use the name Lynch Mob again because he doesn’t feel it’s politically correct with the negative connotations that the name brings.

 

projectdriverM.A.R.S. Project Driver

This one-off project released on Shrapnel Records is pretty amazing.  The title stands for (Tony) MacAlpine, (Tommy) Aldridge, (Rob Rock) and (Rudy) Sarzo or M.A.R.S. The band is filled with talented musicians and this is heavy metal guitar shredders dream.  The biggest issue with this album would have to be the sound production, which comes off as a terrible mix considering the artists involved. It would have been great to see this group continue because this album showed real chemistry between the players involved.

 

madam xMadam X

Formed by sisters Maxine and Roxy Petrucci and including Bret Kaiser and Chris Doliber, the band actually once featured a young Sebastian Bach. They released the album We Reserve the Right in 1984 and scored a minor hit with the song “High In High School”. The band would break up in 1988 but returned again in 2017 to release the album Monstrocity. After the original breakup, Roxy Petrucci would join Vixen and is still a member of the band today.

 

 

magnumMagnum

British rockers released Chase the Dragon (1982), The Eleventh Hour (1983), On a Storyteller’s Night (1985), Vigilante (1986) and, Wings of Heaven (1988) during their 80s heyday.  The album Chase The Dargon hit #17 on the U.K. charts. On A Storyteller’s Night reached Gold Album status in the U.K. as well. The band would shift their sound to a more mainstream sound closer to the end of the 80s. The band is currently still active and most recently released the album “The Serpent Rings” in 2020. Check out songs like “Soldier of the Line”, “Sacred Hour” and “The Spirit” for some of their best-known tracks.

 

maliceMalice

Malice hit the L.A. metal scene in the early ’80s and developed a great following. Often compared to bands like Queensryche and Lizzy Borden, primarily because of the high pitched vocals of James Neal. The band featured incredibly talented musicians with License To Kill being their epic album that failed to put them over the top. The band has morphed through different members over the years and still records and performs periodically. Sadly, Guitarist Mick Zane passed away in 2016.

 

 

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