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Tuesday, January 27, 2009



German Metal band featuring Teutonic dwarf with giant voice, Udo Dirkschnieder.

Heyday: 1979-85

Must Have: 'Restless and Wild' (1982)

Also Recommended: 'I'm A Rebel' (1980), 'Breaker' (1981)

For the Hearty: 'Accept' (1979), 'Balls to the Wall' (1984)


Seminal Aussie Hard Rock act featuring SG toting spasmodic dwarf, Angus Young. AC/DC would survive the death of front man Bon Scott in 1980 to deliver the biggest selling Hard Rock album of all time, 'Back In Black'.

HeyDay: 1976-present.

Must Have: 'High Voltage' (1975), 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap' (1976), 'Let There Be Rock' (1977), 'Powerage' (1978), 'Highway to Hell' (1979), 'Back in Black' (1980)

Also Recommended: 'If You Want Blood......You've Got It' (Live - 1978), 'For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)' 1981

For the Hearty: 'The Razor's Edge' (1990), 'Live at Donnington' (1990)


Aerosmith is a Boston based blues band that helped define American Hard Rock in the 1970's. Obviously Rolling Stones influenced, Aerosmith would create a second act for themselves out of the ashes of their drug induced early eighties crash and burn. Too bad that in doing so they became over-exposed bloated super stars and proceeded to churn out radio friendly crap.

HeyDay: 1973-1979, 1988-present.

Must Have: 'Aerosmith' (1973), 'Get Your Wings' (1974), 'Toys in the Attic' (1975), 'Rocks' (1976), 'Draw the Line' (1977), 'Live Bootleg' (1978)

Also Recommended: 'Night in the Ruts' (1979)

For the Hearty: 'Done With Mirrors' (1985)


Conceived as the 'anti-Kiss' in the mid seventies, Angel consistently churned out mediocre Rock records to overwhelming indifference. Angel was adept at writing songs that were simultaneously catchy and forgettable. Guitarist Punky Meadows provided a splash of much needed cool, but unfortunately his guitar was largely inaudible beneath the blaring cheese of Gregg Giuffria's army of synthesizers.

HeyDay: 1980

Must Have: N/A

Also Recommended: 'Live Without a Net' (1980)

For the Hearty: Insufficient Data.

Angel Witch

New Wave of British Heavy Metal standouts, Angel Witch sadly never panned out, leaving us with only one glorious album.

HeyDay: 1980

Must Have: 'Angel Witch' (1980)

Also Recommended: N/A

For the Hearty: N/A

April Wine

Canadian Hard Rockers April Wine released a slew of records in the seventies before gaining a wider audience briefly in the late seventies and early eighties highlighted by the success of the song 'Sign of the Gypsy Queen'.

HeyDay: 1981

Must Have: 'The Nature of the Beast' (1981)

Also Recommended: 'Harder.....Faster' (1979)

For the Hearty: Insufficient Data. They have a mess of LPs I'm not familiar with....yet.


Another Canadian act, B.T.O. emerged from the ashes of the Guess Who in the early seventies with huge radio success built upon the hits 'You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet', and 'Takin' Care of Business'.

Heyday: 1973-76

Must Have: 'Bachman-Turner Overdrive II' (1973), 'Not Fragile' (1974)

Also Recommended: N/A

For the Hearty: N/A

Bad Company

Formed in 1974 by former members of Free, Mott the Hoople, and King Crimson, Bad Company hit the charts big time with their self titled debut. Chart domination throughout the seventies, however, could not save the band from self destruction by the end of the decade.

HeyDay: 1973-79

Must Have: 'Bad Co.' (1974), 'Straight Shooter' (1975)

Also Recommended: 'Run With the Pack' (1976), 'Burnin' Sky' (1977)

For the Hearty: 'Desolation Angels' (1979)


Southern Rock road monsters Blackfoot, led by guitar whizz and future Lynyrd Skynyrd member Ricky Medlock, never broke huge, but managed to leave us with some blistering Rock records. Blackfoot also had the unique feature of having a great deal of Native American blood in the band, hence the moniker.

HeyDay: 1978-1981

Must Have: 'Strikes' (1979)

Also Recommended: ' 'Tomcattin' (1980), 'Marauder' (1981)

For the Hearty: 'Vertical Smiles' (1984)

Black Sabbath

It is widely held that Black Sabbath invented Heavy Metal. Hailing from Birmingham, England - Metal Ground Zero, Sabbath laid down the template for all to follow. After firing Ozzy in 1979, Black Sabbath went on to release two stellar albums with Ronnie James Dio in the early eighties before turning into sheer rubbish by mid-decade.

HeyDay: 1970-1975, 1980-1982.

Must Have: 'Black Sabbath' (1970), 'Paranoid' (1970), 'Master of Reality' (1971) 'Vol. 4' (1973), 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' (1974), 'Sabotage' (1975), 'Heaven and Hell' (1980), 'Mob Rules' (1981)

Also Recommended: 'Never Say Die' (1978)

For the Hearty: 'Technical Ecstacy" (1976)

Blue Oyster Cult

Long Island natives Blue Oyster Cult carried the banner of American Hard Rock in the seventies. Their success culminating in 1976 with the single 'Don't Fear the Reaper', B.O.C. was unable to maintain consistency, and after another hit album, 1981's 'Fire of an Unknown Origin', the band fell apart and disbanded after a viewing of Spinal Tap in 1984.

HeyDay: 1972-78, 1981.

Must Have: 'Blue Oyster Cult' (1972), 'Tyranny and Mutation' (1973), 'Secret Treaties' (1974), 'On Your Feet Or On Your Knees' (Live 1975), 'Agents of Fortune' (1976), 'Spectres' (1977), 'Fire of an Unknown Origin' (1981)

Also Recommended: 'Some Enchanted Evening' (Live 1978) 'E.T.I. Live' (Live 1982)

For the Hearty: 'Cultasaurus Erectus' (1980)


Hugely influential on the NWoBHM scene, Budgie was never successful in America, but left a stamp on the British Metal scene.

HeyDay: ???

Must Have: N/A

Also Recommended: 'Never Turn Your Back on a Friend' (1973)

For the Hearty: Insufficient Data.

Cheap Trick

This band of mid-westerners actually began their career touring American military bases in Germany before finding success in America on the back of strong albums and constant touring in support of American Hard Rock giants Aerosmith and Ted Nugent. The sky-rocketing success of their 1979 live release 'At Budokan' was followed by one stellar studio effort, 'Dream Police' before succumbing to commercial pressures which prompted a generic sound to their eighties product.

HeyDay: 1978-1980

Must Have: 'Cheap Trick' (1977), 'In Color' (1977), 'Heaven Tonight' (1978), 'At Budokan' (1979), 'Dream Police (1979)

Also Recommended: N/A

For the Hearty: N/A

Alice Cooper

With his original band, Alice Cooper found his stride when he signed to Warner Bros. in 1970 and began work with producer Bob Ezrin. Massive success was followed by massive excess, which was followed by 'going solo' in 1975. More success and excess followed until Alice suffered an alcohol induced breakdown in 1978. A brief period of creative highs coupled with commercial lows was followed by a wholesale sell-out Hair Metal style in the late eighties.

HeyDay: 1971-1977

Must Have: 'Love it to Death' (1971), 'Killer' (1971), 'School's Out' (1972), 'Billion Dollar Babies' (1973), 'Welcome to My Nightmare' (1975), 'Goes to Hell' (1976) 'From the Inside' (1978) 'Flush the Fashion' (1980)

Also Recommended: 'Special Forces' (1981), 'Zipper Catches Skin' (1982)

For the Hearty: 'Easy Action' (1970), 'Lace and Whiskey' (1977), 'The Alice Cooper Show' (Live 1978), 'DaDa' (1984), 'Brutal Planet' (2000)

Deep Purple

One of the most prolific Hard Rock acts of the seventies, Deep Purple not only gave us a boat load of product, but their revolving door membership populated the Hard Rock landscape well into the eighties.

HeyDay: 1971-74

Must Have: 'Machine Head' (1972)

Also Recommended: 'In Rock' (1970), 'Fireball' (1971), 'Made In Japan' (1972)

For the Hearty: 'Who Do We Think We Are' (1973), 'Burn' (1974), 'Stormbringer' (1974), 'Perfect Strangers' (1984)

Def Leppard

Shining stars of the NWoBHM, Def Leppard released a promising debut followed by one of the greatest Heavy Metal albums of all time, 1981's 'High n Dry', only to completely lose the plot on their third record, the massively successful 'Pyromania'. 'Hysteria' followed amid tragedy, and more tragedy followed amid total commercialization and MTV domination.

HeyDay: Depends upon who you ask. Jackson says 1980-1981.

Must Have: 'High n Dry' (1981)

Also Recommended: 'On Through the Night' (1980)

For the Hearty: 'Pyromania' (1983)


Ronnie James Dio's first professional musical escapade came in the form of a single released in 1959, thus he's always been an elder statesman of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Discovered fronting the aptly named Elf by Ritchie Blackmore in 1974, he was lured by Ritchie to help found Blackmore's post Deep Purple effort, Rainbow. By 1978 Ronnie and Ritchie weren't getting along, and Black Sabbath nabbed him to take Ozzy's spot. Tony Iommi and Ronnie could only manage two studio and one live release before Dio was prompted to leave that band to form his own in 1982.

HeyDay: 1984,85.

Must Have: 'Holy Diver' (1983)

Also Recommended: 'Last In Line' (1984)

For the Hearty: N/A


British band Foghat found success in the mid-seventies by delivering decidedly American sounding blues based Hard Rock. As is unfortunately the case most of the time, success led to mediocrity and obscurity.

HeyDay: 1974-78

Must Have: 'Foghat Live' (1977)

Also Recommended: 'Energized' (1974) 'Fool for the City' (1975)

For the Hearty: 'Stone Blue' (1978)


Never successful in their own right, Girl is most notable for providing Phil Collen to Def Leppard and Phil Lewis to L.A. Guns.

HeyDay: The gig where Collen was spotted by the Leppards.

Must Have: N/A

Also Recommended: 'Sheer Greed' (1980), 'Wasted Youth' (1982)

For the Hearty: N/A


Prior to their career as MTV dominating vixens, Ann and Nancy Wilson, along with guitarist Howard Leese broke on the American Hard Rock scene in the mid-seventies on the back of strong compositions like 'Magic Man' and 'Barracuda'. Heart not only broke the gender barrier in the male dominated world of Hard Rock, but they also founded the fertile Seattle Rock scene.

HeyDay: 1976-1980 (Jackson ignores their mid-eighties MTV years)

Must Have: 'Dreamboat Annie' (1976), 'Little Queen' (1977)

Also Recommended: 'Magazine' (1978)

For the Hearty: 'Dog and Butterfly' (1978), 'Bebe Le Strange' (1980)


More Canadians, Helix never broke huge, but managed to deliver some damn fine Hard Rock in the early to mid-eighties. Polished but not cheesy, at least initially, Helix had everything but luck. Jackson believes the blame can be laid on singer Brian Vollmer's missing incisors.

HeyDay: 1983, 84.

Must Have: N/A

Also Recommended: 'No Rest For the Wicked' (1983)

For the Hearty: Insufficient Data

Humble Pie

Mostly known for launching the career of Peter Frampton, Humble Pie was dominated by singer/guitarist Steve Marriott, and managed to produce a few strong albums before Pete left and Steve fell into fatal substance abuse.

HeyDay: 1970-74

Must Have: 'Performance Rockin' the Filmore' (1971)

Also Recommended: 'Rock On' (1971)

For the Hearty: Insufficient Data

Iron Maiden

Along with Def Leppard, Iron Maiden stand as one of two NWoBHM bands that outlasted the scene. Led by bassist and main songwriter Steve Harris; impossible complex arrangements gave way to a more commercial sound by the late-eighties, but despite that fact and multiple line-up changes Iron Maiden is still going strong thirty years on. All hail the Maiden. Up the hammers!

Must Have: 'Iron Maiden' (1980), 'Killers' (1981), 'Number of the Beast' (1982), 'Piece of Mind' (1983)

Also Recommended: 'Maiden Japan' (Live 1981)

For the Hearty: 'Powerslave' (1984)

Jethro Tull

Despite an arty progressive approach, Jethro Tull, led by singer/flautist Ian Anderson delivered one of the most enduring Hard Rock records in the canon, 1971's 'Aqualung'. After releasing far too many records and flirting with obscurity Tull manged to beat out Metallica for the first ever Metal Grammy in 1989. Anderson still leads Jethro Tull around the world's sports arenas while hes' not managing his salmon farming empire.

HeyDay: 1970-76

Must Have: 'Aqualung' (1971), 'Thick as a Brick' (1972),

Also Recommended: 'Benefit' (1970), 'Too Old to Rock n Roll: Too Young to Die' (1976)

For the Hearty: 'Stand Up' (1969), 'War Child' (1974)

Judas Priest

The blue-print for modern Metal, Judas Priest grabbed the baton from fellow Birmingham natives Black Sabbath in the late eighties as they went on to lead the Metal wave of the early-eighties before succumbing to formulaic cookie-cutter albums in an effort to embarrassingly keep up with the very bands they had inspired in the first place.

HeyDay: 1976-1982

Must Have: 'Sad Wings of Destiny' (1976), 'Sin After Sin' (1977), 'Stained Class' (1978), 'Hell Bent for Leather' (1979), 'Unleashed in the East' (1979), 'British Steel' (1980)

Also Recommended: 'Rock a Rolla' (1974), 'Point of Entry' (1981)

For the Hearty: 'Screaming for Vengeance' (1982), 'Defenders of the Faith' (1984)

The Kinks

In an early eighties interview, Kinks guitaris Dave Davies was asked what he thought about the New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands. He replied that it wasn't called Heavy Metal when he invented it.

HeyDay: 1964-67, 1970, 71, 1977-84.

Must Have: 'Lola versus the Powerman and the Money Underground Part One' (1970), 'Misfits' (1977), 'Low Budget' (1979), 'One for the Road' (Live 1980), 'Give the People What They Want' (1981)

Also Recommended: 'The Kink Kontraversy' (1965), 'Muswell Hillbillies' (1971), 'Sleepwalker' (1977), 'State of Confusion' (1983)

For the Hearty: 'Kinks' (1964), 'Kinda Kinks' (1965), 'Face to Face' (1966), 'Something Else by the Kinks' (1967), 'The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society' (1968) 'Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)' (1969), 'Everybody's in Showbiz' (1972), 'Word of Mouth' (1984)


NYC based Kiss brought the level of specatcle in Rock concerts to new heights in the seventies while simultaneously merchandising themselves into ridicule. Re-inventing themselves as a Hair Metal band in the eighties did little to improve their reputation, and a reunion with Ace, Peter, and make-up in the late nineties confirmed the notion that without the strong songwriting of their early carrer, the specatcle was all that was left to market.

HeyDay: 1973-1978

Must Have: 'Hotter Than Hell' (1974), 'Dressed to Kill' (1975), 'Alive' (Live 1975), 'Destroyer' (1976), 'Ace Frehley' (Solo Album 1978)

Also Recommended: 'Kiss' (1973), 'Rock and Roll Over' (1976), 'Gene Simmons' (Solo Album 1978), 'Alive II' ("Live" 1978)

For the Hearty: 'Love Gun' (1977), 'Paul Stanley' (Solo Album 1978), 'Dynasty' (1979), 'Unmasked' (1980'), 'The Elder' (1981), 'Creatures of the Night' (1982)


A tax write-off for Atlantic Records, Kix never manged to sell a lot of records until their bandwagonning late eighties period, but their first three records are a unique blend of Hard Rock and New Wave/Punk featuring infectious melodies, monster riffs, and tounge in cheek song writing.

HeyDay: 1980-91

Must Have: 'Kix' (1980), 'Cool Kids' (1983), 'Midnite Dynamite' (1985)

Also Recommended: 'Blow My Fuse' (1988)

For the Hearty: 'Hot Wire' (1991), 'Live' (Live 1993)


The only known Swiss Hard Rock band, Krokus made up for their lack of talent with exuberance and persistance. As derivative as their sound was (Bad Company meets AC/DC), Krokus flourished briefly in the eraly eighties when anything with a goodly amount of chunk-a-chunk was viable.

HeyDay: 1979-84

Must Have: 'Hardware' (1981)

Also Recommended: 'Metal Rendez-Vous' (1980)

For the Hearty: 'One Vice at a Time' (1982), 'Headhunter' (1983)

Led Zeppelin

Inventors of the preening androgynous vocalist (Plant) and gun-slinging guitar player (Page) template, Led Zeppelin released ground breaking record after ground breaking record in the seventies until excess stalled the machine and killed the drummer - the greatest Hard Rock drummer of all time, John 'Bonzo' Bonham. Still, the legend endures.

HeyDay: 1969 - present (Led Zep Bro!)

Must Have: 'Led Zeppelin' (1969), 'Led Zeppelin II' (1969), 'Led Zeppelin III' (1970), 'Led Zeppelin IV' (1971), ;Houses of the Holy' (1973)

Also Recommended: 'Physical Graffiti' (1975), 'Presence' (1976)

For the Hearty: 'The Song Remains the Same' (Live 1976), 'In Through the Out Door' (1979), 'Coda' (1982)

Loudness (ラウドネス)

Pronounced 'roudness', Japan's answer to Krokus left little enduring mark on the Hard Rock landscape.

HeyDay: A couple of weeks in 1985.

Must Have: N/A

Also Recommended: 'Thunder in the East' (1985)

For the Hearty: Insufficient Data

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Expanding on the concept of Southern Rock begun by the Allman Brothers, Northern Floridians, Lynyrd Skynyrd brought their brand of Swamp Music all the way up the charts with smash hits like 'Sweet Home Alabama' and 'Freebird' in the seventies before a tragic plane crash took the lives of band members Steve Gaines and Ronnie Van Zant. More death followed, Allen Collins in 1990, Leon Wilkeson in 2001, and the recent loss of Billy Powell (keys, 1953-2009) leaves Gary Rossington as the lone surviving Street Survivor. Rest in peace, Billy.

"Sweet Home Alabama
Play that dead band song" - Warren Zevon 1980 ('Play It All Night Long')

Must Have: 'Pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd' (1973), 'Second Helping' (1974), 'One More From the Road' (Live 1976), 'Street Survivors' (1977)

Also Recommended: 'Nuthin' Fancy' (1975), 'Gimme Back My Bullets' (1976)

For the Hearty: N/A

Frank Marino/Mahagony Rush

Canada's answer to Jimi Hendrix, Frank Marino was a mainstay of the American Hard Rock scene in the seventies before falling into obscurity in the eighties.

HeyDay: 1974-1982

Must Have: 'Live' (Live 1978), 'Tales of the Unexpected' (1979)

Also Recommended: 'Mahogany Rush IV' (1976), 'World Anthem' (1977)

For the Hearty: 'What's Next' (1980), 'The Power of Rock & Roll' (1981)


Founders of the Thrah Metal scene of the mid-eighties, Metallica, led by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich moved to San Francisco in the early eighties at the behest of original bassist Cliff Burton before conquering the world via constant touring. In 1991 the Bob Rock produced self titled album took the world by storm. Success went straight to the twin cerebellums of Hetfield and Ulrich, and the band predicatbly went straight down the crapper. It nothing to do with haircuts.

Must Have: 'Master of Puppets' (1986), 'Metallica' (1991)

Also Recommended: 'Ride the Lightning' (1984)

For the Hearty: 'Kill 'em All' (1983), '.....And Justice for All' (1988)

Molly Hatchett

Skynyrd had it's reprecussions. Apparently there were some more good ole boys in North Florida with Gibsons that wanted in on the action.

Must Have: N/A

Also Recommended: 'Molly Hatchet' (1978), 'Flirtin' With Disaster' 1979)

For the Hearty: Insufficient Data


While not nearly as old as Ronnie James Dio, Sam Hagar has an impressive resume as well. Ronnie Montrose's eponymous Hard Rock outfit managed at least two quality records before Sammy left to embark on a solo act. Ronnie went on to form Gamma, who's output was so underwhelming that they do not appear in this Record Guide.

HeyDay: 1973, 74.

Must Have: 'Montrose' (1973)

Also Recommended: 'Paper Money' (1974)

For the Hearty: Insufficient Data

Gary Moore

A brief stint in Thin Lizzy in 1974, followed by a flirtation with Prog Rock (Coliseum) and another tour of duty with Thin Lizzy (1979's 'Black Rose') had primed this Irish shred master for a solo carreer that began with a blistering string of LPs before a serious study of the Blues dominated his work in the late eighties.

HeyDay: (as a solo Hard Rock/Metal mercahant) 1981-85

Must Have: 'Corridors of Power' (1982), 'Victims of the Future' (1983)

Also Recommended: 'Gary Moore' (1982)

For the Hearty: Insufficient Data

Mötley Crüe

It seemed like a joke, but somehow I knew they weren't joking. That was my take on the cover of the first Motley Crue album when I got it in 1981. Who knew? Crue Motto: If you can't beat 'em, kill their drummer.

HeyDay: 1981-???

Must Have: 'Too Fast For Love' (1981), 'Shout at the Devil' (1983)

Also Recommended: N/A

For the Hearty: 'Theatre of Pain' (1985), 'Girls, Girls, Girls' (1987), 'Dr. Feelgood' (1989)


Thre is no Hard Rock or Metal act more important than Motorhead, and there's no one person who embodies the spirit of this Record Guide more than Lemmy. The band most likely to depreciate property value; all anybody needs to do is slap 'Ace of Spades' on the turntable and drop the needle. It makes it's own sauce.

HeyDay: Eternal

Must Have: 'Motorhead' (1977), 'Golden Years' (Live EP 1979), 'Ace of Spades' (1980), 'No Sleep 'til Hammersmith' (Live 1980), 'Another Perfect Day' (1983)

Also Recommended: 'Overkill' (1979), 'Bomber' (1979), 'Iron Fist' (1982)

For the Hearty: 'On Parole' (1975), '1916' (1991)

Mott The Hoople

Searching for a sonic idendity throghout their first four albums, Mott the Hoople disbanded in 1972 only to be given a second life by David Bowie, who produced their fifth record and wote the hit title track 'All The Young Dudes'. A few albums later Mick Ralphs left to form Bad Company and shortly after Ian Hunter went solo with Mick Ronson in tow, but those few albums left a legacy that's influential to this day. Ask Mick Jones; without Mott you'd have no Clash.

HeyDay: 1972-74

Must Have: 'All the Young Dudes' (1972), 'Mott' (1973), 'The Hoople' (1974)

Also Recommended: 'Mad Shadows' (1970), 'Brain Capers' (1971)

For the Hearty: 'Mott the Hoople' (1969), 'Wildlife' (1971), 'Live' (Live 1974)


Hailing from Scotland, Nazareth's 'Hair of the Dog' is a masterwork, certainly one of the top ten all-time best Hard Rock LPs. The preceeding three Lps had been produced by Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover, but when Nazareth guitarist Manny Charlton took the production in hand for 1975's 'Hair of the Dog', the band was propelled into the stratosphere. No subsequent effort met the mark, but the band manged to release quality material until the mid-eighties.

HeyDay: 1973-1981

Must Have: 'Hair of the Dog' (1975)

Also Recommended: 'Razamanaz' (1973), 'Loud n' Proud' (1974), 'Rampant' (1974), 'Close Enough for Rock n Roll' (1976), 'Expect No Mercy' (1977), 'No Mean City' (1979)

For the Hearty: 'Playin' the Game' (1976), 'Malice in Wonderland' (1980), 'Snaz' (Live 1981)

Ted Nugent

Michigan native and renown outdoorsman Ted Nugent has managed to stay relative in recent years for all the worst reasons, but his mid-seventies output remains a benchmak to this day.

HeyDay: 1974-1978

Must Have: 'Ted Nugent' (1975), 'Free for All' (1976), 'Cat Scratch Fever' (1977), 'Double Live Gonzo' (1978)

Also Recommended 'Call of the Wild' (w/ Amboy Dukes, 1973), 'Tooth, Fang, & Claw' (w/ Amboy Dukes - 1974)

For the Hearty: 'Weekend Warriors' (1978), 'State of Shock' (1979), 'Scream Dream' (1980)

Ozzy Osbourne

Kicked out of Black Sabbath in 1979, Ozzy nearly got lost in the haze of indulgence. 'Discovered' living in squalor in Los Angeles by Sharon Arden, daughter of Sabbath Manager Don Arden, Ozzy became her project, her ticket, and her romantic and domestic partner. On the back of guitar whizz kid Randy Rhodes, Sharon and Ozzy built a metal machine that is still operating twenty-five years after the untimely death of Randy.

HeyDay: 1980 - present

Must Have: 'Blizzard of Ozz' (1980), 'Diary of a Madman' (1981)

Also Recommended: 'No More Tears' (1991), 'Tribute' (1987)

For the Hearty: 'Speak of the Devil' (Live 1982), 'Bark at the Moon' (1982), 'Ultimate Sin' (1986)


One doesn't consider intellectuals to be Hard Rock Star material, but that didn't stop this British quartet from conquering the world in the mid-seventies. Running the gammut of musical styles, but always keeping Hard Rock as it's base, Queen used the studio as a musical instrument, and with the help of producer Roy Thomas Baker, delivered Smart Rock that fell short of pretention, mostly due to Freddie Mercury's ability to pull off just about anything.

HeyDay: 1974-1988

Must Have: 'Sheer Heart Attack' (1974), 'A Night at the Opera' (1975), 'News of the World' (1977)

Also Recommended: 'Queen' (1973), 'Queen II' (1974), 'A Day at the Races' (1976), 'Jazz' (1978)

For the Hearty: The Game (1980), 'The Works' (1984), 'A Kind of Magic' (1986)

Quiet Riot

Ozzy Osbourne nicked guitarist Randy Rhodes and bassist Rudy Sarzo from this L.A. based Hard Rock outfit. Undaunted by what must have seemed a crippling loss, wig meister and big mouth vocalist Kevin Dubrow managed to get Rudy back, and with a new line-up went on to release the first ever Metal record to reach number one on the Billboard charts. The fact that they sucked ass did little to stop teemimg millions form buying their 1983 release, 'Metal Health'. The cat was out of the bag by the next album, and Quiet Riot was seen to be a shitty as they were.

HeyDay: 1983, 84.

Must Have: N/A

Also Recommended: 'Quiet Riot' (1977), 'Quiet Riot II' (1978)

For the Hearty: 'Metal Health' (1983)


Unable to effectively dictate his rule over Deep Purple, Strat Master Ritchie Blackmore took his leave of that band to form one in his own image. Wisely recruiting the greatest Heavy Metal vocalist of all time, Ronnie James Dio, Blackmore founded Rainbow in 1975. By 1984 he was back in a re-formed Deep Purple.

HeyDay: 1975-1979

Must Have: 'Rainbow Rising' (1976), 'Long Live Rock and Roll' (1978)

Also Recommended: 'Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow' (1975), 'On Stage' (Live 1977), 'Down to Earth' (1979)

For the Hearty: 'Difficult to Cure' (1981)


Seminal Los Angeles Hair Metal act Ratt began their career as a Judas Priest cover band. Their full length debut, 1984's 'Out of the Cellar', produced by noted Judas Priest helmsman, Tom Allom, set the charts on fire with the catchy but still rockin' single 'Round and Round', but by 1986 we all wished that they had stuck to covering Priest.

Must Have: 'Out of the Cellar' (1984)

Also Recommended: 'Ratt EP' (1983)

For the Hearty: 'Invasion of Your Privacy' (1985)


Like Rush on meth, Raven were sonically different from thier NWoBHM counterparts, but much like most NWoBHM bands they were pretty much over by 1984. Regardless of their big flash in a small pan aspect, Raven left us with some truly breathtakingly exhuberant records before falling into shit.

HeyDay: 1981-83

Must Have: 'Rock Until You Drop' (1981), 'Wiped Out' (1982)

Also Recommended: 'Crash Bang Wallop' (EP 1982)

For the Hearty: 'Live at the Inferno' (1984)


This Brooklyn based Hard Rock oufit inexplicably chose some sort of Asian marsupial for their mascot, which is probably why thier initial success was limited to Brooklyn and Japan. In the early eighties vocalist Rhett Forrester replaced Guy Speranza, a move which vastly improved the band's sound. The subsequent release, 'Restless Breed' stands head and shoulders above the rest of the band's output. Sadly, Rhett was murdered in Atlanta during a robbery in 1994.

Must Have: 'Restless Breed' (1982)

Also Recommended: 'Rock City' (1977)

For the Hearty: 'Narita' (1979), 'Fire Down Under' (1981), 'Born in America' (1984)

Rose Tattoo

Australian blues based Hard Rock band Rose Tattoo could be considered AC/DC's little brother band, being managed and produced by the same Vanda/Young team. Featuring the slide guitar of Pete Wells, and the throat of Angry Anderson, Rose Tattoo recorded three very influential but commercially unsuccessful records before dissolving into obscurity.

HeyDay: 1978-84

Must Have: 'Rock and Roll Outlaw' (1978/1980), 'Scarred for Life' (1982)

Also Recommended: 'Assault & Battery' (1981)

For the Hearty: Insufficient Data


Rush's legacy is easily as large as the vast tundra of their native country, Canada. Rush successfully merged the intricacies of Prog Rock with the monster riffs of Hard Rock into a brand whose multitude of faithfull consistently line up to see them live and buy their records. Indeed, Rush enjoys the support of the most dedicated fans in all of Rock.

HeyDay: 1974-1986 (Rush fans will argue my cutt off date)

Must Have: '2112' (1976), 'Permanent Waves' (1980), 'Moving Pictures' (1981)

Also Recommended: 'Fly By Night' (1975), 'All the World's a Stage' (Live 1976), 'A Farewell to Kings' (1977), 'Hemispheres' (1978), 'Exit....Stage Left' (Live 1981), 'Signals' (1982), 'Power Windows' (1985)

For the Hearty: 'Rush' (1974), 'Caress ofSteel' (1975), 'Grace Under Pressure' (1984)

For the Rush Geek: Everything else.


Saxon emerged as a fore-runner of the NWoBHM in the early eighties, but their zeal to succeed coupled with a willingness to compromise found them keeping up with the Ratts in the mid-eighties, sealing their doom in sheer suckdom.

HeyDay: 1980-83

Must Have: 'Wheels of Steel' (1980), 'Strong Arm of the Law' (1980)

Also Recommended: 'Denim and Leather' (1981), 'Power and the Glory' (1983)

For the Hearty: 'Saxon' (1979)

MSG (Michael Schenker Group)

Michael Schenker, mad genius of the six string, began his career in his brother Rudy's band, the Scorpions, before Joining UFO in 1974. His tenure with UFO has left a legandary and lasting mark on the Hard Rock landscape. In 1980 Schenker struck out on his own, initially releasing strong records before losing the plot in the mid-eighties.

HeyDay: 1980-84

Must Have: 'Micheal Schenker Group' (1980), 'MSG' (1981)

Also Recommended: 'One Night at Budokan' (1982), 'Assault Attack' (1982)

For the Hearty: 'Built to Destroy' (1983)


Germany's favorite sons of Metal have been around forever, and will probably expire on stage many years from now. Their carrer has spanned style changes, line-up changes, and technological changes, but one thing has remained unchanged. They fucking rock the fuck out.

HeyDay: 1975-84

Must Have: 'In Trance' (1975), 'Tokyo Tapes' (Live 1978), 'Lovedrive' (1979), 'Animal Magnetism' (1980)

Also Recommended: 'Fly to the Raibow' (1974), 'Virgin Killer' (1976), 'Taken By Force' (1977), 'Blackout' (1982)

For the Hearty: 'Lonesome Crow' (1972), 'Love at First Sting' (1984)


Huge in England during the early to mid-seventies, Slade is mostly known in America for having penned all of Quiet Riots hit songs.

HeyDay: 1971-76

Must Have: N/A

Also Recommended: 'Slayed' (1972)

For the Hearty: Insufficient Data


Part of the Leber/Krebs satble of seventies Arena Rockers, Starz had trouble getting noticed behind stable mates Aerosmith and Ted Nugent, but managed to produce some fine albums before packing it in at some point during the early eighties.

HeyDay: 1976-79

Must Have: 'Violation' (1977), 'Coliseum Rock' (1978)

Also Recommended: 'Starz' (1976)

For the Hearty: 'Attention Shoppers!' (1977)

Status Quo

Along with Uriah Heep and Black Sabbath, Status Quo were the basis for Spinal Tap. After an early hit in the groovy sixties with 'Pictures of Matchstick Men', Status Quo trudged on through the seventies as Anthem Rock merchants, surviving not only to open the Wembly Live Aid show, but to somehow marshall themselves past signifigant drug issues and virtual obscurity. Status Quo are still a viable act in England to this day.

HeyDay: 1967, 1972-78

Must Have: 'Rockin' All Over the World' (1977)

Also Recommended: N/A

For the Hearty: Insufficient Data


Glam Rock progenitors The Sweet coupled serious musical ability with gleeming imagry to great success in the early to mid-seventies before addiction to alcohol and SSL consoles took the wind out of their sails.

HeyDay: 1971-78

Must Have: 'Desolation Boulevard' (1974), 'Give Us a Wink' (1976)

Also Recommended: 'Sweet Fanny Adams' (1974)

For the Hearty: 'Off the Record' (1977), 'Level Headed' (1978)

T. Rex

Marc Bolan transformed his fairy-tale folk vibe into a Hard Rock behemoth, riding the Galm Rock boom of the early seventies to the stratosphere and straight into obscurity, followed by a brief come-back, and a tragic death all in a matter of eight years. Teaming with producer Tony Visconti, Bolan created three classic Hard Rock albums, and several chart busting singles.

HeyDay: 1970-73

Must Have: 'Electric Warroir' (1971), 'The Slider' (1972)

Also Recommended: 'Tanx' (1973)

For the Hearty: 'T. Rex' (1970), 'Zinc Alloy' (1974)


This Canadian Hard Rock trio gained notoriety based on their stellar live show, but their recorded output was nothing to sneer at, until the mid-eighties, then the sneering began in earnest.

HeyDay: 1976-83

Must Have: 'Just a Game' (1979), 'Allied Forces' (1981)

Also Recommended: 'Progressions of Power' (1980)

For the Hearty: 'Rock and Roll Machine' (1977), 'Never Surrender' (1983)

Thin Lizzy

Irish natives Thin Lizzy, led by bassist/singer/writer Phil Lynott were the most successful of a handfull of bands that kept Hard Rock alive in Britain during the seventies. Lynott's poetic charm and tough guy attitude provided the perfect frame to hang their Gaelic influenced Rock upon. Bad luck and drug addiction kept Thin Lizzy from true world domination, but they left a legacy of influence that crosses genres and has sustained to this day.

HeyDay: 1972-84

Must Have: 'Vagabonds of the Western World' (1973), 'Jailbreak' (1976), 'Bad Reputation' (1977), 'Live and Dangerous' (Live 1978)

Also Recommended: 'Nightlife' (1974), 'Fighting' (1975), 'Johnny the Fox' (1976), 'Black Rose' (1979), 'Thunder and Lightning' (1983)

For the Hearty: 'Chinatown' (1980), 'Renegade' (1981)

Twisted Sister

Severly talent deprived, Twisted Sister survived the seventies as a bar band until the world was ready for them. In the early eighties, as Metal was sweeping the music world, Twisted Sister was in the right place at the right time, for a couple of years anyway.

HeyDay: 1984

Must Have: N/A

Also Recommended: 'Under the Blade' (1982), 'Stay Hungry' (1984)

For the Hearty: 'You Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll' (1983)

Tygers Of Pantang

Most notable for spawning the career of future Thin Lizzy/Whitesnake guitarist John Sykes, Tygers of Pan Tang rode the NWoBHM wave long enough for Phil Lynott to steal Sykes, but not before releasing some above average Metal records.

HeyDay: 1980-83

Must Have: N/A

Also Recommended: 'Spellbound' (1981), 'Crazy Nights' (1982)

For the Hearty: 'Wild Cat' (1980), 'The Cage' (1983)


London based pshycadelic blues band UFO transformed themselves into one of the most influential acts of the seventies with the addition of guitar wunderkind Michael Schenker in 1974. After a string of amazing records, Schenker left in 1979. UFO continued into the eighties with guiarist Paul Chapman. While their initial post-Schenker LPs were decent, 1980's 'No Place To Run' actually being stellar, the band fell into bad habits, crappy records, and history.

HeyDay: 1974-1981

Must Have: 'Force It' (1975), 'No Heavy Petting' (1976), 'Lights Out' (1977), 'Obsession' (1978), 'Strangers in the Night' (1979), 'No Place to Run' (1980)

Also Recommended: 'Phenomenon' (1974)

For the Hearty: 'The Wild the Willing and the Innocent' (1981)

Uriah Heep

The unlikely blend of Steppenwolf and Pink Floyd actually payed off in the early to mid-seventies for Uriah Heep despite consistant critical lambasting. A revolving door line-up coupled with your basic loss of plot found the band floundering in the late seventies. In the early eighties, sole remaining founding member, guitarist Mick Box, led a revamped Heep to record two above average records that sound nothing like early Uraih Heep, with the exception that they rock.

HeyDay: 1970-75, 1982-84

Must Have: 'Demons and Wizards' (1972), 'The Best of Uriah Heep' (1976)

Also Recommended: 'Salisbury' (1971), 'Look at Yourself' (1971), 'Magician's Birthday' (1972), 'Uriah Heep Live' (Live 1973), 'Sweet Freedom' (1973), 'Abominog' (1982), 'Head First' (1983)

For the Hearty: 'Very 'eavy, Very 'umble' (1970), 'Wonderworld' (1974), 'Return to Fantasy' (1975)

Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen set the guitar world on it's ear in 1978 with the release of the first VH album. Eddie's magic fingers teamed with 'Diamond' David Lee Roth's considerable charisma and Michael Anthony's angelic harmonies; Van Halen was unstoppable. For a while at least. Complacency had caught up with them by 1982's 'Diver Down', and Roth left after the commercial monster '1984'. Roth was replaced with Sammy Hagar, and more success followed, but Van Hagar was not Van Halen anymore. The edge was gone.

HeyDay: 1978-81

Must Have: 'Van Halen' (1978), 'Van Halen II' (1979), 'Women and Children First' (1980), 'Fair Warning' (1981)

Also Recommended: N/A

For the Hearty: 'Diver Down' (1982), '1984' (1984)


When Deep Purple fell apart in 1976, vocalist David Coverdale, along with keyboardist John Lord and Drummer Ian Paice, formed Whitesnake with guitarists Micky Moody and Bernie Marsden. Albums followed, band members came and went, and finally, in 1984, Deep Purple reformed with Coverdale's predecessor, Ian Gillan, leaving Coverdale the sole former Purple Whitesnake memeber. Recruiting began, more records followed, then a video with a chick and car, and the rest is history, except that Coverdale is back in 2009 with yet another Whitesnake line-up. To thier credit, it sounds like Whitesnake.

HeyDay: 1978-88

Must Have: N/A

Also Recommended: 'Ready an' Willing' (1980), 'Live....In the Heart of the City' (1980), 'Slide it In' (1984)

For the Hearty: Insufficient Data

Wishbone Ash

Whishbone Ash is most notable for influencing Thin Lizzy an Judas Priest with their twin lead guitar style.

HeyDay: The Seventies.

Must Have: N/A

Also Recommended: 'Argus' (1972)

For the Hearty: Insufficient Data

ZZ Top

This Texas Trio is unfortunately mostly known for their beards, a car, and a few videos. They should be more widely known for blistering Heavy Blues, and some of the most amazing guitar playing, courtesy of Billy Gibbons, and stinky grooves ever witnessed.

HeyDay: 1974-85

Must Have: 'Tres Hombres' (1973), 'Fandango' (1974)

Also Recommended: 'Degüello' (1979), 'Eliminator' (1983)

For the Hearty: 'Rio Grande Mud' (1972), 'Tejas' (1977), 'El Loco' (1981)

Who was the fifth member of Queen? Mercury, Deacon, Taylor and May...and?
Ah, thanks. I knew I'd have some of those. You can always count on Mosanthrope to find 'em.
Mosanthrope, that's like 'most misanthropic'.
Queen has been correctly re-classified as a quartet.
Slade's Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply is one of my all-time favorites. You still have time to change it.

We'll have to agree to disagree on JP.

Well done sir!
Remember when you figured out the sly anatomical reference on the Uriah Heep album cover?
Thank you, Jackson. An excellent list.You can still hear alot of that stuff on XM radio.I think I was the only kid in the states to actually wear an Angel shirt.(shirt number two in my three shirt rotation,'77-,78).Thanks for listing Kix. How could anybody not like Kix? Once more, an excellent list. Do you think there might be room for Armored Saint,EZO,The Godz,Cinderella, Metal Church,Wasp,Y&T,Queensryche(Operation Mindcrime is the best hard rock/heavy metal album ever)or SAVATAGE?
Great list, Jackson! I'd add about anything from Budgie is excellent but Squawk, Bandolier and the self titled original are my favorites. Any of the first four Wishbone Ash discs are mandatory. Finally Uriah Heep's three releases since 1995 are all must haves,but particularly 1995's Sea of Light and last year's Wake the Sleeper.

Keep up the good work...
Heepster Mac
Fatsacca, in a word, no. Refresh me.

Brian, the list cuts dead @ 1984. I had to pick a cutt off, and I decided that to be included, a band must have had an album out by 1984. I may expand the list soon, and I might include the bands you suggest, certainly Queensryche, which might actually be eligable. I think their eponymous debut EP came out in 1983. WASP would fit that bill, since 'Animal (Fuck Like a Beast) came out in '84, and so did their fisrt record. In fact I had already made up my mind to do so.

Y&T - holy fuck, how did I miss them? I'll get on that straight away.

As for the other bands, I'll have to get those records and decide. Be it known that I am a great snob and don't care for Hair Metal and Thrash as a rule. I will keep an open mind.

I do plan to keep updating this, and fluff it out for possible old media publication.


I must admit that I need to delve in deeper with respect to Whishbone Ash and Budgie, and as I di, I will update my list. As for the new Heep stuff, I'll go check it out as well.

Thanks for the needed input, and thanks for the respect.
Jackson - Great list - My LP collection is representin' here!

You should also probably take a look at the the Ye Olde Metal series from Martin Popoff - covers hot shit metal that we loved(and some of it repped above) from early 70s to 1977.

what if your browser had crashed near the end of that post? could have resulted in a serious case of computer rage.

that reminds me of my top 50 project which i took a year to do.

well done.
I write in word then copy it into Blogger when I do a long post. This post took two days. I'm currently involved in reviewing my entire wall o' vinyl. That's gonna take some time.
Jackson, sounds like we BOTH have a lot of time on our hands. We should go to the studio and play some music instead of re-organizing our collections of Peter Gabriel Foxhead-in-Dress memorabilia.
Yup, that's how I remember it!

How could you leave off Electric Sun?!?

Enola Gay? Lilac, pretty Lilac?

I forgot how many albums I never had to buy because you lived next door to me!

All those mix tapes! With the hidden themes!
Sorry about the Electric Sun. They'll be included in my update. In going through my records, I found that I have THREE Electric Sun records. I still have to listen to one of them, his third.
After I went through your list I followed your link to MSG performing Rock Bottom, which led to Uli J. Roth with the Scorps doing We'll burn the Sky, which finally led to Uli's official website.

His girlfriend was Jimi Hendrix's fiancee. She also wrote the lyrics to We'll burn the Sky. And her art was the cover for one of the Electric Sun records (the third?)

Any way that's three hours of my life I will never get back! Love those internet tangent chases.

On a completely different note: Uriah Heep "Best of" has one of the best bar/chart/graphs following their Spinal Tap-like line-up changes.
Monika Dannemann is her name. I remember seeing the surname credited as a songwriter for 'We'll Burn the Sky' back in the day. I also remember that song having a big effect on Donnie just after your Mom passed. No big stretch of reasoning there.

Monika did the cover art for the first Electric Sun album, 'Earthquake', which I mentioned in my blog about our vinyl purchases in Munic six weeks ago.

I'm about to listen to the third Uli record, 'Beyond the Astral Skies' for the first time. Even though I've had it for quite some time, I never got around to giving it a spin. So far the second record, 'Fire Wind', the one you're familiar with, is the better offering, and I'm fairly confident it will retain it's hold on first place.

There's a ton of Uli on YouTube, old stuff w/ the Scorps, solo, new stuff w/ the Scorps, and even some appearances with UFO.

God bless YouTube.
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