Heavy Metal is one of the most popular genres of music in the world. This was especially big in the 1980s when it was common to see kids with long hair and black t-shirts listening to heavy metal. This was also the era when a lot of heavy metals lived like true rockstars with extravagant lifestyles. These acts would tour all over the world playing to packed stadiums.
The heavy metal lifestyle was known to be that of decadence with a lot of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. If you wanted to know how to become a high roller, these were the guys to watch and learn from. But for all their excesses, the 1980s did throw out some really brilliant heavy albums that have actually stood the test of time. In fact, even today after so many decades, these albums are finding new listeners thanks to streaming services like Spotify. Here is a list of some of the greatest heavy metal albums of the 1980s.
The Number of the Beast - Iron Maiden
The Number of the Beast was the third album of British heavy metal legends Iron Maiden but their first one that featured the one and only Bruce Dickinson. The singles Run to the Hill and The Number of the Beast were straight up commercial hits. The album cover featured the band's mascot Eddie - a ghoul - who's manipulating the devil like a puppet. The devil, in turn, is manipulating a mini Eddie. The cover as well the album title became a huge controversy in America especially between the conservative Christians who thought this was devil's music. Nevertheless, the album went on to become one of the greatest releases in heavy metal history.
Master of Puppets - Metallica
Metallica was the biggest heavy metal act of the 1980s and they had begun filling up stadiums from America to Japan. Their third album Master of Puppets was one of the greatest albums to come out in that era. The album was recorded in Denmark and was also the last one to feature their bassist Cliff Burton. Burton died in an accident while the band was promoting the album. Master of Puppets is considered by many to be one of the most influential albums to have ever been released as described in the article here.
British Steel - Judas Priest
British Steel was the sixth album by British heavy metal giants Judas Priest. It features the smash hit Breaking the Law which went on to become an anthem. The album was recorded in the home of Ringo Starr from The Beatles and was the first to feature their drummer Dave Holland. Released in April 1980, it is considered to be the album that pretty much kickstarted the metal reign of the 1980s.
Some of the other notable heavy metal albums from this era include Back in Black by AC/DC, Ace of Spades by Motorhead and Peace Sells But Who's Buying by Megadeth. Clearly, the 1980s were definitely the golden era for metalheads.