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1978-Van Halen – Van Halen
December 21, 2009, 2:56 am
Filed under: Hard Rock, Heavy metal, Music, Pop/Rock | Tags: , ,

“Sheer visceral force is one thing, but originality is another, and the still-amazing thing about Van Halen is how it sounds like it has no fathers. Plenty other bands followed this template in the ’80s, but like all great originals Van Halen doesn’t seem to belong to the past and it still sounds like little else, despite generations of copycats. Listen to how “Runnin’ with the Devil” opens the record with its mammoth, confident riff and realize that there was no other band that sounded this way” (Source: Allmusic.com)

AMG rating: 5 Stars

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1980-Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden
December 20, 2009, 7:59 pm
Filed under: Heavy metal, Music | Tags: , , , ,

“There may be no better place to hear how both punk and prog rock informed the New Wave of British Heavy Metal than Iron Maiden’s self-titled debut. Often overlooked and overshadowed by the glorious Bruce Dickinson years, it’s easy to forget that Iron Maiden was itself a game-changer when it appeared on the scene in 1980. That year also saw important albums from Motörhead, Saxon, and Angel Witch, but Iron Maiden vaulted its creators to the head of the NWOBHM pack, reaching the U.K. Top Five and establishing them as an outfit with the talent to build on Judas Priest’s late-’70s innovations.” (Source: Allmusic.com)

AMG rating: 4.5 Stars

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1983-Def Leppard – Pyromania
December 20, 2009, 5:57 pm
Filed under: Hard Rock, Heavy metal, Pop/Rock | Tags: , , ,

“More than ever before, the band’s songs on Pyromania are driven by catchy, shiny melodic hooks instead of heavy guitar riffs. Robert John “Mutt” Lange’s buffed-to-a-sheen production — polished drum and guitar sounds, multi-tracked layers of vocal harmonies, a general sanding of any and all musical rough edges, and a perfectionistic attention to detail — set the style for much of the melodic hard rock that followed. Leppard’s quest for huge, transcendent hard rock perfection on Pyromania was surprisingly successful; their reach never exceeded their grasp, which makes the album an enduring (and massively influential) classic.” (Source: Allmusic.com)

AMG rating: 5 Stars

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