JAG’s Albums of the Year (30 Years Ago)

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1985 wasn’t THAT bad.

1985 was a good year for heavy metal. Not great, but decent nevertheless. It seemed like most of the big-name heavyweights were between releases, and there was some disappointing crap too which made my list harder to compile than last year’s. (Armored Saint’s sophmore release Delirious Nomad sounded like an inconsistent pile of poop compared to their preceding debut and its outstanding 1987 follow-up Raising Fear.) 

Furthermore, many of my favorite albums in 1985 were not the strongest efforts by bands I liked and are included anyway because they’re still good. Also: some obvious choices are left out due to the fact that I wasn’t listening to them at that point. I didn’t actually listen to Slayer until Reign In Blood but I appreciate Hell Awaits today about as much as any other metal dork.

So anyway: here I am again with my seasonal tidings of heavy metal past… shit that kept me out of trouble and aided in my escape from a boring life in the upper-midwest.


Yngwie MalmsteenMarching Out

yngwie 3x5

After a strong solo debut with the previous year’s Yngwie J. Malmsteen’s Rising Force, the guitar virtuoso from Stockholm returned with his finest work to date. Marching Out is a monstrous tour de force of heavy metal badassery and features some of the best songwriting of its time. This album’s front-to-back greatness is equally due to Jeff Scott Soto’s absolutely perfect vocal performance. Every damned song is a masterpiece. Every. Damned. Song. The production sounds a bit dark, but it’s actually somewhat fitting and, after thirty years of constant rotation, I wouldn’t want to hear it any other way.

If you haven’t heard this album yet then stop everything you’re doing and listen right now. This is the greatest heavy metal album of 1985. Fact.


Saint VitusHallow’s Victim

stvitus 3x5

My older brother bought this on cassette, and I think, between the two of us, it eventually just wore out. Though not difficult for Hair Metal JAG to digest, these guys seemed a lot different from what I was used to at the time. Sure there was a Black Sabbath influence, but Saint Vitus really had their own spin on it. They also stuck out like a sore thumb on SST’s roster though (alongside mostly garbage by punk bands who didn’t want to play punk or HC anymore but still barely knew how to sing or play (like the nonstop shit-talking Henry Rollins.)

This is still my favorite Saint Vitus album to this very day, and it was the last to feature OG Scotty Reagers on vox for another ten years. No disrespect to Wino but I fucking love Scotty.


W.A.S.P.The Last Command

wasp 3x5

Not sure if any of you regular readers knew this before, but I kinda/sorta like W.A.S.P. a little bit. When I picked up their eponymous debut in ’84 it was the dirtiest and nastiest thing I’d ever heard… and I liked it. The Last Command was a worthy follow-up to that debut with mostly great songs and little filler. I played the ever-living shit out of that tape in 1985, and bus-rides to school would have been intolerable without it in my Walkman at least once a week. If my memory serves me well I believe it was the first cassette I purchased with a prominent warning sticker regarding explicit lyrics. As a yout’ in 1985 I was a pretty big fan of explicit lyrics. All W.A.S.P. is good W.A.S.P.… up to The Crimson Idol anyway.


DioSacred Heart

dio 3x5

Sacred Heart continues Dio’s legacy of classic albums from a classic era. Some people cried about the use of synthesizers in heavy metal, but I don’t recall hearing one complaint about Dio’s use of synths… probably because it went as well with songs like “Rock and Roll Children” and “Hungry for Heaven” on here as it did with “Rainbow in the Dark” on Holy Diver. There’s little filler here, but beginning (rather than concluding) an album with a live track seems an odd choice to me even to this day. Long live the magic of Ronnie James Dio.


Tyrant Legions of the Dead

tyrant 3x5

I know what some of you are thinking right now: “durr, how come this old-ass poser wasn’t listening to any Real Mertuhl in ’85?! By Satan, if I were there then there’s this huge list of brütuhl bands I’d surely have heard on YouTube and Bandcamp!”  Answer: thrash metal was very much in its infancy, and I didn’t really embrace it fully until Master of Puppets, but this is what “extreme” looked like to JAG in 1985.

tyrant 2 3x5

“That’s it guys; get those hands on your belts and try to look like cock-rockers!”

Tyrant’s Legions of the Dead made Venom look like proficient songwriters and musicians. I remember this album sounding really scary when my brother brought home a dubbed cassette… but I think that’s because I was still making my way through puberty. There’s some moments here for sure, but I’m only including this album for the nostalgia. You think “hair metal” is hilarious? Check out the album photos of what looks like a “hair metal” band standing around in a graveyard trying to look all evil. The lyrics are laugh-out-loud entertaining. You know a band really sucks when they’re buried in obscurity even in 2015 (a/k/a The Internet Age of Discovering and Namedropping Bands Nobody Ever Really Liked.)


DokkenUnder Lock & Key

dokken 3x5

The beautiful thing about Dokken is that their sound was plenty heavy enough to get them tours with the likes of Judas Priest but also polished and refined enough to chart on Billboard. Upon release of their  sophomore album Tooth and Nail in 1984 Don Dokken, George Lynch, Jeff Pilson, and Mick Brown had established themselves as formidable songwriters. Lynch’s guitar virtuosity, combined with Dokken’s distinct vocal style and a tight rhythm section, make this band one of the best of the eighties American metal scene.

While not quite as heavy as its predecessor, Under Lock & Key is a killer album with hooks to spare. Not one bad song on here at all… a tradition they’d continue in ’87 with Back for the Attack. Essential listening.


Iron MaidenLive After Death

maiden 3x5

This is one of the greatest live albums in the history of heavy metal, and nobody needs me to tell them that. Powerslave was my intro to Maiden in 1984, so when Live After Death came out a year later, I was already happily familiar with much of the setlist. Show of hands: who doesn’t have Live After Death? GTFO.


Mötley CrüeTheatre of Pain

crue 3x5

After the senseless manslaughter of Hanoi Rocks’ drummer, Razzle, the Crüe decided to go full-glam on this outing. Not sure why I so hated Twisted Sister’s over-the-top look but somehow found this era of Crüe acceptable. Guess it was just the times.

Theatre of Pain lacks much of the raw power of 1983’s Shout at the Devil. Instead we find a cover of Brownsville Station’s “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” and a touching power ballad we all can still sing along to in our rocking chairs. Don’t front like “Home Sweet Home” isn’t one of the greatest power ballads ever. You know you cry when you hear it.

This may be the weakest of Crüe’s classic albums, but there’s plenty here to still like. And I do. “Louder Than Hell” was obviously a holdover from the previous album by the way.


Grim ReaperFear No Evil

grimreaper 3x5

NWOBHM: Still Alive in Eighty-Five!

Closing track, “Final Scream,” sucks some major ass, but otherwise this is a decent album.


Aldo NovaTwitch

aldonova 3x5

Ok, this album is barely hard rock, but Aldo Nova sure knew how to play guitar solos and write songs. I seriously believe he is one of the most overlooked and underrated guitarists of all time.

On his third album we find Nova actually collaborating in the songwriting-department with other (pop) artists and straying somewhat from his early-eighties formula. There’s a lot of synths on this record, and a first-time listener would have no problem dating this to 1985. Plenty of good stuff even still.

That’s it for “this” year. I really wanted to include Anthrax’s Spreading the Disease and Night Ranger’s Seven Wishes but I don’t think I was really listening to them upon their release. Don’t forget: heavy metal, and good music in general, is not confined to any decade or generation. Great music is timeless, but I’m out of time so please leave my lawn in an orderly fashion.

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    Killer picks JAG.

  • Maik Beninton™
  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    If this ain’t real metal, I don’t know what is. This fucking rules.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKVidXqpxjc

    • Maik Beninton™

      It is.

    • ┼yree

      Goddamn. That cover is glorious.

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        You can tell they mean fucking business.

        • more beer

          That’s right those outfits, a black Cadillac and a cemetery. They aren’t fucking around..

        • ┼yree

          They’re about to drive over to the closest gas station and devour some microwave burritos and slushies. Then, it’s off to the local bowling alley to hit on some sluts.

          • Fuck, I’ve wasted my life. I just realized that’s all I really want.

          • ┼yree

            It’s not too late. Any one can do it.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2O7Cz1azfk

          • Right up until you get the alley, walk in, promptly feel like a pedophile, and then realize you are actually doing OK.

          • Paris Hilton

            It’s the cheap, simple things in life that makes a man happy. Shitty gas station food, a Colt 45, a pack of Swisher Sweets and a night of cruisin for pussy is the greatest way to find happiness for under $20.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            Paris plz! I like gas station food!

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            God damn, does a slut sound good right now.

      • I think you mean electric.

  • ┼yree

    Fuck yeah, Aldo Nova rules! No fucks.

    I know this is a cliche pick but this song rules.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miSMxBP42W0

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Killer song.

      • COAL ROLL

        neener neener neener you have something in common with the Janitor!!!

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Bound to happen. Good thing I’ll be dead soon.

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    No Long Live the Loud, JAG?????

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS6HeeZrRYc

    • more beer

      Good choice from back then.

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        I know JAG digs Exciter, and this was from 1985, so I thought for sure he would have mentioned this.

        • ┼yree

          Also playing at 2015 Maryland Deathfest.

        • more beer

          I’ve liked the since Violence and Force.

    • Almost ruins the entire album.

      This would have been acceptably ironic on a Butthole Surfers album but I think Grim Reaper thought this was actually a cool idea.

  • As the reigning, self proclaimed, master of all things George Lynch, I fully endorse JAG’s message.

    Check the solo section at 1:50. Flush the false.

    GL

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dp0SXTS7SBM

  • Boss the Ross

    Awesome concept for an article. I will be digging into this later and possibly adding my own to the list, thanks JAG.

  • Really looking foward to JAG’s top albums of 2015 to be released in 2045.

    • Max

      That’s seriously how long it takes if you start wading through it all right now.

  • THIS FUCKING SONG. CHECK YOUR RIFF BADGE AT THE DOOR.

    !!!!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGCpRHyyafU

  • COAL ROLL

    HOT DAMN JAG YOU GOT SOME SEXY VINYLS

  • ┼yree

    Jag, where do you get your plastic sleeves for the inserts and actual vinyl? I need to start preserving my collection a little better.

    • sweetooth0

      I think I got mine from one of these two places:
      https://www.bagsunlimited.com/c-90-lp-poly-sleeves.aspx
      http://www.clearbags.com/bags/album
      I got a big pack of white paper ones with the plastic inserts. That way, once I finally get around to disco anti-stat cleaning, and then Last treating my records, they’ll be in a plastic sleeve that won’t leave paper fuzzies on the records.

      • sweetooth0

        I also got some replacements for picture vinyls (cuz those ones are always fucked when you buy em for some reason) and I think maybe even some 7″ ones too.

      • ┼yree

        Killer! Thanks.

      • ┼yree

        Just ordered some plastic inner sleeves from Bagsunlimited. Thanks again.

        • sweetooth0

          de nada

    • COAL ROLL
    • I get them from a local record store in Madison. You can order them off Amazon. They’re “MoFi” sleeves. Disckeeper 2s are even better IMO. I use those on my really rare mint Japanese pressings.

      • ┼yree

        Thanks for replying. I just orders some from Sweetooth0 recommendation. I saw that Amazon did have the plastic inner sleeves though. Some of the reviews said that some of the batches are too small sometimes so I stirred clear for now.

  • http://www.toiletovhell.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/tyrant-2-3×5.jpg
    “That’s it guys; get those hands on your belts and try to look like cock-rockers!”

    HAHAAAAA

  • EsusMoose

    I’m not the most familiar with dokken but I do know IN MY DREAMS IT’S STILL THE SAME do do do GL solo.

    • In 1988 it won “Solo of the Year” from Guitar World… even though the song was released in 85′.

      #GLfacts

  • COAL ROLL

    no love for this classic?

    • more beer

      You have no idea how good these guys were live.. With that original lineup.

      • COAL ROLL

        they closest I can get to that is the Awaken the Guardian DVD I have from that Long Island show in ’86. and yes John Arch or GFTO

    • Not really. I liked the other singer on No Exit though.

      • COAL ROLL

        really, you’re a Ray Adler FW fan?

        • Yeah. I really only liked No Exit though. My older brother was a big fan of the early albums.

  • ┼yree

    The lack of death metal is horrid 😉

    A 1985 masterpiece:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdXBJL6rMxY

    • more beer

      This is a fucking masterpiece.

    • Stockhausen

      This album is a good.

      • It is good. I just hadn’t heard it in 1985. My brother got into them when Beyond the Gates came out and that was the first time I heard them. I thought they were evil AF and, like Death’s “Leprosy,” it was more of an occasional-listen thereafter.

        TBH I never really cared that much about death metal until much much later, but I have mad-respect for Schuldiner and Possessed. They were really really unique for the time. Great musicians too.

        • Stockhausen

          Word up yo. I had also not heard it in 1985, being three years away from existence, so I can’t claim knowing it until pretty recently.

    • Nativian Taco

      YEAH JAG, YOU SHOULD’VE THOUGHT OF TYREE

    • The explanation is the same as last year: this is an honest list of things I actually listened to in 1985. I’m not looking for congratulations for knowing one of the few DM bands of the time.

      • Nativian Taco

        This is a solid list JAG. Even though I don’t know who Aldo Nova is.

        • JWEG

          For a long while I was quite certain one actually had to be Canadian to know of Aldo Nova.

      • ┼yree

        I’m just fucking with you man. Killer post.

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        You old bastard.

    • Stanley

      I didn’t get into Possessed until Beyond the Gates was released and so obviously had to get this one soon after once I’d saved up my paper round money.

      • ┼yree

        Good album! Production was not as good as 7 Churches, but great nonetheless.

        • Stanley

          Very strange production. Super thin sounding. I saw that they have just re-released the Eyes of Horror. HHR has it.

          • ┼yree

            I saw that too. I think I may hold off on that one. I see Peaseville just released the first Dødheimsgard album on vinyl. I may try and get on that one.

  • Maik Beninton™

    ‘who doesn’t have Live After Death? GTFO.’
    I don’t.
    Bye.

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    Hecking love Hallow’s Victim

    I’ve only ever listened to varely enough Yngwie and don’t really have half a mind to go back.

    I never thought Wasp’s debut was that great, but the fervor of youth makes up for it. Not on Last Command though. An inferior version of a less-than-stellar album.

    Never heard of that Tyrant, but Dio rocked. Almost every album he was ever on was magnificient.

    Nothing on that Iron Maiden. A stellar record as far as live albums go. Never got into Dokken, not sure I ever really even tried though.

    No good things on Crüe, but that Grim Reaper is… aight.

  • Paris Hilton

    I’d gladly trade in my iPhone 6s to go back to the simpler time of 1985. Before Iron Maiden thought writing 20 minute songs is a good idea, when stubby beer bottles were way more common, when Kerry Burger King had hair, and when a man could spend all day sitting around tape trading instead of sitting around on forums. 1985 didn’t have all of these SJWs ruining metal either.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YeINWQDg7zg

    • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

      “before Iron Maiden thought writing 20 minute songs is a good idea”, haha yea! Love this…

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain
    • more beer

      And this

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain
    • ┼yree

      He did mention this one bro.

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Oh well fuck it.

        • ┼yree

          I’m chafing. But it’s worth it.

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain
    • ┼yree
      • more beer

        Fuck yea I got this back then with this guy I used to trade tapes with.

        • ┼yree

          Nice! I still need this one in my collection.

          • more beer

            This was so heavy back then.

          • ┼yree

            Oh, I bet. Influential as hell too. Christ, a band even is named after this album.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-apqcHUc44

          • more beer

            Yea I still listen to it from time to time.

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        So many good albums that year. Fuck.

        • ┼yree

          So many legendary albums. Most of all these are essential as fuck.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Pretty much mandatory.

  • more beer

    85 was a dam good year for metal. Glad I was around for it.

    • ┼yree
    • KJM, Shake Zula

      It was an essential year for Metal and Rock. The albums listed here are just a small taste.

    • Ted Nü-Djent ™

      I was 8 and all about Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet and just starting to get a taste. My cousin played me NIB by Black Sabbath one day when he was babysitting me which made me want to explore further.

      • more beer

        Black Sabbath is what did that for me also. Once I heard them that was it. The never ending quest for heavier.

  • Ratt’s Invasion of Your Privacy was banging, too.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZinaUdD0XY

    • more beer

      I was already listing to all of the stuff Tyree and KSOFM are posting. This wasn’t even on my radar.

      • KJM, Shake Zula

        I was still more of a Priest/Maiden/Metallica type guy at the time. I liked ‘Out Of The Cellar’ but not this.

        • more beer

          I was well into the underground by then. This stuff while more mainstream now was underground back then.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Those were my Harvard Sq days so I knew about it, but the traditional British stuff was still more my style at the time. Even though ‘Ride The Lightning’ was still more of a cult favorite, I just knew that someday it would be viewed with the same importance as classic Maiden and Priest.

          • more beer

            I knew a lot of people who were listening to that stuff then. just dove into the underground sooner than a lot of people.

    • COAL ROLL

      got this on tape

      • Janitor Jim Duggan

        I have Out Of The Cellar on vinyl and the other 4 on tape

  • ┼yree
    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Now we’re talking.

      • ┼yree

        Actually just listened to this the other night for the first time in a while. Such a thrashy album.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Thrashy and evil!!!!

          • ┼yree

            Woe to you. Earth and Sea. TOTAL DESTRUCTION!

  • Janitor Jim Duggan

    I have Fear No Evil on vinyl.

  • Waynecro

    Great article, JAG! I was only three in 1985, so I was too busy sitting around being a dumb toddler to buy any of these records. I got a pretty sweet Construx set that year, though.

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      I wasn’t born for another 10 years. I wish Night Ranger and Ratt would have been on here though. Same with Down For The Count by Y&T and Jazz From Hell by Zappa

      • Waynecro

        Zappa fucking rules.

      • I love 7 Wishes by Night Ranger and played Invasion of your Privacy quite a bit then. I just couldn’t squeeze them in my top ten at the expense of others.

        • Janitor Jim Duggan

          You should have put World Wide Live on there too.

    • KJM, Shake Zula

      I was 18 that year.

      • Waynecro

        You could have bought me cigarettes. No one else would.

        • & porn

          • Waynecro

            Cigarettes >>>> porn

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Even in those days, co-signed. Smokes, beer, and weed were food groups.

          • more beer

            Still are.

          • Waynecro

            For sure, dude. When I was 18, I cared only about booze, cigarettes, and metal. There were times I went days without eating because I spent all my money on booze, cigarettes, and metal albums. Plus, eating just made it harder to get drunk.

          • more beer

            Ahhh youth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Waynecro

            I know. I miss that shit.

          • more beer

            I don’t bounce back like I used to that’s for sure.

          • Waynecro

            Now I’m all sober and into health and fitness and shit. My quality of life is way better, but I miss the carefree drinking and raging.

          • my boss asked me if i wanted to go to a work happy hour this afternoon. nah, i’d rather stay here and work than go to a bar with corporate big-wigs and drink Pepsi.

          • Waynecro

            I’m with you, dude. I skipped a bunch of office parties for pretty much the same reason.

  • Boss the Ross
    • Boss the Ross

      Say what you will about Mustaine. This album kills

      https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/54/Combat_KIMB.jpg

      • more beer

        Yes it does.

      • ME GORAK B.C.™

        MOAR 1985 THRASH!!!!! GORAK LOVE 2 DETH!!!!!!!

        https://youtu.be/o9tc1Uz_MlY

        • more beer

          Here’s a fun more beer fact for you. Todd Gordon who was one of the owners of Torrid Records. Lived a town away from me and was one of my drinking buddies back then.

          • Boss the Ross

            Nice!

      • KJM, Shake Zula

        First two Megadeth albums are classics.

  • Boss the Ross
    • more beer

      Saw them that year in a club with Overkill. With about 50 people. It was the most fun I ever had at a show. They were all dressed in Hawaiian shorts and shirts. They threw Styrofoam surf boards into the crowd which everyone proceeded to break over each others heads.

      • Boss the Ross

        Holy shit yes! I would’ve loved the hell out of that. Sounds like an amazing experience.

        • more beer

          It is certainly high up on my list of top ten shows ever. Overkill were fucking great tat night too.

          • Boss the Ross

            I bet!

          • not sure if typo or “tat night” — which sounds awesome

          • more beer

            Typo I fixed it. I work in the trades forgive my 2 fingered typing skills.

          • all is forgiven. maybe we should start our own tat night…

          • more beer

            More tattoos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • KJM, Shake Zula

        I didn’t get to see them until the comeback tour in 1999. Crowbar opened up, so much fun.

        • more beer

          I saw them 3 times the first time around.

          • Boss the Ross

            3 times?!?!?!?

          • more beer

            Yea before they stopped and then got back together.

          • Boss the Ross

            What i would do for a time machine…

          • more beer

            Hahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • more beer

          Milano Gave my a pipe at The MOD Gross Misconduct record release party. I know he can be a dick but he was always cool to me. He said here I quit smoking pot you keep this.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            He went both ways on personality. During the Harvard Sq days, I hung out with a skinhead who was good friends with Charlie Benante and he said that about him.

          • more beer

            I had friend’s who were in Pi Alpha Nu so we had mutual friends. Yes that is a real fraternity at Suny New Paltz.

          • Boss the Ross

            Holy hell! That’s awesome.

            PI ALPHA NU!

          • Stanley

            I always thought that the last time he says that in the song he was saying “Black Armadillo”.

          • more beer

            Those guys had crazy parties.

          • Boss the Ross

            I can imagine

          • more beer

            I was at one with 100 kegs. Murphy’s Law played that party. People were fucked up everywhere.

          • Boss the Ross

            Would that be officially considered “more beer”?

          • more beer

            I would consider it lots of beer.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Yep!

          • Boss the Ross

            Right on.

          • Boss the Ross

            I always thought he was quite the character, cool to hear he was cool.

        • Boss the Ross

          Hell yes!

  • ┼yree

    This album rules. No fucks.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eX0IjD5DPQI

  • KJM, Shake Zula

    I have to defend ‘Delirious Nomad’, excellent album which is far better than it’s predecessor, still own it on vinyl. ‘Raising Fear’ is excellent too, saw them twice on that tour.

    • It hurts me to say I didn’t like Delirious Nomad because I love Armored Saint. I saw them when they toured their first album.

      • KJM, Shake Zula

        Albums have meaning for the time and place they appear in our lives. This article does a great job in showing that and, obviously, I have a lot of great memories of that era.

  • KJM, Shake Zula

    My copy of ‘Sacred Heart’ was that cassette. I ended up seeing the ‘Intermission EP’ tour that time rather than the actual tour for the album.

  • KJM, Shake Zula

    I didn’t care so much for ‘Under Lock And Key’, but I saw them in March 1985 opening for Twisted Sister and Y&T on this tour, and WBCN also played ‘The Hunter’ regularly on prime time radio rather than just the Sunday Metal show. That was a rarity at the time for BCN.

    • Sick story.

      • KJM, Shake Zula

        I’m just going down the list and offering some pithy observations.

        • Boss the Ross

          Keep them coming

  • KJM, Shake Zula

    I saw Iron Maiden/Twisted Sister on the World Slavery tour in January 1985. It was nice to have ‘Live After Death’ as a memento since live bootlegs weren’t as easy to find as they are now.

    • Boss the Ross

      Yes!

  • KJM, Shake Zula

    Despite my distaste for the slick production, and my issues with Vince the Razzle killing scumbag, I saw Motley Crue/Accept/Y&T on ‘Theater Of Pain’ tour in August 1985 and had a great time watching Accept wipe the other two bands off the stage.

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Fuck yeah Accept. Is that when Metal Heart was out?

      • KJM, Shake Zula

        Yes. I saw them again in 1986 supporting Dio. That was an amazing show.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Nice. And I’ll bet it was!

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            A classic Metal concert.

        • Boss the Ross

          Gah!

      • more beer

        I saw them with Ozzy after that cameut in 84 or. 85.

        • KJM, Shake Zula

          I saw Ozzy/Motley Crue a year earlier(January 1984).

          • more beer

            I was in the navy on my way to the North Atlantic. But I did get to go to Amsterdam on that cruise so it’s all good.

    • Stanley

      I saw Motley Crue on the Theatre of Pain tour too (in Cardiff). They were supported by Cheap Trick of all bands!

      • KJM, Shake Zula

        That must’ve been great. Cheap Trick is a gaping hole in my concert portfolio.

    • Boss the Ross

      Accept crushes all!

      • KJM, Shake Zula

        Great live band.

        • Boss the Ross

          What are your thoughts on the new line up?

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            I haven’t heard much of it, but they’re still good. I think they’ve done a great job of reinventing themselves. They even have fans now that are there to hear the newer stuff more than the classics. That’s a serious feat that not many bands can pull off.

          • Boss the Ross

            They most certainly have.

          • Stanley

            The last 3 albums are excellent.

          • Boss the Ross

            Yes they are.

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    Fuck, another 1985 gem. This title cut is so depressing.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gB-F-tpy_70

    • ┼yree

      Nice!

  • KJM, Shake Zula

    Other shows I saw in 1985 include Deep Purple, The Firm, Loudness/Keel, Rush.

    • more beer

      I met Loudness at a Slayer show that year. I couldn’t understand a word they said. Except were Roudness said just like it is spelled.

      • KJM, Shake Zula

        I remember that. He spoke stereotypical “Engrish” during that show. I saw them again the following year opening for AC/DC. By that time he was speaking near perfect English.

        • more beer

          We were all at the bar at Lamours throwing back shots and beers. So everyone being drunk probably didn’t help their english skills.

  • Guppusmaximus

    Fear No Evil was my introduction to the mighty Grim Reaper but ‘Rock you to Hell’, oddly enough, was my favorite – my age probably has something to do with it or maybe not because I bought Killers when it first came out, go figure.

    I’d swap out Theater of Pain with Delirious Nomad just on ‘Aftermath’ alone. That has to be MC’s worst album in their entire discography,imho.

    ‘Rising Force’ was awesome and deserves a spot on the list but Yngwie never managed to release another album after Rising Force that was as strong. That first album had excellent songwriting, song placement and pioneered a genre.

    Just my .02…. Great Article m/ m/

  • Stanley

    I was totally getting schooled by my big brother:

    1) Exodus – Bonded By Blood
    2) Celtic Frost – To Mega Therion
    3) Destruction – Infernal Overkill (still one of my all time favorites)
    4) Helloween – Walls of Jericho
    5) S.O.D – Speak English or Die
    6) Anthrax – Spreading the Disease
    7) Megadeth – Killing is My Business
    8) Slayer – Hell Awaits

    What a year!

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Fuck, forgot about Destruction.

      Edit: I own five out of those eight on vinyl. All original too.

      • Stanley
        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Yes!

          • Stanley

            I can’t believe that this was 1985. Black/Thrash bands are still trying to write riffs like this to this day.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Yeah, totally. The riff to The Ritual is so sick.

          • Stanley

            Yes! And the opening riff to Death Trap. And all the others come to think of it.

          • more beer

            Don’t leave out Anti Christ

          • Stanley

            Who would! One of the slower ones, but just as juicy.

          • more beer

            Yea but that is a killer song.

          • Stanley

            For me, it’s a timeless album. It sounds as good today as it ever has. No bad songs. Pure fucking evil.

          • more beer

            Agreed. You are in the Bay Area correct? The lineup for California Death fest is looking pretty crazy. I think I am gonna come out there again for this one too.

          • Stanley

            Yeah. I may have to join you.

          • more beer

            I had so much fun at the first one. Plus my brother lives in Concord so I get to hang out with him too. It is a win win situation.

          • Waynecro

            My brother is currently seeing a girl who lives in Concord.

          • more beer

            It is cute little town.

          • Waynecro

            I’m actually going to visit my brother in Oakland in March. My ex got me Coheed tickets for my birthday, so I’m using them as an opportunity to hang with my bro in the Bay Area. I’m going to hit up a noodle joint I’ve been missing like a motherfucker since I left Milpitas.

          • more beer

            Right on. I know it is always good to kick it with my brother. I’m sure it’s the same for you. Plus Noodles!

          • Waynecro

            Yeah, me and my brother are really close. We’ve each been through some serious shit. Now that we’re better, we live pretty far apart, which sucks. We always enjoy getting together and hanging out when we can. Dude, Luu Noodle in Milpitas has my favorite food in the world. I’d pick one of their six-dollar bowls of noodles over fancy shit for my last meal any day.

          • more beer

            My brother and I are really tight too. So any chance we get to hang out we do. Food doesn’t need to be fancy. It needs to be tasty.

          • Boss the Ross

            I have a younger brother and i was able to take him to his first metal concert last month, was an excellent experience for both of us.

          • more beer

            Right on. My brother is a hippy. But he has gone to shows with me.

          • Boss the Ross

            HA!

          • Waynecro

            That’s awesome, man. Me and my brother (he’s younger by three years) used to go to metal shows together a lot. We used to stand outside this one dive bar in San Diego where all the metal bands played. We were too young to get in, but we’d watch the bands from outside and get people inside to buy us shirts.

          • Boss the Ross

            That is awesome!!

            My bro and I have an 8 year split, so he’s finally getting to the age when he can come visit me and go to shows.

          • Waynecro

            That’s great, dude. There’s nothing quite like good times with your bro.

          • Boss the Ross

            Nothing like it in the world.

          • Waynecro

            My brother is a chef, but we always prefer eating cheap, tasty stuff. Back in the day, he was working at Spago, but we’d always end up eating at Jack in the Box.

          • more beer

            That is funny.

          • Boss the Ross

            Haha, awesome.

        • more beer

          I got to hang out with them in June. I had a hell of a good time.

          • Stanley

            I saw them a few years ago. For whatever reason, they came on pretty late on a school night and people were leaving the venue. I felt bad for them, but I still had a great time.

          • more beer

            I have seen the numerous time through the years. They are always good.

    • KJM, Shake Zula

      Still have my ‘To Mega Therion’ vinyl.

      I saw Anthrax for the first time on that tour, but not until July 1986.

      • ┼yree

        Damn you. But, that’s fucking awesome.

        • KJM, Shake Zula

          My ticket stub from that tour is severly damaged because of the epic water fight that took place during the show. It was hot as fuck that day so the club people just kept the plastic cups of water coming. People alternated between drinking it and tossing it at each other. Then, Scott Ian joined in the fun and started shooting us with a water pistol. That was a classic Metal Moment.

          • Boss the Ross

            That sounds like an amazing fun time! Anthrax will always be a favorite of mine.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            A lot of my good friends were at that show, many I still stay in touch with to this day. Some have passed on, so I’ll always have that memory.

      • Stanley

        I think I saw Anthrax in 1987 as Testament were supporting on “The Legacy” tour. What a masterpiece that album is.

        • KJM, Shake Zula

          Saw Anthrax 3 times that year, first 2 times with Metal Church, then again with Exodus/Celtic Frost. O_O

          • Boss the Ross

            Daaammn!

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Right age, right time.

          • more beer

            seconded.

          • Stanley

            Except, now we are old and dying.

          • ┼yree

            Well, you can run marathons. Not many of us younger shits can do that.

          • more beer

            Speak for yourself. I’m having as much fun as ever. Plus now I can actually afford this lifestyle.

          • Stanley

            I’m just kidding. I’m more than happy with where I am in life. I just wished I had fewer aches and pains, but most/all of that is self inflicted.

          • more beer

            Most suffering in life is self inflicted. You would be doing something wrong to not start to get it right as you get older.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            If I can still jump on my bicycle and ride 5-10 miles a pop at almost 49, I think I’m doing ok.

          • more beer

            You are only as old as you act.

          • Boss the Ross

            This is an excellent quote.

          • more beer

            Thank you.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            I’m fa from the picture of health but, in many ways I’m in better shape than I was back then. I’m too scared of Diabetes and heart disease to not be.

          • Stanley

            Yep, we certainly know a lot more about how to look after ourselves. It wasn’t until the mid-nineties before I even looked at the Nutritional Information on a packet of crisps.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            I never went to the hospital or ER during the 90s. I just didn’t care and i wasn’t covered. It’s a much different story now.

          • “packet of crisps”. <3

          • Stanley

            Ah, fuck. You know what I mean.

          • what i know or don’t know, doesn’t matter. i like the way you talk.

          • Sometimes I wish I was British just so I could say cool shit.

          • Stanley

            I think I wore out The Dark.

          • Guppusmaximus

            Killer album!!

          • The Dark is definitely on my 1986-list.

      • Stanley

        My brother has all that stuff somewhere. He also has all my vinyl from that period so we are going to have to massive fight when I got back to Wales in Feb, cos my stuff is coming home with me!

      • more beer

        I saw that tour.

        • Boss the Ross

          You two are making me jealous

        • KJM, Shake Zula

          If you haven’t read the stories I told Tyree and Boss down the page about this show, please do.

          • more beer

            shall do.

      • Guppusmaximus

        Words can’t describe that album cover. It was definitely ahead of its time. Awesome!

        • Stanley

          I was watching the Giger documentary on Netflix last night. It’s pretty interesting. Tom G makes a few appearances as his lackey, or something.

          • Boss the Ross

            It’s on my list, i need to watch it

          • Stanley

            Warning: Giger is not at his best.

          • Boss the Ross

            What do you mean exactly?

          • Stanley

            Just old and very frail.

          • Boss the Ross

            Got it, that’s what i thought you meant.

          • ┼yree

            Thanks for the reminder, I still need to check that out.

          • Guppusmaximus

            Yea, that guy definitely had dark talent. Such realism & detail. Unfortunately, that shit messed with my head because I was brainwashed with all that Catholic bullshit. Now, I love it because I describes my resentment so well except that Jesus isn’t worthy enough to be my slingshot.

          • Stanley

            What you have described is why his first partner killed herself, right? At least that is the kind of explanation that was offered for her suicide.

          • Guppusmaximus

            I dunno…It intrigues me to find out. I mean, I guess we can’t ever really truly know. Can we?

          • Stanley

            Nope.

    • Boss the Ross

      That list slays!

      • Stanley

        That list is probably the only positive of sharing a room growing up. Plus playing his guitars on his Marshall 4×12.

        • Boss the Ross

          Oooooh, nice

        • COAL ROLL

          JCM800?

          • Stanley

            I don’t recall the speaker model. He had a bass head on it for some reason, probably cos it was cheap, and an HM-2. What more do you need!

          • COAL ROLL

            a BC Rich Mockingbird

          • Stanley

            He had a bunch of guitars at various points. My favorite was a Tokai Les Paul.

          • COAL ROLL

            Those are higher quality than the driftwood that comes out of Nashville these days

          • Stanley

            It was nice, man. Remember this was 1985.

        • Guppusmaximus

          Yea, I got accustomed to sleeping while my brother jammed his favorite tunes. Our experiences seem to parallel each others. Sharing a room was interesting to say the least…lol

    • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

      Damn now those are some gateway bands….haha!

    • I really liked Celtic Frost when I heard Into the Pandemonium. It was just so…different. But that was later on. And then they dropped that masterpiece Cold Lake… 😛

      • Stanley

        I really like that album too. They lost a few fans with that one and then obviously most gave up the ghost with Cold Lake. I have Tristesses De La Lune as my alarm ring on my phone. It’s gets me up everyday.

  • Stanley

    I totally love this nostalgic segment. Brings back loads of excellent memories about a time and a place. We all try and find they latest and greatest of everything in life (and I’m guilty of that as much as anyone) but it’s important to stop, look back and take note of where you’ve come from and what has molded you.

    • KJM, Shake Zula

      Obviously I have many stories to share about this era.

      • Guppusmaximus

        Yea, it was such a strange time for me because I was old enough to listen to all the cool shit but was still too young to see a concert. My first memory is still the best – riding around on the bottom of my mom’s shopping cart in Vons (Yucca Valley) listening to my newly purchased cassette of Killers from Blue Mill Records. That powerful moment sculpted my brain m/ m/

    • Keith Richards’ Itchy Gooch

      Lol, I was only 4 years old in 1985, so not much nostalgia here. I’m 34 and feel like I’m barely out of diapers now.

  • Stanley
    • Guppusmaximus

      Not the same decade but I absolutely love “By Inheritance”. That’s a Thrash masterpiece.

  • Waynecro

    This comments section is a fine piece of the written history of metal. So many cool stories, man.

    • Boss the Ross

      Hell yes it is. I’m eating this up.

      • Waynecro

        Fuck yes. I love reading these kinds of stories.

    • COAL ROLL

      Dad Rock FTW!

      • Waynecro

        My dad was all about Jeff Beck, Frank Zappa, The Band, Bob Dylan, and Van Morrison, so I grew up listening to all that stuff. I discovered metal on my own later. My dad kind of likes Animals as Leaders now, though, which is pretty cool.

        • COAL ROLL

          Word my dad too. BUT……I AM A DAD….and everything discussed herein is my steeeez bro, so the shoe fits

          • Waynecro

            If I were a dad (never gonna happen), I’d toughen my kid up by making him or her listen to Pantera (my version of dad rock, I guess) while lifting in the garage gym. Obviously, my approach to parenting is too much like running a bootcamp to be good for anybody.

          • COAL ROLL

            that doesn’t sound like a fun dad 🙁

          • Waynecro

            Yeah, I’m not very fun, haha. My kid would probably be miserable, but he or she would have a damn fine work ethic and be able to kick just about any other kid’s ass.

          • more beer

            Then you will have succeeded. Also always remember if he gets hurt you have to tell him to Walk It Off or Rub Dirt On It. Those old school parenting skills.

          • Waynecro

            Fuck yeah, man. The only thing I wasn’t able to walk off is pancreatitis. It worked for everything else.

          • more beer

            That and dirt cure everything and fire. But you can’t let kids play with fire.

          • Waynecro

            I played with fire a lot as a kid. It probably builds character. At the very least, it teaches you how not to burn yourself down.

          • more beer

            So did I. I set my grandmothers living room o fire fucking around. I got in a tn fuck of trouble for that.

          • Waynecro

            I bet! We mostly played with fire outside, so we managed not to ignite any structures, thank goodness. My dad would have murdered us if we had caught any part of the house on fire.

          • more beer

            Yea after that it was strictly outside.

          • Waynecro

            “Why are you stupid kids lighting fires out here?”
            “You told us to go outside and play!”

          • more beer

            That or one of the thousands of other things I shouldn’t have been doing. Like fighting with the neighbors kids or breaking windows or one of the best ones. Rolling a giant snowball off of a bridge onto an oncoming car.

          • Waynecro

            Haha! Good times, man. We had feuds with a few neighbor kids, and we broke tons of stuff (bottles, car batteries) in the canyon. We rarely damaged other people’s property deliberately without reason, but it happened from time to time.

          • more beer

            We didn’t necessarily mean to break other people windows but it was inevitable. But yes good times. Even if I was always in trouble.

          • Waynecro

            Yeah, an idiot friend of mine accidentally broke the solar panels on a neighbor’s roof once. He was throwing rocks for some reason. It took him all summer to pay for that shit.

          • more beer

            If we broke something expensive we made sure to not get caught.

          • Waynecro

            He tried not to get caught, but my mom found out what he did. She fucking dragged him by his ear across the street to the neighbor’s house and made him confess. She didn’t fuck around, haha.

          • more beer

            Parents will always fuck your shit up.

          • Waynecro

            Mine put up with a lot of our nonsense, but they dropped the fucking hammer when they had to.

          • more beer

            Well that is their job.

          • Boss the Ross

            This conversation is superb.

          • more beer

            It has been amusing.

          • Keith Richards’ Itchy Gooch

            Rewind to 1985, when 4 year old me fucked up my dad’s VCR by sticking a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in it. Soon after, he put a dead tarantula (which are plentiful in PR, apparently) on top of it so I’d never fuck with it again.

          • Waynecro

            A tarantula would keep me the fuck away too!

          • Keith Richards’ Itchy Gooch

            Oh, it worked! I probably had more screams of terror than I’ll ever remember.

          • more beer

            well this is the 1985 thread. VCR’s were expensive in 1985 by the way.

  • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

    Good to see you Jag! I have a vivid memory of going to Russ P’s (a HS buddy of mine) house that year. We partied all night and the night began with a viewing of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre on acid (big fucking mistake). My friend Craig R, who is now deceased, freaked out and left in the middle of the movie and walked home, which seemed like the worst possible option at that point in time. Anyway as I watched MTV on the couch with no chance to sleep, Russ was playing pool with other dudes all night. Rising Force was the album dejour.

    • COAL ROLL

      wait, you guys are like IRL friends?

      • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

        No but Im sure had we lived next to each other at the same time it would have happened!

  • Keith Richards’ Itchy Gooch

    Grim Reaper was good, but the elephant in the room is the god awful production on their two CDs (not to mention to legendarily lolbuttz music videos, in where Steve Grimmett tries to squeeze his moobs and beer gut into tight leather, while fighting a wolfman and reaper who’s getups look like something out of a Walgreens after-Halloween sales bin). Not sure if they ever remastered those CDs, but goddamn are they in need of it!

  • Ted Nü-Djent ™

    Once again JAG. WRITE MORE ARTICLES. I NEED ANOTHER CAN’T FLUSH THIS!

    • It’s been over a year since my first and only installment. The only think I can be counted on for is a swift and vigorous argument about the historical definition of heavy metal.

      • Ted Nü-Djent ™

        An article on history revisionism that is rampant in heavy metal would be great. I would write one but I’m a dumb cunt.

      • Ted Nü-Djent ™

        Also, I wish that Xbox would release a retro Ghost n Goblins. I loved that game

        • That game was so maddeningly hard but yeah, I’d play the shit out of it again.

          • Ted Nü-Djent ™

            Googling now to see if this has actually happened or not.

  • JWEG

    I can pretty much name all of the ‘metal’ bands I was exposed to or knew about in the 80’s and (a) count them on one hand (b) not want to own up to which (hint: all hair metal). For sure, though, we’re a few years short of the period in which I was (accidentally) exposed to Canadian thrash & speed metal.

    While true that Exciter and Razor had albums out in 1985, I didn’t actually know about them until one day i found some of their LPs in a heavy metal rack at a Sam the Record Man store in ‘downtown’ Nanaimo B.C. And that was in 87 or 88 (also included: Killer Dwarfs, Anvil).

    Didn’t get them though. My parent’s record player was long since out of commission, so I missed out for at least another decade. Plus, I was saving up for an NES.

    …I don’t think I ever played Ghosts n’ Goblins (or Ghouls n’ Ghosts) on it, though…

  • Eliza

    I like Dokken. They’re very good for a glam metal band.