The Top 10 Hard Rock Albums Of The ’80s
Gems From The ’80s
When people think about the ’80s, they usually conjure of images of disco outfits and glam metal ensembles. But one thing we’re forgetting is the sheer diversity of rock ‘n roll in that era. You could no longer define a song as just “rock” because it already branched out to hard rock, punk rock, and heavy metal. And metal further divided itself into hair, thrash, death, etc.
Here are 10 of the best hard rock records in the 1980s. Please note that for a few of these artists, they somehow managed to blur the line between hard rock and metal which is why we included them on this list.
10. Motörhead – “Ace of Spades” (1980)
That title track propelled them to god status. It’s the ’80s rock anthem no one will ever forget.
9. Quiet Riot – “Metal Health” (1983)
This catapulted Quiet Riot to mainstream fame and they became household names overnight.
8. Iron Maiden – “The Number of the Beast” (1982)
Their aggressive, no-nonsense approach to music made them legends. And oh, let’s not forget Bruce Dickinson’s jaw-dropping operatic vocal performance.
7. Metallica – “Master of Puppets” (1986)
Dripping with so much angst and attitude, this album took Metallica to the top.
6. Def Leppard – “Hysteria” (1987)
It topped the charts and was a commercial success. From the powerful songs to the killer hooks, it’s straight-up hard rock.
5. Rush – “Permanent Waves” (1980)
Even with their various experimentations, Rush remained rooted in hard rock. They incorporated various elements in the song and of course it worked.
4. Mötley Crüe – “Shout At The Devil” (1983)
It was the album that finally gave them global recognition. Critics weren’t impressed though calling their songs formulaic. Be that as it may but the fact remains that it was one of the best hard rock records ’80s had to offer.
3. Ozzy Osbourne – “Blizzard of Ozz” (1980)
This was Ozzy Osbourne’s response to those who thought he was spent. It was an incredibly stunning comeback and one that truly and effectively silenced the haters. There’s power, there’s menace and more importantly, there’s Randy Rhoads.
2. AC/DC – “Back in Black” (1980)
It’s the most rock ‘n roll way of paying tribute to late frontman Bon Scott. Fiery attitude, behemoth sound – it can’t get any better than this.
1. Guns N’ Roses – “Appetite for Destruction” (1987)
Guns N’ Roses did not achieve overnight success but what critics failed to see when they dropped their debut album was the fact that they were far from your mediocre rockers. When they “arrived” in the rock ‘n roll scene, they did so in style.