Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Autothrall's Best Metal Albums of 1981

The Top 20 Metal Albums of 1981

01. Venom (UK) - Welcome to Hell
02. Iron Maiden (UK) - Killers
03. Accept (Germany) - Breaker
04. Ozzy Osbourne (UK) - Diary of a Madman
05. Def Leppard (UK) - High 'n' Dry
06. Demon (UK) - Night of the Demon
07. Black Sabbath (UK) - Mob Rules
08. Riot (USA) - Fire Down Under
09. Tygers of Pan Tang (UK) - Spellbound
10. Raven (UK) - Rock Until You Drop
11. Loudness (Japan) - The Birthday Eve
12. Saxon (UK) - Denim and Leather
13. Killer (Belgium) - Wall of Sound
14. Saracen (UK) - Heroes, Saints & Fools
15. Girlschool (UK) - Hit and Run
16. Holocaust (UK) - The Nightcomers
17. Praying Mantis (UK) - Time Tells No Lies
18. Samson (UK) - Shock Tactics
19. Motley Crue (USA) - Too Fast for Love
20. Budgie (UK) - Nightflight

Let's all take a few moments to recite "God Save the Queen", because 1981 is all about the red coats. Yes. Again. 75% of the choices hail from the same damned islands, which is not much of a surprise since that is where the whole shebang got started, but here you were starting to see parallel developments in sound. Bands like Venom and Raven were taking things to a faster paced, dirty speed while other bands were seeking a more mainstream, refined sound like Def Leppard and Praying Mantis. At the time, I had not yet heard Welcome to Hell, so it wasn't until my teens that I became such a huge fan of their filthy Satanic follies, but in retrospect it's really the only choice for the top here and the one album on the list I consider perfect as is. The Motley Crue debut is the only album by the band I can stomach all the way through. Truth be told, the list might seem a little weak compared to later years, but only because there was such a limited field to play in.

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