I know first-hand how much all of you crazy Metalheads like to read or compile “Best Of” album lists and how you like to look at special collections, rare Metal memorabilia or relics from the hey days of Metal. So I thought I would put together an eclectic selection of advertisements (or adverts as they say in the UK) from 1980 through 1990 (with a few thrown in from 91′, which were mostly recorded or released at the tail-end of the 80’s).
It’s interesting to look back at how the graphics have changed and also the marketing “tactics”, which was something I was unaware of when I started “testing the Metal waters.” I was really just into the graphics or artwork (who wasn’t right -ed) and if it looked cool and or slightly “outer-fringe” then it was probably decent (in my innocent mind). Up to this point, I really did not pay any special attention to the silly record label wording in the ads and or what label it was released on. That did not concern me in the least, as long as I had my Heavy Metal I was fine!
Looking back, I was like a musical sponge, soaking up anything and everything I could get my hands on and magazine advertisements were one of the main ways to find out about new bands or releases back when. Remember kiddos (for those of you who weren’t even born yet) there was no such thing as the internet and there were not many radio stations that actually played Heavy Metal music or even “heavier” bands (like Slayer, Metallica, Kreator, OverKill etc.). In my experience, the only stations that I could tune into that played such music were local college radio stations!
MTV’s “Headbanger’s Ball” was something that was just starting as well and besides, it was only aired ONCE per week. Can you image having to wait an entire week to hear new stuff? Hey, we were happy as hell to even have that and I can remember many times that we made that special night into an event! We either had the VCR set to timer-record the show and or we made a mad dash back home when it was about to come on!
You had to have some “Metal patience” back then folks. And that is where the mighty album artwork and liner notes came into HEAVY play as well. That gave you something to think (or dream) about during the “down-time” and or while you were actually listening to the music.
My fondest “dreamer” moment was opening up the first KISS Alive album or Alive II and folding that baby out and voila’, a huge panoramic photo of inside a concert arena! Wow, I was hooked and I sooo wanted to be inside that scene! I literally sat there and imagined what it was like to be there while jamming on the record. You could sense the excitement as the lights were about ready to dim! The only thing that was left out of my imaginary scenario was the smell of the special “left-handed” cigarettes wafting about that some (who are we kidding here — MOST of the -ed) fans rolled themselves!
*click to play | step inside the arena
So without going into a full-on rant about “how it was back in the Metal 80’s” (I will save that one for later), I will however, slam on the breaks and shut it down…so you can at least enjoy these hand-selected Metal/Hard Rock adverts.
BTW these are not arranged in any special order or anything for all of you anal Metalheads or O.C.D. candidates!
METAL Advert Gallery
*To experience the photo gallery, just click any image below. Navigation: use the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard, or by clicking the arrows on the screen.
*OK, so which one(s) are your favorite?
You gotta’ love the early Judas Priest ad from 1980! It says “Can You Take 12″ of British Steel”!! Ha ha, Mr. Halford must have had something to do with that one.
Coming in at a close second is the silly Krokus ad for their Hardware LP. It reads: “It drills, it bites, it hammers, it cuts through anything”. Now that is really bad! I hope those morons weren’t paid too much who came up with that bit of sheer brilliance. I used to jam on “Burning Bones” and “Rock City” when the band was into being an AC/DC clone.
Love the “Good friendly, violent Fun” quote for the live Exodus release. Classic!
New York’s Mongel Horde Records announce in their ad that the “devastation of planet earth” was coming with “the formation of their record label” that was “dedicated to releasing, bone-crunching records for molten Metalheads all over the Earth”…..priceless! Oh wait there’s more: All “flesh-ripping Metal bands, send your blood-thirsty tapes to us if you want to be included on our Monster Metal Compilation.” It doesn’t get any more 80’s Metal than that peeps!
Oh and who could forget the dirty lil’ Helloween ad (above) for the “Keeper of the Seven Key’s Part One”, which showcases a bare-assed cartoon hottie who is about to “pounce” on a pumpkin/stem of all things! You will NEVER ever see tongue n’ cheek (pun-intended -ed) ads like that ever again folks. The world is far too politically correct today.
Honors for worst ad?
This would have to go to Pretty Maids with their cheeseball “bald-head” ad. It’s main headline is: “Pretty Maids are after your head”. And the text spiel reads: “Pretty Maids have put a buzz in the metal underworld. They thrashed Europe with their first albums and left thousands of bodies strewn about SRO concert stages.” Oh boy, where to start with this one. So when did Pretty Maids become “thrash-metal” anyway? “Bodies strewn about”…bad, bad, bad! I am sure it was the label who cam up with this garbage anyway. I bought their decent “Red Hot And Heavy” LP back in 1984.
Runner up goes to Noise International‘s Destruction ad, which reads “Guess who’s back?, Destruction is back, Cracked Brain is Here.” And then it has this text: “Turn the volume to 11 for this one” (how original -ed) wrapped-around a pair of mini headphones!
Tyketto’s “It don’t come any better” slogan and “Town Bad Girl” title by Legs Diamond is pretty lame-o too.
Most “desperate” Ad:
Goes to the “Let the MEGAFORCE be with you” (Deeper into the Vault) by Megaforce Worldwide. Who could pass up on: “14 rare and unreleased tracks in a classic collectors deluxe package. Unique & Essential”??? I wonder how much this is worth now? Props to Megaforce for their earlier output with Metallica, Testament, OverKill & S.O.D!
Hands down the Megadeth “Rust in Peace” (by Ed Repka) and the Suicidal Tendencies “Join the Army” (by Michael Sieff) covers are amazing!
I hope you enjoyed this latest trip down memory lane and at least got a kick out of a couple of these ads! Disclaimer: Even though I rip on album covers, song titles, lyrics and sometimes cheesy Metal band names, I am still a life-long fan of Metal music ~Kinger
*Special thanks to Brian Lew over at the Umlaut Blog. And Hugo Caldeira for a couple of scans.