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.
Hey Curt, I love your site!
I just read about Demolish Fanzine the other day on Invisible Oranges (going to put up a link in the blog roll).
nice to make your acquaintance.
Good luck, and keep up the awesome work – I think your site is going to blow up!
I remember a number of these. The one I am most surprised at is Necrophagia. I am surprised because I cannot believe that their cheapo label New Renaissance woould shell out the cash for a full page ad.
Wow, thanks Mike!
we appreciate the feedback and blog roll link.
I will certainly reciprocate the linkage…
Cool, thanks Mark.
I love to look at those old ads too. I cannot believe how MANY I remembered too (just like yesterday)…
N.R., well they sure were characters weren’t they. They have the reputation for being shady but they did do some
decent ad placement for *some of their bands. I am not sure about all of the contracts or anything, but they DID at least
get the product out there and send out promos to just about EVERY mag. and zine on the planet.
I know Hellion (the owners band…Ann Bolyn) sold pretty decent and AT WAR shifted some copies. So I guess that was enough to keep the wheels turning year after year and to allow them to keep putting out “new” product.
**If you notice the ad right next to NECROPHAGIA, it is another one of their “decent” bands called SAVAGE STEEL. It was also a full page ad…
Perhaps Aardschok Amercia cut them a deal for the pair of ads. Esp. since there weren’t that many ads in the entire magazine!
Typos and bad layout aside, I really did like that rag too. Esp. their scene reports! I went back and read the few issues (that managed to survive after all these years) cover to cover after scanning some of those ads.
The most feedback I get is from the great OLIVER MAGNUM as they had tons of fans everywhere they went and everyone really wanted them to make it. I know they ended up releasing some stuff, but it wasn’t the same as when they were first on the scene and all “gung-ho”. Check them out if you get a chance, real classy Heavier Metal or “Power Metal” in my book (from the late 80’s).
Thanks for reading!
Um… all of them! (Except one, see bottom).Testament, Metal Church, Dangerous Toys and Voivod are unreal vintage stuff. This is a fabulous collection you have compiled… it’s Heavy Metal history.
The Pretty Maids Ad does equal to a stale fart. Of course, KISS rules in my Metal kingdom too!
A visual Metal delight you have brought forth!
ha – thanks.
I like how you put it so eloquently. it just rolls off your tongue!
I did not realize how much I dug album art (which is usually the same in the ads) too.
I should locate more from the early 80’s. I got a good start and then I did not realize that next
thing you know I am in the late 80’s and into 90/91′!
oh well…glad you liked them. someone just sent me one from Queensryche’s “The Warning”.
I will go ad (pun-intended) that one to the gallery.
I think I will make this an on-going repository…
That Priest ad is the best!!
So freakin’ funny.
Also loved seeing the INC ad.
Their Razorback album is amazing, couldn’t believe that band didn’t go anywhere.
Yeah that priest ad is funny NOW!
I.N.C jam man. I used to listen to their music quite a bit. Great underground Thrash from the East Coast.
I have an interview around here somewhere with them to be posted.
Some cool pics too.