CLASS OF 1984 – Classic Metal Albums That Are Turning 30 This Year!

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Yikes, now this post definitely makes me feel “old” – whatever that means! 1984 was a great year for hard rock and heavy metal.

*This was re-Blogged from VH1 | Ben Smith

 

It may seem like a distant memory now, [but at the time] 1984 was a very foreboding year. Whether in the dystopian George Orwell novel of the same name or the punk rock exploitation thriller Class of 1984, it had ominous connotations and the reality of it wasn’t much better. The threat of nuclear war between The United State and The Soviet Union hovered in the air, especially that summer when U.S. President Ronald Reagan glibly joked “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” Reagan was the perfect And the soundtrack to such a bleak year, from Zürich, Switzerland to California’s San Fernando Valley, was heavy f**king metal.

1984 was an important year for heavy metal music which had gained commercial ground and going from artistic strength to strength since the late 1970s. Well-established acts like Judas Priest, Dio and Iron Maiden were at peak popularity and releasing the last of their classic albums. Seminal metal bands Motorhead and Deep Purple returned from sojourns, both brief and extended, to remind the faithful of their enduring greatness. The genre made significant inroads in the charts as well as glam-metal bands like Ratt and Twisted Sister released their biggest albums, supported by widely seen music videos on the upstart cable channel MTV.

 

Judas Priest’s Rob Halford

Judas Priest’s Rob Halford performing live in 1984. [Photo: Getty Images]

The enduring legacy of metal’s Class Of 1984 though is what was happening in the metal underground. As the Hollywood bands partied and put on make-up a new generation of malcontents subsisting on cheap beer, buzzsaw riffing and fifth-generation demo tape dubs lay in wait. 1984 was the year thrash metal sent its first shots across the bow as scene leaders Metallica released their crucial sophomore effort Ride The Lightning and Anthrax issued their searing début album, Fistful of Metal. Deeper into the underground still, Celtic Frost and Bathory issued their first recordings which would help shape the sound and imagery of black metal. Even further afield, Saint Vitus and Cirith Ungol released dark, sludgey doom metal epics whose impact wouldn’t even be felt for another 15 years.

 

Cliff Burton and James Hetfield

Cliff Burton and James Hetfield of Metallica on stage in 1984. [Photo: Getty Images]

Looking back now 30 years later, there were no less than 30 important heavy metal full-length albums released in 1984 which either sold in the millions or laid the groundwork for the genre’s future evolution. This list doesn’t even take into account important EP’s by the likes of Slayer, Overkill and Hellhammer not-to-mention crucial demos from the tape trading underground. So crack a beer, crank up your favorite metal album from 1984 and check out our gallery of 30 classic heavy metal albums that are celebrating their 30th anniversaries in 2014!

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N-Joy the ALBUM COVER slide show

 

 

*How many of these are in your collection?

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