1. Entertainment
Send to a Friend via Email

Discuss in my forum

The Best Heavy Metal Albums Of The 1980s

The Top 20 Of The Eighties

By

The eighties were a fantastic decade for heavy metal. Some of the best metal albums ever were released in that decade. The 1980s saw the explosion of metal into the mainstream, with tons of bands getting radio and MTV airplay. It also saw the birth and rise of more extreme genres of metal. Among the thousands of metal albums released in the decade, here are our choices for the very best of the 1980s.

1. Metallica - 'Master Of Puppets' (1986)

Metallica - Master Of Puppets
Pricegrabber
Metallica's third album is their best. It doesn't have the radio singles and MTV videos as some of their later releases, but is a musical tour de force. From the trademark thrash of "Battery" to the instrumental stylings of "Orion," it's a sound of a band on top of their game. The songs are diverse and the musicianship is simply incredible.
Compare Prices

2. Slayer - 'Reign In Blood' (1986)

Slayer - Reign In Blood
Pricegrabber
This is one of the top 3 thrash metal albums and one of the top 10 metal albums ever. Many publications have named it the best metal album ever. This is speed metal at its finest, with compact songs jam packed with riffs and head banging intensity. The lyrics are also filled with dark and disturbing images. Slayer released several fantastic albums, and this is their masterpiece.
Compare Prices

3. Iron Maiden - 'The Number Of The Beast' (1982)

Iron Maiden - The Number Of The Beast
Pricegrabber
After losing their lead singer, Iron Maiden found Bruce Dickinson and rebounded with their best album and one that is a true heavy metal classic. "Run To The Hills" and the title track are among the best singles you'll ever hear, and there is not a bit of filler on this album. It features spectacular and diverse songwriting, great vocals from Dickinson and is one of the best metal albums ever.
Compare Prices

4. Metallica - 'Ride The Lightning' (1984)

Metallica - Ride The Lightning
Pricegrabber
Metallica's first album was groundbreaking, and Ride The Lightning, their second release, was another big step forward. Their songwriting improved dramatically, and they also expanded their musical horizons and the result was a much more diverse effort. Some of the classics on this album include "Creeping Death," "Fade To Black" and "For Whom The Bell Tolls."
Compare Prices

5. Judas Priest - 'British Steel' (1980)

Judas Priest - British Steel
Pricegrabber

After releasing several good albums in the 1970's, this is the one that sent Judas Priest to the stratosphere. It is widely considered to be their best album. By this time Priest had refined and perfected their sound and focused on writing catchy arena rock anthems, and they hit home runs with "Breaking The Law" and "Living After Midnight."

Compare Prices

6. Queensryche - 'Operation Mindcrime' (1988)

Queensryche - Operation Mindcrime
Pricegrabber

With their third album Queensryche brought together a great concept and great songs. Operation Mindcrime tells a story filled with political intrigue and romance. The songs are complex, yet catchy, and Geoff Tate's vocals never sounded better. Highlights include "Eyes Of A Stranger" and "I Don't Believe In Love." As a political statement of what was happening at the end of the Reagan era it is very effective. As a musical statement it's even more effective.

Compare Prices

7. Metallica - Kill 'Em All' (1983)

Metallica - Kill 'Em All
Pricegrabber

Metallica didn't invent thrash, but they certainly brought it to the masses, and this album is the one that started it all. Their debut album was groundbreaking, packed with raw power and blazing fast riffs that they would polish and perfect over the years. Dave Mustaine co-wrote several songs on this album, although he was no longer a member of the band by this time. Highlights include "Whiplash," "No Remorse" and "Seek and Destroy."

Compare Prices

8. Metallica - 'And Justice For All' (1988)

Metallica - And Justice For All
Pricegrabber

Metallica's fourth studio album is the one that launched them into the mainstream. The video for the song "One" received extensive airplay on MTV. One of my all time favorite Metallica songs, "Blackened," is also on this album. And Justice For All was one of their most musically complex album, utilizing unusual time signatures, orchestration and epic compositions.

Compare Prices

9. Megadeth - 'Peace Sells...But Who's Buying?' (1986)

Megadeth - Peace Sells...But Who's Buying?
Pricegrabber
Megadeth really hit their stride on this, their second album. It's a speed metal classic with great songs like "Wake Up Dead," "Devil's Island" and "Peace Sells." The band's songwriting improved quite a bit from their debut album and 20 years later it still holds up extremely well.
Compare Prices

10. Dio - 'Holy Diver' (1983)

Dio - Holy Diver
Pricegrabber

After fronting Rainbow and Black Sabbath, Ronnie James Dio formed his own group. He did a great job selecting his bandmates. Vivian Campbell is an outstanding guitarist and Vinny Appice a rock solid drummer. Their debut is a heavy metal classic. Dio has one of the best voices in metal, and some put him at the top. All 9 songs on the album are excellent, including the hits "Rainbow In The Dark" and the title track. "Stand Up And Shout" is also a very memorable song.

Compare Prices
  1. About.com
  2. Entertainment
  3. Heavy Metal
  4. Top Picks
  5. Best Metal Albums - 1980s
  6. Best Heavy Metal Albums Of The 1980s

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.