After releasing several good albums in the 1970's, British Steel 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."
After leaving Black Sabbath to embark on a solo career, Ozzy Osbourne hooked up with guitarist Randy Rhoads, and the result was a fantastic album. It was more technical and modern than Sabbath, thanks to Rhoads and his guitar virtuosity. There are some great songs on this album, including "Crazy Train" and the controversial "Suicide Solution."
With lead singer Ozzy Osbourne leaving the band, many thought Black Sabbath's future was bleak. But by choosing Ronnie James Dio as the new vocalist they proved everyone wrong. Between Dio's great pipes and Tony Iommi's excellent guitar work, the band delivered one of their best albums in years. Standout songs include "Children Of The Sea," "Neon Nights" and the title track.
As far as debut albums go, this is one of the best and most influential. Countless bands would follow down the path Iron Maiden blazed. It wasn't until Bruce Dickinson became the lead singer that the band would rise to even higher heights, but Paul Di'Anno did a solid job. This album contains both straight ahead metal songs and more progressive and epic tunes that the band would gravitate toward in the future.
This was the first Motorhead album to be released in the United States, even though their first few albums were very successful in the UK. This album is a classic, from Lemmy's distinctive singing voice to memorable songs like the title track. It was loud, raw and in your face.
Diamond Head were a New Wave Of British Heavy Metal band that was a strong influence on Metallica, who later covered several of their songs. "Am I Evil", "Helpless" and "The Prince" are all on this 7 song album. There is some conflicting information about the album's release date. I've seen anywhere from 1979 to 1981 in various sources. The band's official web site says 1980, so I'm going with that.
Even though they've been around nearly as long as fellow NWOBHM groups Iron Maiden and Def Leppard, Saxon never reached the commercial popularity of those groups, although they've always had a strong and loyal fan base. Their second album was probably their best. It contains songs like "Motorcycle Man" and "Suzie Hold On." Despite the fact that they never really broke through in the U.S. this is a great band.
10. Samson - Head On
Head On was the second album from the NWOBHM band Samson, and their first with singer Bruce Bruce (although he later re-recorded vocals for a reissue of their debut album). You might know him better by his full name, Bruce Dickinson. Samson's sound was melodic, but still packed some punch. The lyrics are a bit cheesy, but it's an entertaining album that fans of both NWOBHM and Iron Maiden may want to check out.