Bang Your Head Volume Two 1980 – 1986


1980 - 1983

01 JUDAS PRIEST / Grinder / British Steel April 1980

02 BLACK SABBATH / Heaven And Hell / Heaven And Hell June 1980

03 AC/DC / Back In Black / Back In Black July 1980

04 OZZY OSBOURNE / Crazy Train / Blizzard Of Oz September 1980

05 ANGEL WITCH / Angel Witch / Angel Witch December 1980

06 MOTORHEAD / Ace Of Spades / No Sleep Til’ Hammersmith June 1981

07 RIOT / Swords And Tequila / Fire Down Under September 1981

08 MOTLEY CRUE / Live Wire / Too Fast For Love October 1981

09 OZZY OSBOURNE / Diary Of A Madman / Diary Of A Madman October 1981

10 VENOM / Black Metal / Black Metal January 1982

11 IRON MAIDEN / Number Of The Beast / Number Of The Beast March 1982

12 SCORPIONS / Blackout / Blackout March 1982

13 JUDAS PRIEST / Electric Eye / Screaming For Vengeance July 1982

14 DEF LEPPARD / Rock Of Ages / Pyromania January 1983

15 SAXON / Power And The Glory / Power And The Glory March 1983

16 IRON MAIDEN / The Trooper / Piece Of Mind May 1983

17 HANOI ROCKS / Back To Mystery City / Back To Mystery City May 1983

18 DIO / Holy Diver / Holy Diver June 1983


1983 - 1986


01 METALLICA / Seek And Destroy / Kill Em’ All July 1983

02 MOTLEY CRUE / Shout At The Devil / Shout At The Devil August 1983

03 ACCEPT / Balls To The Wall / Balls To The Wall January 1984

04 RATT / Round And Round / Out Of The Cellar

05 TWISTED SISTER / I Wanna Rock / Stay Hungry May 1984

06 METALLICA / Creeping Death / Ride The Lightning July 1984

07 MERCYFUL FATE / A Dangerous Meeting / Don’t Break The Oath July 1984

08 WASP / I Wanna Be Somebody / WASP August 1984

09 IRON MAIDEN / Two Minutes To Midnight / Powerslave September 1984

10 CELTIC FROST / Circle Of The Tyrants / To Mega Therion December 1985

11 ANTHRAX / Madhouse / Spreading The Disease December 1985

12 S.O.D. / Speak English Or Die / Speak English Or Die December 1985

13 METALLICA / Master Of Puppets / Master Of Puppets March 1986

14 KREATOR / Pleasure To Kill / Pleasure To Kill April 1986

15 SLAYER / Angel Of Death / Reign In Blood October 1986

16 MEGADETH / Peace Sells / Peace Sells November 1986


   As Judas Priest, Motorhead, AC/DC and others ripped heavy metal from its hard rock roots, the punk revolution was destroying every olde worlde musical value in its path. Any crumb of industry support for metal evaporated but punk did renew Britain’s sense of musical identity and through its DIY ethic, inspired bands like Iron Maiden, Saxon, Def Leppard and Angel Witch to release their own records. As word spread, the new renaissance was clumsily titled the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal or the catchy NWOBHM for short. The established Judas Priest were appointed flag bearers and by 1981 the genre already had a short legacy working on its behalf. But there was to be no rest for the wicked!

   In June 1981 the first issue of music weekly spin off Kerrang! appeared, instantly becoming the heavy metal bible. Its international export inspired floods of overseas bands like Germanys Accept and New York’s Riot. Ironically Twisted Sister were introduced to their own country through those very pages. Iron Maiden, the best of the new breed, seized their opportunity and fully realised the NWOBHM’s creative potential. New singer Bruce Dickinson’s recording debut Number Of The Beast proved a masterful, defining moment. Another was Black Metal by militant Geordie Satanists Venom. A complete future sub genre would eventually mutate from that one unholy racket.

   Meanwhile America was still awakening from a disco nightmare and the ruins of punk. The heavy metal revolution slowly gestated, a few devout believers preaching the word of the NWOBHM. As they awaited bands of their own, an unlikely European alliance came from the burnt out Ozzy Osbourne. A Los Angeles resident since 1976, his new more melodic sound was powered entirely by American musicians. By 1983 heavy metal was being airlifted in, popularised by larger, more frequent tours. Fans whose idea of excitement was initially rearranged by AC/DC were blown apart by Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and other British invaders. Sabbath themselves had rejoined the fray with new front man Ronnie James Dio who reinvented their stately doom with grandiose concepts before launching a solo career.

   However, small pockets of American resistance were starting to go overground, the most noticeable being the LA club scene headed by the punky, big haired Motley Crue, Ratt and WASP, spiritually guided by forerunners Hanoi Rocks from Finland. And yet this was just a minor glam diversion from what would be the real deal. As the 1980’s moved on America injected metal with its own style and approach. And then came Metallica.

   James Hetfield and Lars Ullrich were both walking encyclopaedias of the NWOBHM, only they knew they could do it harder, faster and better. Their debut Kill ‘Em All expanded the boundaries while steeped deeply in heavy metals new legacy. A year later Ride The Lightning urged confrontational subject matter well beyond the usual escapism. To differentiate their approach, they tagged themselves ‘power metal’ and were joined by a youthful Anthrax, Megadeth, former Metallica guitarist Dave Mustaines stunning new band, and finally Slayer, who with a healthy satanic interest and deathly fast speed were a supreme early example of black metal. Together these were the ‘Big Four’ of new American metal, all rapidly transferring from independent to major labels in readiness for their eventual global domination.

   As their influence increased new bands no longer emulated the soaring vocal styles of Iron Maiden or Judas Priest but rather a gruff Hetfield derived bark. The hallmarks of power metal were revealed as a transitional phase between classic heavy metal and something entirely new: thrash metal. With an all out fury, the bands were getting heavier; dress sense matching the new minimalism with costumed finery replaced by black leather and ripped denim.

   Europe too had moved on. Scorpions originally put Germany on the map but after 1982’s supercharged Blackout they descended into power ballad sap. Accept replaced them and were soon followed by the Swiss based Celtic Frost and thrash experts Kreator. However, the true innovators were Denmark’s Mercyful Fate whose elaborate compositions even outclassed Metallica.

   Despite these bands there was no disguising the impetus had finally crossed the ocean. It was in America that heavy metal would offer even more perpetually reinvented thrills and integrate other styles in its forward push like Anthrax side project S.O.D’s metalcore mix of thrash metal and hardcore. Heavy metal was continuing to evolve yet had still to fulfil its destiny.


Spring 2005