The Rockstar Ramblings: The 80’s Album Razor Test
Band Photo: Guns N Roses (?)
This week I give you my top albums from the eighties hair bands. Essentially a top twenty-five list, with a twist; imagine all of the albums from the eighties disappeared and you could no longer listen to this genre ever again, similar to 1992, but permanent. Unable to own the music, hear the music on the radio, or even listen to a song at a bar…what would you do to change this? Allow me to present the razor blade test. How many times will you cut yourself to bring a particular album back to your life?
The rules are simple, only albums released in the eighties with one exception, Van Halen I (because every rule needs an exception), no greatest hits albums, no live albums unless initial release of the songs, and it is assumed that 11 razor blade cuts will lead to too much blood loss and death, so I am limiting to 10 cuts. That means no 11 razor blade cuts to NOT ever hear Custom Built (Bret Michaels). Anyway, without further ado here is one man’s list, one man’s blood. See you in the Emergency Room…
THE HONORABLE MENTIONS (The razor almost pierces the skin, and then you pull it away because it’s not worth it):
Girls, Girls, Girls (Motley Crue) : Take away the first two songs (Wild Side & Girls, Girls, Girls) and there isn’t much left on this one.
Van Halen II (Van Halen) : A solid album all the way through, has a lot of music still played today, just doesn’t have the songs I NEED to hear again and again.
Diary of a Madman (Ozzy Osbourne): See Van Halen II
Hysteria (Def Leppard) : At one point I liked this album, there I said it.
Animalize (Kiss): I’m at the point where I can’t even tell the difference between Kiss greatest hits and regular studio albums. I’m just going to assume every Kiss album is a greatest hits compilation.
Cherry Pie (Warrant): I will miss the title track, especially when in a place with a juke box and you hear this song played. I always look to find the person that played it and then purposely stand on the other side of the room. A person who plays this song is typically middle-aged and is still talking about his high school football years, when he scored four touchdowns in one game.
1 RAZOR BLADE CUT (The just in case…)
#25 Permanent Vacation (Aerosmith):The height of the second leg of their career, sober or high, who the hell knows, leading to an incredible combination of seventies blues mixed with eighties glam.
#24 Slippery When Wet (Bon Jovi): Just to be safe I’ll take one cut for this one in case I find myself in New Jersey. I don’t want to be forced to listen only to Bruce Springsteen.
#23 Pyromania (Def Leppard): Hysteria is more popular with most, but I like the raw sound on this album, before the synthesizers, computers, and bags of cash changed their sound.
#22 Stick It To Ya (Slaughter): Three words, UP ALL NIGHT…there, tell me you didn’t just finish the line.
#21 Eat’em and Smile (David Lee Roth): Only Roth can go from rocking songs like Yankee Rose to bluesy Tabacco Road to Sinatra’s That’s Life and make it sound seamless.
3 RAZOR BLADE CUTS (Worth a little pain)
#20 Night Songs (Cinderella): Underrated by many, I’m taking Night Songs (Shake Me, Push Push, Nobody’s Fool, etc…) over Long Cold Winter.
#19 British Steel (Judas Priest): Still holds up and is a great driving album, throw it in, put the top down, and let the fist pumping begin.
#18 Slave To The Grind (Skid Row): After much success from their ballad friendly debut album, Sebastian Bach and company came out swinging in this one with only a couple misses.
#17 Dr. Feelgood (Motley Crue): Some of Bob Rock’s finest production work complete with classic hits and little filler, unfortunately, for me, the high production value also means a loss of grittiness present in the Crue’s first few albums.
#16 1984 (Van Halen): The rocking sound of four band members all on the same page (which is amusing because this was apparently not the case).
5 RAZOR BLADE CUTS (I admit it, I will listen to these sometime in the near future)
#15 W.A.S.P. (W.A.S.P.): I fell in love early with the first track, I Wanna Be Somebody through the final track, The Torture Never Stops. This was also the cassette I would always carry with me to help equalize the Def Leppard and Poison cassettes.
#14 Lies, Lies, Lies (Guns N’ Roses): The live side is scratchy and raw, the second side is soft and disturbing. I still can’t figure it out, but somehow it all works.
#13 Look What The Cat Dragged In (Poison): The title track is still my favorite Poison song.
#12 Metal Health (Quiet Riot) : In addition to Bang Your Head and Cum On Feel The Noise, it’s the howling Slick Black Cadillac and Love’s A Bitch that keeps me interested.
#11 Out of The Cellar (Ratt): In my opinion there isn’t any filler on this one, straight rock and roll from start to finish. Some of the songs sound dated today, but are still THAT good. Plus, I like to see what movies Mickey Rourke is going to do and it now seems like a prerequisite that songs from this album are always in his movies.
7 RAZOR CUTS (Life is better with these albums)
#10 Whitesnake (Whitesnake): I keep insisting this album is a strip club compilation album, but everyone disagrees with me, so here it is.
#9 Skid Row (Skid Row): The debut album that bridged the sound of Poison and GNR, I really didn’t know if this cassette was equalizing the Poison and Slaughter or making it worse, but I knew I liked it.
#8 Open Up and Say Ah! : Drenched in catchy hooks and cheap riffs throughout, it’s the songs in between the video songs like Love On The Rocks, Good Love, and Look But You Can’t Touch that put this in heavy rotation in my walkman for six months. The one exception was of course Bad to Be Good which was and still is an awful song.
#7 Dancing Undercover (Ratt): For my money (or blood) this is Ratt’s best effort. Glam rock’s version of a rock opera, one song leading into the next; I believe the opera is about a whore.
#6 Shout At The Devil (Motley Crue): Another album with great song placement. Even the guitar solo God Bless The Children of The Beast sounded like a long intro to Helter Skelter which by the way is an incredible cover by Vince Neil, a singer who has proven over the years he could have been an incredible career as front man for countless cover bands had the whole Motley Crue thing not worked out.
10 RAZOR CUTS (The essentials)
#5 Blizzard of Oz (Ozzy Osbourne):
One of the few albums where I enjoy the guitar work more than the vocal effort.
#4 Stay Hungry (Twisted Sister):
The first album (cassette) I ever owned. An interesting arrangement of songs (still unique today) that takes the listener from that classic Twisted hard rock sound to horror movie soundtrack back to hard rock.
#3 Van Halen I (Van Halen):
Emotion and a sense of something new are heard on this one, one of rock’s masterpieces.
#2 Too Fast For Love (Motley Crue):
It’s the Motley album I always come back to, loaded with the right amount of rawness, punk, and rock. Sometimes the best music is before a band knows exactly what they are doing.
#1 Appetite For Destruction (Guns N’ Roses):
A perfect storm of blues rock, drugs, and rage. Still a soundtrack of many lives today, played at sporting events, bars, and of course strip clubs (it always comes back to this doesn’t it?). You could remove the three singles Welcome To The Jungle, Sweet Child O’ Mine, and Paradise City and I would still have this sitting number one on my list.
DISCLAIMER: Neither the author or this website condones cutters or the act of cutting to prove your loyalty to any music, unless of course you are really passionate about your music!
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