The Return of Used Metal
Aerosmith - Permanent Vacation - While Aerosmith had made their first stab at a comeback with 1985’s Done With Mirrors, it was 1987’s Permanent Vacation that truly put them back on the international stage. With songs more tailor made for radio and MTV, Permanent Vacation featured the hits “Dude Looks Like A Lady”, “Rag Doll” and “Angel.” I got a chance to see this tour in Dallas and they put on one hell of a show. Sure, it’s slicker than earlier Aerosmith, but it’s still a great album.
Judas Priest - Screaming For Vengeance & Defenders of the Faith - Released in 1982 and 1984 respectively, Screaming for Vengeance and Defenders of the Faith is a Heavy Metal one-two punch that most bands never achieved, and Priest had already done it previously with British Steel and Killing Machine (Hell Bent For Leather) in 1978 and 1980. Featuring the all-time classic metal anthem “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming”, Screaming For Vengeance is my favorite Judas Priest album and while it doesn’t have a crushing classic single, Defenders of the Faith is cut from the same riff heavy cloth as its predecessor. Grabbing both of these at the same time is the way to go, because they fit together so well.
Tesla - Mechanical Resonance - The 1986 debut album from Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Tesla, Mechanical Resonance is probably the 80’s metal record I go back to the most. More hard rock than hair metal, this one is heavy and melodic and doesn’t let you go once it starts. Sure, it has the single “Little Suzi”, but its the heavy tracks that sell this one. “EZ Come EZ Go” and “Modern Day Cowboy” are two of my favorites. This one still sounds good 35 years later.
AC/DC - Powerage - It’s not easy to hunt down Bon Scott AC/DC albums, so grab this one while you can. Released in 1978, Powerage is classic Bon Scott. Featuring tracks like “Rock N Roll Damnation” and “Sin City”, Powerage helped the band break out in the United States. A little rougher, a little more mature and with a lot more swagger, Powerage is one you need in your collection.