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Ten Albums Whose Anniversary We Won’t Be Celebrating in 2012
October 27th, 2011 at 6:40am

Metal_On_Metal

Metal is getting old. We don’t mean boring and tired (well, occasionally that), we mean that it now has quite a history stretching back to a time when many of its current adherents weren’t even born. That decade known as “the Eighties,” when the NWOBHM happened and modern metal as we know it was pretty much born, must seem ancient to the metal youth of today.

Especially since we are now being treated to “30-year anniversary editions” of landmark albums, and people are commemorating crap that’s, well, crappy. Thirty fucking years, man that seems like an eternity even to us and we were most definitely around back then. Nonetheless, we would like to point out that just because a metal album was released 30 years ago, doesn’t necessarily make it worth celebrating today.

So, with that in mind, we present—we’re sure to great consternation from our faithful Deciblog readers—10 metal albums from 1982 not worth commemorating.

Y&T Black Tiger
San Francisco’s Y&T released a totally ass-kicking album in 1981 called Earthshaker. It was about as close to NWOBHM-style metal as any American band (except perhaps Riot) had managed to achieve at this point. Unfortunately, it didn’t sell much and the label decided to bring in a name producer (Max Norman), who cleaned up the band’s rough edges. About half of Black Tiger is decent, but it was the first step in a disastrous direction that bottomed out with “Summertime Girls.”

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Tygers of Pan Tang The Cage
Had the Tygers of Pan Tang not shit the bed so magnificently with this album—their fourth full-length—the world might have remembered their excellent first two (and semi-decent third) albums—Wild Cat, Spellbound, Crazy Nights—more fondly. Guitarist John Sykes had fucked off to join Whitesnake and his replacement Fred Purser just didn’t seem to have the same fire, or skills. The album is loaded with lame, wimpy cover songs and the electronic drums sound incredibly cheesy. Even the cover sucks.

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Van Halen Diver Down
Speaking of too many cover songs, this was Van Halen at its fucking laziest. There are a total of five actual original songs out of twelve tracks on this turd. It’s easy to forget that a couple of those originals are decent (“The Full Bug”!), because you have to wade through so much blatant filler to get to them.

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Night Ranger Dawn Patrol
Had Ozzy Osbourne not jacked Night Ranger guitarist Brad Gillis to replace Randy Rhoads, it’s likely that Dawn Patrol would have simply died the slow death it deserved. To be honest, we don’t hate this album as much as every other Night Ranger album, but we still feel like we have to hold Ozzy responsible, in some twisted way, for this band even having a shot at a second album, where they would record “Sister Christian.”

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Rainbow Straight Between the Eyes
File this under “Oh how far the mighty have fallen.” Richie Blackmore had accumulated all sorts of artistic capital based on his mighty career with Deep Purple and the first four Rainbow albums (three with Dio and one with Graham Bonnet), but he cashed them in in a hurry when he hired vocalist Joe Lynn Turner and set his sights on the American pop charts. As the video below portrays all too clearly, he had no interest in showing off his skills at this point, he just wanted to get paid.

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Anvil Metal on Metal
Yeah, yeah, yeah, the Anvil story is a sweet one. But, good Christ, people are kidding themselves if they truly believe this band was “influential” back in the day. They were “entertaining,” but somehow the mania of seeing Lips go nuts with a vibrator on his guitar never really translated to their records, which were simply mediocre.

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Girl Wasted Youth
People have mythologized Girl and their modest achievements based on the fact that guitarist Phil Collen went on to some band called Def Leppard and vocalist Phil Lewis moved to L.A. and wound up in L.A. Guns. Girl had precious little in common with the NWOBHM (which they are often lumped in with) and their two albums for Jet Records are boring.

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Ozzy Osbourne Speak of the Devil
This was a puzzling release—a two album live set of nothing but Sabbath covers—that was rumored to have been rushed out to show-up Black Sabbath who had been struggling to put together their own Dio-era live collection, Live Evil (see below). Brad Gillis takes ridiculous liberties with Iommi’s tunes, doing all kinds of whammy-bar jackassery while Ozzy bellows like a wounded steer. Meh.

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Black Sabbath Live Evil
This is not a terrible album, but it most definitely sounds like shit (at least the original vinyl version sure did), due largely to the mixing conflict between the Iommi/Butler and DIo/Appice factions of this era of Sabbath. They farted around in the studio so long that Ozzy managed to get his own live album to the stores a full month before this came out. We also put this on the list because it was the album that effectively put an end to the best post-Ozzy period (Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules) in Sabbath’s history. Boooooo!

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Uriah Heep Abominog
We’ll admit that this may be an odd selection, but anyone who knows Uriah Heep—and there are definitely some current bands familiar with their influential ’70s output—will confirm that what they became on Abominog was more like an abomination. The album cover is the heaviest thing about the record, which features a predominance of songs written by other bands or outside songwriters. And vocalist Peter Goalby was more vanilla than soft-serve ice cream. Everything cool about Uriah Heep was gone, replaced by a band that seemed like it wanted to be Foreigner.


Decibel Magazine