Tales from the Jugular

25 Years Later--Staff Top 10 Albums of 1987!

By: Maximum Metal Staff
Published: Friday, May 25, 2012
#1 Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction
#2 Overkill - Taking Over
#2 Savatage - Hall of the Mountain King
#2 Whitesnake - Whitesnake
#3 Aerosmith - Permanent Vacation
#3 Def Leppard- Hysteria
#3 Dokken - Back for the Attack
#3 Exodus - Pleasures of the Flesh
We originally did this list in 2012 when 1987 was 25 years ago. We are now at 30 years and wanted to bring back this column as a retro look at a year filled with amazing releases.

Staff Top 10 Albums of 1987

David Loveless
First and foremost, I have been (and always will be) a Metalhead for life! Over the years I've come to appreciate a wide variety of music and now - in my 40's - have expanded my music collection way beyond just Metal. However, back in 1987, at the young age of 15, the only music that mattered was Metal! I believe the late 80's (specifically 1987) was extremely important for metal as Thrash Metal was in full charge and Death and Doom Metal were on the rise. Here are my favorite albums of 1987:

1. Candlemass - Nightfall = Although Black Sabbath introduced the world to Doom Metal, Candlemass took the doom riff to the extreme, and along with the operatic vocals of Messiah Marcolin, proved to be ahead of their time with Nightfall. Some of the best Doom Metal ever recorded is on this album!

2. Death - Scream Bloody Gore = This album needs no explanation, however, I'll tell you that when I first heard this album it scared the crap out of me! I was also fascinated by it as well. I've never heard anything this heavy (at the time) and the vocals were extremely sick. The rest is history, as Chuck Schuldner and crew helped pave the way for Death metal as we know it today!

3. Death Angel - The Ultra-Violence = On of the greatest Thrash albums at all times and the big draw back in 1987 was that Death Angel were all still teenagers when this was released. Although that is pretty common these days, back then, I was mesmerized by their talent, especially at that age!

4. Exodus - Pleasures of the Flesh = This is when Exodus really started stepping up their game in the songwriting arena. Although it was 1998's Fabulous Disaster that put Exodus on the commercial map, Pleasures of the Flesh was a more serious Thrash Metal masterpiece that still stands the test of time.

5. King Diamond - Abigail = I've always been a fan of King Diamond, and it was Abigail that sealed the deal for me. With great musicianship, impeccable vocals, and the beginning of a long string of concept albums, King Diamond was going in a direction that hardly anyone else was going and it was awesome!

6. Kreator - Terrible Certainty = This album is probably in my top 3 favorite Thrash albums of all times. The first time that I heard Toxic Trace, I was hooked for life! Very heavy, thrashy, and speed beyond most other bands, Kreator mauled the competition and with Terrible Certainty, they did it with ease!

7. Overkill - Taking Over = Epic Band, Epic Album!! Enough said!!

8. Rush - Hold Your Fire = Rush is my ALL-TIME favorite band! Although not a metal band per-se, their brand of progressive hard rock was good enough for me. This is still one of my favorite Rush albums of all times because of the great song writing and awesome production! Almost unheard of during those days.

9. Sanctuary - Refuge Denied = I bought this on cassette (the first time) because I thought it had a cool cover. I never heard of this band before so I wasn't expecting much. However, when I first heard Warrel Dane cut loose on Battle Angels, I instantly got chills! Produced by Dave Mustaine, this is definitely one of the greatest Thrash Albums of all times! It's too bad they only made 2 (kick ass) albums and then broke up.

10. Voivod - Killing Technology = Hands down, Voivod is one of the greatest metal bands of all times! Killing Technology saw a change in songwriting for the band as they were writing longer heavier songs! Backed by an awesome album cover, this is an instant classic and still gets regular rotation spots in my iPhone.

1. Aerosmith- Permanent Vacation-Maybe it was Desmond Child, maybe it was just right time, right place, but imho, Permanent Vacation put Aerosmith back on the musical map again- it was considered their comeback album to the long time fans, and brought in an entirely different set with 3 hit singles...this is Aerosmith rejuvenated- 2 ys later they were able to put out Pump..and then lost the steam...but for 1987, this album was one of the year's finest offerings.

2. Def Leppard- Hysteria- Rumor has it that Mutt Lange made the band redo over and over each song until it was perfect, and perhaps that is why Hysteria comes along as such a well oiled machine. Some think it is too slick, others don't but with 7 really good songs out of the 12, this album also seemed to be the impossible happening as many thought that Rick Allen would never play again and Def Leppard was done..it was also the last album to feature Steve Clark and if for no other reason stands to have a spot in rock and roll history.

3. Great White- Once Bitten- Poor Great White, despite chart topping success, they are not always taken very seriously, but let's face it-they know how to craft a good song, or cover one...Maybe Once Bitten had a bit of filler but "Rock Me" was good enough to herald better albums down the road...and keep heads bobbing back and forth for years to come.

4. Guns N' Roses -Appetite For Destruction: Who knew the title of one of the most pivotal albums of 1987 would ring true for the band just a few years later...packed with one hit after another, AFD is perhaps the one of the best highlights of 1987 . MTV helped, the sleazy sunset strip vibe of the band wasn't lost on viewers and the well crafted songs weren't lost on the listeners. AFD became the rock anthem for the year.

5. The Cult- Electric- Demonstrating that the Brits know a thing or two about rock and roll, The Cult came out with Electric and it was just enough different to set it apart and sound like an entirely different genre. I am still convinced that UK Music Anglophiles across the world, finally found in Electric proof once again that Brits can rock it with the best of them. Electric, was the Cult's "hard rock" album, and I don't think people expected it...it was a wonderful surprise and props to Rick Rubin for pulling it out of the band.

6. Whitesnake- Whitesnake- Seven sure was a lucky number for the 'snake---the self titled album was their 7th and it hit the nail squarely on the head. Sykes' playing was perfection and Coverdale's vocals were perfection on top of perfection. Scoring five hits , this album was worth the wait. 8 times Platinum proved that Whitesnake's aim for a heavier sound was exctly what the doctor ordered.

7. Judas Priest- Priest! Live- It's Judas Priest. It's live.

8. Midnight Oil- Diesel and Dust- Rock and Roll and environmental concerns...who would have thought such a pairing would work but it did...the sound was different, the topic was deeper than your usual, "I miss you come back home" rock lyric and Peter Garrett's vocals were decidedly different. D and D put Australia back on the rock map and many critics consider it as one of the top Australian albums of all time...either way, it was different and brought some political issues to the forefront so for that it deserves a spot in 1987's top 10.

9. Janes Addiction- Janes Addiction- According to musical folklore- In January 1987, the band recorded its debut record during a live performance at the Roxy Theatre at a cost of $4,000....and perhaps it sounds like they only spent 4,000.00...but it did have Jane Say's on it and that song was enough to hold an entire album together. Great lyrics, great instrumentation and a statement about the world at that given moment in time.

10. Concrete Blonde- Concrete Blonde: Bloodletting was probably a better album if only for the number of hits, but this debut was strong and if for no other reason it introduced the world to a pivotal band that rarely gets its due. And ......Johnette Napolitano.

1987! This lil hellion of hormones in rebellion of home turned 15 that summer. Looking back I knew this was the best year of my life despite any pre-existing knowledge that it wasnt.

What I carried with me from car to car, into my room, or to friends was my still-in-shape, red, zippered nylon tape case. These 10 albums listed below were in constant rotation, even in my grandmother's car before I got my drivers license. Of course, being the self proclaimed "college of rock knowledge", I was never with out music and its probably what saved my life back then and is what continues to pass me by as your all American friendly metalhead. So,lets take a look inside the tape case and listen to what it has to say 25 years later! In no particular order here I have the top 5 and the bottom 5 to speak more articulately than me.

Whitesnake -s/t
Aerosmith - Permanent Vacation
Def Leppard - Hysteria
Guns N Roses - Appetite for Destruction
Motley Crue - Girls, Girls, Girls

One man played the instrumental instrument in the success in 3 outta my top 5. That man is simply known as John Kalodner. JK rehabed Aerosmith from all they had done with mirrors in the early 80s. JK found Guns N Roses while looking for a half-way smoked cigarette butt in the Sunset Strip gutters of Hollywood. And he loaded Whitesnake on that sailing ship headed for America. This Top 5 continues to move up another seat in their mile high 100 million sales plus club through backstock and reunion albums and tours. They will always be there, not only in the history of 1987, but forever more as Icons of strength and longevity.

Dokken - Back for the Attack
Black Sabbath - Eternal Idol
Dio - Dream Evil
Alice Cooper - Raise Your Fist and Yell
Great White - Once Bitten

The bottom 5 also in no particular order were just as important to me in helping to create a mix for the soundtrack of my life at the time. Dio was a no brainer. The minute my older neighbor played the Sabs "Heaven and Hell" and the Scorpions "Blackout" in 1980 I knew right then and there I was blessed to have metal in my corner. Dokken came out of the gates like a raging bull with their opus "Back for the Attack". Couldn't let Sabbath slip by either. Even with a string of Ritchie Blackmore vocalists, Iommi carried that cross and introduced the smooth warm English vox of Tony Martin into the church, where he would serve just under the next 10 years playing second to O$$Y's career time in the band. Alice Cooper was found guilty of mass mental cruelty on his surprisingly dark and heavy "Raise Your Fist and Yell." I was so hypnotized I wore out his tour shirt but saved it for my last final moment as I graduated a couple years later. I proudly wore it under my grad robe and raised the sign as my name was called. I felt like the rock stars I held so dearly in my heart.

History was in the making and my generation could feel the fire and desire in the air and on the airwaves. We held our breath hoping this would trap that year in a paradox gasping for oxygen and still blowing the winds of rock across America forever. In that moment, we immortalized 1987 as not only a year in time, but also as a year that will always be considered by many as "back in the day" in our hearts and memories. God bless 1987 and all those fortunate enough to have lived and survived and continue to regard it as the best of the best 25 years later.

Greg Watson
1. Death-Scream Bloody Gore-This is one of my favorite Death metal albums of all time; the penultimate Death album in my opinion. A must own for any Death metal fan and one of the albums that brought Death metal out of the shadows.

2. King Diamond-Abigail-My favorite King album hands down. Has all the essentials that make King Diamond the enigma that he is. Fantastic album.

3. Dio-Dream Evil-One of the first metal records I ever bought and one that still makes it's way into my playlist.

4. Ozzy Osbourne-Tribute-Released after Randy Rhoads passed away, has my all time favorite guitar piece by Randy, "Dee". I can listen to this album and think about sitting in my car smoking a cigarette and pondering the problems of life.

5. Def Leppard-Hysteria

6. Sanctuary-Refuge Denied-I remember when I was into Nevermore a fellow metal head told me to check out Sanctuary because Warrel was in the band. The first time I listened to it, my jaw hit the floor because I'd never heard him sing like that. Great classic metal record.

7. Testament-The Legacy-Great Testament album, one of my favorites. Apocalyptic City still gives me chills to this day. Some of Skolnick's best work.

8. Savatage-Hall of the Mountain King

9. Exodus-Pleasures of the Flesh

10. Kreator-Terrible Certainty

Anthrax-Among the Living -The best thrash metal album ever written period!
Key songs: Caught in a Mosh, I Am the Law, Indians

Overkill-Taking Over -Full of raw and killer thrash songs, definitely one of their better albums.
Key songs: Wrecking Crew, In Union We Stand, Powersurge

King Diamond - Abigail -The first of many horroresque concept albums
Key songs: Abigail, Funeral, The Family Ghost

Dokken - Back For The Attack -4 tries and a horror film makes this easily their best
Key songs: Dream Warriors (Used in Nightmare On Elm St. 3), Kiss of Death, Prisoner

Savatage - Hall of the Mountain King -They fully embraced progressive metal, and this was their first concept album.
Key songs: Hall of the Mountain King, Beyond the Doors of the Dark, The Price You Pay

Testament - The Legacy -They have released several good albums over the years, but their debut remains their best.
Key songs: Do or Die, First Strike Is Deadly, Over the Wall

Helloween - Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part I -
This is the German power metal group's best album. and also the first album with vocalist Michael Kiske.
Key songs: Future World, I'M Alive, Follow The Sign

Warlock - Triumph And Agony -The fourth and final Warlock release
Key songs: All we Are, Touch of Evil, Für Immer

Exodus- Pleasures of the Flesh -This is the first Exodus album to feature Steve Souza on vocals with several demos from the album with their former singer Paul Baloff circulating on the internet
Key songs: Til Death Do us Part, Braindead, Seeds of Hate

Guns N' Roses - Appetite for Destruction -First release from the answer to the glam movement
Key songs: Welcome to the Jungle, Mr. Brownstone, Sweet Child O' Mine

1. Dokken - Back For The Attack
2. Black Sabbath - Eternal Idol
3. Savatage - Hall Of The Mountain King
4. Guns 'N Roses - Appetite For Destruction
5. Overkill - Taking Over
6. Dio - Dream Evil
7. Running Wild - Under Jolly Roger
8. Alice Cooper - Raise Your Fist...
9. Helloween - Keeper Of The Seven Keys
10. Whitesnake - ST

Frank Hill
Aerosmith - Permanent Vacation
Anthrax - Among the Living
Grim Reaper - Rock You To Hell
Guns N' Roses - Appetite for Destruction
Heathen - Breaking the Silence
Helloween - Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part 1
Manowar - Fighting the World
Overkill - Taking Over
Savatage - Hall of the Mountain King
Whitesnake - Whitesnake

1 Rush - Hold Your Fire
2 Def Leppard - Hysteria
3 Guns 'N Roses - Appetite for Destruction
4 Motley Crue - Girls, Girls, Girls
5 Whitesnake - Whitesnake
6 U2 - Joshua Tree
7 Dokken - Back for the Attack
8 Kiss - Crazy Nights
9 Pink Floyd - A Momentary Lapse of Reason
10 INXS - Kick
Honorable Mention - Great White - Once Bitten; Beastie Boys - Licensed to Ill; Yes - Big Generator

JOANNE LAROCHE (retro add)
Aerosmith - Permanent Vacation
Alice Cooper - Raise Your Fist and Yell
Exodus - Pleasures of the Flesh
Guns N' Roses - Appetite for Destruction
Helix - Wild in the Streets
Overkill - Taking Over
Ozzy Osbourne - Tribute
Raven - Life's a Bitch
Savatage - Hall of the Mountain King
Warlock - Triumph and Agony

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