Were Good Hard Rock Releases Hard to Find from '95-'98? Our Response to Chris Jericho
5/25/2011 1:39:04 PM by Eric

Fozzy vocalist Chris Jericho [link] recently posted a Twitter comment that good rock records were hard to find from 1995-1998. While I certainly agree with Jericho that rock records were very hard to come by at that time, I still believe there was an abundance of great records out then...but your really had to get the dirt and grime under your nails digging deep enough.

1995 was a fairly good year as all of your big corporate hard rock bands had a few good strokes left (remember Warrant and Winger both had great albums in the early 90s along with Tesla) and the overall vibe to the Europeans and a few American bar acts was that hard music was still the party soundtrack of choice. We were all hardheaded, even me, with the flannel shirts and Grunge movement that kept the parties sedated.

Choice albums from 1995:
Clutch - Clutch
Dokken - Dysfunctional (Sony's attempt to still recreate success)
Foo Fighters - Foo Fighters (and The Colour and the Shape in '97)
L.A. Guns - Vicious Circle
Nasty Idols - Heroes For Sale
Ozzy Osbourne - Ozzmosis (not a fantastic release, but a few solid tunes)
Pretty Maids - Scream (easily the heaviest hard rock on the planet in the 90s)
Savatage - Dead Winter Dead
Skid Row - Subhuman Race
Stonewashed - Way Of Thorns (often mislabeled as Way Of Thorns - Stonewashed)
White Cross - Equilibrium (leaning towards alternative)
Z-Lot Z - Tearing At Your Mind
Rated X - Words
Skitzotik - Skitzotik
Bloodstone - Fight For Jerusalem
(all 3 of the above available domestically on the long defunct Long Island Records)

By 1996 it was a churning sea of label dumps and low-end affairs. 1998 is probably the worst year. By that point mainstream Ugly Kid Joe, Warrant, Winger, Skid Row, Tesla, etc were all told to take a hike. CMG International still had their arms wide open to embrace a few of these acts--everything from Dokken to Saxon to Overkill to BOC landed on their stoop while mainstream commercial labels looked for post-grunge in rap rock and bastard child Nu-metal.  These rock releases did come out and are worth looking into.

Bruce Dickinson - Accident of Birth
Chroming Rose - New World (got pushed stateside by Impulse Music store's small Pulse Records label)
Godsmack - Godsmack
Impellitteri - Screaming Symphony (and Eye Of The Hurricane in '97)
Jackyl - Cut The Crap (had some staying power on rock radio, Brian Johnson helped with a duet)
Pink Cream 69 - Electrified (post Andi Deris era started here...Deris left for Helloween)
Pretty Maids - Spooked (again the heaviest hard rock on the planet at this time)
Push - Maximum Entertainment
Victory - Voiceprint (last record before the reunion in 2002)

<< back >>

Hate Eternal In Flames
Into Eternity Loudness
Mudvayne Big Dumb Face
Karaboudjan Mondo Generator
Perzonal War Twelfth Gate
December Machine Head
Warhorse Queensryche
Usurper Lamb of God
Liege Lord Crematorium
Manowar Valley's Eve
Cage Led Zeppelin
October 31 Ion Vein
Agony Divine Black Sabbath
Iced Earth Bloodbath
Victory Malstrom
Drillpoint Deivos
Tesla Three Inches of Blood
Force Of Evil Silver Mountain
Drowning Pool Jag Panzer
Jaw Bang The Union
Freakhouse Wolf
Edge Of Forever Jorn
Lonewolf Ministry
Judas Priest Dimmu Borgir
Feinstein Joe Lynn Turner
Therion Meliah Rage
Potential Threat SF Dark Age
Theocracy I.C.E.
Internal Bleeding Slowlife
GWAR Witchburner
The Last Act The Lizards
Ironhorse Negative Creeps
Blind Guardian Jackyl
Triumph Dark Tranquillity
Mercenary Of Infinity
Kinetic Cradle To Grave
The New Breed Korpiklaani
Shatterpoint Yyrkoon
Hellfire Car Bomb
Ravensthorn Chuck Schuldiner
Backyard Babies Marduk
Freedom Call Frantic Bleep
Soul SirkUS Holy Moses
Kinrick Swallow The Sun
Defleshed God Among Insects
Vicious Art Dark Funeral
Secrets She Kept Slik Helvetika
Gemini 5 Sebastian Bach
Gaia The Father Panic Riot Orchestra
Cannon Iron Maidens
Flotsam & Jetsam Orphaned Land
Sun O))) Barcode
The Absence Ghost Machinery
Akercocke Crystal Ball
Infliction Chain Collector
The Tenth Circle Khold
Early Man Across Tundras
Katatonia Upwards of Endtime
Clawfinger Bal-Sagoth
Cavalar Candlemass
The Furor Abysmal Dawn
Non-Human Level Sun Descends
Gorgoroth Smohalla
Azure Space Odyssey
Agalloch Vicious Rumors
Woodtemple Burialmound
Oblomov Isis
Mastodon Eyes of Ligeia
Biolich Lupara
Obtest The Showdown
Better Left Unsaid Steve Cone
Centinex Omnium Gatherum
Crescent Shield Textures
The Prophecy Divine Empire
Katrina Johansson Transmission 0
Retrospective Wuthering Heights
Ensiferum Echoes of Eternity
Keldian Pathosray
I Shalt Become Bilocate
Cockpit Ost Est Ima
Father Befouled The Obsessed
Vulture Industries Puscifer
The Lamp of Thoth Deadsea
End of Man Papa Roach
Eighteen Wheels Burning Something Beautiful
Suspyre Dark Castle