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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Top 5 Underrated 80's Metal Bands

There is without a doubt a tone of great bands that came out of the 80's.  On the one hand, you got the 80's hair bands such as, Dokken, Motley Crue, and Ratt that not just had a glam look, but also had amazing musicians that made some of the best music in history.  On the other, you got the rise of thrash with bands like Megadeth, Metallica, and Anthrax bring a new heavy style to metal that wasn't seen before.  However, there are also a lot of bands that fell through the cracks and didn't get the attention they deserve.  For this list I will count the most underrated bands of  80's metal.  

5.  TNT

TNT is a Norwegian band founded in 1982 by guitarist Ronni Le Tekro and drummer Diesel Dahl.  Theye would perform in Norwegian music scene with a range of members before finally securing bassist Morty Black and American singer, Tony Harnell.  This line up would bring TNT to the international scene with the release of their Tell No Tales album in 1987.  With their single 10,000 Lovers, they finally gain traction in Europe, Japan, and the US.  The band would go on to have one more successful album in 1989, Intuition.  This record would feature some classic TNT songs such as Intuition itself and Tonight I'm Falling.  With the high vocal range of Tony Harnell and the melodic guitar playing of Ronni Le Tekro, TNT has slight European style that makes this band very unique.  Sadly, just as they were gaining traction they would suffer the same problem as the majority of the bands on this list would suffer.  That problem came in the form of grunge.  With the rise of grunge only a few years away TNT would decline and never get a chance to get the attention they deserved.  The good news is that this band would go on to fight through the grunge movement and are still making music and touring today.  Their music is available on ITunes, Amazon, and Ebay.  If you like good melodic metal I highly recommend their Tell No Tales, and Intuition albums.  Those albums have a ton of great songs with almost no filler.  Buy these records, along with the rest of their music.   

4.  Trixter

Trixter is an American band that formed with Pete Loran as lead singer, Steve Brown on guitar, Mike Pane on drums, and Douglas Cowie on bass.  For many years they would make their way around the concert scene and in that time Pane and Cowie would quit the band and in 1988 they got their classic line up with P.J. Farley taking over on bass, and Mark Gus Scott on drums.  Trixter is a band famed for their great vocals and Steve Browns combo of hard rock, melodic, and country sounding guitar playing. this style gained them a ton of fame, not just in the rock community but in the charts as well.  In 1989 they debuted their self titled record and would gain traction on the charts.  Their single, Line Of Fire, would gain popularity through radio play and would work its way to No. 1 on the charts.  They followed that with a video for their song, Give It To Me Good.  This would lead them to tour with great bands such as Stryper, Dokken, and Warrant.  They would experience success again in with their second single, One in a Million reaching No. 1, and their album reaching number 28 on the Billboards top 200 album chart.  However, as quickly as their fame came it was gone.  They tried getting through the grunge scene at first, but by 1995 they gave in and disbanded.  However, they would reunite in 2008 to perform at the sold out Rocklahoma Festival.  Since then, the band has been active and continues to make music today.  Their music is available on ITunes and Amazon.  Their self titled album is a great introduction to this bands music and I highly recommend it.

 3.  Loudness
Loudness is a band out of Japan that was found in 1981 by guitarist Akira Takasaki, bassist Masayoshi Yamashita, Munetaka Higuchi on drums, and Minoru Niihara on lead vocals.  They gained fame in Japan in the early 80's until their 1985 western debut, Thunder in the East.  Their single, Crazy Nights was a big hit that earned a lot of air time on MTV, leading them to great success in the US.  Their success would grow when they released their Lighting Strikes album.  Their single, Let it Go, would be a commercial success and would earn the band tons of fame in the U.S. and Europe.  Sadly though, they would never reach the same status as many of their fellow 80's metal bands and never got the recognition they deserved.  They almost achieved it, just like the other bands, grunge came along.  The good news for this band was that the were still pretty popular in Japan, so while they didn't have popularity in the west anymore, they could turn to their home country and they would spend the bulk of the 90's in Japan.  A big reason for this is mainly because grunge music never took route in Japan, glam just evolved into Visual Kei.  However, in 2000 they would start going more abroad again. I highly recommend this bands Lightning Strikes album and Thunder in the East.  Akira is an underrated guitar player and should be given more glory.  Their music is available on ITunes and Amazon, get it.

2.  Autograph
       
Autograph is an  American band  founded in 1983 with Steve Lynch on guitar, Steve Plunkett on lead vocals and guitar, Randy Rand on bass, Keni Richards on drums, and Steven Isham on Keyboards.  Autograph has an interesting claim to fame.  The band never made their way around the club scene, or local concert scene.  Instead, Keni, who was friends with David Lee Roth from Van Halen, was able to talk David Lee Roth into opening for Van Halen on their 1984 tour.  During this time the released their debut album, Sing In Please.  This album would contain the bands biggest hit, Turn Up The Radio.  the song would become a top 30 hit, it would help Sign In Please become a gold album, and Steve Lynch would wing guitar solo of the year in Guitar Player Magazine.  Steve Lynch's two hand tapping solos would become one of the biggest highlights of the bands music, making him truly an underrated guitar player.  Sadly, like the old saying goes, easy come easy go, the band would never achieve the same level of success they did with Turn Up The Radio and as a result would disband in 1989.  However, they would reunite in 2013 and have been active ever since, with the exception that singer, Steve Plunkett choosing not to rejoin the band.  Sign In Please is defiantly an album worth buying, especially when it comes to Steve Lynch's guitar playing.  Get it on ITunes or secure a physical copy, but do whatever it takes to listen to it.

1.  Leatherwolf
  
Leatherwolf is an American band founded in 1981  with Michael Oliveri on lead vocals and guitar, Dean Roberts on drums, Carey Howe on guitar, Geoff Cayer on guitar, and Matt Hurich on bass.  The band played on the L.A. club scene with the rest of the other hair bands until they debuted with their self titled album in 1987.  Their single, The Calling, would help the band gain a lot of traction in popularity, leading them to open for some of the more popular bands of the era.  They would follow that with their second album, Street Ready.  The single, Hideaway, continued the bands momentum, leading them to bigger crowds and more radio play.  However, at the height of their career, grunge became the new thing and as a result the bands fame came to an end and they disbanded in 1991.  They would reunite in 1999 and have continued to tour and write new music since then.  This is a band I highly recommend, especially their first album.  While they may have looked glam, they didn't sound glam.  Where as the majority of the bands of that era talked about partying and sex, Leatherwolf was a more heavier, darker band.  For example, the opening song on their self titled album, Rise Or Fall, is about the death of a king.  another example, Princess of Love, is a song about a ghost ship.  Also, this band is another example of great guitar players not getting the attention they deserve.  These guys are some of the most talented guitar players to come out of the 80's and it is a real shame they are not recognized for it.  Their music is available on ITunes, buy it, listen to it, enjoy it.  

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