I had first been exposed to metal in 1985 through music videos by Twisted Sister and Ratt, and by the cassette tapes some of my grade 7 classmates would blast on their ghetto blasters and walkmans. The mid-80s was an era dominated by dime-a-dozen, crotch-rockin, party-all-the-time glam/sleaze metal bands in America, the rise of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal in the U.K., and in the underground, the emergence of thrash and speed metal. This was also the time of the Parents' Music Resource Centre's (PMRC) war on metal. The organization, led by Al Gore's wife Tipper, had sought to censor metal music and its associated imagery. The matter was referred to congressional witch hunts.... er, hearings, which fanned a moral panic linking heavy metal to devil worship and other stuff. I could write a lot more about this, but bottom line: metal was under heavy assault by social conservatives.... and that made it the ideal time to dive in!
The first metal album I purchased (cringe) was Poison's Look What The Cat Dragged In (1986), and from there, the downward spiral was swift. Poison led to Motley Crue and Whitesnake, then on to Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne and W.A.S.P. By 1988, I had completed my conversion to Metalica and Megadeth. Looking back at the releases from 1987, I'm shocked at the realization that iwas an off year for studio albums from my favourite bands. Still, there was plenty of good stuff, and I find it interesting that the only album that Alex S. and I have in common on our lists is King Diamond's Abigail.