Yell! Magazine’s Album Picks Of The Week: Rocking Out To ’80s

AC/DC – Back in Black (1980)

AC/DC - Back In Black (1980)

Back in Black is probably AC/DC’s best album. It is hard rock at its best. I remember being introduced to this album in junior high school at the age of 15 or so. But I digress; this album was instrumental in bringing hard rock/heavy metal to the mainstream. With albums like Number of the Beast, and Paranoid, Back in Black became an icon for teenage rebellion. With songs like “Hell’s Bells,” “You Shook Me All Night Long” and “Back in Black” this album became all the rage for pissed off teens.

Negatively, this album has too many forgetful or stupid songs and simple lyrics to receive five stars. These songs would include “Let Me Put My Love into You”, “What Do You Do for Money Honey” and “Givin’ the Dog a Bone”. But for the significance of this album and the great songs included, it is a must buy for a complete hard rock music library.

Van Halen – 1984 (1984)

Van Halen - 1984 (1984)

One of the few bands I enjoyed back in the ’80s, Van Halen were liked by most of my peers as it had some monster rock hits. If you are looking for introspection, mind expanding lyrics, or anything else intellectually or emotionally stimulating, then this band and this album is not what you’re looking for. This album is the ultimate party album; just fun and upbeat. Van Halen was always about good times and partying. This is their best album and has some of the best VH tunes, “Panama,” “Jump” and my favourite “Hot for Teacher.”

So, if you want a good time party album then this is one of the best. If you want something meatier, then go get some Van Morrison and leave this alone.

Mötley Crüe – Dr. Feelgood (1989)

Motley Crue - Dr. Feelgood (1989)

This or Shout at the Devil is the best that the Crüe has to offer. Shout at the Devil was more raw. This album is all slicked up and ready for radio. Bob Rock produced which added something that the Crüe was missing, namely “production.” There are a bunch of little additions here and there that you didn’t see much before this album. Police sirens et al compliment this release. Most of the songs are forgetful, except “Kickstart My Heart” which is speed music at it’s finest.

Overall this is probably the best band from the glam rock days of the ’80s and this is probably the best album to represent it; although that is not saying much.

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Have Your Say Leave A Comment

  • Evil here… Wow, what a weird “selection” and weirder comments. First off, Back in Black, is almost front to back memorable. The songs that you list as “forgettable” are among my favorites on the album. And to pull a sucker punch and fault this album for simple lyrics is like faulting GSP for being a good fighter… all of AC/DC’s songs had silly lyrics, it’s kind of the point of the band.

    VH’s 1984, while great and fun and upbeat and full-on party music, is far from their best… and more specifically, best from the Roth era. I can name three albums from the Roth years that top 1984: Van Halen, Women and Children First, and Fair Warning, heck, I might even slide VH II in there. OK, again with the lyrics. Yes, while most of their lyrics were party/girl focused, they did have some lyrics that had something to say, namely “And The Cradle Will Rock” (about a teen gone astray and going down a dark path), “Dirty Movies” (well, it’s about a girl going into a certain industry), “Mean Streets” (about life on the street and growing up tough with no future), “Runnin’ with the Devil” (about living the fast life and ultimately finding it empty)… point being that their lyrics weren’t always so empty. Actually, come to think of VH party albums, I might say that VH II tops 1984, what with songs like “You’re No Good,” “Dance the Night Away,” “Bottoms Up!,” “Women in Love…,” and “Beautiful Girls.”
    Dr. Feelgood, yes, good album, yes very polished, no, not the best from Crue, no, not the ultimate example of glam godliness, no, not the best Crue party album. What? No comment on the simple lyrics? If most of the songs on this album are forgetful, how is this among the best 2 albums from Motley Crue? How is this the best from the glam metal era? Should gone with Too Fast For Love if you wanted fun, memorable, exciting, party-mode Crue. Shout at the Devil is great, but ultimately too dark if you’re going for party. Girls, Girls, Girls sucks, save for the title track and “Wild Side.” Theater of Pain was another great album, which actually might be the most underrated in their catalog.

    As far as Motley Crue being glam, well… I can see how they could be considered as part of the genre, but they always seemed to be just outside the fringe. They were a little more raunchy, a little less polished, definitely sleazier, a bit tougher, a bit heavier. Sure, they may have looked the part with the Theater album, but I can name X bands that could easily overpower Crue in the glam department: Cinderella, Ratt, Poison, Faster Pussycat, Warrant, Britney Fox, etc.