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The importance of compilation albums in the history of heavy metal cannot be overstated. Many labels' first releases were compilations (Metal Blade, Shrapnel, New Renaissance, Ebony etc..) There are also countless bands who built enduring careers starting with just one or two compilation tracks (SLAYER, OVERKILL, METAL CHURCH, HELLOWEEN etc). METALLICA and MALICE did not even exist as permanent bands prior to recording their tracks for the first Metal Massacre LP. Even the obscure compilation-only bands often have connections to the majors if you look close enough (e.g. Dennis Stratton in REMUS DOWN BOULEVARD).

In addition to the historic importance, there are also lots of great obscurities that you'll never hear anywhere else. It's also worth mentioning that compilations are often overlooked by collectors and therefore even the best and rarest are relatively cheap. That is, if you can find them! Of course there are exceptions but even the most expensive rarities barely break $100 (e.g. Chicago Metal Works).

What is included?

While this is obviously not complete list of all metal compilations, we hope that it represents a large enough cross section of different albums that would be of interest to fans and collectors of obscure 80s metal. Some albums from the 70s and 90s are included and a wide variety of styles is covered, from hard rock to death metal. The only restrictions are that every album must have at least 3 bands (though some 3 band compilations could technically be called splits, how could we leave out an album like Roksnax?) and must include at least one exclusive track (thus avoiding all those pointless cash-in compilations on K-Tel etc..)

What is "exclusive"?

I think it's important to clarify this here, since the term exclusive can mean different things to different people. In this list, exclusive does not mean that the song was never released in any other format! A song may have been released on a demo or even another compilation and still count. Of course, alternate and rerecorded versions count as separate tracks. However, sometimes it is hard to tell the difference so any corrections are welcome. Also, some of these recordings have later turned up on band anthologys or as bonus tracks on reissues. If so we try to supply this info in the comment field, but to catch your attention the tracks are still highlighted as 'exclusive'.)

The index is divided into two main categories: Metal and mixed genres. Metal compilations obviously include albums that are, at least in intent, focused on metal. Of course, many of these will still have one or two AOR tracks or other misguided inclusions but generally they will be around 90% or more metal. Mixed genre compilations are those that did not have a specific genre in mind (typically showcasing artists from a particular area instead) but happen to include one or more metal songs. A large portion of these are compilations sponsored by radio stations (mostly seen in the US) or local music organizations (more common in Europe), often in conjunction with some sort of local artist competition. A very useful resource for the US radio albums is Radio Use Only. Unfortunately, there are so many of them and it can be hard to tell which ones have any relevant content. That's where we come in.


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72 compilations found in this cathegory.

13K: Southern Valley Sounds 7inch EP 1983

93 QFM Hometown Album Project LP 1980

95YNF - The Pirate Album '83 LP 1983

96X Oklahoma Rocks LP 1981

97 Underground: The Beast From The East… Vol. 1 LP 1987

98 Rock Volume IV (Hometapes) LP 1986

99.5 KISS: Homegrown Album LP 1981

Apple Cellar Tapes LP 1982

Chicago Rocks - Volume One LP 1980

Cleveland's Heavy Metal: Etched in Steel LP 1984

Decent Exposure '85 LP 1985

Eastern Carolina's Best II LP 1983

FM 104: Toledo's Best Rock LP 1981

FM 104: Toledo's Best Rock 2 LP 1982

Fort Wayne Rocks Volume 1 LP 1985

High Plains Rock Vol. 1 CD 1989

Home Spun, Too LP 1979

KAZY: Rocky Mountain Riffs CD 1992

KAZY: Thunder On The Mountain LP 1980

KCAL/CANHC Homegrown Benefit Album LP 1980

KDKB Arizona Sounds Volume 2 LP 1978

KDKB Arizona Sounds Volume 5 LP 1981

KDKB Arizona Sounds Volume IV LP 1980

KDBK Arizona Sounds Volume Three LP 1979

The KGON Album LP 1980

The KGON Album 2: Homegrown LP 1982

KLOL Talent 'N' Texas LP 1981

KLOS 95 1/2: Rock to Riches LP 1983

KMEL's New Oasis LP 1983

KNAC: Pure Rock LP 1987

KNAC Presents: Son of Pure Rock LP 1988

The KOZZ 105 Homegrown Album LP 1982

KSHE Seeds Homegrown Rock N Roll LP 1980

KSHE 95 Seeds Vol. II LP 1981

KZAP Hometown Album LP 1982

Little Rock Rocks II LP 1988

N.J. Rock (WDHA) LP 1982

Offering: First National Rock of Anchorage LP 1982

PYX 106 Albany's Best Rock N Roll LP 1981

Q-FM-96 Hometown Album Project LP 1978

Q107 Homegrown Vol. 3 LP 1981

Rock 106 Presents Homegrown LP 1980

Rock To Riches: 94 Rock LP 1983

Rock To Riches: 98 Rock LP 1982

Shootin' For The Stars LP 1982

SLO Grown LP 1978

Southern New England's Best Rock From JB 105 LP 1981

Starview 92: Best Of The Bands 1987 LP 1988

Street Rock II LP 1984 LP 1984

Vinyl Ecstasy: The Second Q-FM-96 Hometown Album LP 1980

WAPP: New York Rocks 1983 LP 1983

WBAB: Homegrown '84 LP 1983

WBAB: Homegrown Album LP 1981

WBAB: Son Of Homegrown LP 1982

WCMF 96: Rochester's Homegrown Bands LP 1980

WCMF 96: Homegrown 2 LP 1981

WCMF 96: Homegrown 3 LP 1982

WCMF 96: Homegrown 4 LP 1983

WCMF 96.5: Homegrown 5 LP 1985

WCMF 96.5: Homegrown VI LP 1986

WEBN Album Project 4 LP 1979

WEBN Album Project Five LP 1980

WEBN Album Project Six LP 1981

WEBN Album Project 7 LP 1982

WFBQ 95 Karma Album Project II LP 1980

Winnipeg Homegrown Volume I LP 1981

WLLZ Motor City Rocks II LP 1983

WLLZ Motor City Rocks III LP 1984

WRNO FM 100: The Rock Album, Vol. II LP 1982

WZIR FM Rock To Riches LP 1982

The X L.P. - 97X LP 1981

Z96: Rock To Riches II LP 1983

....For more V/A-obscurities, you might also want to have a look at the old article on Swedish Mixed Compilations.

Curious ears? Check out our series of Compilation-compilations featuring some of our favourite choices from the releases reviewed!

August 22 , 2015 Update!
CompComp #4!

To celebrate the 500th addition to the Compilopedia, here's the 4th volume in The Corroseum's Compilations Compilations!

...and don't miss out on the 3 previous now-legendary volumes:

The previously "unofficial" volume, as presented on the forum in 2013 has now been un-unofficialized thanx to the fact that all featured compilations are now added to the site.
All selections by Keir + sleeve design by bigfootkit.

The 2nd volume, published 2011-03-04

The 1st volume, published 2009-10-30

Cheers & creds to the following who have lent/ripped/scanned/co-reviewed records for this list:
Stefan Mattisson, Rob Preston, Patrik Carlson, AlaNightsblood, Joakim Westerlund, Mattias Rubarth, Kristian Knutsson.

...and some exta-special Hails! to Patrik of the awesome musikon.se website for invaluable help with the php-coding of the search function!

Take me to the top!