Best-Favorite NWOBHM LPs ?

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nightsblood
Posts: 2340

Best-Favorite NWOBHM LPs ?

Post#1 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:19 am

What albums do you consider the best of the genre? A lot of bands made a lot of great singles, but I've always felt that a lot of the full lengths were alright but not really all-time classics. So what do you consider the cream of the crop?
Ground rules:
1- No comps. There are lots of great comps, but I wanna stick to LPs put out by individual bands.
2- No reunion bullshit offerings. If you dig something like the albums put out by HELL or ANGEL WITCH in recent years that's cool, but I want to focus on the original NWOBHM era, not stuff recorded 30 years later.

I'll start the ball rolling with a few mentions, in no particular order:
(warning, lots of random side stories included)

Iron Maiden s/t
Those opening licks of 'Prowler' hit and you know this is something special before you get 60 seconds into the album. One of the all-time great of Heavy Metal, let alone just NWOBHM. I actually can't recall the order I heard Iron Maiden albums in back in the day; I think I heard this after 'Live After Death' and 'Maiden Japan'.
Fun side story about 'Maiden Japan'- I bought it as a used cassette in Atlanta, GA. When I later got it on vinyl I put the cassette tape out in a yard sale along with a bunch of other heavy metal tapes (this was around '92; I was in high school). Living in the rural Southern US, I didn't expect to sell any of them, but that afternoon this really cute teenage girl and her dad stopped and looked around. She went over and whispered something to her dad, and he came over and picked up the tape; she nodded yes, and he bought it for her. I DON'T THINK i'VE EVER SEEN SOMEONE SO HAPPY IN MY LIFE. She looked like her dad had just given her a convertible full of puppies. I will always wonder why in the world that cute 15-ish year old girl wanted an Iron Maiden live EP on cassette so badly, but I hope she enjoyed it.

Diamond Head 'Lightning to the Nations'
This might be my personal favorite of the whole damn genre. It was one of the mythical beasts that took me a couple of years to even hear, and longer to eventually own. The thing that sets this off from almost every other NWOBHM LP, at least to me, is the maturity of the sound and the songwriting. They sound so incredibly polished and professional on this debut release, while so many of their contemporaries never quite shook that amateurish vibe (though I mean that in a nice way). Such incredible songs with such incredible performances. Another one that I don't play as much anymore and is long overdue for some more spins. Shame they went in a more commercial direction after this.
I've owned 3 reissues (1 cassette, 2 cds), 1 first pressing LP, two 2nd pressings of the LP, and a 3rd pressing as well. I came in second on Jim Cranford's 1st pressing copy when he auctioned it and was devastated that I lost, then I won a different copy in better condition at half the price about three hours later! The ebay giveth and the ebay taketh away.


Angel Witch s/t
See the AW thread currently running for more thoughts on this. Bottom line, there's no doubt it's an amazing example of the genre.

Some others I really like but may be a step down from those above:

Desolation Angels- s/t
Also has a thread running now. Great, doomy material that stayed on my Playlist for like a decade after I bought it.

Ritual 'Widow'
I know some folks don't like this band that much, but for me this album has a certain magic about it. Yes, it's a tad simplistic, there's some filler and it's not even that long to need filler, but I just love the overall vibe of the album. Re Bethe's songs and playing just strike a chord with me.

Chateaux 'Fire Power'
While there's nothing that necessarily makes this stand out among its peers, I always found it a great listen. Love the raw, powered-out guitar sound these guys have on this album. SO many Ebony albums were SO cookie-cutter sounding, but this one always shines through for me.

Venom 'Welcome to Hell'
I don't like it b/c it's legendary. I don't like it b/c it's sloppy. I don't like it b/c it's pure satanic mayhem blah blah. I like it b/c it's just a really fun album to listen to. Despite all it's flaws and limitations, it just works.
Fun side story here- I bought this at a record show as a teenager. When I showed it to some friends at home, they literally broke out in a sweat and begged me not to play it. This was around the time of the Judas Priest trial, and they were convinced the album was gonna be full of satanic subliminal messages. Having 'we drink the vomit of the priests' printed on the back cover didn't help matters any. I really don't remember my initial impressions of it much; I liked 'Angel Dust'. I eventually traded it away (it was a Combat press) at a record show, then later bought a Neat pressing off John Allinson. He was the dealer who bought out all of Neat Records' old stock, and I bought his last copy of 'Welcome to Hell'.

Tokyo Blade 'Midnight Rendezvous'
I always liked the really early tokyo Blade material, and I've never figured out why this band wasn't bigger. THey seemed to fit the perfect niche between Iron Maiden and Def LEppard; they should have been as big as those bands. Another album I really should revisit. THis was another one I dug out of that record store in TX (see my comments in the Desolation Angels thread). Weeks later I was digging through that store again and found a second copy; I noticed the back cover had a different color scheme, so I bought that copy too. Once I got it home, I compared 'em and discovered they had slightly different track lists, which delighted me to no end. I hadn't realized it in the store b/c I had bought the 1st copy just a few weeks before and hadn't had time to play it much, so I wasn't really familiar with the tracks yet.

Witchfinder General 'Friends of Hell'
While I love both WFG albums, this one is the better of the two IMO, though just barely. Another band that I heard on a comp and then took awhile to hear anything else by. Side A of this album is just pure gold (well, almost). Side 2 has several great tracks, but it took me longer to tell them apart for some reason.
So fun facts about this one: I finally got to hear it at the library on my university campus! As a freshman, I realized they had a listening library, so I randomly started typing in some metal bands to see if they had any stuff. Holy shit, did they have some stuff! The listening library was set up as booths with headphones, so you had to ask someone at the desk to play the record, then you sat at a booth and listened. By the end of 'Love on Smack' I knew i HAD to get this album. Took about a year to track it down. Meanwhile, I drove those poor folks at the desk crazy asking them to re-play that album over and over and over day after day after day. And if you think that's something, soon thereafter I discovered they had a copy of the DAMASCUS 'open your eyes' EP in the shelves. WTF they were doing with something like that in a small campus library in the Midwest I have no clue. THey used to have a record sale every year to thin stuff out; I went every year and bought tons of stuff (all the Sabbath and Priest vinyl you wanted for about $1 each; Oh, Possessed 'seven Churches' was special so it was $3; etc etc), but I never saw them put these two out. Later I realized that they probably never put them out for sale b/c the library logs showed that someone was always listening to them! Guess I was my own worst enemy there :) Took a long time to track down my own copy of Damascus. I eventually got both pressings of it. Meanwhile, I've had about 5 copies of 'Friends of Hell': pic disc, black vinyl, clear vinyl, silver/'mirror' vinyl, and a cd. I drew the line at the reissues from a few years ago.... 'cause we all need to have limits :)
"I'm sorry Sam, we had real chemistry. But like a monkey on the sun, our love was too hot to live"
-Becky

wicked keeper
Posts: 226

Re: Best-Favorite NWOBHM LPs ?

Post#2 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:23 am

Firepower over Chained & Desperate? :lol:

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ION BRITTON
Posts: 6642

Re: Best-Favorite NWOBHM LPs ?

Post#3 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:25 am

1. ANGEL WITCH – ANGEL WITCH LP 1980
2. IRON MAIDEN – IRON MAIDEN LP 1980
3. CLOVEN HOOF – DOMINATOR LP 1988
4. CLOVEN HOOF – A SULTAN’S RANSOM LP 1989
5. BLITZKRIEG – A TIME OF CHANGES LP 1985
6. ELIXIR – THE SON OF ODIN LP 1986
7. SATAN – COURT IN THE ACT LP 1983
8. TOKYO BLADE – NIGHT OF THE BLADE (THE NIGHT BEFORE) CD 1998
9. JAGUAR – POWER GAMES LP 1983
10. RITUAL – WIDOW LP 1983
Good against Evil, Evil sure to win

"It really didn't matter if they liked it or not, i was going to give it to them straight down their throats" -John Stewart

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Priamos
Posts: 499

Re: Best-Favorite NWOBHM LPs ?

Post#4 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:21 pm

I can't understand what you like so much in "Widow". On the other hand "Valley of the kings" sounds great!
We should forgive our enemies, but not before they are hanged...

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ION BRITTON
Posts: 6642

Re: Best-Favorite NWOBHM LPs ?

Post#5 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:26 pm

Guitar playing, riffs, songs, the atmosphere.

May I ask the same question for Pagan Altar?
Good against Evil, Evil sure to win



"It really didn't matter if they liked it or not, i was going to give it to them straight down their throats" -John Stewart

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ION BRITTON
Posts: 6642

Re: Best-Favorite NWOBHM LPs ?

Post#6 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:48 pm

wicked keeper wrote:Firepower over Chained & Desperate? :lol:


Funny thing that "White Steel" is not regarded as one of the best NWOBHM songs ever.
Good against Evil, Evil sure to win



"It really didn't matter if they liked it or not, i was going to give it to them straight down their throats" -John Stewart

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Priamos
Posts: 499

Re: Best-Favorite NWOBHM LPs ?

Post#7 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:49 pm

ION BRITTON wrote:May I ask the same question for Pagan Altar?

In objective terms, the guitar work is stellar. The rest are an acquired taste.
We should forgive our enemies, but not before they are hanged...

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Avenger
Posts: 8181

Re: Best-Favorite NWOBHM LPs ?

Post#8 » Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:08 am

To answer this question we must first determine what "NWOBHM" indicates. Are we talking all albums by bands that were part of the NWOBHM or albums specifically released during that time frame ('78-'82)?

Mid to late 80's records are not NWOBHM.
bigfootkit wrote:"Your Steel Is Not True"

stormspell wrote:"I hate all my releases. I only listen to Korn and Limp Bizkit, don't you know..."

wicked keeper
Posts: 226

Re: Best-Favorite NWOBHM LPs ?

Post#9 » Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:01 pm

ION BRITTON wrote:
wicked keeper wrote:Firepower over Chained & Desperate? :lol:


Funny thing that "White Steel" is not regarded as one of the best NWOBHM songs ever.



If Firepower was just a one-sided seven inch and called "White Steel"....you still wouldn't have a point.... :lol:

bobo
Posts: 27

Re: Best-Favorite NWOBHM LPs ?

Post#10 » Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:39 pm

To me Chateaux's Firepower and Highly Strung are awesome albums. These two albums are just killer from start to finish. Raw and heavy to the bone. Debut is the least favorite to me.

wicked keeper
Posts: 226

Re: Best-Favorite NWOBHM LPs ?

Post#11 » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:42 am

:lol: :lol: :lol:

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Khnud
Posts: 2233

Re: Best-Favorite NWOBHM LPs ?

Post#12 » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:50 pm

Great to hear your personal experiences with these genre defining albums! I'm not so good at keeping memories of whenever I heard a particular album (with a few exceptions). I discovered most "cult" metal bands rather late in my music listening career, so most of these were first heard as digital downloads from various blogs in the mid 00's. At that time I had a lot of repetitive tasks at my job at the library (shelving, copying, etc) so I could listen to the music I had downloaded while at work. I used to write down all the albums I liked and eventually bought them all in one format or another.

I decided to limit the list to pre 1985 albums, which means no Blitzkrieg, no Hammer, no Cloven Hoof, no Elixir, no Slander etc.

1. Savage - Loose 'n Lethal
The epitome of nwobhm to me. Fast, raw and unrelenting.

2. Diamond Head - Lightning To The Nations / The White Album
An incredible riff fest, full of immortal songs.

3. Witchfinder General - Death Penalty
The perfect mix of doomy Black Sabbath influenced heaviness and youthful energy.

4. Saracen - Heroes, Saints And Fools
Slightly more light weight then the rest of my entries, but this certainly is one of the better melodic heavy metal albums out there.

5. Iron Maiden - s/t
Although I hold Killers as their best album, I'd say their debut was more groundbreaking in terms of combining the attitude of punk with the heavy riffs of Judas Priest.

6. Angel Witch - s/t
With the exception of a few missteps (Sweet Danger, anyone?), this is shock full of classic nwobhm songs.

7. Venom - Black Metal
I remember the first time I heard "Welcome To Hell", and I didn't like it. Too messy, too noisy, and too amateurish, I thought at the time. Then I heard their sequel several years later and was floored. And now I love 'em both, of course.

8. Legend - s/t
"Song for a Soldier" might be one of the best songs ever to come out of the UK in the early 80's. And the rest of the entries on this LP are great as well.

9. Satan - Court In The Act
Filled to the brim with classic songs. A shame I discovered this gem rather late, at a time when I started to move away from the nwobhm genre.

10. Tank - Filth Hounds Of Hades
Motörhead are not allowed here (some folks keep telling me Lemmy & co belong in the nwobhm dept, I can't stand 'em) but the first Tank album is almost as good.

I feel bad for having to leave out Holocaust, Jaguar, Chateaux, Grim Reaper, Tokyo Blade, Samurai, Quartz, Saxon, Witchfynde, Fist, Girlschool, Tygers Of Pan Tang, Bitches Sin, Tysondog, Raven etc. But you can't satisfy everyone.
Laugh at you in ecstasy, wallow in the gore.
Blast you with their twisted minds, behold the Dogs Of War.

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doomedplanet
Posts: 1967

Re: Best-Favorite NWOBHM LPs ?

Post#13 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:34 am

Great solid list, I like that Savage is at #1, I just love the majority of the lps on the Ebony label (some clunkers of course), so many have that chainsaw guitar sound that I don't believe many other labels captured, has to be as a result of the studio this label used. I never heard That Saracen lp in its entirety until this year when I finally tracked down a copy. Only heard it twice but it keeps getting better.
Don't like Motorhead? Give "Overkill" a chance. Simply the only album I return to over and over again, especially the title cut might possibly be the best song Lemmy ever recorded. When I was 17 I listened to that song eveyday during my breakfast for about 6 months!
"The type of people who buy their albums won't be offended. They like boobs and bare bottoms" - Joanne Latham.

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Khnud
Posts: 2233

Re: Best-Favorite NWOBHM LPs ?

Post#14 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:25 pm

Rob, I love Motörhead. It’s the people claiming they’re part of the nwobhm I can’t stand. :D

Motörhead is the band I’ve seen live more times than any other, always a blast.
Laugh at you in ecstasy, wallow in the gore.
Blast you with their twisted minds, behold the Dogs Of War.

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doomedplanet
Posts: 1967

Re: Best-Favorite NWOBHM LPs ?

Post#15 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:04 pm

Gotcha, misread that then, haha. I didn't see Motorhead too many times, just 3 if my memory is right. One time was very memorable, in this warehouse (in a crappy neighborhood, really intimidating Samoan doormen) in the 90's, in San Francisco. The bar was not serving draft beer, but bottled beer. So the concrete floor of the pit was covered with the shattered glass of said bottles. I stayed in the back on the fringe of that insanity. Motorhead does not win the loudest band in the world award with me though, Dark Angel wins that one on their "Time Does Not Heal" tour. On the other hand The Lord Weird Slough Feg is the band I'm sure I have seen the most.
"The type of people who buy their albums won't be offended. They like boobs and bare bottoms" - Joanne Latham.

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