(Albums listed in alphabetical order)
41) 1984 by Van Halen
This one is either classified as Hard Rock or as Glam Metal. But I would put it here because the most successful songs coming from this album lean towards a Glam Metal direction. Most notably the #1 hit Jump, including the awesome intro called 1984. Panama and I’ll Wait were also huge hits, reaching the US Top 20. The rest of the album was leaning more towards a Hard Rock direction, with Hot For The Teacher standing out among the tracks, which was also released as a single, yet it wasn’t as much successful as the other three. The best non-single from this album would be Girl Gone Bad in my opinion.
42) Billy Satellite by Billy Satellite
When this album was released, it included two minor hits. Satisfy Me and I Wanna Go Back peaking at #64 and #78 in the US Hot 100 charts respectively. Later those two songs were covered by Eddie Money, and I Wanna Go Back became a huge hit, making it into the US Top 20, and also #3 in the Mainstream Rock charts, two years later. Apart from those two songs, the whole album is great and an underrated AOR classic. The album has a Bruce Springsteen flavor, particularly in the songs Do Ya?, Trouble and Bye Bye Baby. The latter is my favorite cut from the album, it has one of the coolest guitar riffs ever. Rockin’ Down The Highway and Turning Point are also awesome cuts featuring a more Hard Rockish sound, and The Lonely One is featuring a more synthish sound on the other hand.
43) Bon Jovi by Bon Jovi
I would dare to say, that this is the best album among all these lists. It’s one of those albums that no matter how many times you listen to it, you will never be bored. Not a massive commercial success when it was released, but it was the album that started the Bon Jovi chapter in music history, who became international superstars with their album Slippery When Wet two years later. Runaway was Bon Jovi’s first hit, making it into the US Top 40. She Don’t Know Me was also released as a single, but missed the Top 40 by 8 spots. Burning For Love was also another single released from the album, but didn’t make it into the charts. As for the other album cuts, Roulette, Shot Through The Heart and Breakout are among the most massive Glam Metal cuts in music history and my favorites among the album. Love Lies is a massive Power Ballad, and one that should be released as a single instead of She Don’t Know Me. A Power Ballad would bring more sales to the album. Come Back is unfairly the most underrated and forgotten cut from the album, and Get Ready is one of the songs that sound way better live than they do in studio. In conclusion the album is a milestone of its own.
44) John Parr by John Parr
John Parr is mostly famous for his song St. Elmo’s Fire from the OST of the movie with the same name, and also from this album (UK version only). In the US he had also another big hit called Naughty Naughty, which topped the Mainstream Rock charts. The latter had also one of the naughtiest videos from that era, as the name suggests! From this album, two other minor hits were also released as singles. Magical and Love Grammar. Both accompanied with music videos. The rest of the album had also great cuts, like the upbeat Rockers Treat Me Like An Animal or She’s Gonna Love You To Death. Also the very good synth work in Don’t Leave Your Mark On Me. Generally it’s among the best Hi-tech AOR albums from the mid 80s era.
45) Man On The Line by Chris De Burgh
This is the most AORish album of his career. Particularly, it would be Hi-Tech AOR since it’s very synth-based. It had moderate success in the US as well, where the lead single High On Emotion, almost made it in the US Top 40. One of his most recognizable tunes and a Hi-Tech AOR classic as well. The other single, Ecstasy Of Flight was another great Hi-Tech AOR cut as well. Taking It To The Top, The Sound Of A Gun and the title track are also awesome Hi-Tech AOR cuts. Despite the AORish stuff, the rest of the album was leaning towards a Soft Rock direction, similar with Chris De Burgh’s previous works. The best cut from the others would be Moonlight And Vodka.
46) Orion The Hunter by Orion The Hunter
From 1978 till 1986, Boston went on a hiatus, focusing either on Solo albums or side projects…or taking a break from music business, generally. Orion The Hunter was one of those Boston spin-off albums and definitely the best one. So You Ran was a moderate hit in US Top 100, and a Top 10 hit in Mainstream Rock charts. From the rest of the album, Dark And Stormy and Joanne were the Power Ballads here, with the former featuring this atmospheric raining intro, and the latter sharing some resemblance with Amanda, the huge hit they would have two years later, as Boston. Both having a female name as a title, and both being Power Ballads. As for the rest, they followed the formula of mid-80s AOR. Crystal clear synths, combined with electric guitars. Dreamin’ would be the best among those, having the best intro in the whole album. Stand Up and Too Much Talk are also fantastic.
47) Runaway by Dakota
Another one of the many underrated AOR albums from the mid-80s. Whilst their first album received minor success, this one didn’t receive any success at all. Too bad. Compared with their debut, this album featured a more mid-80s hi-tech sound, which is mostly visible in the title track. Apart from this the album had two great Power Ballads, Heroes and If Only I’d Know It, and let’s not forget the great AOR classics When The Rebel Comes Home, Into The Night and Angry Men. And also Over And Over which features a great saxophone part.
48. Shaft Of Light by Airrace
It’s one of the albums that you don’t understand why they went wrong. Produced by Beau Hill, one of the most famous producers of that era, and featuring Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham son, Jason, it was more or less a sure hit. Unfortunately this album was lost in obscurity. Anyway this album is really great showing off a great balance between loud Hard Rock sounding guitars and melodic keyboards. Such songs are I Don’t Care and First Over The Line, whilst Promise To Call and Not Really Me are less synthy featuring a more traditional Hard Rock sound. The other side of the record follows a similar pattern as well, with upbeat Melodic Hard Rock cuts, like Brief Encounter and Didn’t Wanna Lose Ya, which are the best cuts from the whole album.
49) Sign In Please by Autograph
Mostly famous for their song Turn Up The Radio, which is considered a Glam Metal classic. Apart from this, they had no other significant song. But this doesn’t mean the rest of their songs suck. On the contrary! The album generally is a great blend of loud guitars and synths, like Bon Jovi’s debut I mentioned above. The opening cut Send Her To Me was released as a single as well, but it didn’t chart at all. The rest of the album includes upbeat Glam Metal cuts like Nineteen And Non-Stop, Deep End, Thrill Of Love, and as the Glam Metal tradition suggests (each album should have at least a Power Ballad), the Power Ballad In The Night.
50) The Blitz by Krokus
Here in this album, Krokus moved away from their Hard Rock sound from their previous records and they followed a more commercial Radio-friendly sound. So more or less, in this album they are considered a Glam Metal band. This doesn’t mean it’s bad. Midnite Maniac was their first song that made it into the US Top 100 but at a low spot (#71). Although it was a Top 10 hit in the US Rock charts. Another notable cut is Sweet’s cover Ballroom Blitz. Another single –which is the best cut from the album in my opinion- is Our Love. It has one of the coolest guitar riffs too as well. Out Of Control and Boys Nite Out were featuring a more Hard Rockish sound, but still not so Hard Rock as their previous works. Out To Lunch and Rock The Nation were also cool Glam Metal cuts.