The Melodic Side Of Rock And Metal: 100 Melodic Rock/AOR/Glam Metal Albums from the 80s (Part VI / Albums from 1985)

(Albums in alphabetical order)

51) Invasion Of Your Privacy by Ratt

For others Ratt were more Heavy Metal than Glam Metal. Truth is they sounded heavier than Bon Jovi or Whitesnake for example, but this doesn’t mean they weren’t part of the Glam Metal scene. Anyway, although this album was less successful than their debut, it was still a success, and also they cracked in the UK with it. Lay It Down is the biggest hit from here, just making it into the US Top 40 and their most successful hit in the UK, along with You’re In Love. Still, their UK success was limited. The album contains a mix of more Hard-edged cuts like Never Use Love or Between The Eyes or more Melodic cuts like Closer To My Heart and What You Give Is What You Get. So yeah, it’s true a Glam Metal album. Judge by its vocals!

52) Night Of The Crime by Icon

Icon’s second album is far more Melodic than their first album which was heavier. Their second album is considered mostly as an AOR album than a Hard Rock one. Danger Calling and Raise The Hammer were released as singles, yet without any commercial success. The A-Side has a bundle of Melodic songs like Naked Eyes, Missing, and (Take Another) Shot At My Heart, but the best cut would be the rougher Out For Blood. The intro features one of the most awesome Guitar Solos in music history. As for the B-Side it features good Melodic cuts like Frozen Tears, and Hungry For Love, and also a great Dance Rock cut, called Rock My Radio. One of the best, if not the best album from 1985.

53) No Easy Way Out by Robert Tepper

Robert Tepper is mostly famous for his song No Easy Way Out, the title track of this album. It was a big hit by the time, and also part of the OST of the movie Rocky IV. Apart from this he had no other significant hits, but this album is another Hi-Tech AOR gem. Don’t Walk Away was another single released for the album, but it only managed to make it in the lowest spots of the US Top 100. Those two were mostly upbeat Hi-Tech AOR cuts as well as the non-single Restless World, whilst the other two cuts from the A-Side, Angel Of The City and Your Love Hurts were shifting towards a more laid-back direction. The best cuts would be found on the other side of the vinyl, the Power Ballad If That’s What You Call Lovin’ and Soul Survivor and Domination which are my favorite in the whole album.

54) Phenomena by Phenomena

This is a pretty unique AOR record. It features influences of other genres like Ambient or even Opera and Gregorian Chant, but even if those genres are totally unrelated with the AOR genre, they worked perfectly. Unfortunately, the album didn’t have any commercial success and no singles were released from it, but it contained some really massive cuts. Kiss Of Fire, Still The Night are great Hi-Tech AOR numbers, and also Believe which features an Ambient-ish intro and Operatic backing vocals. Dance With The Devil features a nice string-arrangement, and Phoenix Rising and Hell On Wings are beautiful melodic Ballads. The closing self-titled track, is more like a Gregorian Chant. Unrelated with the AOR genre, but it works nicely as a closing track.

55) Theatre Of Pain by Motley Crue

Motley Crue started to build up their success slowly, step by step, till they reached their peak with their 1989 album Dr. Feelgood. But for the time being we’ll discuss about Theatre Of Pain. This album featured the two singles Smokin’ In The Boys Room and Home Sweet Home. The former being their first US Top 20 hit. City Boy Blues and Keep Your Eye On Your Money, are also great cuts from the A-Side featuring some really good guitar riffs. But the coolest cut would be Fight For Your Rights, which was included in the B-Side of the vinyl. Also the fast-paced Use It Or Lose It and Raise Your Hands To Rock.

56) The Big Prize by Honeymoon Suite

When this album released, Honeymoon Suite became a big name in their homeland, Canada, but the success was limited in the other countries. Still they managed to score a US Top 40 hit with the song Feel It Again. The Power Ballad What Does It Take, also made it in the US charts, and it was also part of the OST from the movie One Crazy Summer. Bad Attitude and All Along You Knew, were also released as singles, yet without any commercial success. The rest of the album is also massive, featuring the upbeat AOR cuts One By One, Wounded and Words In The Wind, and also the more atmospheric Take My Hand. To me it’s the best AOR/Melodic Hard Rock release from 1985 along with Icon’s Night Of The Crime I mentioned above.

57) The Fire Still Burns by Russ Ballard

This was the second AOR album from Russ Ballard, and this time featuring a more Hi-Tech sound than his debut. The title track was the biggest hit from here, making it into the Top 20 in the US Mainstream Rock charts. But apart from it there were more great songs like Once A Rebel and Hey Bernadette from A-Side or Dream On from the B-Side. But the best here would be Time/Your Time Is Gonna Come, also from the B-Side. It has one of the best drumming in the AOR genre.

58) Under Lock And Key by Dokken

Dokken weren’t among the most commercially successful Glam Metal bands, but still they were loved among the fans of this genre. Under Lock And Key would be my favorite album from them. The album included the singles In My Dreams, which was the most successful song from the album, also accompanied with a great video, and The Hunter. The rest of the album included also a bunch of Melodic Glam Metal Cuts. Unchain The Night had an awesome intro, Slippin’ Away is an exceptional Power Ballad, Jaded Heart has the best guitar solo in the album, and Don’t Lie To Me and Will The Sun Rise have some of the coolest guitar riffs there.

59) Van Zant by Van Zant

This was a major change to the Van Zant Bros.' sound. Here in this album they have strayed away from the Southern Rock sound by a huge degree. Still there are vibes of Southern Rock, particularly in Midnight Sensation and I’m A Fighter (the latter was the biggest hit of the album), but generally it was clearly an AOR album. You’ve Got To Believe In Love was also released as a single, but the best cut from the album would be She’s Out With A Gun. From the B-Side the best cuts would be 2+2 and Heart To The Flame. The latter was covered by Jeff Paris two years later, and I believe his version sounds better. But this version isn’t bad either.

60) Welcome To The Real World by Mr. Mister

This is without a doubt, the most successful album in the Hi-Tech AOR genre. Featuring the two US #1 hits Broken Wings and Kyrie, and also Is It Love? which was a Top 10 hit. Apart from them, the album had also other nice cuts. Uniform Of Youth would be my favorite, featuring some great drumming parts, Don’t Slow Down and Into My Own Hands are also great upbeat Hi-Tech AOR cuts and also the title track closes the album perfectly.






Before 1980


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  • Almost all of these albums are some of my favorite albums of all time! :)

    If only we could have 80's rock back again!

    • Yeah that's why I listen to 80s Rock mostly (and 70s as well, and a little bit from the early 90s). Since the 90s Rock music sucks...

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