(Albums in alphabetical order)
71) Bad Animals by Heart
This was definitely Heart’s most successful album, featuring their biggest hit which was Alone. This song is actually a cover, originally recorded by I-Ten (see the album Taking A Cold Look from 1983, I posted four MyTakes before). Other four singles released for this album were included all on the A-Side of the vinyl. Who Will You Run To was also a big hit, making it into the US Top 10, There’s The Girl was almost a US Top 10 hit, yet featuring a more upbeat and poppy sound than the other two, and I Want You So Bad missed the US Top 40 by nine spots. The latter featured a more laid-back synthy sound, featuring a nice guitar solo in the middle. Wait For An Answer failed to chart on the other hand. From the non-singles, the title track is more like an upbeat Hard Rock number, whilst You Ain’t So Tough is more Poppish and Synthy, and Strangers Of The Heart is a Power Ballad not different than their big hit Alone.
72) Heart Over Mind by Jennifer Rush
Despite being American herself, Jennifer Rush was always much popular in Europe than in America, especially in Germany. Still, this album was her most successful in the US, featuring her only US Top 40 hit, Flames Of Paradise, a duet with Elton John. Other singles released from this album were I Come Undone which is one of the best Hi-Tech AOR songs from the era, and also the title track which was leaning towards a more dance direction. From the non-singles, Stronghold and Love Of A Stranger were great Hi-Tech Power Ballads, and Heart Wars could easily be another I Come Undone. On the other hand, Call My Name was more like a Pop Ballad.
73) Love Is For Suckers by Twisted Sisters
This was the album that put a halt in Twisted Sisters’ career for many years, and obviously their most underrated one. Fans and critics bashed it for being too Glammetalish, but for those who like Glam Metal, that’s hardly a problem at all. Hot Love was the only minor hit coming from this album, peaking at #31 in the US Mainstream Rock charts. Tonight was the second single from the album, which failed to chart. The rest of A-Side includes the best three cuts from the whole record. Wake Up (The Sleeping Giant), I’m So Hot For You and of course the title track. All of them, awesome Party-Rock cuts! From the B-Side, Me And The Boys is a typical Glam Metal anthem, I Want This Night (To Last Forever) is another Party-Rock cut, and You Are All That I Need is perhaps the best from the B-Side, and one that would be great as the third single of this album.
74) Native Sons by Strangeways
Strangeways perhaps were born in the wrong country. In the UK, AOR was never a huge genre. Perhaps if they were born in America, they would have more chances to succeed…but again many well-deserved American AOR bands got lost in obscurity. This is maybe the most known album by Strangeways, yet with no particular hits. Only A Fool, Where Do We Go From Here and Goodnight L.A. were great Atmospheric cuts, and pretty Adult Contemporary flavored. Dance With Somebody and Stand Up And Shout, were more Hi-Tech and dancable on the other hand, and Empty Streets was heavily Journeyish flavored. I would swear it was Steve Perry singing here! The best cut from the album would be Never Gonna Lose It, featuring the best guitar solos in the whole album!
75) Pride by White Lion
The second album from White Lion, was definitely their most successful one, making White Lion one of the most successful acts for the year. This album featured the two US Top 10 hits Wait and the emotional Power Ballad When The Children Cry, which was their biggest hit in general. Tell Me was also a single, but it was only just a minor hit reaching #58. The album also had great non-singles. The Lady Of The Valley is definitely the best cut of the record, and a great song to perform live. Hungry and Lonely Nights are also great Rock cuts from the A-Side of the record. All You Need Is Rock ‘n Roll, which was also a single –yet a commercial failure-, is another nice Rock number. It’s what we would call sing-along song, especially in live concerts.
76) Tell No Tales by TNT
This one was the most commercially successful album for the Norwegian Power Metal band TNT, featuring a more Glam Metal sound here though. Everyone's A Star and 10.000 Lovers (In One) are the singles from here, with the latτer being a huge hit in Norway, reaching at #2. The album featured also three interludes. Sapphire was based on their Power Metal roots, Smooth Syncopation was more Acoustic, and Incipits was more like an intro for their title track. As for the rest of the album, the upbeat As Far As The Eye Can See would also be another great single, Child's Play and Northern Lights are awesome Power Ballads. And Desperate Nights was harder than the rest of the album, leaning towards the Power Metal direction.
77) The Beginning… by Winter’s Reign
Irish AOR bands can be count on the fingers of the one hand as it seems. Winter’s Reign is perhaps the most known among them, even if they didn’t have any particular success. White Fury is perhaps the most known –and the best- cut of the record, featuring an intro very similar with Europe’s The Final Countdown. Anna Marie is also an upbeat AOR cut, as I Don’t Know Why and Take It Away. On the other hand Tears Fall (In Memory Of Phil) is a nice Power Ballad, written in memory of Phil Lynnot, as the name suggests. Remembrance and Love Games are also great laid back melodic Ballads, and Dearg Doom the last cut of the album, is more straight-forward Hard Rock.
78) Thunder by Andy Taylor
Andy Taylor is mostly known for being the guitarist of Duran Duran. But apart from his work with Duran Duran, he is also known for participating in the supergroup Power Station, and also as a solo artist. His solo debut album Thunder is very different than Duran Duran’s sound, being closer to the AOR and Glam Metal sound. I Might Lie, is the biggest hit of the album, reaching #17 in the US Mainstream Rock charts. Don’t Let Me Die Young was also released as a single, peaking at #36 in the US Mainstream Rock charts. The next cut of the album, is the nice Melodic Ballad Life Goes On. Night Train on the other hand, features some resemblance with Duran Duran’s works actually. Tremblin is more Poppish, still without being bad. It has a really nice and catchy melody, with a great guitar solo in the middle! Broken Window is also great featuring a Bluesish guitar solo intro –and also in the middle of the song- , coupled with a catchy Poppish melody. And the closer French Guitar is a beautiful atmospheric instrumental.
79) Wired Up by Jeff Paris
Jeff Paris is among the artists who became popular thanks to other artists. In his case Cryin’ became a hit a year later by Vixen. But apart from this, this album is a Melodic Hard Rock classic of this era, featuring loud Electric Guitars, combined with loud Synths as well. Heart To The Flame was a song from Van Zant bros’ album Van Zant, that released two years earlier. His version is better in my opinion, as I said two MyTakes before. Saturday Nite, Trial By Fire, Charmed Life and I Can’t Let Go are great upbeat Melodic Hard Rock cuts, and A Matter Of Time on the other hand, is a laid-back Ballad.
80) You Boyz Make Big Noize by Slade
By the second half of the 80s, Glam Metal was the big thing. So many traditional Hard Rock bands, had to follow the new trend, if they didn’t want to get lost in obscurity. As Slade did too, in this album. Despite this move, this album was a commercial failure. Still The Same and That’s What Friends Are For were released as singles, making it only at the #73 and #95 spots in the UK charts respectively. Both underrated Melodic Hard Rock sing-along classics, along with the non-singles Fools Go Crazy, We Won’t Give In, Won’t You Rock With Me and The Roaring Silence. Won’t You Rock With Me is perhaps my favorite cut of the album along with Ooh La La In L.A.. It has a nice and catchy bass-driven beat on the background. Ooh La La in L.A. was released as a single in the America and in Germany only, and surprisingly failed to chart, despite the fact it was what we would call a sure hit. Definitely a Party-Rock anthem. Following the Party-Rock route of the latter, were the cuts She’s Heavy and It’s Hard Having Fun Nowdays. Last but not least, let’s not forget Me And The Boys which was pretty similar with We Will Rock You by Queen. It has this Stadium Anthem vibe. In conclusion, this is perhaps the most overlooked and underrated album by Slade.