Here’s the second part of our look at some of the best metal bands in a decade that either brought or continued to bring commercial success to the likes of Metallica and AC/DC.
The band was, in part, formed by one of the original members of Metallica, David Mustaine. The group is considered to be among the “big four” founders of 80s metal, along with Mustaine’s old group. Megadeath emphasises fast rhythms, and politics and war in their subject matter. While the group enjoyed huge underground success and were an influence on the genre’s next generation. they never discovered the level of commercial notoriety that a number of their peers did. That said, the band lives on, having gone through a number of changes in lineup and a forever-changing musical landscape.
Black Sabbath, led by the great Ozzy Osbourne, is one of the “holy trinity” of 70’s bands (along with Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple) that founded the metal genre. So it shouldn’t come as a shock that when Osbourne became a solo artist in the 80’s that he would easily find himself in best-of lists of the decade. Between the Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman albums, Osborne was mainly on tour in the 80’s. While neither album produced songs that made the top 40, they were both among the decade’s bestselling. Osborne and his band were popular throughout the 80’s, which only came to an end after the death of band member Randy Rhoades, at which point Osbourne fell into deep depression and chemical addiction.
This band may be regarded as being harder rock than metal no matter the genre, fans are happy to position them, along with the Back in Black album, as some of the greatest 80’s metal. ACDC’s early work, like T.N.T. and High Voltage, influenced other metal bands in the 80’s, such as Iron Maiden. Guitarist Angus Young’ live punk persona, when he pulled such stunts as mooning the crowd, made an impression on audiences, which was a part of the reason behind their increased popularity After the death of frontman Bon Scott in 1980, AC/DC briefly waffled before moving on and enjoyed new success in the decade with new singer Brian Johnson. They even had a brief period on tour with Guns N’ Roses’ Axl Rose providing vocals.
If there’s one band that defines heavy metal, it’s Metallica. The band achieved underground notoriety before going on to secure their place as one of the biggest commercial metal acts in the world. Metallica reached its peak in the mid-80’s and it has been plain sailing ever since. Ride The Lightning, the band’s sophomore album, was released in 1984 and was just one of the many that made the top 100 of the Billboard album charts. After many years of success, Metallica are showing no signs of slowing down after eight GRAMMY awards and 18 nominations and are the only band to have performed in every continent on the planet.