Admittedly, this list leans toward hard rock of the 80s, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t other music styles that made an impact.
This album was huge at the time, especially in Britain, but Adam Ant has kind of been forgotten over the decades. This was one of the first big New Wave albums of the 1980s, continuing the trend from the late ’70s, but also giving it that glam edge that caught on so well for many ’80s bands. The title track, “Kings of the Wild Frontier,” was a fun song, but there were also fun tunes like “Dog Eat Dog” and “Ants Invasion.”
In my opinion, Aldo Nova is too often overlooked when it comes to early 80s hard rock music, not that his tunes rocked the hardest being more akin to early Bon Jovi than the more metal bands of the time, like Judas Priest. This, his first album, was his biggest seller, and it well deserves it. There were hit songs like “Fantasy” and “Foolin’ Yourself,” but there were other cool songs like “Heart to Heart.”
A big band, but before they hit it big. This album was Def Leppard’s second, the album before they became a U.S. sensation with Pyromania. I’ve always preferred High N Dry. In fact, I think it’s their best album. It’s got a solid ballad in “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak,” but the albums not full of ballads like later works from the band. There are also plenty of heavy rocking tunes, such as “Let it Go” and “On Through the Night.”
This is another rock band that hit in big, this time in the mid-to-late 1980s. But before that, Whitesnake was still pretty well known in Britain, and this album proves why. Before the band’s leader, David Coverdale, discovered spandex and screaming guitars, Whitesnake was a band more akin to bluesy, guitar-driven ’70s rock. And this album, in my opinion, is the best of the lot from those days of Whitesnake. My favorite song here is “Child of Babylon,” but you can also find great tunes like “Lonely Days, Lonely Nights” and “Don’t Break My Heart Again.”