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1988 - best albums

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Here's my take on 1988. I was buying heaps of stuff this year but the funny thing is I don't rate a lot of the albums highly. There are a heap of albums not listed here with songs I absolute love and I own crap loads of releases from this year but the list of Classic and Awesome titles is vastly smaller than what I did for 1989 (and I suspect 1987 when I get to it).



Queensryche - Operation Mindcrime - Masterpiece, pity Geoff is such a wanker and that the band kept chasing the $$ after Empire. Maybe they were always chasing the $$ and writing what they thought would sell?

Kuni – Lookin’ for Action - How was this not massive in 1988?

Warrant – Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinkin’ Rich - This is my favorite from the band and the style I really think suited them.



Bon Jovi - New Jersey - As mentioned previously, thought it was a letdown after their earlier releases (which it is) but I grew to appreciate it more over time.

BulletBoys - BulletBoys - Love Mick Sweda's playing and I don't mind Torien's raspy vocals.

Circus of Power - Circus of Power - Some nice crunch on this and a few of the bluesy hard rock CDs I go back to.

House of Lords - House of Lords - Many people rate this their best but I preferred the next 2. Don't like the production either.

Hurricane - Over the Edge - How good are the vocals on this? The production is top notch also.

Kingdom Come - Kingdom Come - Better than I remembered.

Kings of the Sun - Kings of the Sun - Very underrated Aussie band, great live. Lots of music in each of their songs, a real grower.

Ozzy - No Rest for the Wicked - The coming of Zakk, cool album and a nice lead up to the great No More Tears but ultimately this is the end of the classic Ozzy era.

Hurry Scuary - Break It Up - Solid album that was a good find back in the day.

Riot – Thundersteel - Consistent band who delivered a few really good CDs in a row.

Talk Of The Town – Talk Of The Town - Love Vikstrom!

Vixen – Vixen - Originally wrote this off a one of those with lots of fillers but has really grown on me over the past 10 years.

Scanner – Hypertrace - German melodic power metal. Not many stick with me but this one did!

Lillian Axe – Lillian Axe - You get lots of hints of the masterpiece to come.

Niagara – Now or Never - One of those I grabbed about a decade ago. Need to check out more of their other stuff!


Looking over the list and the bands that I didn't list it seems like a year of transition with bands trying to make it huge with big producers, major label backing, egos and in-fighting etc. In short feels like lots of stuff was rushed out to cash in the preceding year (Hysteria, 1987 & Apetite) and there’s lots of bad albums/albums that should have been better. Way too much filler on lots of CDs this year e.g.

Malsteen – Odyssey

Quiet Riot – Quiet Riot

David Lee Roth – Skyscraper

Roxx Gang – Things You’ve Never Done Before

Stryper – In God We Trust

Vinnie Vincent Invasion – All Systems Go

Poison – Open Up and Say Ahh…

Van Halen – OU812

King Kobra – III

Cinderella – Long Cold Winter

Lots more............


1987 next I think to see if this was the dud of the golden years of commercial hard rock in my collection.

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Iron Maiden: Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son

Queensryche: Operation Mindcrime

Fields of the Nephilim: The Nephilim

Blue Oyster Cult: Imaginos
Marillion: Seasons End

Steve Earle: Copperhead Road

Cinderella: Long Cold Winter
Ozzy Osbourne: No Rest for the Wicked
Slayer: South Of Heaven
Testament: The New Order

David Lee Roth: Skyscraper

Bon Jovi: New Jersey

Vain: Holding On For Love (am I allowed to include this, as it's not an 'official' album?)
Dokken: Beast From The East
Lita: Ford Lita
Robert Plant: Now And Zen
Rock City Angels: Young Man's Blues
Van Halen: OU812
Death: Leprosy
Elixir: Sovereign Remedy

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My Top 20 best of 1988 (in alphabetical order)


Bon Jovi - New Jersey

BulletBoys - BulletBoys

Cinderella - Long Cold Winter

Crimson Glory - Transcendence

Dare - Out Of The Silence

Fields Of The Nephilim - The Nephilim

Hurricane - Over The Edge

Iron Maiden - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son

King's X - Out Of The Silent Planet

Kingdom Come - Kingdom Come

Magnum - Wings Of Heaven

Yngwie J. Malmsteen - Odyssey

The Mission - Children

Poison - Open Up And Say... Ahh!

Queensryche - Operation: Mindcrime

David Lee Roth - Skyscraper

Scorpions - Savage Amusement

Slayer - South Of Heaven

Van Halen - OU812

Vinnie Vincent Invasion - All Systems Go


Two of my favourite ever Metal albums in this list, courtesy of Queensryche (a perfect 10/10) and Crimson Glory. Also my favourite Magnum album (not a huge fan of them apart from this masterpiece), and some great debuts from BulletBoys, Dare and Kingdom Clone.

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