WXPN web team member and resident heavy metal expert Brian Divver shares his vote for 1983 as the Greatest Year in Music below.
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The greatest year in music was 1983, just as the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) was coming to an end. British acts like Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Venom, Diamond Head, Saxon, and Def Leppard had left an impact on many aspiring musicians in the States. Rising up from these newfound influences were Metallica, Slayer, and Suicidal Tendencies, which triggered the thrash metal movement that included Megadeth, Anthrax, Death, Morbid Angel, and Possessed.
While the youth was starting to thrash, Quiet Riot put heavy metal on the charts with their release Metal Health, which was the first metal album to reach #1 on Billboard. Their highest charting song was “Cum On Feel The Noize,” a cover song from 70s glam band Slade that hit #5.
Later in ’83 Def Leppard charted with their break though album Pyromania, cementing heavy metal’s place in America. Meanwhile, Motley Crue’s sophomore release Shout at the Devil peaked at #30 on the charts and established them as one of the top metal acts of the decade. Other big releases came from new acts Queensryche, Dokken, Ratt, and Pantera and established acts Merciful Fate, Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne, and Iron Maiden. Newly-formed bands Bon Jovi, Poison, Fastway, Helloween, Testament (formally known as Legacy) and Mayhem would follow quickly behind and further fuel the rapidly expanding metal scene.
Heavy Metal Albums of 1983:
Def Leppard – Pyromania ~ January 20, 1983
Quiet Riot – Metal Health ~ released March 11, 1983
Iron Maiden – Piece Of Mind
Dio – Holy Diver
Motley Crue – Shout at the devil
Black Sabbath – Born Again
Accept – Balls to the Wall
Ozzy Osbourne – Bark At The Moon
Merciful Fate – Melissa
AC/DC – Flick of the Switch
Fastway – Fastway
Queensryche – Queensrÿche EP
Dokken – Breaking the Chains
Metallica – Kill ‘Em All
Ratt – Ratt EP
Twisted Sister – You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n’ Roll
Slayer – Prepare to Die EP
Slayer – Show No Mercy