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Articles: 1984 Articles

Aaron, Lee - 1984 Metal Queen
She really wasn't the Metal Queen.. surely? I can say that safely after 25 years, and know that I can get away with it.

Adams, Bryan - 1984 Reckless
'Reckless' as an album, is voted by many as being one of the best of the AOR genre. The fact that it went on to sell by the bucket-load has produced two interesting trains of thought. The first: his success has probably seen the fickle AOR community turn away from him. Very much like the 'tall poppy syndrome'. The second: because of his success, some of his quality albums are still overlooked.

Adrenalin - 1984 American Heart
The first comparison (and last?) is that the basic sound adheres to is early 80's Survivior. The tone is very much in the vein of 'Eye Of The Tiger', a glut of AOR anthems, with a midwest, American heartland feel.

Airrace - 1984 Shaft Of Light
Back in 1984 this Airrace album was considered a breakthrough AOR album in British music circles, as finally good 'ol Blighty' had something to compete against the likes of Foreigner, Journey etc. However, in retrospect the band probably ended up sounding more like an imitation of their heroes rather than something earth shatteringly new or original.

Alaska - 1984 Heart Of The Storm
I still remember the day I first laid my hands on this album, such was my anticipation and excitement! After having heard the Alaska track The Sorcerer on the MFN compilation Hell Comes To Your House I just knew I had to have this album, and when I got it I played the thing ad nauseum for the remainder of the day.

America - 1984 Perspective
The duo of Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell traversed the somewhat unfriendly waters of 1980's radio commercialism with this 1984 set 'Perspective'. After reaching major success with their excellent 1982 album 'View From The Ground', the pair dived even more so into AOR territory. While a boon for die-hard AORsters, it severely alienated their long time fans.

Anthrax - 1984 Fistful Of Metal
A tragedy this would prove to be - is that this is the only slab of vinyl from this version of Anthrax.

April Wine - 1984 Animal Grace
'Animal Grace' got a pretty rough deal from fans and critics alike when it came out. Upon reflection it's well produced (Mike Stone) with abundant hooks and melodies.

Armored Saint - 1984 March Of The Saint
Here's one L.A band that should've been huge, but for some reason, they missed their boarding call on the voyage to success.

Autograph - 1984 Sign In Please
Autograph could be viewed as a typical 80's rock band, but were blessed with the nuance of being able to mix up hard rock aggression with AOR sensibilities.

Baby Tuckoo - 1984 First Born
On the back cover they certainly look like a happy go lucky bunch of rockers, and that's definitely the way their music is conveyed on vinyl. Entertaining, but serious too.

Bad Boy - 1984 Electric Eyes
After a superb 1981 album (Private Party), Bad Boy took 3 years to release a follow up. During the hiatus, former Cheap Trick lead vocalist Randy 'Xeno' Hogan joined the ranks, and you'd have every right to expect a strong and consistent album ... wrong.

Ballard, Russ - 1984 Russ Ballard
By the time 1984 had rolled around, this UK artist had already moved into AOR territory, hovering on the same ground as fellow UK rockers Charlie and John Verity. The sound? Primetime radio oriented AOR of the most American kind - perhaps the UK's answer to Balance?

Banzai (Spain) - 1984 Duro y Potente
Just take a look at the metalized angry bull gracing the cover and you'll find an idea of what's to be found here. This is, along with Baron Rojo's 1982 'Volumen Brutal', the summit of Spain's 80's metal.

Barclay James Harvest - 1984 Victims Of Circumstance
Overall a very strong AOR statement from BJH and a twin album with 'Ring Of Changes', this could arguably be called their commercial zenith.

Battle Axe - 1984 Power From The Universe
Riding the tail end of the NWOBHM movement, the band formed in 1983, originating from Geordie land in Sunderland. Battleaxe were signed to MFN almost immediately, on the basis of several compilation tracks on a sampler album 'Roxcalibur'.

Beau Coup - 1984 Beau Coup
To my mind the acid test of a really great AOR record is the ability to transcend the genre and win over non AOR aficionados. If this is the case then Beau Coup's debut released in 1984 on the obscure Agora label passes the litmus test with flying colours as it even managed to impress the missus who's not known for her love of all things pink, fluffy and AOR.

Billy Satellite - 1984 Billy Satellite
In my opinion, this is one of the best true AOR albums ever released. It's got everything really. Even now when I review it years later, it still sounds as fresh now as it did then.

Black Angels - 1984 Black Angels [EP]
Probably not essential listening, feel free to add Black Angels to the history of Swiss hard rock.

Black N Blue - 1984 Black N Blue
Supposedly this is the kind of band Metallica and Anthrax were trying to wipe out. If they took a closer look these guys were just as heavy in their own right. It's just unfortunate they look as menacing as a group of 12 year old schoolboys on the album cover.

Blackfoot - 1984 Vertical Smiles
Despite moving into a full-on AOR style on 'Vertical Smiles', critics, long time fans and the general public weren't buying.. Especially sad considering the album provides the kind of crystal clear AOR that was succeeding all over the place.

Blue Cheer - 1984 The Beast Is.. Back
Any burned out late 60's survivor would probably have trouble accepting this album as what might be considered 'true' Blue Cheer; produced by The Rods drummer Carl Canedy, this album is a virtual replica of The Rods themselves, to the point their name should be on the album cover..

Body Electric - 1984 Body Electric
Signing to Attic Records this debut from Body Electric appeared in 1984 and those looking for an extension of the Straight Lines form of pure AOR may have been slightly disappointed. It's AOR through and through, but more high-tech, although there are some definite gems.

Bombay - 1984 Bombay [EP]
Bombay was the third leg of the treble for guitarist Rick Fowler, following stints with Ziggurat and Fortnox.

Bon Jovi - 1984 Bon Jovi
Looking back on it now, all things considered, this album quite easily ranks as one of the finest melodic rock albums ever made. Personally, if the band broke up after this album I still would have been a happy man.

Bonds, Gary 'U.S' (And The American Men) - 1984 Standing In The Line Of Fire
With links to Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt, Gary 'U.S' Bonds has a dabble into AOR during 1984.

Boss - 1984 Step On It
Musically it's very much in the mould of fellow rabble rousers Icon, Krokus and especially Def Leppard, whom of course the band would later pay homage to as BB Steal when Boss split.

Box, The - 1984 The Box
All their records are worth owning and while it's not their best work, The Box debut is as good a place as any to start our coverage of this wonderful Quebec band.

Brainfever - 1984 Capture The Night
The consensus is that Brainfever should have made it bigger, but with the huge glut of metal bands lurking behind them, there was surely only so much room. This is often a notch above the ordinary, and I can to a degree identify with the claims that Brainfever were unlucky.

Branigan, Laura - 1984 Self Control
Probably best known to GDM readers as the voice behind the Disco hit 'Gloria', Laura Branigan had more to her musical canon that that. 'Self Control' was arguably her biggest album spawning two hit singles.

Buckingham, Lindsey - 1984 Go Insane
On the surface 'Go Insane' screams 1984. From the stylish album art and Buckingham's 'Bride Of Frankenstein' hairdo to the lavish use of sampling via the mighty Fairlight, but as dated as this all might look and sound - it works.

Bullet - 1984 No Mercy
The breakthrough of The Scorpions into the heavy metal mainstream was a boost for the West German scene in general, allowing a slew of similar acts the chance to emulate the success of Klaus Meine and company. One of those was early 80's headbangers Bullet.

Burn (Sweden) - 1984 Burn
'Burn' is worthy of being attained otherwise, there's enough pure excitement to rank it as an obscure classic and it is one of those albums collectors of rare hard rock and metal get excited by.

Buster Brown - 1984 Loud And Clear
One of the better private indie releases from 1984, coming out of the Louisville Kentucky area, featuring the name of vocalist Johnny Edwards.

Callison, Richie (Band) - 1984 AOR
'AOR' is a by-product of the region and the era, and no, the music doesn't live up to the album-title in the purest sense, but is a good example of mid-west hard rock during this timeframe, if not a few years earlier.

Camel - 1984 Stationary Traveller
'Staionary Traveller' would be the last studio album under the Decca label, and a goodie it is too!

Carey, Tony - 1984 Some Tough City
This is an album that demands to be heard. Carey captured a real sense of emotions, whether it be despair, desperation or love. This album runs Springsteen into the ground in terms of bleak urban landscapes.

Cars, The - 1984 Heartbeat City
If there was ever an album that was representative of the mid 80's MTV era, then The Cars 'Heartbeat City' was probably it. Helping matters was the Mutt Lange production job, and a battery of songs which made the Billboard charts. All in all, one of the stand-out albums of 1984.

Celestium - 1984 Sanctuary
A fascinating album this one. More of a project album than anything but superb AOR nonetheless. If you can imagine spiritual themes (hence the Celestium handle) played in a style of I-Ten (I suppose that influence was obvious) and a less bombastic Arcangel then you've got the picture!

Channel - 1984 Channel
Musically the band ply a high-tech style of AOR that has crossover potential. Very commercial, with a good production. On their rockier moments they sound like an AOR version of King Kobra. When they tone it down, they sound like The Police, The Outfield and Novo Combo all rolled into one.

Charlene - 1984 Hit And Run Lover
Reading Charlene D'Angelo's Wikipedia page makes for some interesting reading. the former Tamla Motown folk/pop/rocker turned 60 a few weeks back, but for most of the readership here, they'll be asking 'Charlene who?'

Chateaux - 1984 Firepower
While there were plenty of duds roaming the NWOBHM scene in the early 80's it would be safe to say Chateaux were certainly not one of them.

Chilliwack - 1984 Look In Look Out
By 1984, the Canadian outfit Chilliwack was down to one core member.. Bill Henderson. An original member of the band since the late 60's, Henderson released 'Look In Look Out' but really it should've been rebadged as a solo album, as he was literally the last man standing...

Clark, Gene - 1984 Firebyrd
Gene Clark was a former member of The Byrds. This album is a culmination of songs from his early 80's band Firebyrd, which previously featured the Andes brothers Mark and Matt.

Cloven Hoof (UK) - 1984 Cloven Hoof
Undoubtedly one of the more interesting bands to originate from the NWOBHM was Cloven Hoof, perhaps Wolverhampton's finest metal export.

Cocker, Joe - 1984 Civilized Man
As you may have discerned this is an essential listen or purchase. It's as polished and melodic as AOR gets and it's a shame the album didn't make waves.

Colour Radio - 1984 Colour Radio
From Milwaukee Wisconsin, Colour Radio were a new wave/melodic pop quartet who formed back in 1982.

Combonation - 1984 Combonation
A couple of years back, Eric wrote a brief backgrounder on the band The Dig. This band entered the GDM Archives based on their 1987 s/t album. The forerunner to this band were Combonation, a Los Angeles outfit, caught between commercial new wave and a stylish brand of AOR.

Coup, The - 1984 Coup De Grace
A sort-of star-studded line-up for The Coup, but beyond that, not much is known about this 1984 one-off release..

Craft - 1984 Craft
The band Craft are in fact The Enid in a different guise, with an album concept base around signs of the Zodiac.