Dio, The Last in Line
When Ronnie James Dio left Black Sabbath to start his own band, it’s amazing how prolific he was. The first three solo albums, Holy Diver, The Last in Line and Sacred Heart, came out in 1983, 4 and 5, respectively. The middle album proved that Holy Diver was no fluke. Anthems like “We Rock” and the title track, as well as the catchy/cheesy “Mystery,” helped make the album his first platinum one. It was also the next to last album to feature Vivian Campbell, who would go on to join Def Leppard.
Iron Maiden, Powerslave
Iron Maiden were at the height of their career in 1984. Their third album with Bruce Dickinson was also their most ambitious. While there was the amazing one-two punch of album opener “Aces High” and “Two Minutes to Midnight,” there was also the egyptian-themed album artwork and title track and the 13:42 retelling of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” They would go on the 15-month plus World Slavery Tour in support of the album, which comprised their double-live album Live After Death and establish them as one of the best touring bands out there, which they continue to be.
Mercyful Fate, Don’t Break the Oath
Before King Diamond was King Diamond (and afterwards), he was the singer of Mercyful Fate. His ridiculous (in a good way) vocals with Hank Shermann’s excellent riffage, the theatricality of King, along with the Satanic lyrics were influential to many black metal bands, although they weren’t necessarily considered black metal at the time. Unfortunately, this was the last Mercyful Fate release for another nine years, as Shermann wanted to get more commercial and King refused, breaking up the band and setting out on a solo career.Spinal Ta