Classic Rock Bottom

This is not a personal Top 20 from 1985, just 20 albums from that year and a ranking of those 20 albums. Feel free to offer your personal rankings of the albums too!




Album Title: Mechanical Resonance

Artist: Tesla

Release Date: 12/8/86

Billboard: 32

RIAA Certification: Platinum

Billboard Charting Singles:

Little Suzi #91

Notable Deep Cuts:

Every song not listed above

Brief Thoughts: I love this album. It is my favorite Tesla album. There isn’t a weak track on it. Killer guitars. Although they had some great individual songs on subsequent albums, they never bettered this full listening experience in my opinion.

Ranking:

1. Mechanical Resonance

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Album Title: Inside The Electric Circus

Artist: W.A.S.P.

Release Date: 10/86

Billboard: 60

RIAA Certification: Molybdenum

Billboard Charting Singles:

None

Notable Deep Cuts:

Restless Gypsy
I’m Alive

Brief Thoughts: I loved the band’s first album but I didn’t care for this one. And time has not really helped. Songs like 9.5.-N.A.S.T.Y. and Shoot From The Hip are pretty awful. It is not totally void of goodness, as Restless Gypsy and I’m Alive are quite nice. I even like the Uriah Heep cover. But that’s about all for me.

Ranking:

1. Mechanical Resonance
2. Inside The Electric Circus

I would put my rankings in the same way as you have so far. However, I actually like the Inside The Electric Circus album. As for "9.5. N.A.S.T.Y.", the lyrics in that song made for some fun when I wrote a term paper about the lyrics in W.A.S.P. songs in high school for an English class.

Ranking:

1. Mechanical Resonance
2. Inside The Electric Circus

Album Title: Rage For Order

Artist: Queensryche

Release Date: 7/14/86

Billboard: 47

RIAA Certification: Gold

Billboard Charting Singles:

None

Notable Deep Cuts:

Walk In The Shadows
The Killing Words
Surgical Strike
Neue Regel
I Will Remember


Brief Thoughts: I had no idea who Queensryche were when this was released. I didn’t catch on until Empire hit the airwaves. But I would place this as their third best effort, behind Empire and Operation Mindcrime. The deep cuts I listed above are really good. The band was developing well at that time.

Ranking:

1. Mechanical Resonance
2. Rage For Order
3. Inside The Electric Circus

I do love this album but you didn't mention what I believe is the best song on the album other than Roads To Madness, "Chemical Youth (We Are Rebellion)". "Neue Regel" is a great song as well. Hell, the whole album is great. I loved getting to see Geoff Tate perform this whole album last year, the last concert I saw for 2020.

Album Title: Raised On Radio

Artist: Journey

Release Date: 4/21/86

Billboard: 4

RIAA Certification: 2 X Platinum

Billboard Charting Singles:

Be Good To Yourself #9
Suzanne #17
Girl Can’t Help It #17
I’ll Be Alright Without You #14
Why Can’t This Night Go On Forever #60

Notable Deep Cuts:

Positive Touch
Once You Love Somebody
Raised On Radio
The Eyes Of A Woman

Brief Thoughts: This album lags a bit behind the band’s very best output. That being said, it is still a good album. The opener is a melodic masterpiece. Incredible song. Suzanne was a decent hit but to me it is terrific. Their is some downtime closer to the end of the album as some of the slow stuff just drags it down, not necessarily because the songs are bad, just too much balladry.

Ranking:

1. Mechanical Resonance
2. Raised On Radio
2. Rage For Order
3. Inside The Electric Circus

It's a decent album but I think I'll have to give this another listen to see just how much I really like it. I haven't heard it for a while.

That song "Why Can't This Night Go On Forever" was the theme for my junior prom.

Rankings:

1. Rage For Order

2. Mechanical Resonance
3. Inside The Electric Circus

4. Raised On Radio

Album Title: Eat ‘Em And Smile

Artist: David Lee Roth

Release Date: 7/7/86

Billboard: 4

RIAA Certification: Platinum

Billboard Charting Singles:

Yankee Rose #16
Goin’ Crazy #66
That’s Life #85

Notable Deep Cuts:

Shy Boy
Ladies’ Nite In Buffalo?
Tobacco Road
Elephant Gun
Big Trouble
Bump And Grind
That’s Life

Brief Thoughts: Man, it really sucked when DLR left VH. Heartbreaking really. But life went on and in 1986 both of them released albums. Which one did I like best? You will have to keep following this post to find that out. But Diamond Dave put together an incentive band and he delivered this gem. This is a masterpiece. Not a bad song in the bunch. Shy Boy and Ladies’ Nite In Buffalo are killer. All I need is to find the Spanish version of this.

Ranking:

1. Eat ‘Em And Smile
2. Mechanical Resonance
3. Raised On Radio
4. Rage For Order
5. Inside The Electric Circus

Album Title: The Big Prize

Artist: Honeymoon Suite

Release Date: 2/86

Billboard: ?

RIAA Certification: ?

Billboard Charting Singles:

Feel It Again #34
What Does It Take #52

Notable Deep Cuts:

Bad Attitude
Lost And Found
One By One
Wounded
Words In The Wind
All Along You Knew
Once The Feeling

Brief Thoughts: This album is pure bliss. I had not heard it in years until recently and it just makes me feel good to listen to it. Everything is good. The vocals are so good. I think that All Along You Knew is my favorite HS track.

Ranking:

1. Eat ‘Em And Smile
2. Mechanical Resonance
3. The Big Prize
4. Raised On Radio
5. Rage For Order
6. Inside The Electric Circus

A perfect album.

Album Title: Master Of Puppets

Artist: Metallica

Release Date: 3/3/86

Billboard: 29

RIAA Certification: 6 X Platinum

Billboard Charting Singles:

None

Notable Deep Cuts:

Battery
Master Of Puppets
The Thing That Should Not Be
Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
Disposable Heroes


Brief Thoughts: Honestly, I am not really a thrash metal guy. I mean, I do like some thrash, but I’ve always been a melody guy. So I didn’t get this in ‘86. But now I think it’s pretty fantastic. It kicks hard all the way through. It wasn’t until the Black album arrived that I listened to Metallica, but I wish I would have given this more of a chance back then. And the album cover is amazing.

Ranking:

1. Eat ‘Em And Smile
2. Mechanical Resonance
3. The Big Prize
4. Master Of Puppets
5. Raised On Radio
6. Rage For Order
7. Inside The Electric Circus

Love this one.

Album Title: The Final Frontier

Artist: Keel

Release Date: 4/30/86

Billboard: 53

RIAA Certification: Copper

Billboard Charting Singles:

None

Notable Deep Cuts:

The Final Frontier
Rock And Roll Animal
Because The Night
Just Another Girl
Tears Of Fire
No Pain No Gain

Brief Thoughts: I do know a lot of folks that like Keel, but I do. This is there best album as far as I’m concerned. The cover of Springsteen’s Because The Night is great and I absolutely love Ron Keel’s scream going into the guitar solo. I remember this and Tears Of Fire getting some MTV airplay.

Ranking:

1. Eat ‘Em And Smile
2. Mechanical Resonance
3. The Big Prize
4. Master Of Puppets
5. Raised On Radio
6. Rage For Order
7. The Final Frontier
8. Inside The Electric Circus

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